Belfast Telegraph

BBC axe televised Saturday lottery draw after losing viewers

The BBC will no longer air their Saturday night National Lottery draw on the television after losing 17 million viewers since the programme launched.

The Saturday night National Lottery draw has been axed from the BBC after losing 17 million viewers since its launch.

The network initially launched the programme in 1994, when Noel Edmonds and psychic Mystic Meg helped attracted a peak audience of more than 20 million.

However, despite the BBC attempting to revitalise the programme by reformatting it with 18 different game shows since 1998, the show saw just 3.2 million tuning in for the draw last weekend (19-20Nov16).

Now the channel has decided to scrap the televised version of the show, instead leaving viewers to log onto the iPlayer to watch the numbers being chosen.

Their decision comes after it was revealed more than 70 per cent of people log on to the Internet to check the results of the lottery instead of tuning in for the draw.

"The draw just seemed pointless as everyone either plays online or goes on the internet to check their results," a source told The Sun newspaper. "It’s sad as it brings to an end 22 years of TV history and there is still a hardcore group of fans out there that like to watch the balls drop before Casualty."

Now the results of the draw will be shown on the screen following the news airing on BBC One.

The BBC's decision comes after they decided to axe the Wednesday night draw back in 2012 due to a lack of viewers.

Television insiders added to The Sun that the network are now looking for Saturday night quiz shows to fill the slot formerly occupied by the lottery draw.

A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC is committed to broadcasting the National Lottery with results on BBC One on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in a regular slot after the News as well as on the BBC iPlayer and online from January 2017."

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