Sainz’s pursuit of victory sees F1’s viewing figures double in Spain

Carlos Sainz’s pursuit of victory in last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix saw viewing figures double in Spain, audience data from overseas shows.

The race was red flagged after a major accident for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Following the restart, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly battled McLaren’s Sainz for victory, Sainz a couple of laps too short from potential victory.

Sainz’s pursuit of victory resulted in audience figures surging in his home land.

An audience of 244,000 viewers (2.1% audience share) watched the Grand Prix on pay TV station Movistar+ according to Formula TV, double the 121,000 viewers (1.2% audience share) that watched last month’s Spanish Grand Prix on the same channel.

Last weekend’s race was up by around a third on last year’s Monza figure, which averaged 173,000 viewers (1.4% audience share) in Spain.

Over in France, a peak audience of 1.24 million viewers watched Gasly’s victory on Canal+, a slight increase on last weekend’s peak audience of 1.16 million viewers.

The average audience declined from 932,000 viewers for the Belgian Grand Prix, to 841,000 viewers last weekend, a reflection of the red flag period which may have depleted the Canal+ average slightly.

The conclusion here is obvious, but worth stating: France’s viewing figures are higher than Spain, meaning that there is less room for growth, whereas F1 in Spain is underperforming massively now.

The presence of Sainz fighting it out up front – and the returning Fernando Alonso – is critical to move the needle in Spain.

Unfortunately, one of F1’s biggest territories in Europe shed over one million viewers, thanks to Ferrari’s continued woes. According to Motorsport.com, coverage of the race in Germany averaged 4.54 million viewers, a decrease on last year’s figure of 5.71 million viewers.

The 2020 figure is in-line on F1’s audiences for the year to date in Germany, whereas last year’s race over-indexed considerably.

Viewing figures for the race also dipped year-on-year in America on Labor Day weekend. 602,000 viewers watched the race on ESPN2, compared with 635,000 viewers last year.

Impressively, live coverage of the third practice session averaged 244,000 viewers at 06:00 on Saturday morning on ESPN, with 518,000 viewers tuning into qualifying, showing that increased interest in F1 in the US is filtering through to the other weekend sessions.

Formula Two viewing figures surge in UK
In the UK, viewing figures for the Formula Two championship continue to impress according to consolidated data from BARB and ThinkBox.

Whilst data for the Italian Grand Prix is unavailable, data from the Belgian Grand Prix weekend shows that 222,000 viewers watched the Formula Two feature race on Saturday 29th August, believed to be Formula Two’s highest ever figure in the UK.

185,000 viewers watched the race via Sky Sports F1, with an additional 37,000 viewers watching on Sky Sports Main Event.

To put that into historical comparison, back in 2012 during Sky’s first season covering F1, only 29,000 viewers watched the GP2 feature race during the Belgium weekend.

Viewing figures have increased rapidly in the past year and a half, Sky’s F1 exclusivity helping the cause.

Elsewhere, the Indy 500, which took place the week before, averaged 130,000 viewers, although the two figures are not directly comparable given that the IndyCar figure includes a 90-minute build-up which would have depleted the average.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix

Nine races. Three old favourites, three new challenges and three modern circuits is all that remains as the 2020 Formula One season heads into the Autumn.

Whilst both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships look set to be heading towards Mercedes, the COVID-19 pandemic means that everyone (from a championship perspective) has a new set of challenges ahead of them, starting this weekend at Mugello!

But, if last weekend told us anything, it is that anything can happen in Formula 1, and it usually does (just when you least expect it).

For Formula Three, the Mugello weekend marks the end of the year, with Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant fighting over the crown and almost certain promotion to Formula Two.

With the Porsche Supercup season now over, both Formula Two and Three move 45 minutes later on Sunday morning.

MotoGP returns after a few weeks off, with nine races taking place in the next eleven weeks. As revealed by Motorsport Broadcasting in our behind the scenes piece, BT Sport are remaining off-site as the season resumes.

Further afield the World Touring Car Cup finally starts its 2020 season over in Belgium, with Eurosport airing live coverage.

On the documentary front, a special 30-minute programme airs on Sky Sports F1 following the Tuscan Grand Prix and live IndyCar action from Mid-Ohio to mark Ferrari’s 1,000th F1 race.

Sky’s F1 documentary series Race to Perfection also drops this Saturday, which each of the seven episodes also airing on Sky’s F1 channel over the coming weeks.

Channel 4 F1
12/09 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Qualifying Highlights
13/09 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
11/09 – 09:30 to 11:50
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
11/09 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2
12/09 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
12/09 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying
13/09 – 12:30 to 17:30 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
11/09 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far
13/09 – 20:00 to 20:30 – Scuderia Ferrari 1,000th Race Celebration
16/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
10/09 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
11/09 – 09:55 to 11:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12/09 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
12/09 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
13/09 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race Updates (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – San Marino (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on MotoGP’s Video Pass (£)
11/09 – 08:00 to 10:45 – Practice 1
11/09 – 12:00 to 15:00 – Practice 2
12/09 – 08:00 to 15:45
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
=> 15:00 – MotoE
13/09 – 07:15 to 15:00
=> 07:15 – Warm Ups
=> 08:45 – MotoE
=> 09:30 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – San Marino (Quest)
14/09 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Highlights

Formula Two – Tuscan (Sky Sports F1)
11/09 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice
11/09 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying
12/09 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
13/09 – 10:45 to 11:50 – Race 2

Formula Three – Tuscan (Sky Sports F1)
11/09 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
11/09 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying
12/09 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
13/09 – 09:20 to 10:20 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Mid-Ohio (Sky Sports F1)
12/09 – 21:30 to 00:00 – Race 1
13/09 – 18:00 to 20:00 – Race 2

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland (BT Sport 3)
12/09 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

World Touring Car Cup – Belgium
13/09 – 09:15 to 10:15 – Race 1 (Eurosport)
13/09 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Race 2 (Eurosport)

As always, this article will be updated if plans change.

Updated on September 10th.

Update on September 12th – The Ferrari special is airing live, right now at 20:12, on the F1 channel.


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Scheduling: The 2020 Rally Estonia / Italian Grand Prix

After a six-month hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the World Rally Championship returns, with the Rally Estonia!

Squeezed into two full days’ worth of action, the weekend promises to be jam packed for rallying fans worldwide. Every stage airs live via WRC’s over-the-top platform, and BT Sport’s Red Button service, with free-to-air highlights airing following the rally on ITV4.

Excluding breaks, the WRC team will be on-air for almost ten hours on Saturday from 04:30 to 17:45 UK time, a mammoth shift.

Despite the COVID restrictions, WRC intend to cover the rally as normally as practically possible, with Molly Pettit and Ben Constanduros interviewing the drivers from a distance at stage end.

Becs Williams and Julian Porter remain in the commentary booth, as the series returns to action, with Paul King joining them. Jon Desborough voices the daily highlights programme.

Elsewhere, the Formula 1 paddock takes the eight-hour trip south to the temple of speed, for the Italian Grand Prix from Monza.

Joining the paddock out in Monza is Ted Kravitz, who re-joins the Sky Sports F1 team after missing the past three Grand Prix.

World Rally Championship – Estonia (All Live)
Also airs live on WRC+ (£)
04/09 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Stage 1 (BT Sport Extra 1)
05/09 – 04:30 to 17:45 – Stages 2 to 11 (BT Sport Extra 2)
=> 05:40 – Stage 2
=> 06:20 – Stage 3
=> 07:00 – Stage 4
=> 08:00 – Stage 5
=> 09:19 – Stage 6
=> 12:37 – Stage 7
=> 13:17 – Stage 8
=> 14:00 – Stage 9
=> 15:00 – Stage 10
=> 16:19 – Stage 11
06/09 – 04:00 to 12:45 – Stages 12 to 17 (BT Sport Extra 1)
=> 05:35 – Stage 12
=> 06:09 – Stage 13
=> 07:00 – Stage 14
=> 08:49 – Stage 15
=> 09:28 – Stage 16
=> 11:00 – Stage 17

World Rally Championship – Estonia
04/09 – 17:00 to 18:00 – Stage 1 (BT Sport 2)
04/09 – 20:30 to 21:00 – Day 1 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
05/09 – 07:00 to 08:00 – Stage 4 (BT Sport 1)
05/09 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Stage 9 (BT Sport 3)
05/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Day 2 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
06/09 – 07:00 to 08:00 – Stage 14 (BT Sport 2)
06/09 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Stage 17 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 2)
06/09 – 20:30 to 21:00 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
09/09 – 21:30 to 22:35 – Highlights (ITV4)

Channel 4 F1
05/09 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Qualifying Highlights
06/09 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
04/09 – 09:30 to 11:50 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 09:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
=> 10:00 – Practice 1
04/09 – 13:45 to 15:45 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
05/09 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Practice 3
05/09 – 13:00 to 15:35 – Qualifying
06/09 – 12:30 to 17:30 – Race
=> 12:30 – Grand Prix Sunday
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:00 – Chequered Flag
=> 17:00 – Notebook

Supplementary Programming
05/09 – 16:30 to 17:00 – The Story so Far (also Sky Sports Main Event)
06/09 – 17:30 to 18:30 – Jochen Rindt: Uncrowned Champion
09/09 – 21:00 to 21:30 – Midweek Debrief

BBC Radio F1
All sessions are available live on BBC’s F1 website
02/09 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
04/09 – 09:55 to 11:55 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
04/09 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
05/09 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
05/09 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
06/09 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British Superbikes – Silverstone
05/09 – 12:00 to 12:50 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
05/09 – 16:00 to 18:00 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
06/09 – 12:15 to 12:55 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
06/09 – 14:00 to 18:00 – Race 3 (Eurosport 2)
09/09 – 20:00 to 21:30 – Highlights (ITV4)

Formula Two – Italy (Sky Sports F1)
04/09 – 11:50 to 12:40 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
04/09 – 15:55 to 16:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
05/09 – 15:35 to 16:55 – Race 1
06/09 – 10:00 to 11:05 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Formula Three – Italy (Sky Sports F1)
04/09 – 08:30 to 09:20 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
04/09 – 13:00 to 13:45 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
05/09 – 09:20 to 10:10 – Race 1
06/09 – 08:35 to 09:35 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Porsche Supercup – Italy (Sky Sports F1)
06/09 – 11:40 to 12:25 – Race

Virgin Australia Supercars – Townsville (BT Sport 2)
Also airs live on SuperView (£)
05/09 – 06:30 to 08:00 – Race 1
06/09 – 03:15 to 04:30 – Race 2
06/09 – 05:30 to 07:00 – Race 3

World Superbikes – Aragon
Also airs live on World Superbikes’ Video Pass (£)
04/09 – 09:25 to 10:25 – Practice 1 (Eurosport 2)
04/09 – 13:55 to 14:55 – Practice 2 (Eurosport 2)
05/09 – 09:30 to 12:00 – Superpole (Eurosport 2)
05/09 – 12:50 to 16:00 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
06/09 – 09:45 to 12:15 – Superpole Race (Eurosport 2)
06/09 – 12:55 to 14:00 – Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
08/09 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As always, this article will be updated if plans change.

Update on September 5th – Sky are airing a special documentary following tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix to mark fifty years since the death of Jochen Rindt.


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