ITV will not be airing next month’s Mexico City ePrix live, it has been confirmed.
During the Buenos Aires ePrix highlights programme, presenter Jennie Gow confirmed that ITV4’s coverage of the Mexico City round on Saturday 12th March will be delayed due to live coverage of Snooker’s World Grand Prix tournament, which is airing on ITV4 from Tuesday 8th March through to Sunday 13th March. The Mexico City ePrix is currently due to air on ITV4 at 23:15 on the Saturday.
From a viewing figures perspective, it is a sensible decision. According to overnight viewing figures, yesterday’s Buenos Aires ePrix attracted an audience of 132k (0.7%), recording a 5-minute peak of 248k (1.2%) on ITV4. Whilst the peak audience was the highest of the season for Formula E, it was down 41.3 percent on last year’s figure of 423k (1.9%).
In comparison, the aforementioned World Grand Prix snooker tournament last year attracted average audiences of anywhere between 150k and 500k depending on the session and time of day. The semi-final session last year on the Saturday evening recorded a 5-minute peak of 422k (2.0%). The decision may well have been different had Formula E’s figures held up more this season, although I feel ITV’s extremely poor promotion of the series is to blame for that.
Either way, I hope ITV air their live coverage online, I would be surprised if they bump anything on ITV2 or ITV3 for the Mexico City ePrix (the chances of it bumping any of their main channel’s line-up is zero). If ITV do not air coverage online, you have to hope that the official Formula E YouTube stream is not geo-blocked otherwise UK fans will be hunting out other methods of viewing. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if live coverage turned up on BT Sport, but we will see.
Update on February 10th – Good news, the official Formula E website will be streaming the ePrix live. The website explains that Mexico was pencilled in for March 19th but was moved to March 12th. Ali Russell, Director of Media and Communications at Formula E said: “While it is very unfortunate that the scheduling clash means the Mexico race will not be shown live on television in the UK, this does give us the opportunity to stream the race live on the internet and opens up the opportunity for a whole new audience to experience the thrill of Formula E.”