'Love Island' Draws Record Ratings for ITV2

Courtesy of ITV
'Love Island'

U.K. TV giant ITV said 3.6 million viewers tuned in for the season 4 finale, drawing ITV2's biggest audience ever.

U.K. TV giant ITV's hit reality show Love Island on Monday wrapped up its fourth season on ITV2 with record ratings.

ITV said Tuesday that 3.6 million viewers tuned in for the season finale, drawing ITV2's biggest audience ever. The overnight ratings were up by 1 million viewers from last year’s final episode, 2.2 million viewers from the season 2 finale and 2.8 million from the season 1 finale.

"Last night’s Love Island was the most watched program in its slot across all channels and the most watched program for 16-34s, with 1.6 million 16-34 viewers," ITV said. It also logged a further 1.9 million simulcast requests on the ITV Hub streaming service.

The show features a group of contestants, called Islanders, who live isolated from the outside world in a villa under video surveillance. They must couple up — whether for love, friendship or money. After an initial coupling up based on first impressions, they are forced to consider "re-coupling" and decide whether to remain in the current couple or swap. Any Islander who remains single after the coupling is eliminated from the island. The couple that remains at the end wins £50,000, or $66,000.

Across season 4, the show averaged 2.7 million viewers in the overnight TV ratings, up 1 million viewers over the previous year. Before delayed viewing data for the finale is available, the show is averaging 4 million viewers, up by 1.5 million from season 3. Including viewing on ITV Hub, Love Island has so far averaged 5 million viewers per episode.

"The figures this [season] mean that Love Island is the most watched program on a digital channel ever amongst 16-34s and has attracted the biggest 16-34 audiences on TV this year, outside of [soccer] World Cup matches," ITV said. "ITV2 has been the third-biggest channel for 16-34s across June and July ahead of Channel 4, E4, Channel 5 and BBC2. The channel has had its four biggest days ever in terms of 16-34 share across Love Island's run, with yesterday recording ITV2's biggest ever day in terms of 16-34 share, with a 17.8 percent share of 16-34 viewing across the day."

Said Paul Mortimer, ITV’s head of digital channels and acquisitions: "Love Island was once again the must-see show of the summer. At ITV2, we were thrilled with the level of younger viewer engagement to the extent that it broke all our previous audience records and is now firmly established as the biggest ever series in the multi-channel space. The main show, The Hot List and Aftersun have all helped propel ITV2 towards what will undoubtedly be its most successful year so far. “

Love Island, which ITV2 will bring back next year, is an ITV Studios Entertainment format, co-produced with Motion Content Group and distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

The ITV studio arm has started launching international versions of the format, kicking off last year with Love Island Germany, produced by ITVS Germany, followed by Australia this year. Other international versions are set to launch this year in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall on the company's earnings conference call last week lauded Love Island and its contribution to first-half results. "ITV Family share of viewing was up 9 percent in the period with outstanding contributions from Love Island and the World Cup," she said.

Liberum Capital analyst Ian Whittaker called the show "a fantastic success," explaining: "This is likely to have pulled more advertisers into the market."