5 a.m. show peaks at 854,000 viewers

LONDON — The much-hyped finale of “Lost” may not have pleased all the critics, but in the U.K. Sky One’s decision to screen the skein’s final bow at 5 a.m. — to coincide with the U.S. West Coast broadcast — paid dividends.

Despite the early hour, more than 750,000 Brits got up at dawn to watch the end of the “Lost” saga on the News Corp.-controlled pay TV web.

The broadcast peaked at 854,000 viewers and averaged 635,000 overall (a 28.25% share) in the 5 a.m. to 7.15 a.m. graveyard slot.

The audience was larger than the numbers watching “Lost” in its regular, 9 p.m. Friday slot on Sky One. Of late the show has pulled in between 500,000 to 575,000 viewers on Friday nights.

The U.K. pay web was among networks worldwide that broadcast the finale at the same time as the U.S.

Disney, which licenses “Lost,” decided on the simultaneous window to minimize online piracy and to amplify buzz around the final episode.

As well as attracting big ratings for Sky One, the show was also an advertising bonanza reportedly generating £1 million ($1.43 million) in revenue as brands like Nike bought airtime.

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