ITV, the largest commercial TV channel in the UK, has reported a surge in its audience viewing figures for both news and daytime programming as millions of people are forced to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The broadcaster shared its ratings for Wednesday 18 March, revealing that two of its daytime shows, Loose Women (12:30-13:29) and This Morning (10:00-12:29), pulled in year-on-year increases of 76% and 70% respectively. That equates to 1.3 million viewers for Loose Women and 1.5 million for This Morning.

In addition, Good Morning Britain (06:00-08:59) had its seventh biggest audience ever with an average audience of 906,000, up 15% year-on-year, while the viewing figures for Lorraine (09:00-09:59) grew 23% year-on-year.

Overall, ITV Daytime (06:00-17:59) averaged 1.5 million viewers and took a 20% share, which was its strongest viewing performance for a Wednesday since Christmas Day 2013. Viewing in daytime was also up 32% compared to the same period last year.

And with people understandably wanting to turn to reliable news outlets during these difficult times, ITV also reported a major uptick in the viewing figures for its news and political programming.

ITV Lunchtime News saw its biggest audience since New Year’s Day 2014 with 1.6 million viewers – almost double that of last year – while its Evening National News attracted an average audience of 3.9 million, up 17% year-on-year.

ITV News at Ten increased its audience by 19% to 2.4 million and Peston, the weekly current affairs show hosted by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston, had its biggest ever audience on a Wednesday night with one million viewers and a 13% share.

Interestingly – and noteworthy for marketers – ITV also reported a significant increase in the number of young people aged 16 to 34 who now view its news coverage and daytime shows.

ITV Daytime’s live programmes “are proving a particular draw for young people”, the company said, with This Morning almost doubling its share and Loose Women more than doubling among that demographic.

Sourced from ITV; additional content by WARC staff