Italian Grand Prix peaks with 4 million viewers

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.


5 thoughts on “Italian Grand Prix peaks with 4 million viewers

  1. I don’t know whether I’m posting this whinge in the right place, but has David Nelson anything to do with the Nielsen online survey I received, pretending to be concerned with F1 matters, but proved to be heavily loaded towards a tourist survey on Baku and Azerbaijan. It left a nasty taste in the mouth, and I felt conned.

  2. Unless sky make SS Mix available on freeview similar to how BT Sport use their Showcase channel, then when F1 goes exclusively to Sky, the ratings will drop like a stone. I’m guessing Sky will do half the races on mix with the 1 hour highlights of the rest but if that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see ratings of less than a million for every race.

  3. Has Sky Sports F1 fallen out with Toto Wolff? We used to get 2 or three interviews per weekend with Toto, but I can’t remember 1 over the last 2 race weekends!

  4. Was surprised, (obviously don’t read e-mails from Virgin!), to find the Sky coverage of the Belgian on Sky Mix with our Virgin cable package.. I still watched on Ch4, however, as have become used to team. What is possibly interesting is that with a Virgin Tivo box, with F1 on Ch 4 set up to record, it also recorded the Sky Mix programmes. (Clever, or what?). Of course, I then had to delete endless “highlight” slots etc. Interesting that they only showed the start up of the Italian on Sky Mix- what an obvious “come on”! (I will NEVER buy Sky!).

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