Thursday 8 November 2012, 12:47 | By

Mercury viewing figures down after switch to Channel 4, says BBC man

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Mercury Prize

BBC Radio 5 Live Entertainment Correspondent Colin Paterson has revealed figures showing that Channel 4′s delayed broadcast of the Mercury Prize ceremony this year was watched by more than two thirds fewer people than when it was shown (almost) live on BBC Two in 2011.

According to Paterson, Channel 4′s Mercury programme, aired the night after the actual awards show, pulled in 196,300 viewers, while BBC Two’s broadcast the previous year got 680,100. Though there was also thirty minutes of live footage on music channel 4Music on Thursday night, plus the winner announcement was briefly aired live on Channel 4 too. And a spokesperson for the Mercury Prize says that the live announcement of Alt-J as the winners of the prize was watched by 975,000 people.

Said rep told Music Week: “We are very pleased that it has been possible to develop a whole season of Barclaycard Mercury Prize programming on Channel 4 in 2012, including extended coverage of the Awards Show. As well as continuing to have a 30 minute live programme broadcast on the night of the event, which aired on 4Music this year – there was also a simulcast of the winner announcement on Channel 4, which attracted 975,000 viewers”.

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