Public Broadcaster Achieves Best BBC1 Ratings in Twenty Years

16 November 2001

Greg Dyke, former commercial television tycoon and now director-general of the publicly-owned British Broadcasting Corporation, has achieved his ambition to see flagship channel BBC1 back at the top of the ratings table – its highest ranking in twenty years.

The Dyke-inspired programming mix of feature length dramas, such as Dalziel and Pascoe, epic wildlife programmes such as Blue Planet and the Friday episode of sudsy serial saga EastEnders, has propelled the channel ahead of rival commercial network ITV for fourteen consecutive weeks – helped many insiders believe, by some spectacular ITV own-goals, such as the scheduling of soccer highlights in Saturday’s peaktime viewing slot.

According to data from Barb (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board), BBC1’s daylong viewing share averaged 27.3%, while in the year to date ITV has fallen from 26.9% to 24.9%. In the same period in 2000, the BBC trailed ITV by 1.2 share points in all hours and by 6.5 share points in peak-time.

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