ITV receives largest audience share for more than 10 years

Charlie Spargo's picture

Broadcaster ITV has had its best-performing first quarter in terms of audience share since 2009.

ITV1 received an 18% share of overall viewing in the first three months of 2020, the fifth successive year of viewing growth in Q1 and its best annual first quarter performance since 2009.

Programming that helped it achieve its high watching levels include Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, which had its biggest-ever viewership at 10.6 million in late March, as well as new drama White House Farm. Old favourites like Coronation Street helped pull ITV into first place, with the long-running soap opera hitting 7.8 million viewers at its peak.

The launch of international import The Masked Singer was a success, with its best-viewed episode reaching 7.6 million.

ITV's main channel's share of commercial viewing (SOCV), excluding views of BBC channels, was 26.7% in the first quarter, which is its highest since 2011.

The advent of the coronavirus has been difficult for commercial broadcasters, with ITV forecasting a dip in advertising revenues of at least 10% in April. However it has fared better than many, at least in part due to loyal viewers of longer-running programmes and a positive concept of ITV's offer.