X Factor live show viewing figures rise but it still loses to Strictly Come Dancing

The first live show of The X Factor was ITV's most-watched show on Saturday night and had more viewers tune in than for the same episode last year.

But BBC's rival entertainment programme Strictly Come Dancing, which was broadcast in an earlier time slot, won the ratings war as it drew in over three million more viewers than The X Factor.

X Factor 2016
The X Factor finalists 2016 (Syco/Thames/Dymond /PA Images)

The X Factor garnered an average of 6.2 million viewers and an audience share of 29% when it aired at 8pm, while Strictly was watched by 9.6 million with a 44.8% share.

There was a slight overlap in programming, with Strictly starting at 6.45pm and finishing at 8.50pm as the celebrity dancers completed their Movie Week routines.

Simon Cowell's revamped singing competition peaked at 7.2 million viewers during the broadcast, according to overnight figures.

Strictly Come Dancing
Strictly Come Dancing, starring Ed Balls (Guy Levy/BBC /PA Images)

In 2015, the first live show of The X Factor had an audience of 5.6 million.

The current series of ITV's flagship entertainment show has seen viewing numbers rise from its first episode.

Judge Cowell changed the panel line-up to include old favourites Nicole Scherzinger, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, and long-running presenter Dermot O'Leary also returned after a year away.

X Factor 2016
Brooks Way were absent from the first live X Factor episode (Syco/Thames/Burmiston/PA Images)

The first X Factor live episode saw Brooks Way absent from the stage, after one of the group was accused of sending threatening messages to an ex-girlfriend, according to reports

The twins, Kyle and Josh Brooks, both 17, were due to perform as part of Walsh's groups category alongside the other final 11 acts.

But their performance was pulled after a tip was "given to the show regarding one of the group".

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