Over 200 blog readers in the past two months have given their thoughts on how they have consumed Formula 1 both so far this season, and also in 2014. The findings are not meant to be representative of the entire population, but merely a snapshot of what readers of this blog think. The survey was uploaded to the blog in early May, with readers adding their thoughts and comments until the beginning of June.
The main comment from the outset is that the number of respondents year-on-year dropped from 353 respondents last year to 201 respondents this year. There are multiple reasons for the drop in responses from a blog perspective. 2015 has been a quieter year on the motor sport broadcasting front and I have had more real life commitments in the first half of the year, meaning that in turn the blog has been getting less hits, hence the survey getting less responses compared with last year. Which is fine, as I mention above, the survey is meant to be treated as a ‘blog snapshot’ rather than anything more.
– 17 percent of readers have changed their viewing habits between 2014 and 2015
– 56 percent of readers are aged 35 and under
– Consumption of races has decreased
For the first time since I started this survey, I asked readers for their age and gender and it was interesting to see the responses. Unsurprisingly, the majority of people who completed the survey are aged between 16 and 34, this amounted for 52 percent of the responses. It is interesting, because one assumes that there is a similar demographic split on the majority of motor sport websites. I call it interesting as TV viewing typically skews old, such as BBC’s British Grand Prix coverage which probably had an average age in the late 40’s. But the difference in skew is not surprising given the rise of social media.
Overall, 17 percent of readers have changed their viewing year-on-year, compared with 20 percent in 2013 and an almost identical percentage versus the survey that I did on the blog this time last year. 17 percent is a typical number and no bigger or smaller than expected.
– Blog readers tune out of F1 coverage
– BBC TV and Sky Sports feel the brunt with drops
There is only one real trend here. Year-on-year, blog readers are watching less Formula 1 action, irrespective of whether the race is exclusively live on Sky, or whether live coverage is being shared with the BBC. The raw drops vary depending on what you compare. The lowest drop of 2 percent is when you compare BBC’s race highlights year-on-year, compared with a 7 percent drop for Sky’s exclusively live coverage. A few comments from blog readers in the PDF attached at the bottom of this post allude to the fact that, over the years from 2012, they are less inclined to watch the highlights programming as they do not feel as attached to the coverage as previously.
Interestingly, for those readers that have the choice, just over two out of three people watch Sky’s coverage all year around, preferring them to BBC’s coverage.
Change versus 2014
Looking at whether people are more or less likely to view BBC and Sky this year, it appears that there has been a slight swing of around two to three percent away from Sky and towards the BBC. In the context of the number of responses, we are talking about four or five people that would have swung it the other way. Examining the comments made, and the usual topics crop up, notably Sky’s pricing again, although there is clearly a divide between those who love Sky’s coverage and those who hate Sky’s coverage.
As I said at the beginning, the survey is by no means definitive, but is there to just give a snapshot of the picture from my blog readers. This post is just my reading of the results, however for full disclosure the survey results are below. Like last year, the comments as well as the survey results are worth a read. There were not as many comments as last year due to the smaller results size, but I’ve picked out around 30 comments which I thought were worth a read, and in my view clearly show the vast range of opinions that blog readers have concerning F1 broadcasting.