UK TV Ratings: BBC1 Beats ITV1 for Third Year

29 December 2003

The BBC's flagship UK television station BBC1 has attracted more viewers than rival ITV1 for the third consecutive year.

According to ratings service BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), BBC1 gained a 25.55% audience share for the year to December 21. ITV1 -- main channel of commercial network ITV -- lagged on 23.72%.

The duo are Britain's leading terrestrial channels, but they face a growing threat from multichannel stations as digital television increases in popularity. ITV1's ratings are now only fractionally ahead of the combined non-terrestrial sector, whose viewing share jumped from 22.05% last year to 23.57%.

Of the other terrestrial stations, Channel 4 saw its share slide the most, finishing on 9.66%; BBC2 fell to 10.98%; and Five climbed to 6.52%, making it the only one of the five terrestrial channels to record an upturn.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff