Advanced Television

Channel 5 sees 5 consecutive years of audience growth

January 9, 2024

End of year BARB TV ratings figures show continued audience success for Channel 5 and its portfolio. 2023 delivered a 5 per cent share growth for Channel 5’s family of linear channels including 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select and 5ACTION, marking five consecutive years of growth and making it the only public service broadcaster (PSB) portfolio to increase its total share of the UK viewing audience (BBC -4 per cent, ITV -2 per cent, C4 -2 per cent).

Channel 5’s main channel was the only commercial PSB to increase its audience share in peak time (7-11pm) in 2023 compared to 2022 (+1 per cent year on year versus ITV -5 per cent, C4 -3 per cent, BBC1 -2 per cent, BBC2 +1 per cent).

The free-to-air broadcaster also grew its share of upmarket (ABC1) viewers – a key commercial audience, more than any other PSB in peak throughout the year (+4 per cent year on year, ITV -6 per cent, C4 -2 per cent, BBC1 -2 per cent, BBC2 +2 per cent).

Channel 5 won a greater share of audience than Channel 4 across more than a third of 2023 – more days in one year than ever before, closing the overall audience share gap between the two channels year-on-year.

Channel 5’s on demand platform My5 also pulled in record hours of viewing and watch time per user across 2023, marking four years of consecutive growth.

The achievement was driven by a combination of new and returning acclaimed drama commissions, factual favourites and agenda driving documentaries. All Creatures Great and Small pulled in the channel’s biggest audience of the year, averaging 3.7 million viewers and a 19 per cent share; The Inheritance attracted 3.3 million/19 per cent making it the channel’s third highest rating drama commission ever; Captain Tom: Where Did the Money Go? was the channel’s highest rating single documentary of the year with an audience of 2 million/13 per cent whilst Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly and Police: Suspect No.1 drew audiences of 1.9 million/ 12.6 per cent and 1.8 million/ 9.7 per cent respectively. 5 News achieved its highest month of viewing since 2015 in December.

Ben Frow, Chief Content Officer, UK, Paramount, commented: “I’m so proud that Channel 5 has continued to lead the pack for audience share growth for a fifth successive year and, yet again, we have closed the gap on our nearest competitor. It’s testament to the hard work of all of the Channel 5 team with their deep understanding of what our audiences love to watch – and all the fantastic producers and creative talent we work with.”

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