The 90-minute episode, which introduced the eleven initial “Islanders,” as they’re known, peaked with 3.0 million viewers around thirty minutes in, as the contestants were coupled up for the first time.
While the figures were strong, particularly in the coveted 16-34 demographic (of which 1.1 million joined the audience), the total average was lower than recent seasons, according to Broadcast, which reported that the debut episodes in January 2020 and June 2021 both averaged 2.7 million (translating as a 13.7% and 12.8% audience share respectively).
When including the audience figures on PC, mobile and tablet the figure rose to 3 million viewers.
The show also trended on Twitter, with viewers taking to the social platform to comment on the contestants, including the fact that one of the youngest Islanders – soccer player Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma – is only 19 years old.
Other Twitter users also noted that the initial couplings, which were voted on by the public, saw all the contestants of color paired with one another.
Between commercial partnerships with brands such as eBay (which is providing this year’s wardrobe), advertising and selling the format across the world, “Love Island” is one of ITV’s biggest cashcows. However the show has been mired in controversy, from its lack of diversity among the contestants to the suicides of two former Islanders and its former host, Caroline Flack, within three consecutive years.
Last month ITV announced its updated duty of care protocols, which include diversity training, counselling and financial and social media advice.