Hungarian Grand Prix suffers in Summer heat

A dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix, won by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, drew its lowest audience in six years despite the race averaging over four million viewers, according to unofficial overnight viewing figures.

Traditionally, despite its late July slot, the Hungarian round has always rated very well despite any warm weather that may occur. And, to a degree, the same can be said this year. The race, Sky Sports F1’s 50th, averaged 996k (10.9%) from 12:00 to 15:30, up on last year’s average of 923k (10.2%). Sky’s coverage peaked with 1.44m (15.2%) yesterday, compared with a 1.35m (13.7%) peak from last year. BBC One’s highlights programme averaged 3.20m (22.0%), peaking with 3.67m (23.6%), down on 3.64m from 2012 and 2013. The combined average of 4.20m and peak of 5.11m looks fairly good compared to a typical Formula 1 race.

The problem, as I mentioned above is that the Hungarian Grand Prix has always rated well. So whilst, 4.20 million looks good it actually, for Hungary, is not a great rating. For example, the 2011 race, exclusively on BBC One, averaged 4.65m (42.2%), peaking with a whopping 6.10m (50.0%). The combined audience of 4.20m is the lowest since 2008. The races between 2009 and 2013 have all recorded programme averages between 4.46m and 4.81m.

Live coverage of qualifying, not taking into account overrun, averaged 402k (5.6%) from 12:00 to 14:35. BBC Two’s highlights at 17:40 added 1.50m (12.4%). The combined figure of 1.90m is very marginally down on 2012, but still the lowest since 2008. It is worth noting that Sky have been promoting Sky Go all weekend where Formula 1 is concerned, but I don’t think that is going to make up the viewers that Formula 1 appears to have lost since 2011.

Despite that, I don’t think the race number is terrible, as I do think the weather played some part in the number. However, in the context of the season so far, it is not very good. Like I’ve said before, Formula 1 has to reverse the trend after the Summer break as an absolute must. The four week break should also be considered a ‘reset’ from both BBC’s and Sky’s perspectives in order to get the viewing figures back to what they once were.

The 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.


7 thoughts on “Hungarian Grand Prix suffers in Summer heat

  1. Brundle claimed that Sky’s audience was on the increase over last year, surely they’re feeding him massaged figures from the 3 way presentation split?

  2. Surely the solution would be to have the sky f1 channel as a standalone package which you pay say £3 or £4 a month to add it to your sky or virgin subscription. F1 is very different to a lot of sports like football, cricket, rugby, tennis etc, so a lot of people who are interested in f1 generally are not interested on the other sports shown on sky, so sky should offer it as a seperate subscription offer to the rest of sky sports. Obviously the optimum would be to have them all live FTA, but it seems like that will never happen again so this seems like a better option to what it currently is. Most people cannot afford £45-50 a month to watch sky sports f1.

  3. A combined non-unique average of 4.2 million, an actual average 3.6 million, far lower than (about 1 million) than the pre Sky deal days.

  4. Do these figures include people (like me) who watched qualifying about half an hour or so behind the rest of the world because I had a few odd jobs around the house to do first??? Lol

  5. i think we are now starting to see the long term negative effect of the bbc/sky deal now. this years races have been really good and ham/rosberg in a title fight yet fans are not wanting to watch highlights or pay for sky to watch them all live thus losing viewers. i think if it was all live on bbc we would get more viewers this season than 2011. i think the bbc didnt do themselves any favours cutting the highlights short to 80min and missing more laps than normal at hungary.

    i think the other problem is the calender. the 1st half of season is too spread out and 2nd half 2 crowded. there should constant 2 week gaps with a few back to backs and the summer break for better continuty for the whole season.

  6. The fall in figures is all about the paywall, last year I still missed not being able to watch F1 so watched about 60%, but lost interest towards end of year and stopped watching just getting results off news, this year never really started watching have moved onto Btcc instead have missed 95-98% of F1 races this year not even bothering with results….this is after 28 years of being a dedicated fan and always watching live races even getting up at 4am to watch Australian races. Shame on BBC and Bernie should be in prison

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