The Ratings.

TV We'll return to the mainstream of this morning's symposium in a moment. I just wanted to note the following:

Firstly, that because of Twitter, I've tended to neglect this blog. So whenever I've had something to say, I've been parcelling it up in 140 character chunks. I'm going to try to stop that. Which is why..

Secondly, I'm noting here the differential between the "timeshift" results between Doctor Who's 7b episodes 2 and three. Or whatever the number is for these given that's it's become more complicated than production codes.

As Doctor Who News reports:

Doctor Who: Cold War had a final audience of 7.37 million viewers.

Hide an official rating of 6.61 million viewers, a share of 29.2% of the total television audience.

Which with my C in GCSE suggests a drop in 760,000 viewers. Such things are virtual and proportional of course. A percentage of people with ratings boxes could have simply gone on holiday or just not bothered to rewatch the thing for whatever reason. But it still seems like a lot.

Let's look at the rest of the series:

The Bells of Saint John Sat 30 Mar 2013 6:15 pm 8.44 million 35.8 %
The Rings of Akhaten Sat 6 Apr 2013 6:15 pm 7.45 million 34.8 %
Cold War Sat 13 Apr 2013 6:03 pm 7.37 million 26.7 %
Hide Sat 20 Apr 2013 6:45 pm 6.61 million 29.2 %

Yes, indeed, the ratings look like they're dropping. But notice a few things:

The Bells of St John went out at Easter and because of that the opening episode is always traditionally huge.

The show is wibbling around the schedules due to the BBC not really knowing what to do with The Voice in relation to whatever Cowell's doing on ITV to which is playing havoc with the numbers of people like me who watch it when it goes out.

This has not been a vintage season. The story of Clara hasn't grabbed the viewer's attention in the same way as other similar memes, not helped with the too subtle approach to enunciating it in the episodes, whole conversations which may or may not be important.  The audience likes to know if they're important or not or at least have a hint in that direction.  The media simply isn't talking about it in the same way. They're more interested in what's happening with the 50th.

But I do wonder if the real thing about these numbers is that they don't factor in the iPlayer. As I've discovered this past week, once you have broadband installed and running through your television, even if you've recorded that week's episode, laziness sends you to the iPlayer to watch it, which must account for a fair percentage of the 760k who went missing between shows. BT have had an offer on.

Plus if you look at the overall ratings across the past eight years, they've been up and down much more than you might expect. I'm not sure we have anything to worry about. Yet.

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