Another broadcast, another ratings article to pore over the number of viewers of this week’s new Red Dwarf on Dave. Last week Twentica was viewed by 810,000 viewers across Dave and Dave Ja Vu, this week the figure has dipped from the debut slightly to 742,000 viewers. This represents 3.7% share of all people watching TV at that time.
We can always expect a dip in viewers from the debut episode, the fact that it only dipped a little under 70,000 viewers is a good indication that we’ve reached the number of hardcore Red Dwarf viewers. We will hopefully not see any further drop. Including repeats it should push itself well over a million in overnights and much over that with time-shifted viewing from catch up and video on demand viewers.
What we are seeing is that Red Dwarf is airing in an increasingly competitive timeslot. Red Dwarf is up against ITV drama Paranoid, BBC Two drama The Fall and Channel Four reality show Hunted. This week it also had to compete with Europa League football. Next week it will be up against The Apprentice too. It is a cruel fate that a timeslot that was relatively weak four years ago can now be so competitive but Red Dwarf appears to be holding its own.
To break down the figure, Samsara was viewed by 670,000 people on the Dave showing with the rest viewing on Dave Ja Vu. The competitiveness of the slot is shown by how the percentage of viewers watching TV was 3.7% compared with last week’s 4.2%.
If Red Dwarf can hold these numbers in a competitive slot, repeat well and do well for UKTV Play then UKTV and Dave will consider this series a massive success. We likely won’t ever get to see the figures for UKTV Play nor will we see the figures for how well it is doing in Video On Demand sales where it is currently available on iTunes, the BBC Store and Google Play. What we can see is that Red Dwarf has spent a good amount of this week sitting near the top of the iTunes and Google Play charts with Twentica being available to download after broadcast. We can assume it is selling well on VOD services based on this.
So for those of you out there of a nervous disposition I’ll repeat what I said last week: don’t panic. Red Dwarf is a money spinner of big proportions for BBC Worlwide and UKTV and although it isn’t getting the mammoth ratings it once was, it is still holding its own in a competitive slot.