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