TV talent search X Factor returned for its ninth series on Saturday.
The ITV1 hit show recorded a peak audience of 9.9 million viewers and an average audience of 8.7 million, both numbers down on the last series.
X Factor's main rival Strictly Come Dancing - with which the talent contest was involved in a huge ratings battle last year - is not expected to have its launch programme until midway through September.
ITV bosses will be looking for a ratings boost after the BBC dominated recent weeks with extensive Olympics coverage.
Audiences fell last year, with the 2011 X Factor final pulling in an average audience of 13.1 million, compared with the 17.2 million who watched Matt Cardle triumph in the 2010 final of the competition.
Photo: © ITV
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