Over one million viewers watch Verstappen’s debut win in the Netherlands

An audience of over one million viewers in the Netherlands watched their countryman Max Verstappen claim his first Formula 1 win, viewing figures show.

According to the ratings bureau Kijkonderzoek the Spanish Grand Prix, which aired live on Ziggo Sport, averaged a massive 1.01m (35.5%) from 13:55 to 15:48 local time. The post-race section rated even higher than the race itself as word of mouth spread, averaging 1.13m (34.3%) from 15:48 to 16:37. The race and post race segments were the 6th and 9th most watched programmes of the day respectively and comfortably Ziggo Sport’s most watched programmes as well.

It is worth noting that Ziggo Sport is a pay-TV station, which makes the figures even more impressive. Given that the Netherlands has historically not been a big market, I have not kept tabs on their figures throughout the years, but have found something worth mentioning. The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix averaged 674k (15.1%) on RTL7 whilst the Canadian Grand Prix in the same year averaged 537k (7.7%), albeit against football opposition. And both of those were on free-to-air television!

I’ll try and track the Netherlands figures in more depth as the year progresses. If the signs are anything to go by, the viewing figures are only going to increase if Verstappen continues his rise in Formula 1…


8 thoughts on “Over one million viewers watch Verstappen’s debut win in the Netherlands

  1. A fairytale weekend. Shame it was overshadowed by Rosberg’s petulance and Hamilton’s error.

    I have a theory about Hamilton (probably silly but) that has something to do with 44. A number he aspires to in honour of his idol Senna. Hamilton however won his last race in Austin (43) and none since. Will he ever get to 44? How much is it him!?

    1. How was Rosberg petulant? He apologised and refused to blame or attack LH? Yes he defended aggressively, but he seemed very mature about it in interviews afterwards, as was Hamilton to be fair.

      1. Although they toed the same line when it came to answering the media, Lewis made himself sound genuine, whilst Nico made it obvious he is mincing his words. Rachel Brookes took him up on it.

  2. Nico never minced his words: Brookes asked Rosberg whether he had been distracted by adjusting the engine mode and if that was why he didn’t see Lewis coming. He said that wasn’t true (in reference to him being distracted) and that he was well aware of where Lewis was and closed the door. Brookes later got confused and asked if he was disagreeing with the steward’s decision, if he wasn’t in the wrong mode and if he did see Hamilton coming. And Rosberg clarified that he was definitely in the wrong mode, something which he never denied earlier (as some have claimed). Brookes then tried to put words in Nico’s mouth (“Are you saying you blame Lewis?”) and if he hadn’t already then Nico realised at this point that she basically had it out for him, and he denied it. He’s not going to attack him on camera, he’s not stupid enough to do that, so he’s going with the verdict of the race stewards. The only reason it looks like Hamilton was “more genuine” is because Sky gave him a much easier time of it, (Let’s be honest, he always gets a free pass from them simply because he’s Lewis Hamilton) far easier than Lauda and perhaps even Mercedes themselves. Let’s be honest the moment Nico saw Rachel Brookes in the interview pen he knew there would be a witch hunt out for him; I’d probably get the shits too in his position. He could easily have said “Interview over” or “No comment” but he ploughed on with it even though Sky were blatantly biased against him. IMO he made the best of a tough situation.

  3. Thank you David to do a post on this! I follow your blog for quite some time now, so as a Dutchman who’s just as interested in the broadcast side of things as you I like to give you some more insight on this.

    The mentioned ratings of Brazil 2012 was the season finale broadcasted in the evening which always attracted the most viewers of the F1 season. But the average ratings that where broadcasted in the afternoon where much lower (+/- 200k per race), especially in the 2013 season. So at the end of 2013 the commercial broadcaster at that time (RTL7) decided not to renew it’s 3 year contract with the FOM.

    It was a real low for the Formula 1 fans in the Netherlands, because it was later said that there where no public and commercial broadcaster who wanted to pay for the F1 rights. The pay-view broadcaster Sport1 finally bought the rights for 2 years. F1 fans weren’t happy with it because they needed to pay €15 p/month to watch F1 (most of them watched went to watch the races on the BBC and/or the German RTL). Sport1 broadcasted almost all world feed images on there 3 extra channels, with only the main feed in HD. But Olav Mol, the commentator of all the F1 races since it was broadcasted live from 1992, didn’t do the commentary in this year because Sport1 couldn’t bring up the extra costs to have him on the circuit.

    The replacement commentator Ronald van Dam was so bad that in the next year (2015) Sport1 decided to answer the critics by bringing Olav Mol back with on-site commentary. I still think this was very well played by him. Sport1 never publicized there viewing figures or there number of subscribers, so I still do not know how well they did in that time, but they extended there contracted with the FOM till 2018 at the end of this year.

    At the end of november 2015 the owner of Sport1 (Liberty Global) decided to change the name of there channels to the in 2014 acquired cable network Ziggo (Ziggo Sport). As a “present” for their cable subscribers (and to cope with the fiberglass competition) they released a special digital free channel of Ziggo Sport. One of the sports that where broadcasted for free again was Formula 1, also helped by the rising popularity of Max Verstappen. Is is a very special construction because they only have pay-view rights and subscribers of other providers couldn’t get the free version (only when they paid €15 p/month for Ziggo Sport Totaal).

    For the free channel they started measuring the viewing rates and it was the first time we could see how many F1 viewers they where did under there 3,3 million digital TV cable subscribers. The second race in Bahrein attracted 515.000 viewers, so it was already at the rates in 2012. Apart from Max Verstappen transfer to Red Bull and his good qualifying there where no indications that so many people where going to watch F1 again like in the old days when Max father Jos Verstappen was very populair. So the 1,01M viewers of the 3,3M subscribers is very, very special for the Dutch F1 broadcasting of the decade. Commentator Olav Mol was literally crying live on air in the last lap before of Max, stating that he was so privileged to do the commentary of the F1 for 2 decades and now FINALLY to seeing a Dutchman win a race…

    Since sunday Max Verstappen is a hero in the Netherlands and all over the news, talkshows and papers. I expect a lot of new viewers and record braking F1 viewing figures for the Netherlands (it’s really great for the sport in the Netherlands in general). So at the broadcasting side of things really interesting what is happening here. If people like my input, I’ll do some more in depth posts on this in the future.

  4. Just to be clear: Ziggo is a pay channel, but for all Ziggo-customers it’s free. And Ziggo has a marketshare of like 60%.

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