opinion column uk

Remarkable success for 'Doctor Who' despite technology changes

'Doctor Who' ratings spectacular

The 50th Anniversary of 'Doctor Who' has managed to earn a huge overnight viewing figure that makes a significant statement about audience viewing trends.

We've seen an enormous marketing campaign behind 'The Day of The Doctor', but until last night it was not clear whether the special 50th anniversary episode could draw significant numbers to BBC One.

Early figures have revealed that the special was watched by 10.2 million people or approximately 37.4% of UK households. This number doesn't take into account additional 2D and 3D cinema screenings nor recordings made by people who will watch it later.

What this shows is that UK audiences still have a deep affection for sci-fi dramas, and 'Doctor Who' has firmly remained part of our entertainment culture dispute increasing competition from other entertainment sources.

From Netflix to Amazon Instant Video, Sky Movies and Love Film, there are so many outlets for digital content that audience shares for TV, and particularly BBC channels is set to decline year-on-year.

Websites like Youtube and Vimeo also make an impact on viewer trends, competing again, around the clock for audiences. The content-on-demand model which we've talked about this past week is definitely the future of the film industry.

What that means is, for TV, content is going to become more competitive as people want to consume it faster and it will be available on many competing services. Even the very foundation of a TV schedule may cease to exist in a decade's time because VOD makes content instant, when we want it and how. The only thing that can't be on-demand is live programming, and this is also shifting online as the technology to do live broadcasts gets cheaper.

Despite these super ratings for 'the Day of The Doctor' and the dedicated fan base, it's very unlikely that these ratings will be matched in the future.

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