'Britain's Got Talent' Beats 'The Voice' In Ratings Battle With 5 Million More Viewers

'Britain's Got Talent' trounced 'The Voice' as the two shows clashed for the first time this year, drawing in excess of five million more viewers.

The launch of the ITV show peaked at an audience of 13 million viewers, while the BBC One singing contest drew 7.7 million at its height for its third programme.

The first round in the ratings war appeared to justify ITV's decision to schedule its show earlier than usual to go almost head to head with its rival as its 10.5 million average audience made it the highest rating show on British TV so far this year.

The figure - which includes viewers of its +1 catch-up channel - was also up on the debut show for the 2012 series which drew 9.9 million.

The BBC could draw some comfort from its 6.7 million average being the highest so far this series. It has already shied away from a further clash by scheduling next week's edition of 'The Voice' 95 minutes later, starting at 8.20pm, saying it was in the best interest of viewers, some of whom want to watch both shows.

ITV's director of television, Peter Fincham said: "I'm delighted with such a strong start to what promises to be a fantastic series, with lots more for viewers to look forward to."

A BBC source congratulated ITV on a strong night, but said they were also pleased 'The Voice' continued to build its audience.

Britain's Got Talent