You can hear the smug little titters going around at the news that the launch of the most recent series of The Crown was less popular than an episode of Family Fortunes, according to data from the official TV viewing figures provided by BARB. The episode that dramatised the first meeting of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on November 15 2020 was watched by 3.56 million people, while that same week I’m a Celebrity took 13.8 million, Countryfile took 6.3 million and BARB’s survey says Family Fortunes was watched by 5.1 million. Take that Netflix, quizzes beat disrespectful takes on our glorious Queen every time.
But really, is that in any way a useful measure of the show? It’s easy to think that the Crown is a British show – it’s made in the UK, it’s got a UK cast and it’s about the UK Royal Family. But when it comes to viewing, Brits really aren’t the audience.
The streaming service has 214 million paid subscribers worldwide, and if every subscription operates in the same way as in my house, it will be used by maybe 10 people – five or six students in a daughter at university’s house, a partner and their child plus visitors, a teenage daughter plus rotating friends and the person paying the bill. In this case, me.
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