The 2014-15 Formula E season will continue to be broadcast live only on ITV4 for the remainder of this season, it has been confirmed. Although viewing figures have failed to hit the original heights that it hit in its inaugural race, this blog reached out to ITV to see if there are any plans to simulcast the remaining races on their main channel in order to increase the exposure for the series.
According to overnight viewing figures from Overnights.tv, ITV has averaged 610k (6.0%) on Saturday afternoons between 14:00 to 16:30 so far this year, which would typically be Formula E’s slot for the remaining five races:
– round 7: Monaco (May 9th – 15:00 UK time)
– round 8: Berlin (May 23rd – 15:00 UK time)
– round 9: Moscow (June 6th – 14:00 UK time)
– round 10: London (June 27th – 16:00 UK time)
– round 11: London (June 28th – 16:00 UK time)
With suitable publicity, and given that there are five rounds in seven weekends, Formula E could reach, or even exceed that ITV slot average.
However, ITV say that there are no plans to put Formula E on their main channel this season: “I am sorry to disappoint you but there are no plans to show any coverage on ITV1. [..] We hope you enjoy our coverage on ITV4.” I guess this should not be too surprising, given that Formula 1 was the last motor sport series to be shown on ITV1, as it was back then, in 2008 but it is still disappointing.
A missed opportunity? Possibility. Whilst we should appreciate the fact that ITV shows a lot of motor sport on ITV4, at the end of the day, ITV have a flagship channel, and they should utilise that during the daytime at weekends to showcase events such as Formula E in the forthcoming months instead of screening back-to-back repeats. Formula E could& perform poorly on ITV’s main channel. But ITV won’t find that out unless they actually try it, which they should do for some of the above races.
Looking further ahead, I do hope Formula E remains on the ITV network for season two, but time will tell.