Some viewers appeared to tune out too. BBC One’s Friday average viewership between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. fell to 2.41 million from the previous week’s 2.56 million, a drop of almost 6%, according to data published by Deadline
, an entertainment website. BBC Two’s viewership declined 65%, from 980,000 to 340,000, according to Deadline’s analysis of preliminary data from BARB, the company that collects ratings on behalf of British broadcasters.
Viewers also criticized the broadcaster online
when it pulled all programming from BBC Four, including coverage of an England women’s football game. CNN has reached out to the BBC for comment.
Similarly, the BBC’s main rival ITV broadcast a film about Prince Philip at 5 p.m. local time before a two-hour long news special at 7 p.m. and a documentary at 9 p.m. It saw a 60% hit to its ratings on Friday evening, according to Deadline.
Chanel 4, another British free-to-air service, had less coverage of the death and its 9 p.m. show ‘Gogglebox’ was watched by 4.2 million viewers, the highest-rated individual show of the day, according to Deadline’s analysis.
The BBC, which is funded by a compulsory license fee on all TV viewers, has been at the heart of media in the United Kingdom for the best part of a century, but it is facing a brutal fight
As the government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, questions its future funding
, the corporation is facing an ever bigger challenge from huge global digital rivals such as Netflix (NFLX)
, Amazon (AMZN)
and the Google-owned YouTube eating away at its audience.
The group Defund the BBC, which campaigns for the decriminalization of the failure to pay a TV license fee which funds the broadcaster said Friday
the decision to set up a complaints form was “disgraceful” and that the BBC is “anti-British.”