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UK Commercial TV Channel Sees Ratings Downturn

News, 09 March 2005

The UK's largest commercial TV broadcaster, ITV, is losing viewers.

Figures released by the British Audience Research Bureau show the company's flagship channel ITV1, lost 10% of its audience in the first two months of this year, compared with the same period in 2004.

And the biggest numbers switching off are in the advertiser-attractive 16 to 34 age group, where viewing is down by almost 23%.

ITV says the fall is due is to the absence of its ratings- winner reality show I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.

BARB shows ITV1 is still the most popular channel during peak hours but is facing a decline in its more affluent viewers, a trend that will ring alarm bells among advertisers.

The disappointing audience figures come just before the broadcaster is expected to announce a rise in earnings of close to 40% and a profit hike of around 17%.

A spokeswoman for ITV says: "We are about to unveil a strong spring/summer line-up and autumn - traditionally our strongest season - is yet to come. ITV2 and ITV3 have had record-breaking months and it is now important to look at ITV as a portfolio of channels."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff