The lower the channel number in the guide, the more viewers it gets ... Right?
The channel number in the guide matters? Photograph: Shutterstock
Channel launch date
At first viewing, it certainly seems that the number of years a channel has been on air relates strongly to the current number of viewers. BBC 1 was November 1936, ITV September 1955, BBC 2 in 1964, Channel 4 in 1982 and Channel 5 in 1997. However, Sky 1 bucks the trend here as it was on air in 1983 and has less than 1% of viewers.
Let's look at the bunched-up data in the corner a bit more. The next graph starts in 1989 and shows up to 2.5% viewing share. At this level it seems that the only thing bring in viewers being an extended channel from an existing public service broadcaster.
How about the Sky number?
The third graph has excluded the five big channels, and shows the rest with their Sky Guide number.
It is interesting to see that there doesn't really appear to be any pattern.
How about the Freeview number?
Finally, the Freeview graph. I have limited the channels to 6-71 because the News and Children's channels have just migrated to new numbers.
I've dawn on a green line because I think there is a kind-of pattern to the Freeview list. It does seem – as the green line shows – a sort-of-relationship. However ITV 2, ITV3, E4 and CBS Reality seem to buck the trends.
So, in conclusion is does seem correct that higher numbers mean less viewers, but some can buck the trend.