Strictly Come Dancing wins first X Factor ratings battle

Strictly Come Dancing has scored a narrow victory in its first Saturday night ratings battle of the year against The X Factor.

According to overnight figures Strictly’s launch show – in which this year’s celebrities were paired with their professional partners – was seen by an average audience of 8.4m compared to the 8.3m who tuned in to The X Factor’s second round of auditions.

That gave Strictly a 400,000 increase in viewing figures from the 2012 launch show.

Although The X Factor’s peak audience was slightly higher at 9.5m, while Strictly’s ratings peaked at 9.2m, the ITV show still saw its figures drop off from the 9.2m average who watched last Saturday’s series opener.

The viewing figures were also 400,000 down on the equivalent show in the 2012 series.

The two programmes did not clash totally in the schedules on Saturday night but did overlap by ten minutes as Strictly did not finish until 8.10pm.

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore praised Strictly‘s opening edition, saying: “A brilliant show launched the new series with Sir Bruce, Tess and the judges all on top form, plus a line-up of contestants who are set to bring Saturday nights alive this autumn on BBC1.”