Who won the ratings war between The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Sports Personality of the Year 2014?

 
Catherine Neilan
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Strictly: Dancing to the front of the TV ratings (Source: BBC)
It was a night of heavyweight TV shows, but is some of the sparkle coming off the ITV's long-time banker The X Factor?
The singing competition saw Croydon crooner Ben Haenow crowned winner, but the show recorded its second lowest finale audience in its 10-year history.
According to industry bible Broadcast, some 9.4m viewers tuned in for the last show of the series, which aired on ITV1 from 8pm to 10.05pm on Sunday evening. That was down around 350,000 on the year before, though well above the lowest figure of 8.1m recorded in 2005.
At its peak, 10.5m people were watching – compared with last year's 11.9m climax.
The show – which Simon Cowell returned to front in a bid to turnaround declining numbers – has averaged an audience of eight million across the 34 episodes, below last year's 8.7m. The data comes from overnights.tv.
Conversely, BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing – which was only on its semi-final episode - picked up 9.6m viewers during its Sunday night broadcast from 7.20pm to 8pm. This was in-line with the equivalent episode last year.
Meanwhile Sports Personality of the Year, which aired on the same channel from 8pm to 10:20pm, drew a bigger audience than last year.
Six million people watched Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton pick up the coveted annual award – a healthy increase on the 5.7m that tuned in to see Andy Murray do the same in 2013.

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