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Ratings boost for new ITV post-10pm schedule

By Stephanie Bentley

ITV's average rating among upmarket adults shot up 35 per cent in the first post-10pm slot cleared by the axing of News at Ten.

Between 10pm and 11.30pm on Monday, March 8, when for the past 32 years ITV's peaktime schedule has been broken up by the news, the station achieved an average rating of 13 among ABC1 adults. This compares with an average rating of 9.6 for the same period on Monday, March 1.

A rating is the percentage of the audience - which can be defined as a particular category such as ABC1 adults - with a TV set, as opposed to the share of audience viewing at that particular moment.

ITV's first peaktime schedule without News at Ten featured The ITV Evening News at 6.30pm, Wish You Were Here, Coronation Street, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Cop Shop, and a new series of Kavanagh QC which ran from 9pm to 10.30pm. This was followed by a new comedy series called The Grimleys and then the ITV Nightly News at 11pm.

The new ITV Evening News, presented by Trevor McDonald, was the most watched news programme of the night, attracting an audience of 7.3 million and a 33 per cent share. Between 8pm and 11pm ITV chalked up a 48 per cent share of adults, compared with 33 per cent for the same period one year ago.

On Sunday night between 8pm and 11pm, ITV's share peaked at 71 per cent of adults and 68 per cent of ABC1 adults compared with 41 per cent and 42 per cent respectively last year.

David Cuff, broadcast director at Initiative Media, says: "It shows how responsive the TV audience is to good programming put out at the right time."

Chris Locke, joint managing director of MediaVest, says: "The Network Centre is doing very well. It will be interesting to see if it makes a dent in multi-channel homes."

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