Lost ratings fall with Sky debut

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From news.bbc.co.uk

Ratings for the first episode of the new series of Lost fell by more than one million, after the cult US drama series moved from Channel 4 to Sky One.

The double bill, beginning at 10pm, drew 1.4m viewers, but audience figures fell to 1.2m after the first hour.

When Lost premiered on Channel 4 in 2005, it attracted six million viewers. The second series double bill debuted in May with 3.9m, dropping to 2.8m.

A spokesperson for Sky said they were “delighted” with the audience figures.

Viewing records

The figures exceeded the launch of other hit US dramas on Sky One including 24, Nip/Tuck and Bones.

In October, trade paper Broadcast reported that the channel had paid £20m for the rights to the show.

But the Emmy award-winning drama failed to outstrip viewing records for the channel, with an episode of Friends in 2000 still leading the way with an audience of 2.8m.

An episode of The Simpsons, written by Ricky Gervais, secured one of the highest ratings for Sky in 2006, with viewing figures of 2.3 million.

Sunday night’s first episode of Lost, which follows the aftermath of an air crash on a desert island, made Sky the third most watched channel across all television networks, including terrestrial.

The second episode put Sky behind Channel 4, who topped the ratings with The Return of the King – the final instalment of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Whether or not the BBC were aiming for a sensationalistic approach, or simply do not understand the nature of Sky One ratings is unclear.

1.4 million viewers is an excellent figure for Sky, for a drama show. You simply cannot compare ratings between a terrestrial and digital channel without some form on conversion method.

Summary: Good ratings, little to worry about.

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