It’s been quite a week for traditional linear TV.
The overnight ratings for the Coronation will no doubt be carefully analysed.
As expected, BBC One took the dominant portion of the audience but – while impressive – the headline peak number of around 13m did seem a trifle on the small side.
This is where the careful analysis comes in.
First of all, a fair BBC number should also include the numbers watching the signed interpretation on BBC Two and those watching the news channel – possibly out of habit.
Secondly there is the iPlayer – people streaming the coverage live, perhaps in their workplace or garden.
And finally, how many people were watching at home? And how many may have been watching with their friends or at community events?
It’s important to consider all that before jumping to any conclusions.
The next few days will see a very different series of live events dominate the BBC schedule.
The Eurovision semi-finals have been promoted onto BBC One because the event is being hosted by the corporation in Liverpool.
I’m not expecting knockout numbers for the semis but it will be interesting to see how they perform. Saturday should be a memorable evening though.
Yet again though, we come back to a familiar conclusion.
Those who claim linear television is dead are guilty of either wishful thinking or looking well beyond the horizon.
It was no surprise when ITV confirmed last week it would reapply for its channel 3 licences despite the growing importance to the company of ITVx.
The only question concerns the level of PSB requirements going forward – notably the level of regional news provision and the need for other programmes in Wales, Northern Ireland and the Scottish Borders.
No doubt STV and Channel 5 will confirm their intention to reapply soon – if they haven’t quietly done so already.
But there is a little cloud which I’ve noticed in the PSB sky.
It seems that the number of days when Channel 5’s audience share exceeds Channel 4’s is growing.
The two channels are very different – Channel 4 is increasingly focused on youth; Channel 5 seems to be successfully targeting older and posher viewers in its current incarnation. In other words, the people most likely to be sticking with traditional broadcasting.
It should be stressed that Channel 4 still outperforms Channel 5 overall – even before its wider portfolio of channels is factored in.
This week saw the first on screen moves to apply Channel 4 branding beyond the main service.
You can see the logic – think of Channel 4 as more than the fourth channel, especially given the younger audience which is both its specific PSB responsibility and a commercial niche.
But I can’t help but see problems.
You can easily imagine a week or month soon when Channel 5 outperforms Channel 4’s main service.
Remember how the most recent debate on privatisation seemed to cause widespread indifference outside the TV industry.
Privatisation is off the agenda for the foreseeable future but is bound to come up at some point again.
Unless Channel 4 can show consistently that it is a valued public service for everyone, then it could find future battles against privatisation harder.
That surely means ensuring that the fourth channel is also one of the four most popular channels and clearly distinctive in character.
Good work behind-the-scenes, the digital services and the streaming service previously known as All4 are not enough.
PICTURED: BBC The Coronation opening titles/Ofcom logo/ITV 1 logo/STV logo/Channel 4 logo/Channel 5 logo. COPYRIGHT: BBC/Ofcom/ITV plc/Channel 4 Television Corporation/Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd.