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Only partial relief for Ascot as ITV tops C4 opening day numbers

ITV's opening day Royal Ascot audience beat those achieved by Channel 4
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Better than Channel 4 but a long way shy of the BBC was the opening day outcome in the Royal Ascot ratings race now being run by ITV.

A major factor in the decision to move the sport's mainstream rights from Channel 4 was the desire to significantly boost royal meeting audiences following the axing of BBC television.

ITV's first Royal Ascot afternoon broadcast partially succeeded in that regard, with the day one average of 719,000 viewers well up on Channel 4's 588,000 on the same day last year and superior to any figure Channel 4 achieved on the opening day during its four-year tenure.

However, the 719,000 figure fell a long way short of the 1,091,000 secured across BBC1 and BBC2 in 2012.

ITV's peak Tuesday rating was 908,000, attained in the final 15 minutes of a programme that ran from 1.30pm to 6pm and encompassed all six races.

The Chase quiz show, which generally airs in the one-hour slot between 5pm and 6pm, tends to peak at between three and four million viewers.

The Opening Show, which is being shown at 10am on ITV4 until Friday, delivered an average audience of only 31,000.

The 719,000 figure fell a long way short of the 1,091,000 secured across BBC1 and BBC2 in 2012
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