TV viewing round-up: March 2017

24 Apr 2017  |  Simon Wright 
TV viewing round-up: March 2017

BBC One's high octane police drama Line of Duty returned this March, with a new detective in charge of the Major Crimes unit.

The fourth series sees DCI Roz Huntley, played by Thandie Newton, trying to solve the death of a forensics specialist and pulled in an average audience of 7.4 million for its opening episode.

ITV's ratings monster Broadchurch continued to do the business for the commercial broadcaster, as the investigation into the rape case took some major twists and turns.

Episode 5 drew the biggest audience in March with just under 10.3 million viewers, which was marginally behind the series début episode back in February.

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway continued to register strong ratings for ITV this March, with the show's best viewing figure of 8.2 million for the show broadcast on 18 March.

The Six Nations rugby championship reached its conclusion in March with both ITV and BBC One attracting strong viewing figures.

The best ratings were for the England vs Scotland match shown on ITV, with the home team winning in front of an average audience of 5.6 million.

Meanwhile, BBC One's coverage of the Friday night match Wales vs Ireland, which saw the Welsh team hold back an Irish second half onslaught, pulled in 5.4 million viewers.

Elsewhere the highlight of this year's Red Nose Day was the follow up to 2003 Christmas favourite Love Actually, cunningly titled Red Nose Day Actually.

Featured as part of the three hour show broadcast before the 10pm news, the mini episode catching up with the lives of various characters was seen by 6.5 million viewers.

Other programmes that did well in March include: Masterchef, which was watched by 5.4 million viewers; The Real Marigold Hotel, which attracted an audience of 5 million; Prime Suspect 1973, viewed by just under 7 million people; the moving documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, which was seen by 6.4 million viewers and Geordie crime drama Vera, watched by 7.7 million people.

Top Programmes (excluding soaps):

Sorting Programme On Air Date Genre Station Start / End Viewers (m)
1 CALL THE MIDWIFE Sunday 12 March 2017 Drama BBC1 20:00-20:59 10.54
2 BROADCHURCH Monday 27 March 2017 Drama ITV 21:00-21:58 10.28
3 ANT & DEC'S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY Saturday 18 March 2017 Light Entertainment ITV 19:31-20:30 8.18
4 THE REPLACEMENT Tuesday 14 March 2017 Drama BBC1 21:00-21:58 7.91
5 VERA Sunday 19 March 2017 Drama ITV 20:02-21:57 7.74
6 SIX O'CLOCK NEWS Wednesday 22 March 2017 News BBC1 18:05-18:45 7.47
7 LINE OF DUTY Sunday 26 March 2017 Drama BBC1 21:01-21:58 7.40
8 COUNTRYFILE Sunday 5 March 2017 Factual BBC1 19:00-19:59 7.26
9 PRIME SUSPECT 1973 Thursday 2 March 2017 Drama ITV 21:00-21:57 6.95
10 ALL ROUND TO MRS BROWN'S Saturday 25 March 2017 Light Entertainment BBC1 21:17-22:15 6.93
11 RED NOSE DAY Friday 24 March 2017 Light Entertainment BBC1 18:59-21:59 6.50
12 THE GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL Sunday 5 March 2017 Drama ITV 21:02-21:59 6.44
13 FA CUP: CHELSEA VS MAN UNITED Monday 13 March 2017 Sport BBC1 19:29-22:00 6.43
14 RIO FERDINAND: BEING MUM AND DAD Tuesday 28 March 2017 Factual BBC1 21:00-21:58 6.35
15 TEN O'CLOCK NEWS Wednesday 22 March 2017 News BBC1 22:00-22:53 6.22
16 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY: GERMANY VS ENGLAND Wednesday 22 March 2017 Sport ITV 19:14-21:58 5.71
17 RUGBY: 6 NATIONS LIVE 2017 - ENGLAND VS SCOTLAND Saturday 11 March 2017 Sport ITV 15:30-18:36 5.63
18 THE VOICE UK Saturday 4 March 2017 Light Entertainment ITV 20:31-21:46 5.58
19 CASUALTY Saturday 18 March 2017 Drama BBC1 20:42-21:31 5.47
20 SIX NATIONS RUGBY: WALES V IRELAND Friday 10 March 2017 Sport BBC1 19:29-22:04 5.40
21 MASTERCHEF Wednesday 29 March 2017 Factual BBC1 20:01-20:58 5.35
22 BENIDORM Wednesday 1 March 2017 Comedy ITV 21:01-22:00 5.29
23 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Sunday 26 March 2017 Factual BBC1 20:01-20:59 5.16
24 BBC NEWS Sunday 26 March 2017 News BBC1 22:00-22:24 5.06
25 THE REAL MARIGOLD HOTEL Wednesday 15 March 2017 Factual BBC1 21:01-21:58 5.01

Sky vs Freeview (share):

Sky Freeview Difference in share
BBC1 22.48 25.48 3.00
BBC2 4.98 6.76 1.78
ITV 13.84 15.26 1.42
Channel 4 4.94 5.28 0.34
Channel 5 5.78 4.14 -1.64
Others 47.98 43.08 -4.90

Sky vs Cable Digital (share):

Sky Cable Digital Difference in share
BBC1 22.48 23.06 0.58
BBC2 4.98 4.88 -0.10
ITV 13.84 14.32 0.48
Channel 4 4.94 5.74 0.80
Channel 5 5.78 4.38 -1.40
Others 47.98 47.60 -0.38

Cable Digital vs Freeview (share):

Cable Digital Freeview Difference in share
BBC1 23.06 25.48 2.42
BBC2 4.88 6.76 1.88
ITV 14.32 15.26 0.94
Channel 4 5.74 5.28 -0.46
Channel 5 4.38 4.14 -0.24
Others 47.60 43.08 -4.52

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