Post Office drama helps deliver biggest New Year’s Day ever to ITVX

mr-bates-vs-the-post-office

UK terrestrial broadcaster ITV said its streaming channel ITVX clocked a record eight million streams on New Year’s Day, helped by drama Mr Bates vs the Post Office.

Post Office scandal 

Mr Bates vs. The Post Office was the most watched programme across all channels on New Year’s Day, with 3.9m, easily beating The Tourist on BBC1 (2.2m).

On ITVX the series was streamed more than one million times in its first day alone, said ITV.

Jeopardy also launched on New Year’s Day with 2.2m. Alongside Deal or No Deal, which premiered late last year, it is the highest gameshow launch since Lingo in 2021.

The Winter King on ITVX has been streamed 5.7 million times since launch too.

ITV said it was the best New Year’s Day on record and up on last year by 2.5 million streams (+44%).

Since its launch, ITVX is also now up to three billion streams.

In addition, ITV1 had its best New Year’s Day for two years with its all time audience up by +10%, compared to New Year’s Day last year.

ITV Commissioning Editor Helen Perry said at the time the new ‘Mr Bates’ drama was announced: “We are so grateful to the extraordinary cast that have come together for this show. Their talent will help shine a spotlight on one of the most important and unbelievable stories of injustice in recent British history.”

Between 2000 and 2015, the Post Office held thousands of its own sub postmasters and postmistresses liable for financial discrepancies thrown up by Horizon, its hugely expensive but unreliable computerised accounting system.

Despite warnings that the system was flawed, the Post Office relentlessly pursued the sub postmasters and postmistresses, telling many of them they were the only ones having problems with Horizon.

Of those affected by the faulty IT system, 736 were prosecuted, hundreds more lost livelihoods, homes and life savings because they paid back money the Post Office claimed was missing.

Several went to prison, some whilst pregnant or with young children and many were shunned by their communities. Some have since died before they could find any justice.

In a bizarre twist, former ITV CEO, Adam Crozier, was the CEO of the Royal Mail, which owned the Post Office, during period when hundreds of postmasters were falsely accused of theft and false accounting, as recounted in the new Mr Bates vs the Post Office drama.

Following the airing of the drama on ITV, the Post Office posted the following apology to a number of its social media accounts, including X (formerly known as Twitter):