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The BBC Defends Doctor Who Ratings, Reveals Space Babies Was Watched by Almost 6 Million People

The BBC has defended the viewing figures for Doctor Who Series 14, enthusing that it “remains one of the most-watched programmes on iPlayer”.

Following reports of low overnight ratings, a spokesperson said:

“Overnight ratings no longer provide an accurate picture of all those who watch drama in an on-demand world.

“This season of Doctor Who premiered on iPlayer nearly 24 hours before broadcast, and episode 1 has already been viewed by nearly 6 million viewers and continues to grow.

Doctor Who remains one of the most-watched programmes on iPlayer and is the BBC’s top drama for under-35s this year, making it one of the biggest programmes for the demographic across all streamers and broadcasters.”

Space Babies, the first episode of the 2024 run of stories, was seen by 2.60 million people overnight, a figure that rose to 3.71 million in the next 7 days, accounting solely for those who watched on TV. Including additional devices, 4.01 million watched it over the course of that week.

Overnights for the series were steady, at between 2.02 million (for The Legend of Ruby Sunday) and 2.62 million (for 73 Yards). Weekly viewing figures, also including additional devices, were between 3.38 million (Dot and Bubble) and 4.06 million (73 Yards), though the final figures for Empire of Death weren’t in yet, at the time of writing.

Doctor Who doesn’t seem to be in a particularly healthy state looking at these figures, but we don’t know exact figures on iPlayer (and the claim it’s hugely popular on the streaming service doesn’t indicate whether that means the most recent series, or all 60+ years of history, or both), nor on Disney+.

Still, it’s nice to see the BBC sticking up for the programme.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

The BBC Defends Doctor Who Ratings, Reveals Space Babies Was Watched by Almost 6 Million People

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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