An average audience of 1.2 million viewers watched Channel 4’s highlights of a dramatic Canadian Grand Prix, official consolidated figures from BARB show.
Consolidated audience figures include viewers who watched via the TV set within seven days of broadcast, and exclude commercial breaks. Figures in this article should not be compared to previous overnight ratings posted on this site.
Highlights of the race aired on Channel 4 from 23:00 to 01:00 on Sunday 9th June, with an average of 1.20 million viewers watching. It is the lowest audience that have watched coverage of the Canadian round on Channel 4.
In 2016, 1.77 million viewers watched their highlights show from 22:42. That number dropped to 1.39 million viewers one year later, dipping again to 1.26 million viewers last year.
The structure of Channel 4’s highlights stayed the same from 2016 to 2018. Including commercials, Channel 4’s coverage consisted of around 25 minutes of build-up, 70 minutes for the race, and then 25 minutes of post-race analysis.
However, the structure of this year’s Canadian programme was significantly different, as Channel 4’s show aired later due to restrictions in their contract with Sky. This year, including commercials, Channel 4 had around 10 minutes of build-up, 60 minutes for the race, and then 50 minutes of post-race analysis.
A shorter race edit, combined with the edit finishing earlier, created a lop-sided programme. The change will have resulted in the final 45 minutes rating significantly lower year-on-year, deflating the average significantly.
Whilst it is never good to be down year-on-year, a decrease of 190,000 viewers and 60,000 viewers compared with the past two years is not that bad if you choose to dissect the figures in detail instead of looking purely at the headline.
Of course, a figure of 1.2 million viewers is still very low in the grand scheme of things, and a far cry compared to what Formula 1 has achieved in the past for Canada when the race aired live on free-to-air television.
Channel 4’s highlights were the 13th most watched show on the network for the week commencing 3rd June.
In stark contrast, seven years ago, Jenson Button’s dramatic victory placed sixth for the week on BBC One with 6.27 million viewers; with the last 90-minutes averaging 6.04 million viewers on BBC Two.
Audience figures for Sky Sports F1 are unavailable, however the race simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event averaged 320,000 viewers from 19:04 on Sunday evening. This figure increases to 423,000 viewers when viewers watching via PC, tablet and smartphone are included.
Superbikes and International GT Open
Elsewhere, Eurosport 2’s live coverage of World Superbikes from Jerez peaked on Sunday afternoon with 67,300 viewers. The segment covers the third Superbikes race of the weekend from 12:58 to 13:38.
Over on BT Sport 3, the first International GT Open race from Spa averaged 16,800 viewers from 15:35 on Saturday afternoon.