Entertainment & Arts

BBC dominates terrestrial TV in 2013

Mrs Brown's Boys
Image caption Mrs Brown's Boys, which recently won a National Television Award, was one of the BBC's Christmas Day triumphs

The BBC continues to dominate terrestrial television, with 58 of the top 100 most watched shows broadcast in 2013 - according to industry figures.

ITV was the only one of the five terrestrial broadcasters to increase its audience share last year.

The BBC and Channel 4 both took a post-Olympics hit, dropping their overall audience share.

However, the BBC still retains the most watched programmes in the key drama, comedy and factual categories.

In the comedy/entertainment category, seven of the top 10 shows were shown on the BBC including BBC One's Still Open All Hours - 2013's best comedy performer - Mrs Brown's Boys and Strictly Come Dancing.

Doctor Who's 50th anniversary episode also took the most watched drama crown, beating Downton Abbey's latest series finale. But ITV had six of the top 10 drama shows, including Broadchurch and Mr Selfridge.

Consolidated Barb data, published by industry magazine Broadcast, reveals that ITV's share grew by 3.5% last year across all hours, while its peak share was up 5.6%.

Figures were boosted by the success of long-running hits such as Downton and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale also both performed strongly, with the Street growing by 6% and Emmerdale growing by 3%.

In contrast, BBC stalwarts EastEnders dropped by more than 4.5% and Holby City by 5%.

Image copyright ITV
Image caption ITV hit Broadchurch gripped audiences in the UK and became a critics' favourite prompting a US remake

Channel 4 fared poorly in the ratings, with no shows in the top 100 and significant slumps in audience numbers on previous hits such as One Born Every Minute.

BBC Two and Channel 5 also both suffered drops in audience share. BBC Two was down by 5.4% to 5.83% across all hours - putting it just ahead of the 5.79% recorded by Channel 4.

Channel 5 was marginally down on its 2012 figures.

BBC One's coverage of London's New Year fireworks display achieved the biggest average TV audience of 2013, with a consolidated audience of 13.52 million including viewings on catch-up services like the BBC's iPlayer.

'Icing on the cake'

Earlier this week, the BBC announced that the third series of Sherlock had become its "most-watched series in over a decade".

An average of 11.82 million people tuned in for the third series of the detective drama on BBC One.

The first episode - in which Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, returned from his apparent death - had a consolidated audience of 12.72 million, while the other two programmes attracted 11.38 million viewers.

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said: "This latest accolade is the icing on the cake and only further demonstrates the audience's huge appetite and appreciation for original British drama on BBC One."

More on this story