Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the rain-affected British Grand Prix peaked with 5.9 million viewers yesterday, overnight viewing figures show.
The first disclaimer before outlining the figures is that there are no comparisons to 2012 and 2014, because both of those years clashed with Wimbledon and rated significantly lower than yesterday. The only valid comparison of recent years under the current contract is with the 2013 race.
BBC One’s live coverage of the race, which aired from 12:15 to 15:30, averaged 3.63m (34.2%), peaking with 4.93m (42.4%) at 14:30 as Hamilton sealed victory. Both of those numbers are down on 2013’s race, which featured Pirelli’s punctures and Nico Rosberg’s victory. 2013’s programme on BBC One from 12:10 to 15:30 averaged 3.72m (35.3%), peaking with 5.12m (43.7%), also at 14:30. Neither of the drops are significant, around 3 to 4 percent, but noticeable nevertheless for BBC’s coverage.
On both average and peak, BBC was down between 100k and 200k versus 2013, with Sky benefiting as a result. Live coverage on Sky Sports F1 averaged 530k (5.0%) from 12:00 to 15:30, with a further 114k (1.0%) watching on Sky Sports 1. The combined average of 646k (6.1%) and combined peak of 920k (7.9%) are both up on Sky’s 2013 average of 567k (5.4%) and peak of 860k (7.3%) – although the raw Sky Sports F1 channel numbers are down if you choose not to include Sky Sports 1’s numbers in the calculations.
Overall, the combined audience across BBC and Sky’s output of 4.28 million is down very marginally on 2013’s audience of 4.29 million, the percentage difference between the two numbers is 0.29 percent, so we are talking thousands here. There is a bigger difference for the peak. 2013’s race peaked with 5.98 million, compared with 5.85 million yesterday, a bigger drop of 2.2 percent. Again, we’re not talking a huge drop, but it should be re-iterated that the figures are a far cry from what the British Grand Prix managed in 2010 and 2011, when the race peaked with nearly 7 million viewers.
The 2014 British Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.