Blair speech ups ratings

Ex-PM's resignation a hit for networks

The jury is still very much out on British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s 10 years in power, but his resignation speech was a hit for U.K. broadcasters.

Live coverage of his swan song — aired Thursday between 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. — scored a handsome 26% share for the BBC’s flagship web, BBC1, easily beating the usual soft-edged daytime shows on rival channels.

Later in the day, a specially extended edition of the Beeb’s main evening news bulletin, the 10 O’Clock News, achieved a 25% share.

But sister web BBC2’s current affairs show, “Newsnight,” which also broadcast a lengthy Blair special, only managed a 6% share, marginally up on normal viewing figures for the program.

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