Saturday's episode attracted just 5.6 million viewers
Ratings for The X Factor have reached their lowest point since 2004 with BBC’s Antiques Roadshow gaining higher figures than the results show on Sunday (November 1).
Viewing figures for the TV singing contest have gradually declined since 2010, going from an average audience of 14.13 million during its seventh series to just 5.6 million for the first live show of the current series on Saturday (October 31). A total of 5.25 million watched the show’s first ever episode in 2004.
The X Factor‘s main Saturday night rival Strictly Come Dancing, meanwhile, has attracted an average of 9.4 million viewers to the BBC so far in 2015.
BARB figures show that at 8pm on Sunday Antiques Roadshow had 600,000 more viewers than their ITV rival.
With an average of 8.65 viewers, 2014 figures for the talent show were the lowest since the first series. The show has introduced new judges Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora in an attempt to win back viewers for series 12.
Simon Cowell has admitted the battle that the show faces, saying, “You can’t keep making the same show with the same format because if everybody knows what is going to happen every year, eventually people will get tired of it.”
ITV director Peter Fincham recently accused the BBC of playing a “game” whereby it deliberately schedules Strictly Come Dancing against The X Factor.
“This really matters to us, because we are a commercial business,” he said. “I know from my own time at the BBC that this is a bit of a game. All the evidence we have from our audiences is that they don’t want the two to overlap. It’s perfectly possible for them not to overlap.”
However, the BBC has denied intentionally scheduling its incredibly popular dance contest against The X Factor, with a spokesperson saying, “We always try to avoid clashes, but we schedule our programmes with licence fee payers in mind and they tell us they want high-quality entertainment at the heart of the Saturday-night schedule.”