Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the Canadian Grand Prix peaked with 6.4 million viewers in the UK, according to overnight viewing figures.
The race, broadcast live on BBC One from 18:25 to 21:00, averaged 4.62m (25.0%). The number is near identical to the past two years. 2013’s race averaged 4.61m (23.6%) from 18:15 to 21:10, whilst coverage in 2014 averaged 4.59m (23.3%) from 18:20 to 21:00. To have three different years separated by just 30k shows how consistent the numbers have been for BBC’s coverage in Canada. BBC’s peak audience of 5.48m (26.0%) came as Lewis Hamilton crossed the line, marginally down on 2013’s peak of 5.55m. In the grand scheme of things, the numbers are good, perhaps they would have liked it to be slightly higher but it’s not a disappointing result by any stretch of the imagination.
Over on Sky Sports F1, their coverage averaged 619k (3.4%) from 18:00 to 21:30. Last year’s coverage across the equivalent slot averaged 818k (4.2%), which is a fairly hefty drop of 24 percent year-on-year. However, including the Sky Sports 1 simulcast, which averaged around 117k (0.6%), brings the percentage drop down to 10 percent. Which is still bad, but not as bad, although I question whether you should bundle Sky Sports 1 and F1 together and then make a comparison with the Sky Sports F1 only figure from last year. Either way, it is again not a pretty picture for Sky. Why have Sky’s ratings dropped compared to 2014, and more interestingly, will the trend continue? It was a similar story for Sky’s peaks: 1.13m last year compared with 952k this year (including Sky Sports 1), a 16 percent drop.
The combined audience of 5.35m is down on both 2013 and 2014 marginally. 2014 averaged 5.40m, whilst 2013 averaged 5.36m. It is the third race in a row which has seen viewership drop year-on-year. The Austrian Grand Prix is guaranteed to reverse that trend, with highlights being screened on BBC One this year as opposed to BBC Two last year.
Formula E drops further
The inaugural Formula E season continued to stumble towards the finishing line, hitting a near low for the Moscow ePrix. Live coverage of the race, airing on ITV4 from 13:00 to 15:30 on Saturday, averaged just 77k (1.0%). If it wasn’t for the Putrajaya ePrix, which averaged 66k (5.1%) in the early hours of the morning last November, that number would have been a series low.
The race, won by Nelson Piquet Jr, peaked with 128k (1.7%), compared with 137k (7.2%) for Putrajaya, so from a peak perspective, Moscow was a series low. The series low’s should stop now, with the London ePrix up next, but it is impossible to tell how much the numbers will increase with the series being on home turf.
The 2014 Canadian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.