Australian Grand Prix ratings increase, but Sky’s decrease

The Australian Grand Prix viewing figures increased on 2012, overnight figures show. However, the increase was due to BBC’s viewing figures, was offset somewhat by Sky’s viewing figures as their ratings decreased versus 2012.

Last year, BBC One’s highlights show averaged 2.73m (22.9%), compared with 3.05m (21.9%) for yesterday’s highlights show. In comparison, Sky Sports F1’s live show from 04:30 to 09:00 averaged 526,000 viewers (16.7%) last year, whereas yesterday it had 431,000 viewers (13.5%). If we are to take Sky’s average from 05:00 to 08:00 – which is comparable with previous BBC years – the Sky average is 571,000 viewers (23.8%) versus 617,000 viewers last year. The combined average is therefore 3.62 million which, although up on last year’s 3.35 million, is still down on all the figures from 2008 onwards.

Away from the averages, the combined peak was also up – 4.58 million viewers yesterday compared with 4.30 million. Again, the BBC One peak was up versus last year (3.69 million vs 3.28 million), whilst Sky’s peak was down versus last year (893,000 versus 1.02 million).

Qualifying 1 coverage on BBC rated superbly – averaging 2.71 million (24.6%), peaking with 3.08 million (27.5%). Qualifying 2 and 3 rated similarly well at 05:15, winning the slot and averaging 576,000 viewers (41.0%), beating Sky Sports F1. Qualifying 1 coverage live on Sky averaged 211,000 viewers (9.6%), peaking with 387,000 (18.1%) at 06:35. Qualifying 2 and 3 on the channel peaked with 309,000 viewers (4.1%).

Overall, BBC will be very pleased to see their figures healthy, but Sky may be a bit concerned to see their figures down year-on-year.

8 thoughts on “Australian Grand Prix ratings increase, but Sky’s decrease

  1. Early days yet … But I do believe I said it would be likely that Sky would lose viewers in 2013 rather than gain them.

    What’s that an 18% drop? If that had happened on a channel that has a sizable viewing audience, panic stations would be the order of the day.

  2. The viewers don’t see the point because the BBC is aimed at the public’s interest. Whilst Sky is aimed at subscribers. It’s pretty honest that Sky have a F1 product minus Lazenby is exceptional. BBC’s product post 2011 has been awful. Poking at the Sky team is unacceptable. Brundle FTW!

  3. Surprised by that…. I did see the first bit of the BBC program and although the opening title sequence was great after that it just seemed cheesy and tacky to me… I haven’t seen skys build up yet… But will no doubt find out what it was like soon 🙂

    1. The build-up was technically impressive Steven, Sky knew what they were doing and gave the build up for the GP a really nice foundation for the race

      1. I look forward to seeing it tomorrow morning then 🙂 I saw the race live… Well sort of live on sky plus lol…. I would have seen it there and then but I have my reasons 🙂 lol

  4. This makes sense to me. Sky are not chasing viewer numbers for F1, they are seeking higher profits.

    They are never going to reach the full potential number of viewers, because they are abusing their exclusive live rights by bundling the F1 channel as one channel in an expensive multi-channel package.

    Put another way: the UK demand for live F1 is always going to be higher than Sky’s viewing figures, because it is priced inefficiently. It’s about five times more than I would be willing to pay. But if they offered an F1-only package at a fifth of the cost, and got 2 million subscribers (and 2 million regular viewers), they could make the same money from 400,000 subscribers buying the big bloated package at five times the cost. (In fact it’s cheaper because they subsidize the hardware and so that’s 1.6 million extra set top boxes they do not have to provide.)

    They are sticking with that strategy this year, which proves they would rather have fewer people watching the F1 channel, as long as they’re paying about £550 per year (their average annual revenue per user).

    In fact Sky are going even further in this direction because as you exclusively revealed, from April, new subscribers also need to take the Sports package to get the F1 channel, so their F1 viewing figures should be less likely to rise from then on.

  5. It’s also worth pointing out that the ratings have increased only for non-unique viewers (which aren’t important).
    Ratings for unique viewers (which are the important metric), have gone down.

  6. I’ll stick to my free sites (via XBMC media centre) until sky get reasonable with their package prices

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