23/04/2012 04:55 BST

The Voice Beats Britain's Got Talent In Ratings War Amidst Cries Of Foul Play

BBC1's The Voice continued its winning streak by beating Britain's Got Talent in ratings for a third successive week.

Saturday's edition of The Voice could prompt cries of dirty tricks because it overran slightly, despite it being a pre-recorded rather than live programme, which had an impact on the audience for the first few moments of BGT. The ITV1 show had 5.7 million viewers at 8.30pm, but five minutes later it had increased by four million.

The "battle stage" of the BBC show - in which coaches whittled down their acts in a head-to-head sing-off - drew an average audience of 9.9 million last night.

BGT mustered 9.7 million on ITV1 - including its plus-one viewers who tuned in later - for a 75-minute show, the first time since both series began last month that there has been no overlap.

ITV moved its show to a later slot of 8.30pm last night after repeatedly losing out when the shows had a 20-minute clash. And it had been quietly confident that the move would reap benefits when viewers switched over in droves when The Voice finished.

However it was still not enough to triumph and without plus-one viewers, it managed an average of 9.3 million.

Even the BBC had been unsure about whether the audience would hold up for last night's show due to a change in the programme's format between the audition stages and the forthcoming live shows.

The Voice drew the highest peak audience with 11.6 million, while ITV said its peak was 11.1 million.

ITV took comfort from the fact its audience was a million higher for the fifth episode of BGT than it was last year.

See the slideshow below for which contestants from The Voice will go on to next week's shows...

The Voice 40 Finalists