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BBC1’s daytime TV overhaul sees ratings soar as BBC2 and Channel 4 struggle to compete

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By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

January 26, 2013 | 2 min read

Following BBC1’s decision to stop showing children's programmes in its afternoon slot, the channel has seen an increase in its viewing figures, as BBC2 and Channel 4 have seen audience ratings drop.

Since it launched the new daytime schedule on 7 January, BBC1's audience share has risen from 4 per cent in the same period a year ago to 14.2 per cent between 3.10pm and 5pm.

According to Barb audience figures, BBC2 has seen its audience share almost halve year on year, from 13.1 per cent to 6.9 per cent. Channel 4 has also suffered, with ratings down from 13.4 per cent to 8.1 per cent during the same time frame.

However, ITV's audience share has increased to 17 per cent from 14.8 per cent last year, as afternoon programmes like Dickinson's Real Deal and the quiz show, Tipping Point, pull in viewers.

Commenting on the figures, Liam Keelan, the outgoing controller of BBC daytime told the Guardian: "The BBC1 increase was right at the top of our expectations. I am sure the snow was beneficial. But daytime is about the flow of programmes, and the move was also helped by Father Brown, which did incredibly well."

Meanwhile a Channel 4 spokeswoman said that the network was seeing a rise in viewing by 16 to 34-year-olds for Countdown and Face the Clock, and would be trying out more new shows in the coming months: "We have increased investment in new daytime formats as part of the on going creative renewal of the schedule."

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