The London Olympics, the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations and the Euro 2012 football tournament combined to boost BBC1’s all-day share of the audience from 20.7 per cent to 21.3 per cent, reversing a decline that stretches back to the mid 1990s.
BBC1 performed even better in peaktime, with a 23.5 per cent share of viewing between 6pm and 10.30pm, up from 22.6 per cent last year.
Richard Desmond’s Channel 5 was also slightly up in a year in which its summer schedule was dominated by Big Brother, bookended by two celebrity editions of the reality show.
Channel 5’s all-day share of the audience (including Channel 5+1) grew from 4.4 per cent to 4.5 per cent, with its peaktime share up from 4.3 per cent to 4.4 per cent. It was the channel’s first uplift, on both measures, since 2004.
With the growth in digital TV and multichannel viewing, all five of the mainstream channels have been in long term decline.
In relative terms BBC2 suffered the biggest fall, its all-day share slipping from 6.6 per cent to 6.1 per cent in 2012, almost half the 11.4 per cent share it had 10 years ago. In peak, BBC2’s share fell from 7.8 per cent to 7.3 per cent.
ITV1’s all-day share, including ITV1+1, fell from 16.6 per cent to 15.7 per cent. The ITV flagship channel’s share has fallen every year since 1990, when it had 44 per cent of all TV viewing. The network’s peaktime share of the audience fell from 21.9 per cent to 20.6 per cent.
Channel 4’s all-day share fell from 6.8 per cent to 6.5 per cent, and from 7 per cent to 6.7 per cent in peak.