Dermot O'Leary defends declining X Fator ratings

X Factor 2012 final Dermot and Caroline

X Factor boss Dermot O'Leary has jumped to the defence of the show after the final slumped in the ratings.

The X Factor 2012 final was the least watched in some seven years, having shed over 7 million viewers in just two series.

An average audience of 10 million tuned on Saturday night, down over 2 million on last year's show and well down on 2010's 17 million average.

Speaking ahead of the weekend's final, which was won by James Arthur, Dermot said: "The show rates well. We rated 11 million a couple of weeks ago- Ella's week. It always tends to grow."

Dermot claimed that now more viewers were watching on demand, explaining: "We've got on demand which makes up 20% of viewing so when you guys [the press] report on the Monday, our viewing figures don't come out until the Thursday so that's erroneous.

"We're doing well, I don't understand, it's just something that's reported."

While the data we report certainly doesn't take into account on demand viewing, the official figures which do show just as big a slump.

The semi-final's official figures this year show the results averaged 9.3 million viewers, down some 3 million on last year's official figures for the equivalent show.

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