Simon Cowell publicly admitted defeat after the first episode of Strictly Come Dancing won the overnight ratings battle with the X Factor, but now the consolidated figures are in, it seems he spoke too soon.
Strictly’s September 7th launch show on BBC1, which saw Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman pair up this year’s celebrities with their pro partners, pulled in an average of 8.43 million viewers, 1.5 million more than X Factor’s 6.98 million average.
The X Factor by this stage was already onto its second week of in-room auditions and Cowell held up his hands on Twitter (if that’s possible) saying “Round one to them”.
However, the consolidated figures – which take into account viewings via set-top box recording in the following seven days – give ITV’s X Factor the victory by a whisker.
Cowell and co actually earned 9.23 million viewers while Strictly totalled up 9.16 million.
Last month Cowell said there’s usually a “gentleman’s agreement” between the two shows to avoid clashes, saying it’s the viewers who lose out the most. But the battle is set to continue as X Factor announced it is launching its first Friday night show on 26th September, the same night that Strictly returns.