“Tom Bradby is so hot he got 500,000 new viewers,” claims a headline in the Times today. It follows on from yesterday’s puff piece reporting ITV News at Ten “has put on half a million viewers since Tom Bradby began presenting”. The generous write-up claimed:
“Average viewing figures for the ITV bulletin over the past three weeks have risen to two million — up by half a million on September averages.”
Has Bradby’s sex appeal really made such a remarkable difference?
Industry insiders tell Media Guido that, actually, the ITV News at Ten numbers are flat. In the three weeks since Bradby took over, reliable sources say ITV News at Ten has scored above two million on just three nights. The ratings have reached c1.9 million on zero nights, c.1.8 million on one night, c.1,7 million on six nights, c1.6 million on 2 nights and c1.5 million on 2 nights. The “half a million” headline figure is as sexed up as their new choice of host…
UPDATE: The BBC hit back as the 10pm flame war intensifies:
Happy to report business as usual at Ten, whatever others may wish. 4.4m v 2m. Back to work with a smile. Diolch! pic.twitter.com/Ryi3ovvUIu
— Huw Edwards (@huwbbc) November 3, 2015
UPDATE II: Here are the ITV figures in full since Bradby took over. Last night’s numbers take the average just above 2 million: