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Eastenders beats Downton Abbey in Christmas TV ratings war


By The Drum Team, Editorial

December 26, 2011 | 1 min read

Eastenders has won the Christmas ratings war, with 9.92 viewers beating ITV’s Downton Abbey, which drew an audience of 8.43m viewers.

It was predicted that the ITV period drama would be the victor in this year’s audience war when it was announced that a Christmas special of Downton Abbey was to be produced, but Eastenders took the ratings top spot for a third consecutive year.

However, according to overnight figures from Barb, Eastenders failed to match its total for last year‘s Christmas special of 11.4m viewers.

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special also proved more popular than Downton Abbey, with an audience of 8.92m viewers.

The Strictly Come Dancing special also saw a fall in viewers this year, but drew an audience of 7.52m, while Coronation Street brought in 9.03m and the return of Absolutely Fabulous drew in 7.43m.

In total, between peak-time viewing of 6pm-10.30pm, the BBC won the battle with 30.39% of the audience, while ITV 1 generated 28.28%. BBC 2 meanwhile had 6.02%, Channel 4 had 5.53% and Channel 5 drew 2.16%.

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