Manchester derby scores big for ITV

Manchester United's victory against Manchester City in the FA Cup third round yesterday afternoon delivered a peak audience of 8.1 million viewers appropriate to half of those watching television at the time of broadcast.

TV ratings: Manchester derby scores highly
TV ratings: Manchester derby scores highly

According to unofficial overnight figures, the peak audience of 8.1 million viewers occurred as the controversial game, which earlier saw Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany sent off, came to its climax at 2.45pm.

Over the course of the Manchester derby, which kicked off at 1pm and finished around 2.45pm, ITV1 had an average audience of 6.91 million viewers, a huge 46.3% share of the TV watching audience.

Over the course of the afternoon ITV1’s five-and-a-half hours of live coverage from 12.30pm to 6pm (which included the Peterborough United game against Sunderland) had an average audience of 5.2 million viewers, or a 33% share.

The return of ITV’s celebrity ice skating competition ‘Dancing on Ice’ recorded a peak audience of 9.5 million viewers, a 35% share but a decline of more than one million from the 10.7 million peak during the first episode of the 2011 series.

The first episode of ‘Dancing on Ice’ had an average audience of 8.6 million viewers, a 25.3% share, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV1 and ITV1 HD. An additional 287,000 watched the show on ITV1 +1.

The second show, in which former Blue Peter presenter Andy Akinwolere became the first celebrity to be voted off, had an average of 6.5 million viewers between 9.30pm and 10pm on ITV1 and ITV1 HD, a 23.9% share. An additional 203,600 watched the show in ITV1 +1.

Elsewhere, BBC One’s ‘Sherlock’, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, had an average audience of 8.2 million viewers, a 29% share, between 8.30pm and 10pm on BBC One and BBC One HD.

Follow Maisie McCabe on Twitter @MaisieMcCabe

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