'Fear the Walking Dead' Draws 211,000 Viewers in U.K. Debut

Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

The newly launched AMC U.K. network attracted 125,900 viewers, according to overnight figures.

The U.K. premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on the newly launched AMC network in Britain, as well as on another channel, attracted 211,000 average viewers Monday night, according to overnight ratings data.

The audience for the drama in the 9 p.m. slot adds to the global viewership for the show's debut. The AMC U.K. channel launched just days ago under an exclusive deal between AMC Networks and U.K. telecom giant BT.

AMC itself averaged 125,900 viewers for the drama's launch in BT TV and Sky homes in Britain, or a share of 0.6 percent, while the free-to-air BT Showcase channel, which also aired the premiere to help promote the show, reached 85,100 viewers.

The show scored the new AMC U.K. network's highest ratings of the day. "Fear the Walking Dead got off to a great start last night, with an average of 211,000 viewers tuning in and a peak audience within Sky and BT TV homes that outrated Sky Living, Fox, Watch and Sky Atlantic," said a BT representative. "AMC has only been live for a few days, and we are excited that we have even more exclusive original content coming up to share with viewers."

The AMC U.K. audience figure was "excellent," Overnights.tv said in a tweet, but others were less impressed. Enders Analysis analyst Michael Underhill said the ratings were "not particularly great," explaining that they were not anywhere near what a network with broader reach could have expected.

"I don’t think we’ve seen a channel launch to such a small number of homes, other than local TV channels, since the early days of Sky, so we don’t really have any good comparators," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "There are just over 1.2 million BT TV homes with access to the channel, plus, probably, a similar number of BT Sport subscribers in Sky homes, so the total channel reach is approximately 2.5 million homes or around 10 percent of total U.K. TV homes."

He added: "Furthermore, the overnight figures won’t include viewers who have recorded the show to watch at a later date. This could increase the total audience over the next few days."

In comparison, The Walking Dead's first episode of its first season — which Britain aired on Fox, which is also available on BT competitors Sky and Virgin Media — got an audience of 736,000, and the season overall averaged 566,000 viewers, said Underhill. Yet when the show later aired on Channel 5, which has full coverage, the audience increased to 1.7 million on average.

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