The Singapore Grand Prix attracted record viewing figures in the UK across the weekend, as both BBC and Sky enjoyed their highest numbers for Formula 1 in recent memory.
Live coverage of the race, screened exclusively on Sky Sports F1, averaged 961k (10.5%) from 12:00 to 15:45 according to unofficial overnight figures. That number in my opinion is particularly good considering what was happening in the Leicester City vs Manchester United game over on Sky Sports 1 at the same time, no doubt there was a lot of channel hopping during yesterday afternoon. It is also up nearly 200k on the 2013’s figure. BBC One unsurprisingly also recorded an increase year-on-year. The highlights programme from 17:00 to 18:30 averaged a strong 3.72m (23.9%), comfortably BBC’s highest highlights figure of the entire year.
The combined average of 4.68m is easily the highest ever for Singapore, beating the previous best of 4.43m (35.7%) in 2010. In comparison, last year’s average was 3.94m, so a year-on-year increase of 19 percent. For a European time-zone round, it is the highest figure for over a year. It is a brilliant number, and one that was desperately needed given the well known ratings difficulties that Formula 1 has had this year. The peak figures are just as impressive. Sky Sports F1 peaked with 1.46m (13.9%) at 15:00, whilst BBC One’s highlights programme peaked with 4.75m (28.9%) at 18:10 as the race edit came to a conclusion, a combined figure of 6.22m. In comparison, the 2011 race peaked with 5.74m (41.6%), admittedly there are some people in the 2014 figure who may have watched both channels, but the exact number who may have chose to do that is impossible to know.
BBC One’s highlights of qualifying averaged 2.45m (17.9%), with Sky Sports adding 509k (5.9%). The 2.96m combined figure is also the highest ever figure for a Singapore qualifying session. As always the case, the numbers exclude Now TV, Sky Go, BBC iPlayer and the such like. In the UK, numbers for the remaining rounds should all be up year-on-year, given the slump we seen at the back end of last season. It looks like that the Lewis Hamilton vs Nico Rosberg title battle is starting to draw in casual viewers, in the UK at least.
The 2013 Singapore Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.