There are several reasons why this weekend’s Indy 500 should be shown on Sky Sports F1 and not Sky Sports 4. The current schedule has it on Sky Sports 4 from 16:30 to 21:00.
The first reason is quite a simple one. It’s promoted as “the world’s greatest motor race” (or something along those lines, I can’t remember the exact wording), yet it’s on the least viewed of Sky Sports’ channels? Is that not a oxymoron? Sticking with that train of thought, would it not make sense to have the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500 on the same channel one after the other? That sounds like a motor racing fan’s heaven – which is exactly what Sky Sports F1 should be. All the motor sport fans are likely to be watching Sky Sports F1, which is another reason for moving it there.
In terms of Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports 4, which is better, the answer is Sky Sports F1, as it reaches more people. During the Spanish Grand Prix week, Sky Sports F1 reached 2.444 million people, while Sky Sports 4 reached 1.929 million people. Although you could argue that the difference is only 513 thousand, in terms of audience profiles, the Indy 500 would be a much better fit on Sky Sports F1, where you could cross promote it a lot better than on Sky Sports 4. Let’s be honest, Sky Sports 4 is only for things that can’t be fitted anywhere on Sky Sports 1, 2 or 3.
Also, Sky Sports F1 is available to HD and Sport subscribers, meaning potentially a bigger audience for Indy 500, which could increase its audiences in the future. For the other races, I don’t think it matters as much, but if there’s one race which deserves priority on Sky Sports F1, it’s the Indy 500.
The only things I can see here are positives for Indy 500 and Sky Sports F1. So why is it not on Sky Sports F1? Who knows. Maybe Bernie says no? But then you could argue that two of the first few IndyCar races have been on Sky Sports F1, albeit due to scheduling clashes, but the point stands. In my opinion, it should be on Sky Sports F1. And I hope that it happens.
Ratings statistics in paragraph three are from BARB.