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Deactivation for UK viewers – Deadline

Major British broadcasters ransacked their programs on Friday to get audiences to cover the death of Prince Philip, but the release proved to be a drag for Britons in evening viewing hours.

Ranking data analyzed by Deadline shows the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all suffered audience drops between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., when broadcasters lined up special coverage on the Duke of Edinburgh’s disappearance.

BBC One, the UK’s most watched TV channel, lost 6% of its audience last night compared to Friday April 2 (full figures below). Sister channel BBC Two, which simultaneously broadcast BBC News for much of the evening, fell 65%, according to Barb figures provided by nuit.tv.

Prince Philip’s death: how the BBC and other UK broadcasters reacted

Dissatisfaction with the extent of the BBC’s coverage was such that it was inundated with complaints. The BBC has even set up an official complaint form on its website, making it easier for viewers to voice concerns about “excessive television coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.

It was a similar story elsewhere. ITV, the BBC’s main business rival, suffered a 60% drop in audiences on Friday night, while Channel 4 – which broadcast a special report at 7 p.m. – was down 8.5%.

Channel 4, however, largely stuck to its scheduled schedule for the evening and was awarded with the highest rated show of the day in the form of Studio Lambert. Glasses box, which was watched by almost 4.2 million viewers.

The only public service broadcaster to show an improved audience a week ago was Channel 5, which grew 2%. Like Channel 4, the ViacomCBS-owned network largely stuck to its original evening schedule.

The highest rated newsletter of the day was the BBC 6PM newspaper with just over 4 million viewers. BBC One also aired the most-watched special on Prince Philip, with 2.4 million tuned in HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in memory from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Here are the average audiences for public service broadcasters between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. last night, compared to last week:

BBC One
April 9: 2.41 M
April 2: 2.56 M

BBC two
April 9: 340,000
April 2: 980,000

ITV
April 9: 1.34 M
April 2: 3.39 M

Channel 4
April 9: 1.62 M
April 2: 1.77 M

Channel 5
April 9: 900,000
April 2: 880,000

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