We can't quite believe that the latest series of ITV's flagship talent contest has already kicked off, but the programme should provide the broadcaster with strong ratings right through the autumn (it doesn't finish until December). Last Saturday's opening episode pulled in the largest first show audience yet with a peak of 12.6 million viewers across ITV1 and ITV1 HD. It remains to be seen if allegations of Auto-Tune tinkering with the sound damage future audiences but, for the time being, The X Factor remains ITV's biggest hit.
Sky Sports News in HD
We're heavy viewers of Sky's sports news service and like its new high-definition look following launch on Monday. We're not quite sure that the HD does some of the players and managers any favours but the action looks better and the new screen design is an improvement. However, this upside for those of us in Sky homes has been offset by the pain caused to those in Freeview homes who now no longer get the channel since it moved to pay-TV-only at the same time. It will be interesting to see if this strategy pays off for Sky.
Mojo's special Beatles cover
Bauer Media's Mojo is going all retro with this week's launch of the October issue. The magazine offers a premium-edition vinyl LP featuring cover versions of songs from The Beatles' Let It Be album. The 10,000 limited editions will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of the Beatles album and features cover versions from Beth Orton and the Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson. Priced at £12.99, it's not for skinflints but should create a buzz around the magazine.
UKTV's content deal with Channel 4
We enjoy watching UKTV's digital channel Dave so were encouraged to see that it's invested in refreshing its content through a deal with Channel 4 that will see reruns of Peep Show appear alongside other C4 shows such as Spaced and Black Books. We're looking forward to revisiting old episodes of the shows alongside C4 documentaries that Dave has also acquired as part of the deal.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
IPC selling Loaded
IPC's decision to consider selling its lads' mag Loaded seems sensible given that its circulation slid by 26.3 per cent in the first half of this year to just 53,591, and perhaps a new owner, expected to be Vitality Publishing, can inject freshness into the title. For us, though, this is a sad reminder of our younger days when Loaded sold by the barrel-load and dominated the men's sector alongside Emap's FHM. It will be interesting to see what the next incarnation of Loaded looks like but, for us, this marks the end of an era.