John Hartson documentary a ratings hit

A TV documentary about a former Celtic player battling against cancer secured almost 20 per cent of its available audience.

STV’s ‘John Hartson: Fighting for my life’ was broadcast on Monday evening and it pulled in an estimated 19.5 per cent share, outperforming the ITV Network by 5.6 points.

The documentary was the latest in a number of opt-outs from the ITV network, as STV seeks to screen more locally-made programmes.

A programme on Sunday afternoon, devoted to covering rugby’s Magners League – currently topped by Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors – meanwhile captured an estimated five per cent of its available audience.

Later on Sunday, at 8pm, STV chose to screen a film, ‘The Break-up’, which achieved a 12 per cent share; while Agatha Christie’s Marple, shown on the rest of the network, secured a 19 per cent share.

Among the networked shows recently shown on STV, X Factor attracted a 50 per cent share in Scotland (two points ahead of the network), while Rebus achieved a 27 per cent share (eight points ahead of the network).

Meanwhile, STV’s mid-evening schedule this evening comprises a Champions League football match featuring Liverpool, not Rangers – who are playing German club, Stuttgart. According to reports – (eg in the Daily Record, here) – ITV have only negotiated to broadcast one match per week from the competition, with no opt-out faciility made available to STV.