It was a tense battle, but ITV won out in the end.
The coverage of the royal birth has been extensive, with multiple channels clawing at ratings. The winner was somewhat unexpected though – ITV reeled over 7 million people into their baby broadcast, more than twice the numbers, tuning in to the BBC – 3.3 million, according to the Guardian. The early morning ITV news, which was extended from 30 to 60 minutes, to catch the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving St. Mary’s hospital, averaged 5.4 million viewers and a 28.6% audience share – a staggering number for the time slot.
Footage of the royal couple continues to flood most news channels.
The BBC were a bit less flexible with scheduling, resulting in a half hour royal baby news block inserted right into The One Show: Best of Britain (with an average of 2.8% million viewers.) Umfortunately, the switch did nothing to improve ratings and the broadcast averaged just 3.3 million or 16.7% over the following 15 minutes.
ITV was the winner on the day, but the BBC is steadily gaining back the lead.
Clearly, ITV’s coverage of people in front of a hospital was far better than the BBC’s cover of people in font of a hospital – or at least viewers seem to think so. The BBC had the better numbers when it came to the 10pm news bulletins, averaging 5 million and a 25.5% share against 2.3 million and 12.2% for ITV's News at Ten.
People were glued to their TV sets, to catch footage of a door or, if they were lucky, the royal bundle.