ITV Audience Share Slips as Rise of UK Digital TV Continues

03 November 2003

British television network ITV continues to suffer at the hands of multichannel rivals, according to new figures from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

The IPA's third-quarter TV Trends Report found that the non-terrestrial sector increased its lead in audience share over ITV's flagship station ITV1, having overtaken the channel for the first time in Q2 [WAMN: 01-Aug-03].

ITV1 achieved a 23.2% share of the audience in Q3, down from 23.6% in both Q2 this year and the third quarter 2002. Non-terrestrial stations claimed a 24.1% share, up from 23.9% in the second quarter and 22.6% in Q3 last year.

The publicly funded BBC's flagship station BBC1 is also under pressure. Its share in the three months to September fell to 25.1% – just one point ahead of non-terrestrial.

Of the other channels in the report, BBC2 and Channel 4 were both up on Q2 (to 11.0% and 10.1% respectively), while Five stayed flat at 6.5%.

The boom in non-terrestrial viewing reflects the relentless rise of digital television in the UK. According to the IPA study, the number of homes accessing dTV topped 10 million for the first time in Q3.

The full report can be downloaded at the IPA website.

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