Channel 5 grows audience in 2019


Channel 5's free-to-air channels score a 4% growth in viewing following the axing of Big Brother and a focus on factual programming.

That's according to consolidated BARB data for 2019. The main Channel 5 network delivered its best year for upmarket viewers since 2014, growing its share of viewing by 3%  amongst the ABC1 demographic group, becoming the only public service broadcast channel to grow ABC1s in 2019.

Revenge drama series, Cold Call, starring Sally Lindsay, drew the channel’s highest average viewing figures across the year, with 2.6 million viewers and a 9.9% share when it launched in November.

New specialist factual series also proved popular with Channel 5 viewers, including The Thames: Britain’s Great River with Tony Robinson, which was watched by a peak audience of 1.6 million and attracted a 7.8% share. Returning series Our Yorkshire Farm and Ben Fogle: New Lives In The Wild  appealed to a high of 2.5 million (11.4% share) and 1.9 million (7.6% share) viewers respectively.

Channel 5 doesn't go a week without factual consumer series - they brought in some of the biggest audiences for the channel in 2019, including Inside Aldi: Britain’s Biggest Supermarket, which was watched by an average 2.5 million viewers, with an 11.2% share. Sport also made an impact, with The Ashes cricket highlights bringing in 2.5 million viewers (17% share).

Ben Frow, Director of Programmes, ViacomCBS Networks UK, commented:
It is no easy feat to have reinvented our peak schedule without a reality juggernaut like Big Brother, and to have grown audience in the process is quite an achievement. It is a huge testament to the tenacity of our team and the fact that we know what our viewers want. This is an exciting new era for Channel 5 and in particular we’ll be ramping up our drama slate in 2020.