11:48 22 October 2009
The BBC is to move Strictly Come Dancing to an earlier time slot.
The transition will help ease the heated Saturday night ratings battle against ITV's The X Factor.
The celebrity dance show will begin at 6.50pm from October 31, reducing the overlap with ITVs talent show to 45 minutes.
When the ratings war began, the overlap infuriated viewers who had beeen hoping to watch both shows.
This is expected to diminish further as competitors in the shows are voted off each programme, thereby naturally reducing the shows' lengths.
A BBC spokesman, however, claimed that the rescheduling had nothing to do with The X Factor and was being carried out to clear a path for a new series starring impressionist Jon Culshaw.
He added that Strictly is a "key part of our Saturday line-up".
In earlier years, the rival broadcasters tended to stay away from each other in terms of similar programmes and their timeslots, thereby allowing each to pull in maximum viewing numbers, totalling up to 20 million.
This year, the BBC elected to move Strictly to a later time slot, with the show sometimes starting as late as 7.25pm.
This resulting in programme clashing with The X Factor, which begins at 8pm, for as much as one hour and 25 minutes.
ITV executives accused the corporation of aggressive scheduling after they had offered to move The X Factor back by 15 minutes if they moved Strictly forward by the same amount.
The BBC, however, stood their ground, but the X Factor regularly triumphed in the ratings.
Last weekend it attracted an average audience of 10.9 million viewers, while Strictly managed 7.8 million.
However, the greatest was on Sunday night. A performance by Girls Aloud star and show judge Cheryl Cole, plus an exclusive appearance by Whitney Houston garnered 14.8 million viewers - which amounted to more than watched last year's final.
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