A peak audience just shy of 400,000 viewers watched Gordon Shedden clinch his second British Touring Car Championship on Sunday afternoon, overnight viewing figures show.
Live coverage of the final round of the series from Brands Hatch aired on ITV4 from 10:15 to 18:30, averaging 166k (1.5%), a number slightly below ITV4’s average for that timeslot. The first race of the day peaked with 181k (2.2%) at 11:40. Numbers for race one remained above 100k until 12:03, at which point they dropped to as low as 96k (1.0%) as the Russian Grand Prix started. Race two peaked with 216k (2.4%) at 14:39, but it was race three where all the drama occurred. Featuring no less than three Safety Cars, the race averaged 349k (2.2%) from 17:27 to 17:58, peaking with 384k (2.3%) at 17:47 as Gordon Shedden climbed through the pack to take the championship away from Jason Plato.
The 5-minute peak of 380k (2.3%) at 17:45 is slightly up on the peak audience recorded last year of 357k (2.0%), although the average audience is marginally down year-on-year. The figures year-on-year are good for the championship, but the problem is that the further back you go, the figures are not actually as good. 2013’s season finale peaked with 697k (3.8%). Clashing with the Grand Prix is having a negative impact on the final day of the BTCC championship, and that is evident again this year. BTCC still brings in great numbers for ITV4, but it has lost a little bit of its edge in the past year and a half.
Over in Motegi, BT Sport’s MotoGP coverage performed fantastically well on Sunday morning. No doubt boosted by a lot of same-day recording activity, BT’s MotoGP segment from 05:30 to 07:00 averaged 175k (14.4%), peaking with 244k (20.8%) at 06:06. VODSAL activity or not, that is a brilliant number for the coverage, and would give quite a few races from both this season and last season a run for their money. In comparison, BT Sport 2’s coverage in the same time slot last season averaged 70k (6.2%). I imagine BT will be chuffed to double that number, and a bit more on top of that, especially when you consider Marc Marquez won the championship at Motegi this time last year.
It is fair to say that BT have been incredibly lucky to have Valentino Rossi back on top form and fighting near the front. If anyone is capable of boosting BT’s viewing figures, it is Rossi. BT Sport’s full programme from 02:45 to 07:15 averaged a respectable 98k (8.4%), compared with 42k (3.8%) from 2014. Although BT’s viewing figures are a far cry from the combined BBC numbers, they should take solace from the fact that their average of 175k (14.4%) is not too far behind BBC Two’s live Motegi number of 204k (18.4%), albeit that was broadcast from 04:30 to 06:00. BT Sport’s MotoGP repeat added a further 50k (0.5%) at 14:00 on Sunday afternoon.
Note: As of this post, The F1 Broadcasting Blog will be reporting one-minute peak audience figures as well as five-minute peak figures. All figures in this post are Live + VODSAL. Where a raw ‘live’ figure has been posted, this will be stated in the main body.