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Liz Jaques 

TV Overnights: X Factor final wins 17.5m viewers

Matt Cardle

Last night's X Factor final peaked with more than 17.5 million viewers soon before Matt Cardle was crowned king of this year's series.

Cardle beat Rebecca Ferguson and boy band One Direction to the top spot in what was a ratings winning weekend for ITV1.  The two-hour long show attracted over 16 million average viewers and a 51.1% audience share between 7.30pm and 9.30pm last night.

The series finale also featured two 'special' performances from Take That. On Saturday night, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera, Will.i.am and Robbie Williams took to the stage in a bid to win votes for the final four acts.  Cher, who performed with the Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am, was the first to leave the reality show on Saturday.

The action-packed Saturday-night programme pulled in a peak audience of 13.6 million viewers at 8.15pm, while an average of 13 million viewers and a 48.7% share tuned in for the full two-hours.

ITV is expected to collect a record-breaking £25 million in advertising revenue for The X Factor final.  It what has been referred to as the broadcaster's 'Super Bowl' moment, ITV is thought to have sold 30-second ad spots in last night's show for between £200,000 to £250,000.

Advertisers who paid the premium for spots include John Lewis, M&S, Kellogg's, YSL, Wii Fit, Prada and Yeo Valley (a marketing campaign that has only featured during ad breaks throughout this year's X Factor series).

The X Factor helped ITV1 dominate the weekend ratings, as usual, with viewers sticking with the channel during the post-X Factor slots too. On Saturday evening, the new series of Take Me Out pulled in a high of almost seven million peak viewers and a 25.4% average audience share between 9pm and 10pm, while Piers Meets Elton attracted over 7.5 million peak viewers and a 22.9% share between 9.30pm and 10.30pm last night.

However, BBC One also had fairly successful ratings weekend, as this year's Strictly Come Dancing series nears to an end.  The semi-finals stretched over three evenings, though Saturday night won the highest audience - more than 11.1 million viewers and a 43.1% average share.  Friday night's dance-off picked up over nine million viewers and a 33.4% average share, while Sunday night's result show pulled in 12.1 million peak viewers and a 41.1% share.

The three finalists - Matt Baker, Kara Tointon and Pamela Stephenson - will battle it out in next weekend's Strictly final.

Overnight data is available each morning in mediatel.co.uk's TV Database, with all BARB registered subscribers able to view reports for terrestrial networks and key multi-channel stations.

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