NEWS: ITV audience hits all-time low as C4 viewing figures reach new high

ITV has recorded its lowest share of the commercial TV audience while overall TV viewing continues its long-term decline.

ITV has recorded its lowest share of the commercial TV audience while

overall TV viewing continues its long-term decline.



According to the latest trends report from the Institute of

Practitioners in Advertising, ITV is now taking less than a 64 per cent

share of the total commercial audience, which includes Channel 4 and the

cable and satellite channels.



However, Channel 4 hit its highest share of viewing since 1991, taking

20.1 per cent of all viewing in the third quarter of this year.



The cable and satellite TV channels also recorded their combined highest

share of viewing, accounting for a 16 per cent share of all viewing of

commercial channels.



The figures, which analyse viewing of all UK TV channels up to the end

of the third quarter of 1995, also show that average daily hours of

viewing for all TV channels was at its lowest for a decade.



Average daily hours of viewing for the terrestrial channels has

plummeted to 2.84, compared with 4.21 ten years ago. Viewing of all TV

channels, including cable and satellite and programmes videoed and

watched within seven days, is down to an average 3.21 hours a day.



The new figures come as ITV braces itself for a slump in revenue in the

run-up to Christmas. Revenue for December is expected to be just under

pounds 120 million, a fall of around 4 per cent on last year.



Bill Barker, the broadcast director of J. Walter Thompson, acknowledged

that ITV has had a bad year. ‘The BBC has made significant inroads and

the biggest loser is ITV. That’s disappointing for our clients - it

exacerbates inflation - but we expect ITV’s plans for 1996 to go some

way to halt the decline,’ he said.



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