Over 200,000 viewers watch F1’s Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix across Sky Sports

A massive audience of over 200,000 viewers watched a special F1 Esports event on Sky Sports, consolidated viewing figures from BARB show.

With no action taking place on the circuit within the near future, organisations in the Esports arena have taken advantage by holding their own replacement races.

F1 opted to run a Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix using their F1 2019 video game, featuring McLaren’s Lando Norris, Williams driver Nicholas Latifi and a range of celebrities, including singer Liam Payne and Olympian Sir Chris Hoy.

The action aired live across three Sky Sports channels to an audience of 208,200 viewers from 20:00 to 21:30 on Sunday 22nd March via the TV set.

82,900 viewers watched on Sky Sports Main Event, with 82,600 viewers watching on the F1 channel, and a further 42,700 viewers watching on Sky Sports Mix.* The event was the most watched programme on those three channels for the week commencing 16th March.

To put that figure into comparison, last year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 averaged 172,000 viewers exclusively on Sky Sports F1, which in itself was a record high, whilst the Esports figure comfortably beats any Formula Two or Formula Three race that Sky has aired.

It is possible that the audience figures are some of the highest ever for an Esports event on UK television, but Motorsport Broadcasting is unable to confirm that as of writing.

This is in addition to the online average audience reported by Echarts of 279,000 viewers worldwide across Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.

The Virtual Vietnam Grand Prix is set to air live across Sky’s outlets and social media again this Sunday from 20:00.

* Technical Note: Logs on the BARB website shows the description for the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix as ‘Sky Sports News’ and ‘NBA’ respectively. However, Motorsport Broadcasting can confirm that the underlying figures are for the F1 Esports event.


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2 thoughts on “Over 200,000 viewers watch F1’s Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix across Sky Sports

  1. It is a shame that uk broadcasters are only showing the officisl e sports shows. When I have been thoroughly entertained by veloche e sports and the #notthe(insert gp name)gp
    Lando Norris is in this as well as well as stoffel vandorne and latifi was also in the #notthebahgp as well as Ian poulter was in the same gp. There was a great battle in the #nottheausgp with lando and Benjamin Daly (tiametmarduk) and not only is it showing some great battles with the drivers. But also highlighting the regular e sports drivers (who are winning yes) but also the major f1 Youtuberstars who are apart of veloche in the aforementioned Ben Daly and arravra.
    On a side note. I did watch the e sports one that sky did show and lando and Jimmy broadbents battle at the end was fantastic.
    Although for the main f1 e sports channel. The times were slower than the veloche channel. Which although the main e sports channel was the official one by f1. It is by no means the premier one.
    Also on another note. I am also hoping that the e sports analyst matt Gallagher competes in some form at the Chinese grand prix as he is a absolute beast round that circuit and have no doubt that he would of won the bahrain round. Have a look at some of Matt’s old videos. He is extremely good. (Xmattyg)

    I am also sad that nothing was mentioned about the veloche channels race that happened on sunday night. It was on rfactor and alot of names were in that race and it was in the aussie v8 supercars around Silverstone. Again. Highly fun race to watch.

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