david attenborough
Planet Earth II helped BBC ratings for 2016 BBC

With the success of the Bake Off, Strictly and Planet Earth II, the BBC has declared victory over ITV in the battle for the year's highest television ratings.

The Beeb have defeated ITV as they broadcast 31 of the top 40 most-watched programmes in 2016 so far, with a mass audience of 16 million viewers tuning in for the Bake Off final, which is at number one in the chart.

Nine of the top 40 programmes were aired on ITV, which is a drop from last year; the split was 28 for BBC1 and 12 for its commercial rival.

The chart – which has been compiled from data produced by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb) – reveals that every episode of this year's Bake Off made the list, with nine inside the top 10.

Strictly – which saw BBC sports reporter Ore Oduba take the crown this series – also dominated the chart as it appeared a total of 13 times. The BBC series reached new heights with ratings for the Strictly grand final, with a peak of 13.1 million viewers tuning in to watch Oduba win the glitterball trophy.

And all but one episode of the blockbuster natural history series Planet Earth II – narrated by the legendary Sir David Attenborough – made the top 40, with the highest episode coming ninth in the chart with 13.1 million viewers.

BBC1's coverage of the Euro 2016 final also features on the list, along with the one-off episode of Sherlock shown on New Year's Day.

val bake off
The Bake Off won a mass audience for 2016 BBC

In terms of ITV's success, their highest entry is I'm A Celeb's first episode of the 2016 series, which ranks at number 12 with 12.7m viewers.

Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent also appears five times in the chart, but The X Factor failed to make the top 40 for a second year in a row due to a steady decline in ratings.

BBC content boss Charlotte Moore commented on the channel's success, stating: "BBC1 has dominated viewing in 2016 with outstanding programmes in every genre demonstrating the strength of the channel across the whole year.

"BBC1's success is a credit to all the programme-makers involved and I'd like to thank them all - from the biggest ever series of Bake Off and Strictly, to the awe-inspiring Planet Earth II, Sherlock, Call The Midwife and the Euro 2016 final.

"I'm proud that BBC1 continues to unite us as a nation with shows that feel modern, fresh and in touch with our audience entertaining millions every week of the year," she added.

It will no doubt be interesting to view 2017's ratings after the hugely popular Bake Off has moved over to Channel 4.