As you may have seen on my Twitter, I am on holiday from now until Saturday 4th August, so I’m keeping this post short.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of data available, but what is available shows that the F1 was hit by the warm weather and the other sporting competition. ITV Media reported earlier that BBC Two’s highlights programme had 1.9 million (12%), although that has been since pulled along with a whole host of other ratings information. That is almost certainly true, as the programme is not in the top 10, and therefore below 1.853 million to 3.d.p. I am also unsure if that rating includes BBC HD. If it doesn’t, then we can add another 400,000 viewers to the 1.9 million.
Sky Sports F1 had 901,000 viewers (9.3%). If we are to compare that to Bahrain, the last European race which was Sky exclusive, they had 738,000 viewers (6.2%) in the overnight ratings. Malaysia had slightly higher viewing figures, but I do not believe that is a vaild comparison due to the red flag period inflating the average.
So overall, how much of an effect did the ‘free weekend’ have on the race viewership? Difficult to tell, but I think we are looking at a 20 percent figure for those that do not subscribe to Sky Sports F1, but watched last Sunday. What I shall do in the officials is do a full comparison between Germany and Bahrain – in theory, despite the warmer weather every session should see an increase due to the increased reach potential.
Onto the negatives, however. 1.9 million for the BBC highlights (with or without HD) is the lowest race highlights figure yet. Combined, the BBC and Sky figure will be the lowest since 2006, although it will be very nip-and-tuck with the 3.28 million average that ITV had in 2008.
With regards sporting competition, the Tour de France peaked with 3.55m (28.2%) on ITV1 and ITV4 while the Open Golf averaged 2.36m (20%) across six and a half hours on BBC One.