Winter Love Island launches with 3m viewers

Last night's show fell short of 3.7 million peak for 2019 launch show that aired in June.

Love Island: new contestants
Love Island: new contestants

A peak of 2.9 million people tuned in to watch the first-ever episode of the winter Love Island – a 13.3% share of the total audience watching TV at the time.

The average audience across the show, which aired from 9pm to 10.30pm on ITV2 last night, was 2.5 million on TV, according to overnight figures provided by ITV. When non-TV devices are included, this figure rises to 2.8 million.

Sunday night's debut episode fell short of the 3.7 million overnight peak for the 2019 launch show that aired in June, marking a 22% drop. 

However, last night’s audience was more than five times bigger than that of the same ITV2 schedule slot last year, with the audience up by 2.1 million and share up by 10.8 percentage points.

Among the hard-to-reach 16- to 34-year-olds, Love Island was viewed by 1.2 million people.

ITV also said that this demographic was 32% bigger than the next highest-rated show on any channel so far this year, EastEnders, which scored 900,000 viewers aged 16 to 34.

After the success of Love Island over the past five years, last summer ITV announced plans to run two series a year.

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