From A for AGF Videoforschung to Z for zapping, the most important technical terms in video research are explained here.

In TV planning, ranking sequences are rankings of broadcasters, timelines or commercial breaks by CPM-C, reach or affinity for the purpose of benchmarking in the relevant target group. They are primarily used to select suitable commercial breaks for a campaign.

The German rate system has an unambiguous code for each broadcast day. It consists of four details that are always fully available. The code is mandatory for advertising. It can be used additionally for other programme types like sponsoring or trailer.

Rate group: 2-digit (classification of the advertising break depending on the kind of advertising)

Price group: 2-digit (determines the spot price of the advertising break; subordinate to rate group)

Hour: 2-digit (scheduled time of the advertising break)

Advertising break no.: 2-digit (channels’ internal number, generally a serial number within one hour / one context)

The following classification applies:


Standard advertising general


Standard advertising


Standard advertising sport


Standard advertising children


Event advertising


Event advertising sports


Total advertising


Special advertising


Channels' internal coding

Pricing information for rate groups 1-30 is stored in the reference systems. Special advertisings are classed in rate groups 31 and above so that they are not taken into account for the calculation of averages for total advertising. Rate groups 81-99 contain internal information of the channels which do not refer to advertising breaks and are only licensed to the channel concerned.

Rating is a synonym for the average viewing participation of a program or advertising break as a percentage (audience share). The term is to be distinguished from reach.

Reach means the net coverage of a programme, programme list or campaign. The term is not to be confused with rating.

Four reception levels for TV which also are relevant for  recruiting and weighting are distinguished:

Definitions (from 2024):

  • Satellite: TV reception via a satellite dish or a satellite communal system.
  • Cable: TV reception through a cable connection, usually with a monthly fee to a cable network operator (alternative billing through rental charges is possible).
  • Terrestrial: TV reception via DVB-T/DVB-T2, requiring a house, room, or rod antenna, and a DVB-T/DVB-T2 receiver.
  • Internet (TV): TV reception via the internet, including IPTV, OTT, and hybrid offerings.

The reception methods are determined in households for all TV devices under measurement (including connected auxiliary devices). Based on the reception level hierarchy, each household is assigned to exactly one reception level.

Currently, satellite reception constitutes the largest share.

Reception potential indicates the number of persons or households who receive a broadcaster via terrestrial transmission, cable, satellite or IPTV. A broadcaster is deemed to be receivable if it was switched on at least once for one second in a panel household. By virtue of this definition, the reception potential of a broadcaster is always smaller than its technical range because actual reception, not all potential households in the distribution area, forms the basis for the reception potential.

Although the reception potential is largely resistant to fluctuations by reason of its definition, slight changes can arise in a few cases as a result of panel entries and exits, maintenance, cable network or transponder switch-offs or reassignments, and weighting processes.

Reception potential 60/60 indicates the number of persons or households that switched on a broadcaster for at least 60 consecutive seconds in the last 60 days. Thus, the reception potential 60/60 is subject to temporal fluctuations based on actual use.

Households are recruited for the AGF panel in a two-stage process: Based on a representative sample, households/individuals are contacted and a short telephone interview is conducted to determine whether the household meets the target specifications for the AGF panel in terms of socio-demographic characteristics and reception situation (CATI screening). To a limited extent, initial contacts for certain target groups are also achieved online. If a household is basically suitable, a personal recruitment interview (face to face) is conducted for the AGF panel. During this recruitment interview, further information about the household is collected in the same way as in the structural survey. After successful recruitment, the measurement equipment is installed and the household is included in the daily reporting.

A red button application is an automatically executed application within the meaning of the HbbTV standard. It is transmitted together with a broadcast programme and launches in the background insofar as it is signaled as “auto start.” These applications often display a red button on the screen, indicating that the application can be activated and visibly displayed by pressing on the red button. Such an application is typically the portal site of a broadcaster that provides additional information and services to the viewer such as access to a media library.

Reliability refers to the reliability and measurement precision of an applied measurement system. In the AGF system, the ICC serves the purpose of a reliability check.

The reporting basis is the potential of persons underlying an analysis. The reporting basis may be the universe, but may also be limited by filter conditions. The reporting basis acts as a prefilter for the target group in analyses.

The reporting ratio refers to the proportion of all retrievable panel households represented by reporting panel households whose data is transmitted every day, usually overnight between 3:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., via the measurement systems to the central system at GfK. The minimum number for successfully daily reporting households is 5,400.

Representativeness refers to the correspondence between sample and universe in the relevant structural characteristics. The AGF Panel is representative of the population of the Federal Republic of Germany and maps the usage of video in households.