Headlines have emerged in the last couple of days claiming an episode of Blue Peter got zero viewers. Could the legendary BBC children’s show really have hit such a low? And how do viewing figures actually work? Let us explain…
Where did the story come from about Blue Peter getting no viewers?
On Wednesday, the Mail Online published an article claiming that Blue Peter had “NO viewers” for one of its episodes and asked: “Is Blue Peter sunk?”
Is Blue Peter sunk? Children's show once watched by millions had NO viewers for an episode on digital TV https://t.co/gVSyTD6s5w
— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) July 5, 2017
The article said that the BBC show had suffered a “dramatic slide” since moving to CBBC in 2012, reporting that “a repeat of the show aired at 2.30pm on Tuesday June 13 got a dreaded ‘zero’ rating on the official system used to measure TV audiences”.
It did acknowledge however that the “lacklustre” episode was watched by 53,100 viewers when it was originally broadcast in June.
How did the BBC react to that?
“Zero viewers? We beg to differ…” the BBC press office tweeted, explaining that the episode had technically been watched by 252,000 people in total across all of its broadcasts.
Zero viewers? We beg to differ… pic.twitter.com/LhkcrzGzJQ
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) July 5, 2017
And she wasn’t the only presenter to take to the social network to show their support…
I won't have ANYONE bad mount Blue Peter on my timeline by the way. Blocked and reported immediately. pic.twitter.com/VqkKbCZiRY
— Alfie Green (@ItsAlfieGreen) July 5, 2017
Lot of fuss over these Blue Peter figures. The show is aimed at kids who would all be in school at 2.30pm on a Tuesday. Plus it was a repeat pic.twitter.com/7HvJMAw8dX
— Mick Coyle (@MrMickCoyle) July 5, 2017
— Chris Smith (@itschrissmith) July 7, 2017
While others claimed it was unfair to draw attention to the viewing figures of a repeat.
FYI: those reports everywhere yesterday about Blue Peter having 0 viewers were pretty much bollocks (it was a repeat in sign language)
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) July 6, 2017
The Blue Peter episode that got 0 viewers was a repeat that was shown on a Tuesday at a time most kids were in school. Is anyone surprised?
— Lynsey Spence (@Sidekick28) July 6, 2017