Vettel’s title win improves on 2012 Indian Grand Prix rating

The Indian Grand Prix yesterday was seen by approximately 4 million viewers, overnight viewing figures suggest. The figure represents an increase on 2012, where only Sky Sports F1 shown it live, but a hefty drop on 2011. BBC One’s live airing averaged 2.53 million viewers from 08:30 to 11:45. Sky Sports F1, failed to make ITV Media‘s multi-channel top ten for last Sunday meaning it was perhaps unsurprisingly under 626,000 viewers. In comparison, BBC One’s live airing in 2011 had 4.18 million viewers, so we can already see the big drop.

BBC One’s repeat airing had under 1.38 million viewers. Nevertheless, we can see that there is a fairly big drop on 2011, although up on last year. For what it is worth, I will continue recording Sky’s full programme numbers even though they have split it into three. For 2014, if it is a three piece programme for the entire season, then I will only record the main race segment figure for the purpose of these blogs.

Indian Grand Prix – Official Ratings
2011 – 5.61 million
2012 – 3.46 million / 3.67 million (using ‘35 percent theory‘)
– overnight figures were 3.48 million / 3.66 million
2013 – 4.13 million / 4.27 million (overnight rating)
– rough estimate and subject to revision

The 2013 figure may fluctuate a few hundred thousand either way, but I think we can definitely say it was up and 2012, but down on 2011. I think it is an okay rating, but not spectacular when you consider that it was the title decider. It will be interesting to see the ratings for the final few races. Abu Dhabi and Brazil should be okay, but USA could be very low, with Sky exclusivity and BBC airing at 22:30.

The 2012 Indian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

Motor sport ratings (week ending 20th October, 2013)

Sadly there is not a lot to the motor sport ratings round-up from BARB this week. Motors TV did not report any ratings, whilst the final round of the IndyCar Series failed to make BT Sport 2’s top ten, meaning it had under 12,000 viewers.

The F1 Show recorded one of its lowest figures to date for a studio based edition on Friday 18th October. The figure, the lowest of the year, averaged 18,000 viewers. It was a low week across the channel, only five shows averaged above 10,000 viewers, which is really disastrous overall nearly two years in. I think the mid-week schedule outside of race weekends has to be more structured, because there is absolutely zero flow to the schedules at the moment, it could be described as one programme after the other with no real meaning.

Scheduling: The 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

With both championships now over, the last three races are probably more of a formality. The first of those three races takes us to Abu Dhabi, where both the GP2 Series and GP3 Series come to a conclusion.

Sky are also screening in full the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s in the build-up to the weekend’s race. A reminder too of their new format, first implemented in India, where the race show will be split into three: track parade, race and Paddock Live. Paddock Live is fifteen minutes longer this week, meaning that the ‘race show’ is fifteen minutes shorter. Clearly someone up high has decided that three quarters through their second year doing Formula 1 is the perfect time to tweak it. Right

Tuesday 29th October
20:00 to 22:15 – F1: 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Sky Sports F1)
– commentary from Jonathan Legard and Martin Brundle
– repeated on Friday 1st November at 18:00

Wednesday 30th October
20:00 to 22:15 – F1: 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Sky Sports F1)
– commentary from Jonathan Legard and Martin Brundle
– repeated on Saturday 2nd November at 15:20

Thursday 31st October
11:00 to 11:45 – F1: Driver Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
19:00 to 19:15 – Gear Up for Abu Dhabi (Sky Sports F1)
21:00 to 22:00 – F1: Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
20:00 to 22:15 – F1: 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Sky Sports F1)
– commentary from Martin Brundle and David Coulthard
– repeated on Sunday 3rd November at 20:15

Friday 1st November
06:15 to 06:50 – GP2: Practice (Sky Sports F1)
08:45 to 10:50 – F1: Practice 1 (Sky Sports F1)
08:55 to 10:35 – F1: Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12:45 to 14:55 – F1: Practice 2 (Sky Sports F1)
12:55 to 14:35 – F1: Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
14:55 to 15:35 – GP2: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
16:15 to 17:00 – F1: Team Press Conference (Sky Sports F1)
17:00 to 18:00 – The F1 Show (Sky Sports F1)
18:45 to 19:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)

Saturday 2nd November
06:00 to 06:35 – GP3: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
08:05 to 09:30 – GP2: Race 1 (Sky Sports F1)
09:45 to 11:10 – F1: Practice 3 (Sky Sports F1)
09:55 to 11:05 – F1: Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12:00 to 14:30 – F1: Qualifying (Sky Sports F1)
12:55 to 14:05 – F1: Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
14:30 to 15:20 – GP3: Race 1 (Sky Sports F1)
17:10 to 18:15 – F1: Qualifying Highlights (BBC One)
19:45 to 20:00 – Inside F1 (BBC News Channel)

Sunday 3rd November
07:55 to 08:45 – GP3: Race 2 (Sky Sports F1)
09:10 to 10:15 – GP2: Race 2 (Sky Sports F1)
11:30 to 16:15 – F1: Race (Sky Sports F1)
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Race
=> 15:15 – Paddock Live
12:50 to 15:00 – F1: Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)
16:15 to 17:15 – Architects of F1: Jo Ramirez (Sky Sports F1)
16:30 to 18:00 – F1: Race Highlights (BBC One)

Wednesday 6th November
19:00 to 19:30 – Midweek Report (Sky Sports F1)

F1 2013 DVD season review to be released before Christmas

Hooray! It looks like Santa will be delivering all Formula 1 fans the 2013 Formula One season review this year. The DVD/Blu-Ray will be released on December 16th, 2013, according to The official Duke Video website has a release date of December 18th for the DVD and December 20th for the Blu-Ray, but either way it is before Christmas.

Last year, the 2012 season review was released after Christmas. I commented at the time that sales were probably down compared to previous years as a result, so I am happy to see that this year reverts back to tradition.

Amazon currently have the length as 300 minutes, but I imagine that may change slightly. I don’t know who is voicing the review, as of writing, I have not seen any tweets from Will Buxton or Ben Edwards this year saying that they have voiced any of the DVD. I will update the post nearer to Christmas to confirm details on any extras that may be included and any Blu-Ray exclusives.

Update on December 6th – Amazon has pushed the DVD release back to December 23rd, whilst worryingly the Blu-Ray has been pushed to January 6th, 2014. I’ve asked Duke Video on Twitter if these dates are indeed correct.

Update on January 13th, 2014 – Well we’re now a week after the original Blu-Ray release date, except the Blu-Ray is not out. So, where is it? Bumped to February 10th, according to Duke.

Predicting BT Sport’s MotoGP team

Back in May, it was announced that BT Sport would be taking over the MotoGP rights for the 2014 championship onwards. The move was met with mixed reaction. On one hand, BT Sport will be providing MotoGP with significantly more broadcast air-time than previous broadcasters. But, with that, the viewership will drop badly with no terrestrial coverage from 2014 onwards as I have wrote about in detail previously.

Aside from that though, there is the big question of who exactly is going to be a part of BT Sport’s MotoGP team. With that in mind, it is time for me to dive into my crystal ball, and for me to guess who will be part of that team! A disclaimer though that I have zero inside knowledge, all of the following is my own predictions and speculation.

Starting with the main figure that viewers will see: presenter. Matt Roberts deserves the role in my view, and has been a steady ship directing the BBC show in the past year or two. I’d really like him be able to do more in-depth interview or features, which a role as BT’s MotoGP presenter would allow him to do, as there would be significantly more air-time. I think Suzi Perry has to be mentioned as a possibility too, if there is an escape clause in her BBC F1 contract. I’m not sure that BBC would want two Formula 1 presenters in a row heading to BT Sport, mind! Outside of that? I don’t think Jake Humphrey is realistic, purely because it would go against everything he said when leaving the BBC F1 job. Humphrey would not want to do every race either, I don’t think, plus the fact he is BT Sport’s lead Premier League presenter I believe rules this out. Finally, Keith Huewen is a possibility. I still think Roberts will get it. There could be a complete wildcard here, but I doubt it.

Moving onto pit lane reporters, and Randy Mamola and Neil Spalding are a must for me. I missed Mamola when he left Eurosport’s coverage at the end of 2009, and would love to see him return. Spalding is great in his current Eurosport role, so I would prefer ‘both’ rather than ‘or’. Where this would leave Azi Farni I don’t know. If she is there, she is there, but it is not a deal breaker for me. Punditry is an interesting one considering MotoGP coverage in the UK has never really had pundits. BBC’s coverage relied on Charlie Cox and Steve Parrish to fill air-time in the half an hour before the race with Roberts, so no extra personnel were required. BT Sport are expected to go the extra mile with MotoGP, so I would expect a pundit or two. As it is a British audience watching, the obvious former British MotoGP riders come into mind, such as Jeremy McWilliams. I’m not entirely sure who else to suggest here, so would be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Lastly, the commentary team. I could discuss this over, but there is only one choice here: Toby Moody and Julian Ryder. Must, must, must, and I cannot emphasise that enough. It would be a near travesty if Moody and Ryder were not commentating to British audiences. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Cox and Steve Parrish’s commentary work, but I know where these things are concerned it is personal preference. For me, Moody and Ryder are leagues ahead of Cox and Parrish. I think Parrish should be part of the team maybe as a pundit though, but at the age of 60 he may want to tone down his paddock involvements. We shall see.

With that in mind:

– presenter: Matt Roberts
– pit lane reporter: Randy Mamola
– technical reporter: Neil Spalding
– paddock reporter: Azi Farni
– pundit: Jeremy McWilliams and A.N. Other
– commentators: Toby Moody and Julian Ryder

That is just my best guesses. My expertise in terms of motorcycle broadcasting is limited regarding personnel, but I thought I would throw in my two cents!