The Monaco Grand Prix plunged from its 2010 and 2011 highs yesterday unsurprisingly as the UK experienced its first heat-wave of the year. The race attracted a peak of 4.16 million viewers on BBC One, lower than the average for last year’s programme.
Yesterday’s programme averaged 3.13 million, which I believe is the lowest rating for a live BBC F1 race programme in daytime since Formula 1’s return to the corporation in 2009. Sky Sports F1 added a further 565 thousand viewers, bringing the total viewership to 3.69 million, the lowest since 2009. This split is 84.9% to 15.1% in BBC’s favour, the biggest split ratio yet between the two. Given the weather, a drop was expected, and it’s not a concerning drop, this was round about expected. All ratings in the past few days have been hit hard by the warm weather, and the F1 was another victim of that.
Looking at the figures compared to last year, only one of the five races so far (Bahrain does not count) has been up year-on-year, that being China. All the rest of the races have recorded declines of some sort.
Qualifying held up fairly well, with 2.07 million watching on BBC One. Sky Sports F1 added 388 thousand, with the overall total in line with 2009 and 2010. 2011 was abnormally high due to the session overrunning as a result of Sergio Perez’s crash.
Note: The ratings information comes from Digital Spy and Attentional.