‘The Crown’ Ratings: Netflix Royal Drama Scores 1.1M UK Television Viewers On First Day

by Susan Ryant

Netflix drama The Crown took 1.1M viewers in the UK on its fifth season’s launch day this week. That is miles behind the 7.9M ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! but the accumulative nature of streamer viewing means the number is relatively meaningless.

According to BARB data from Overnights.tv, The Crown season 5’s first episode took over a million on Wednesday when it launched at 8am, with episode two taking 666,000 and episode three falling to about 300,000.

By the final episode of the Left Bank Pictures show, Overnights.tv recorded just 100 viewers, but this again needs context: it is likely to comprise the hardy few who watched all ten episodes in one go. Many choose not to binge these days.

It should also be noted the figure only includes TV set viewing and does not account for laptops, tablets and phone views.

Netflix has rarely allowed its shows to be measured by volume but agreed last month to allow BARB to track its content in the UK, a world first. BARB had been tracking streaming numbers before that, but these were not for publication and only shared among clients.

The Crown is by far the biggest launch Netflix has had since it debuted on BARB on November 1 but it will be confident on building a sizeable viewing figure within the next few days and weeks. In comparison, ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…, which runs stripped across the week, is unlikely to see a huge uptick in post-episode watching.

While overnight streaming figures can’t be directly compared with numbers from the 300 broadcasters BARB tracks — including BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 — it is closest we have to assessing how the likes of Netflix and Disney+, which is also signed up, are performing on a day-to-day basis in the UK.

Providing some ratings data, albeit incomplete, will likely help Netflix attract advertisers to its new ad-supported tier, which went live in the UK this month.