A peak audience of four million viewers watched a tepid Italian Grand Prix across Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1 yesterday, overnight viewing figures show.
Live coverage of the race, which aired on Channel 4 from 12:00 to 15:25, averaged 1.99m (20.4%). An audience of 3.09m (28.3%) were watching their coverage when it peaked at 14:15. Both measures were marginally up compared with the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.
Over on Sky Sports, their live coverage averaged 576k (5.7%) from 12:00 to 15:30, which is Sky’s lowest since the Spanish Grand Prix. This number includes the unusual Sky Sports Mix arrangement, whereby the Mix channel only showed the build-up, but not the race itself. Sky’s coverage peaked with 1.01m (9.6%) at 13:05, which is higher than in both 2013 and 2014 (which they shared with BBC).
The combined audience of 2.57 million viewers is the lowest since Canada in June and down 33.8 percent on last year’s audience of 3.88 million viewers. A low average audience and solid peak is a sign that viewers did not stick around for the post-race segment, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the predictable nature of the race itself. The build-up to the British MotoGP on BT Sport might have inflicted some damage.
The combined peak of 4.o2m (37.9%) came at the unusual time of 13:30. It is good to see the peak back above 4 million and down less with a 19.3 percent drop year-on-year. Nevertheless, it is the lowest average for Italy since 2006, and the lowest peak audience since 2007.
Live coverage of qualifying, broadcast on Channel 4 from 11:55 to 14:30, averaged 1.27m (14.1%). Their coverage peaked with 1.83m (19.1%) in the five-minute period from 13:55 as Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position. It was Channel 4’s highest numbers for qualifying since the British Grand Prix in July.
Sky’s live coverage, which aired across their dedicated F1 channel and Mix, averaged 433k (4.8%) from 12:00 to 14:35. It is Sky’s second highest number of the season, only behind the German Grand Prix qualifying programme. Sky’s coverage peaked with a strong 801k (8.3%) at 13:55, again one of their highest of the year so far.
Despite the high numbers relatively speaking for 2016, the combined audience of 1.70 million viewers is the lowest for the Italian Grand Prix qualifying session since 2008. The combined peak audience of 2.63m (27.4%) at 13:55 is the lowest for Italy since 2008. Despite this, the peak audience is only 13.3 percent down on 2015 and 10 percent down on 2014, which is not as bad as we have seen with previous races.
The 2015 Italian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.