Brexit and international events boost TV viewing figures

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Larger audiences than average have been tuning in to television news bulletins since the EU referendum.

Following Brexit, the BBC Ten o’clock news has “consistently seen above average audiences” with 4.9m tuning in on Monday 11 July when Theresa May was announced as the next Prime Minister.

The terror attack in Nice the next day, which claimed 84 lives, reached a viewing audience of 5.1m adults.

The BBC News Channel’s average weekly reach this year is 8m adults but this rose to 10.4m adults during the week of the EU referendum, held on 23 June.

According to the corporation, audiences spent more time watching the News Channel for Brexit coverage than on any stories since the 2011 riots.

Political news programmes have also seen a particular boost with the Andrew Marr Show recording an audience of 2.7m, its biggest ever, on the Sunday after the EU referendum.

ITV’s lunchtime news bulletin recorded a rise of 21 per cent during the referendum and the three weeks that followed, compared with the same period last year.

The channel’s evening bulletin was up by 4 per cent while the News at Ten saw a rise of 9 per cent.

Channel 4 said it has seen its Evening News bulletin rise by 22 per cent compared to its year-to-date average.

The majority of the channel’s top ten weekly news broadcasts this year so far have aired in either June or July.

At Sky News the average daily reach has been 2.6m over the last month, said to be up one third compared with the year to June 23. A total of 12.4m viewers have been reached since the EU polling day.

It reached 3.6 million viewers on the day of the results of the referendum and over 3.8 million on 15 July which was the morning after the Nice attack and the attempted coup in Turkey.

June 2016 was the programme’s tenth best month in terms of reach in the last five years with 24 June – the day of the referendum result – its eighth best day for average audience over five years.

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