15 September 2011 7:59 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Web giant reveals dance show has been in decline since John Sergeant season, but Simon Cowell series continues to grow

The new series of Strictly Come Dancing may not have begun in earnest yet but it has already lost the ratings battle with The X Factor – at least in terms of internet search requests, according to Google.

Interest in the BBC1 dance show has been on the decline since the sixth series featuring John Sergeant three years ago, according to a snapshot of search data presented by Matt Brittin, managing director of Google's UK and Ireland operations, at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention on Thursday.

Simon Cowell's The X Factor, which returned to ITV1 for its eighth series last month, has continued to grow year on year in terms of searches on Google, with interest in both shows strictly seasonal.

Brittin, demonstrating search data that is freely available »

- John Plunkett

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