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Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 17:44 GMT
ITV attracts 'wealthy audience'
Chris Tarrant
Who Wants to be a Millionaire a hit for ITV
ITV has claimed victory in the ratings war, after netting more prosperous viewers than the BBC.

But the BBC has hit back, saying it is more concerned about putting out programmes for everyone.

Research has suggested more viewers from the ABC1 social category are tuning into to ITV.

ITV said it was developing its programmes to tailor more to this group and to 16-34 year olds.

According to research carried out by the BBC, the number of ABC1 peak time viewers was 2.9 million , compared to 3.1 million for ITV.

EastEnders
EastEnders continues to win ratings war
Overall, ITV viewing figures are generally higher than that of BBC One.

The ABC1 figures are not worked out in proportion to the number of viewers but as a total of the numbers watching.

A BBC spokesman said: "The statistics are based on advertising categories and the relevance is of far more importance to ITV because it is necessary to impress advertisers.

Ratings winners

"The important thing to the BBC is we reach as many different kinds of audience as possible, with something for all."

ITV has scored recent peak time successes with programmes such as Popstars and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Of the top 10 weekly programmes, EastEnders is currently first, closely followed by Coronation Street.

The rest of the chart is dominated by ITV programmes.

An ITV spokeswoman said: "ITV is Britain's most watched channel and its our aim to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

"This year we certainly have developed more programmes to particularly appeal to 16-34 year-olds and ABC1 viewers."

She added: "These figures are early evidence that the strategy is working."

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