23 April 2012 6:21 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

ITV accuses BBC of a cynical maneouvre as The Voice runs over time, robbing Britain's Got Talent of a chunk of its audience

The Saturday night talent show ratings war took another twist after ITV accused the BBC of foul play when The Voice overran its slot and swiped millions off the audience for Britain's Got Talent.

BBC1's The Voice averaged 9.88 million viewers, a 42.5% share, between 7pm and just after 8.30pm, ahead of Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent which had 9.75 million viewers (39.3%) between 8.30pm and 9.45pm.

It was supposed to be the first week in which the two shows did not overlap after ITV backed down in a prolonged game of scheduling brinkmanship and moved Britain's Got Talent to a later slot after it was beaten by the BBC1 show.

But The Voice finished three minutes later than scheduled which meant Britain's Got Talent began with just 5.7 million viewers, »

- John Plunkett

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