The BBC claimed 9 of the 10 most viewed programmes on Christmas Day in the United Kingdom. BBC One accounted for 27% of broadcast viewing, which was more than any other channel or the total for online video subscription services. However, there has been a continuing decline in television audiences on Christmas Day.
The most viewed programme on Christmas Day, based on overnight ratings, was The King’s Christmas Broadcast with 5.9 million viewers. That was ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special with 5.3 million and Doctor Who with 4.7 million.
“Bringing people together at Christmas matters to audiences and securing nine of the top ten shows demonstrates how much they value the BBC’s Christmas Day line-up,” said Charlotte Moore, the chief content officer of the BBC. “We entertained viewers in their millions on Christmas Day with a range of quality programmes you really can’t find anywhere else to wrap up an outstanding year of creative content on the BBC.”
The previous year, by the same measure, The King’s Christmas Broadcast, his first as monarch, had 8.1 million viewers, while the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special had 5.4 million.
These overnight figures increase with the addition of recorded and online viewing within seven days.
There were some 0.88 million online requests in total for The King’s Christmas Broadcast, while the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special attracted 1.16 million. The most popular programme on the BBC iPlayer over the festive fortnight was the Christmas Day edition of the serial drama EastEnders, with 2.96 million requests.
There were a million requests for the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, broadcast just after midnight on 1 January.
ITV claimed its best New Year’s Day viewing for two years. Its factual drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office was the most watched programme across all channels yesterday with 3.9 million viewers, according to overnight ratings.
ITVX delivered 8 million streams on New Year’s Day, up by 44% on the same day the previous year. It also passed the 3 billion streams since launch, just over a year ago.
For its part, Channel 4 reported that in 2023 it saw a 24% increase in online viewing over 2023, with over 53 billion viewer minutes over the year.