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England's Ashes Victory Helps Channel 4 To Best Ever Day

England's Ashes victory yesterday helped Channel 4 sign off on six years of Test cricket coverage with its highest-rating day ever. The channel's total share of all TV viewing for Monday was 23.2 per cent, making it the most watched channel across a day's viewing for the first time in its history and overtaking its own record daily share, which previously stood at 22.8 per cent (Big Brother final, 26th July 2002).

The fifth test at The Oval had the highest-ever average ratings for a Test match in the seven seasons that Channel 4 has been covering the game, with average viewing of 3 million across all 15 sessions of the game. Two million viewers watched the morning session on the final day, while 4.7 million viewers tuned in for the climactic afternoon session. The previous highest average ratings for a match on Channel 4 were 2.9 million for the Fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford in the current series.

Viewing for the test peaked at 7.4 million viewers between 6pm and 6.15pm yesterday during the closing minutes of the game. This represented 42% of viewers watching TV during that quarter hour, making Channel 4 comfortably the most popular channel at that time.

This was the second highest-ever peak audience for Test cricket on Channel 4, with the climax of England's victory over the Australia at Trent Bridge in the fourth Test bringing 8.4 million viewers to the channel. At 4pm yesterday, half of all TV viewers were tuned in to see Kevin Pietersen reach his spectacular century.

Channel 4's Director of Television, Kevin Lygo said: "We are delighted to see cricket restored to national popularity once more. Yesterday's result is a wonderful payback on our six years of investment in the sport. The production team at Sunset and Vine and the outstanding commentary team, guided by the master Richie Benaud, must take huge credit for having helped re-invigorate cricket coverage."

Notes to Editors:

  • The first Test at Lords averaged 1.5 million viewers, which represents a 19% share. It peaked with an audience of 2.6 million on Saturday 23rd at 5pm
  • The second Test at Edgbaston averaged 2 million viewers, which represents a 24 % share. It peaked with an audience of 4.1 million on Saturday 6th August at 6pm.
  • The third Test at Old Trafford averaged 2.5 million viewers, which represents a 28 % share. It peaked with an audience of 7.7 million on 15th August at 6:30pm.
  • The fourth Test at Trent Bridge averaged 2.9 million viewers, which represents a 32 % share. It peaked with an audience of 8.4 million on 28th August at 6:30pm

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