The Voice loses – and wins – ratings battle

The Voice has both lost – and won – the second round of the weekend ratings war to Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

According to overnight estimates the second round of blind auditions on BBC One was seen by an average of 6.4m viewers when it was screened between 7 and 8.30pm on Saturday night.

The figures are a slight improvement on last weekend’s series opener, which attracted an audience of 6.2m.

The show’s average was still beaten by the series finale of Saturday Night Takeaway, which scored 7.3m – including those watching on the catch-up service iTV+1.

However The Voice did triumph when it came to the peak audience, with over 8.8m tuning on after its ITV rival had finished, compared to Ant and Dec’s peak rating of 8.2m.

Next weekend will see the ratings battle step up a gear as Britain’s Got Talent returns – and this year the two shows are set to go head to head in the schedules.

While BGT had previously been screened later, at around 8.30pm, this year it will be in direct competition with The Voice at 7pm.

BBC bosses have said they are ‘disappointed’ with the schedule change, which will prevent people from being able to watch both shows.

“Britain’s Got Talent has started at 8pm for the last three years which enabled viewers to watch both shows – it’s a shame they can’t this year,” a BBC source said.

However ITV has said BGT is being screened earlier in the wake of other shows, such as Splash and Takeaway, proving successful in the 7pm time slot.

They have also maintained it will allow younger viewers to tune in.