The benefits of putting Indy 500 on Sky Sports F1

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.

The Twitter outlook

It’s week 4 of my Twitter outlook posts, so without further ado, let’s have a look at the Drivers’ tables:

Drivers – The Top 10
01 – 945,383 – Jenson Button (McLaren)
02 – 811,373 – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
03 – 541,338 – Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
04 – 408,900 – Bruno Senna (Williams)
05 – 333,411 – Mark Webber (Red Bull)
06 – 191,950 – Sergio Perez (Sauber)
07 – 190,271 – Pastor Maldonaldo (Williams)
08 – 153,744 – Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
09 – 146,056 – Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham)
10 – 129,927 – Pedro de la Rosa (HRT)

Drivers – Biggest Increases
01 – 30,324 – Fernando Alonso
02 – 14,630 – Pastor Maldonaldo
03 – 10,127 – Jenson Button
04 – 8,619 – Lewis Hamilton
05 – 6,903 – Mark Webber

Drivers – Smallest Increases
01 – 333 – Charles Pic
02 – 613 – Timo Glock
03 – 754 – Nico Hulkenberg
04 – 777 – Jean-Eric Vergne
05 – 1,173 – Vitaly Petrov

Status quo in the top 10, although Pastor Maldonaldo’s gain means that he will likely overtake Sergio Perez very soon. In fact, he probably already has by the time this post goes online. Fernando Alonso continues his usual big gains due to him joining Twitter only a few months ago, although inevitably his gains will start to slow at some point. At the other end of the table, Charles Pic again draws the short straw, once again picking up less than one thousand followers in the space of a week.

Teams – The Top 10
01 – 270,271 – Ferrari
02 – 188,482 – McLaren
03 – 126,845 – Mercedes
04 – 112,388 – Red Bull
05 – 105,888 – Lotus
06 – 73,397 – Caterham
07 – 64,243 – Marussia
08 – 63,879 – Williams
09 – 63,067 – Force India
10 – 53,068 – Sauber

Teams – Biggest Increases
01 – 3,500 – Ferrari
02 – 1,766 – Red Bull
03 – 1,734 – McLaren

Teams – Smallest Increases
01 – 517 – Toro Rosso
02 – 613 – Marussia
03 – 685 – Force India

The only change here is Williams have jumped in front of Force India, which I predicted last week. They have not overtaken Marussia though, so that part of my prediction was wrong. Their gain was a bit less than what I anticipated. Elsewhere it’s as expected, although a mention for Sauber – four thousand followers increase in two weeks. Not exactly a huge increase, is it?

Driver and Team statistics as of Sunday 20th May 2012.

Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 13th May, 2012)

This is a rather short blog, because there is no Top 10. Normally this happens due to incomplete logs, and is normally updated in the six-week amendment cycle. So, the Top 10 for this week should be uploaded by 2nd July.

We can, however, still see the weekly reach. The channel reached 2.444 million people, which is slightly up on the 2.381 million people it reached for the Chinese Grand Prix.

What I shall do is update this blog post when the six weeks come around and replace the post with a Top 10. Hopefully!

UPDATE: I wrote the above on May 21st, and now six weeks later BARB has updated with the ratings for this week. Which are as follows:

1 – 523k – Live Spanish Grand Prix (Sunday, 11:30)
2 – 353k – Live Spanish Grand Prix: Qualifying (Saturday, 12:00)
3 – 115k – Live Spanish Grand Prix: Practice 3 (Saturday, 09:45)
4 – 84k – Live Spanish Grand Prix: Practice 1 (Friday, 08:45)
5 – 68k – Live Spanish Grand Prix: Practice 2 (Friday, 12:45)
6 – 64k – Live Spanish GP2 Feature Race (Saturday, 14:35)
7 – 55k – Spanish Grand Prix Highlights (Sunday, 19:03)
8 – 52k – Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying Replay (Saturday, 17:16)
9 – 48k – Fast Track (Sunday, 10:58)
10 – 45k – Live Spanish GP3 Race 1 (Saturday, 16:15)

There is not much use in me commenting on these ratings too much given that it was nearly two months ago, apart from saying that the GP2 and GP3 races performed well on the Saturday.

Scheduling: The Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1 heads to the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo this upcoming weekend with the Monaco Grand Prix. Both BBC One and Sky Sports F1 will be showing the coverage live this weekend. As is the tradition in Monaco, F1 Practice is held on Thursday’s instead of Friday’s. Also, as I noted on Thursday, there is a double dose for The F1 Show this weekend due to the different schedule.

If you like your classic Formula 1 action, then I would advice that you tune in to Sky Sports F1 from 09:00 tomorrow morning for nearly 15 hours of Classic F1 from Monaco. Back to the present day, however, here is the scheduling with all the times, including Sky Sports F1’s coverage of the GP2 and GP3 Series, which has a hideously early start on Friday morning!

Wednesday 23rd May
14:00 to 14:30 – F1: Driver Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)

Thursday 24th May
08:45 to 10:50 – F1: Practice 1 (Sky Sports F1)
08:55 to 10:35 – F1: Practice 1 (BBC Red Button)
10:55 to 11:35 – GP2: Practice (Sky Sports F1)
12:45 to 15:00 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1)
12:55 to 14:35 – F1: Practice 2 (BBC Red Button)
15:00 to 15:30 – F1: Team Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
15:50 to 16:35 – GP2: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1)

Friday 25th May
06:35 to 07:20 – GP3: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
09:25 to 10:50 – GP2: Race 1 (Sky Sports F1)
11:25 to 12:15 – GP3: Race 1 (Sky Sports F1)
17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1)

Saturday 26th May
09:45 to 11:10 – F1: Practice 3 (Sky Sports F1)
09:55 to 11:05 – F1: Practice 3 (BBC Red Button)
12:00 to 14:45 – F1: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
12:10 to 14:15 – F1: Qualifying (BBC One)
15:05 to 16:10 – GP2: Race 2 (Sky Sports F1)
16:50 to 17:45 – GP3: Race 2 (Sky Sports F1)

Sunday 27th May
11:30 to 16:15 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
12:05 to 15:30 – F1: Race (BBC One)
15:30 to 16:30 – F1: Forum (BBC Red Button)
16:30 to 20:00 – Indy 500 (Sky Sports 4)

As of writing, Indy 500 is still on Sky Sports 4, so if you only have Sky’s HD package, you will not be able to view it. I shall update this post if/when that changes.

And for the first time, I want your opinion. Which channel will you be watching for the Grand Prix weekend? I think I shall stick with Sky Sports, as I did for Spain, although that depends somewhat on the pundits. If Sky have Damon Hill only, then I may be forced in turning over to BBC, but if they have Johnny Herbert alongside Hill, or no Hill at all, then I will probably stick with Sky Sports F1.

Of course, there’s also an interesting point about location, with space tight, will both BBC and Sky be located on a boat somewhere, or will Sky go for a ‘high up’ studio like ITV did in their latter days? We shall see.

Comments, as always, welcome.

New 30 minute programme on Sky Sports F1 from next Friday

A new 30-minute programme has appeared on the Sky Sports F1 schedules beginning next Friday. The programme, entitled In The Name Of Good begins next Friday at 10:55, in the gap between the two feeder series’ races at Monaco.

Although there is no EPG description yet for the programme next Friday, it does say that it features Mark Webber. If I had to guess, I think this may turn out to be similar to the Legends series, except looking back at a current drivers’ career in Formula 1.

As always though, it’s good to see new programming making it’s way onto the schedule. I’ll keep an eye on it, and post an update here when the EPG updates with a proper description.

UPDATE at 16:10: The description is as follows: “A chance to follow Australian F1 driver Mark Webber during the Swiss Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge.” – so it seems I was a bit off the mark above! Apparently this is part of a series focussing on all sportsmen, and Webber happens to just be featured in this particular one.