New look BBC1 schedule impacts BBC2 viewing figures

- The BBC has delivered an own goal with its scheduling war against ITV, with the first night of the new look BBC1 schedule, and its News at Ten broadcast, impacting on audiences for its sister channel BBC2 rather than ITV.

- The BBC has delivered an own goal with its scheduling war against ITV, with the first night of the new look BBC1 schedule, and its News at Ten broadcast, impacting on audiences for its sister channel BBC2 rather than ITV.

Overnight BARB viewing data reveals that during the peaktime slot of 7pm to 10.30pm, the BBC clocked up a 32.7 per cent share of viewing, compared to the average yearly figure of around 27.9 per cent. The channel broadcast a new series of One Foot in the Grave, which ran in the new nine o'clock slot, followed by a new series of the award winning Royle Family comedy.

While ITV also improved on its year to date average viewing share, garnering a 38 per cent share of viewing audiences between 7pm and 10.30pm compared to an average of 36.5 per cent for this year, BBC2 was significantly down. The channel's Louis Theroux's Wierd Weekends at 9pm pulled in just 4.7 per cent of viewers, compared with an average yearly viewing share for BBC2 during weekdays at that time of 10.4 per cent.

Chris Locke, the joint managing diretor of MediaVest, observed: "It's pretty obvious that Greg Dyke has one aim and that is to kill ITV if he can, and even if it impacts on BBC2, he's not that bothered about how he manages to do it."

Simon Bolus, the head of research at Zenith Media, said: "Advertisers can take heart from the fact that ITV didn't collapse and maintained healthy audiences."

However, the BBC News did have more viewers at its new time: on Monday night it clocked up 29 per cent share of viewers, compared to an average of 22 per cent this year for its previous nine o'clock slot.



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