The inaugural European Grand Prix from Baku peaked with 3.8 million viewers yesterday, overnight viewing figures show.
Channel 4’s live coverage of the race, broadcast from 13:00 to 16:25, averaged 2.03m (19.3%), peaking with 2.91m (24.4%) at 15:25. The programme won its three and a half hour slot, also comfortably beating its own slot average. Live coverage over on Sky Sports F1 averaged 465k (4.4%) from 13:00 to 16:30, with Sky Sports 1 adding 167k (1.6%) over a slightly shorter slot from 13:00 to 16:05. Sky’s combined peak came at 14:20, when 997k (9.3%) were watching the race with them.
The overall combined average of 2.64 million is the lowest for the European Grand Prix since 2006. It is, however, the third highest audience of the season only behind Bahrain and Monaco. The combined peak audience of 3.85m (32.2%) was recorded at 15:25 as Nico Rosberg won the first ever race at Baku. At the time of the peak, the audience was split 75%, 19% and 6% across the three channels that were covering the race.
Live coverage of the qualifying session, broadcast on Channel 4 from 13:00 to 15:20, averaged 1.08m (11.5%), peaking with 1.55m (14.6%) at 14:55. Channel 4’s programme lost out to ITV’s Euro 2016 coverage of Belgium vs Republic of Ireland, which averaged 2.31m (24.6%) whilst the F1 was on-air.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Channel 4’s F1 coverage also lost out marginally to BBC One’s coverage of Tennis from Queen’s, that programme averaged 1.11m (11.8%) across the same slot as the F1. As usual, the F1 smashed Channel 4’s own slot average. It was also ahead of the Royal Ascot coverage which followed on the main channel from 15:20 to 18:00. The horse racing coverage averaged 674k (6.2%).
Sky Sports F1’s live coverage of qualifying from 13:00 to 15:45 averaged 306k (3.2%), peaking with 613k (5.8%) at 14:50. The combined audience of 1.39 million viewers is the lowest for the European Grand Prix since 2008, with the combined peak of 2.15 million viewers following the same trend.