ITV Audience Share Down Again as Digital Surges

01 August 2003

The relentless rise of digital television in the UK is taking its toll on terrestrial network ITV, according to new figures from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

The IPA’s quarterly TV Trends report found that the flagship ITV1 channel’s total Q2 audience share stood at 23.6%, down from 24.0% in the first quarter. For the first time in the IPA’s study, the channel was beaten by the non-terrestrial sector, whose share rose from 22.8% to 23.9%.

ITV1’s two terrestrial commercial rivals were both up: Channel 4 from 9.2% to 9.8%; Five from 6.4% to 6.5%. However, both terrestrial channels of the publicly funded BBC lost share: BBC1 fell from 26.4% to 25.5%; BBC2 from 11.2% to 10.7%.

ITV1’s total audience share has fallen as low as 23.6% before (it hit the same figure in Q3 last year), but its 37.0% slice of commercial and non-terrestrial viewing is its worst ever.

Other findings include the rapid expansion of the digital terrestrial sector to 1.5 million homes – double the total in October 2002 – after the successful launch of free-to-air platform Freeview late last year.

Full details can be found at the IPA website.

Data sourced from: IPA Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff