Nearly 2m record 'Strictly' or 'X Factor'

Monday, September 21 2009,

Sky has revealed that nearly two million homes used Sky+ this weekend to record either Strictly Come Dancing or The X Factor during the scheduling clash.

On Saturday, the BBC opted to broadcast Strictly from 7.25pm to 9.05pm on BBC One, thus clashing with The X Factor which aired on ITV1 between 8pm and 9.15pm.

Therefore, 1.9m Sky+ and Sky+ HD subscribers used the recording function of their set top box to ensure that they did not miss either of the shows.

After The X Factor beat Strictly in the ratings war, figures released by Sky also indicate that it was the preferred choice for Sky+ users, with 1.2m saving the ITV1 show to watch later, compared to just 686,000 doing so for Strictly.

A Sky spokesperson said: "Scheduling clashes like this are what Sky+ was made for. It's great we've been able to save two million people from a difficult decision and enabled them to watch every second of their favourite shows."

The BBC's scheduling decision for Strictly Come Dancing has been widely criticised in the media, and even come under scrutiny from politicians.

During a speech at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed his dismay at the corporation's approach.

"It was an extraordinary decision to disappoint thousands of licence fee payers," he said. "There will be thousands of viewers who are very angry at that decision."