Entertainment & Arts

Strictly Come Dancing beats X Factor in ratings battle

Natalie Lowe and Tim Wonnacott perform on Strictly Come Dancing Image copyright PA
Image caption Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor have always been ratings rivals

Strictly Come Dancing beat X Factor in their Friday night ratings battle, with the BBC One show pulling in 700,000 more viewers than its rival.

The dance show had an average of 6.5 million viewers while the ITV programme, shown on a Friday for the first time, had 5.8 million.

It was one of the lowest X Factor viewing figures since the show's launch in 2004.

However, it was still double ITV's usual figure for that time on a Friday.

ITV said it had broadcast a Friday edition of the show because its Sunday schedule was "too full" to show the full "boot camp" stage.

The programme is now being screened over three consecutive nights.

Downward trend

The channel said when viewers from its +1 catch-up channel were taken into account, its peak was 6.6 million.

The BBC has not said how many people watched Strictly on the iPlayer.

This year's X Factor figures have continued a downward trend for the show over the past three years, despite the return of lead judge Simon Cowell.

The two shows, which have always had a rivalry, were also up against the launch of a new series of Channel 4's hit Gogglebox, which pulled in 2.7 million viewers.

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