Live coverage of the penultimate Qualifying session of the 2012 Formula One season peaked with 745,000 viewers at 18:55 last night on Sky Sports F1, overnight viewing figures show. That, combined with a BBC Two peak of 1.81 million viewers brings the combined peak to 2.55 million viewers.
The Sky Sports programme from 17:00 to 19:45 averaged 418,000 viewers, a 2.07 percent viewing share. The build-up averaged 293,000 viewers (1.71% share), the session itself had 671,000 (3.19%) share whilst post-session reaction had 247,000 viewers (1.04% share) from 19:00 to 19:45. Despite it being close to the end of the season, if it timeshifts less than 65,000 viewers, it will not be the highest rated Qualifying session of the season, that honour at the moment going to Canada which had 483,000 viewers in the consolidated BARB ratings.
Over on BBC Two, their highlights programme from 21:00 to 22:15 averaged 1.58 million viewers, a 6.7 percent share, peaking with 1.81 million viewers at 21:40. Comparisons with previous years are difficult to make, due to it being the first US Grand Prix since 2007 although the combined average of 1.99 million is down on the 2.3 million combined average from 2007.
Friday’s practice sessions on Sky Sports F1 had near identical figures. Practice 1 had 110,000 viewers (1.32 percent share) from 14:45 to 16:50, peaking with 152,000 viewers at 15:45, whilst Practice 2 had 107,000 viewers (0.50 percent share) from 18:45 to 21:00, peaking with 164,000 viewers at 19:15. The Saturday session had a slightly lower average with 100,000 viewers from 14:45 to 16:10, peaking with 159,000 viewers at 15:55 at the climax of the session.
Outside of the sessions, The F1 Show only just registered on the richter scale on Friday night, averaging 14,000 viewers (0.12 percent share) from 23:00 to 00:00. Thankfully one repeat on Saturday performed considerably better with the 13:45 repeat averaging 59,000 viewers (0.58 percent share).