ITV and C4 commercial impacts hit as BBC pulls in Euro 96 audience

ITV and Channel 4 have suffered badly from BBC’s coverage of Euro 96, with both experiencing a fall in their commercial impacts in the first week of the championships.

From June 10 to 16, ITV’s impacts – the amount of advertising seen by viewers – dropped among all adults by 20.5 per cent, compared with the same week in 1995, when ITV had exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup.

Its impacts for young men, aged 16 to 34, were down 18 per cent from BARB figures for ITV at the same time last year.

However, ITV’s share of total viewing has held up at 35.2 per cent, compared with BBC1’s 32.9 per cent for the week.

C4, which is not screening any of Euro 96, experienced a drop in its impacts for all adults of 20 per cent compared with 1995, while its figures for young men plummeted by 23 per cent during the first week of the championships.

The BBC’s coverage of England against Spain last weekend attracted an average of 16 million viewers – of which 7.2 million were men. At peak viewing, before the penalty shootout, there were 18 million viewers – 33 per cent of the population. But the BARB figures don’t take into account audiences watching the match from bars and pubs.

ITV, which screened the England against Holland game last week, had an audience of 13.5 million, of which 6.5 million were men.

CIA Medianetwork says the dual coverage of tonight’s (Wednesday) semi-final against Germany was stopping advertisers reaching a mass market, because the BBC is likely to grab the lion’s share of audiences.

TV Watch, page 16

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