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Sci-fi fans around the UK are quivering in anticipation this week as the BBC ’s new series of Doctor Who gets ready to premiere on Saturday – and according to Hitwise data, the series looks set to make a crater-sized impact on its Saturday night TV timeslot.

By scheduling Doctor Who in the prime timeslot of 7:00PM Saturday night, BBC One is evidently hoping to capture market share from Ant and Dec’s popular ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ series. An analysis of Internet searches for both ‘ant and dec saturday night take away’ and ‘new doctor who’ suggests that BBC One has a fighting chance: despite Ant and Dec’s solid audience base, share of searches for their show online have decreased in the lead-up to the resurrection of Doctor Who. The share of Internet searches for the phrase ‘new doctor who’ overtook ‘ant and dec saturday night take away’ two weeks ago, and the phrase is currently receiving 50% more searches than its rival.

This spike in interest can’t be explained away by the online leak a couple of weeks ago of the first episode, titled ‘Rose’. Following the leak, fans rushed online to search for ‘doctor who rose download’. Since the week of the leak, interest in the download has plummeted while interest in Doctor Who remains strong.

About Hitwise:

Hitwise is the world’s leading online competitive intelligence service. Each day, Hitwise monitors how more than 25 million Internet users interact with over 500,000 websites across 160 industry categories.

By monitoring more people, more websites, more often, Hitwise provides marketers with timely and actionable marketing insights on how their online presence compares to competitive websites. Companies use this information to maximize the return on their online investment, in efforts such as search marketing, affiliate programs, online advertising, visitor segmentation, content development and lead generation.

Hitwise collects Internet usage information via a combination of ISP data partnerships and opt-in mega panels, and complies with local and international privacy legislation as audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Founded in 1997, Hitwise is a privately held company, headquartered in New York City and operates in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.
More information about Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:

Jannie Cahill
jannie.cahill@hitwise.com
Tel: 020 7378 3619

Published on: 12:00AM on 24th March 2005