The X Factor launch falls short of 2011 debut
The launch of The X Factor proved a turn-off for TV viewers on Saturday night - ratings plummeted by more than three million compared to last year.
The hugely-lauded debut of the 2012 series had a peak of 9.2 million, with an average of 8.1 million - the lowest for a season opener since 2006.
The 2011 launch was seen by 12.6 million fans.
However, bosses have defended the opener, which featured new judge Nicole Scherzinger and guest panellist Melanie Brown, putting the figures down to the soaring weekend temperatures.
A spokesperson tells The Sun, "The X Factor launched on the hottest day of the year, and its audience was still over double that of the next nearest programme. We have a great series ahead, with some fantastic talent to look forward to."
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