Canadian Grand Prix ratings hit six year low

The Canadian Grand Prix disappointed with it’s live viewership yesterday, overnight ratings show, with figures hitting a six year low. The race average on Sky Sports F1 was 1.63 million, with a peak of 1.77 million. One thing I have noticed a lot with the race average versus peak is that the gap between the two is small. Unlike with BBC, where the audience can increase a lot throughout due to casuals joining in the middle of a exciting race, that appears to be not happening on Sky Sports F1. Despite an exciting race yesterday, the peak is only 140 thousand above the race average.

With regards, to the peak, there is an argument that it did okay given the Euro 2012 opposition. I’m not sure I agree. Even with the Euro 2012 opposition, in my opinion the peak should have been at least above 2 million. In comparison, the Bahrain Grand Prix had a peak of 1.6 million in daytime, so Canada only bettered that by 170 thousand. I would have thought the primetime slot, plus the BBC highlights being in a late-night timeslot would have helped the Sky Sports F1 figures more. Unlike Qualifying, the race had a free run for the first 45 minutes in the ‘gap’ between the two games, so I would have thought it may have caught a few floating viewers between the games.

The BBC F1 highlights programme peaked with 3.1 million according to James Allen, resulting in a combined peak of 4.87 million.

The averages don’t make for a pretty picture. The BBC programme had a 2.39 million average (21.2% share), and when factoring in Sky, that will be an average of 3.39 million, which will be the lowest average since 2006, which had an average of 2.72 million. The 2006 race was up against the conclusion of England vs Ecuador.

Canadian Grand Prix – UK TV Ratings
2005 – 4.97 million
2006 – 2.72 million
2007 – 4.58 million
2008 – 3.99 million
2009 – no race
2010 – 5.20 million
2011 – 6.12 million
2012 – ~3.39 million

As for Qualifying, the BBC One highlights show fared solidly with 2.05 million, albeit with only a 13.9% viewing share. Once factoring in Sky Sports F1, the number will be significantly down on the 3.69 million that watched Qualifying in 2011, but in-line with the 2010 average of 2.40 million. I would have expected a significant drop this year, even if Qualifying was on BBC One live, as it would have faced very tough opposition in Euro 2012. The Netherlands versus Denmark match, which went against the live showing of Qualifying had a mammoth 7.59 million peak figure, which I think shows that had F1 been live on BBC this weekend, then Qualifying would not have fared at all well.

Note: The ratings information comes from Sky Media Updates, Digital Spy and Attentional.

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