British Grand Prix holds up well against Murray onslaught

So a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on here regarding the scheduling of yesterday’s British Grand Prix. As I noted in that particular piece:

“One has to wonder if the conclusion of the British Grand Prix is less important than the first few sets of the Wimbledon Men’s Singles final, and also whether the Qualifying session is less important than the Women’s Singles final.”

I have to admit, at that time, I thought no, thinking to myself that it will be an all foreign final and Andy Murray will once again get knocked out in the Quarter or Semi Final. Of course, I was left eating humble pie….

He didn’t win, though. He did however, draw an absolutely mammoth peak of 16.9 million viewers to BBC One yesterday at 18:00 and an 11.45 million viewership average throughout. In comparison, the highest Formula 1 race on record, the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, had 8.8 million. So, in reality, the BBC made completely the right decision, as I admitted on Friday on Twitter!

With the mammoth peak, it is no surprise that the F1 was dented, and although the British Grand Prix had its worst viewing figures since 2007, the figures were not bad at all considering the opposition. The weighted programme average was 3.09 million (20.9%) from 12:05 to 15:30. The percentage share, for anyone wondering, is a lot lower than usual due to there being a lot more people watching TV than usual, again due to the Wimbledon final.

I do not have the exact Sky Sports F1 figures, but again you are looking at around about 0.4 million to 0.5 million, which means a combined average of about 3.5 million. Which is actually very respectable when you consider the viewing figures for BBC One. It is not far away from the Monaco Grand Prix figure either. If anything, the Grand Prix did a lot better than I was anticipating. James Allen has helpfully tweeted a peak of 4.2 million for BBC Two, so factoring in Sky Sports F1 will take you to a peak in the 5 million region. I am not sure a ratio is relevant really considering the mammoth opposition, but you are looking at 84% to 16%, approximately give-or-take depending on the exact peak figures.

The delayed Qualifying figure did not do well, a peak of 2.3 million (22.7%) at 13:15 on BBC Two, with an average of 1.9 million viewers. Add an extra 0.2 million or 0.3 million for Sky, which gives you about 2.2 million viewers. Not a very good figure, and the worst for the British Grand Prix Qualifying since 2008. If anything, the rain delay hindered things rather than helped things, as all the casual viewers would have flocked to BBC One when the rain delay started as the Women’s Wimbledon final was getting underway.

One thing that the ratings show is that the scheduling all around has been awful this year from the FIA. The Canadian Grand Prix went against Euro 2012 directly. The British Grand Prix went against the Wimbledon final, and the Hungarian Grand Prix is going to go against the London 2012 Olympics. Who planned this exactly? The schedule should have gone something like this:

– 27th May: Monaco
– 10th June: Europe (Valencia)
– 24th June: Germany
– 1st July: Britain
– 15th July: Canada
– 19th August: Hungary
– 2nd September: Belgium

That just about directly avoids the major sporting events, with nothing directly clashing. I can only assume that there are logistical issues that prevents an event the week before Valencia or a week after in terms of transportation. There would still be a five week break halfway through the season, just slightly different with Hungary after the break rather than before it.

As always, your comments and thoughts are welcome.

2 thoughts on “British Grand Prix holds up well against Murray onslaught

  1. isn’t the really interesting question, whether Skys’ NEW subscribers directly from (or since?) F1 and their fees worth the purchase price paid? Isn’t this a bit of research worthy of a journalist?

    1. I wouldn’t go as far as to call myself a journalist, at the end of the day I’m just a fan who writes about F1 broadcasting! Although it is a very valid point that you raise about how Sky’s subscriber numbers have changed.

      It maybe worth me (once the figures are out) doing a blog comparing the subscriber numbers year-on-year (say end of July 2011 compared with the end of July 2012, as the deal was announced on 29th July), working out the increase and then dividing the rights total divided by the increase in subscribers. Something along those lines.

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