Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 2nd September, 2012)

From BARB:

1 – 366k – Live Belgian Grand Prix (Sunday, 11:00)
2 – 277k – Live Belgian Grand Prix: Qualifying (Saturday, 12:00)
3 – 105k – Live Belgian Grand Prix: Practice 3 (Saturday, 09:45)
4 – 58k – Live Belgian Grand Prix: Practice 1 (Friday, 08:45)
5 – 55k – Live Belgian Grand Prix: Practice 2 (Friday, 12:45)
6 – 46k – Porsche Supercup: Europe (Saturday, 11:15)
7 – 35k – Belgian Grand Prix Highlights (Sunday, 19:00)
8 – 30k – Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying Replay (Saturday, 17:34)
9 – 29k – Live Belgian GP2 Feature Race (Saturday, 14:35)
10 – 28k – F1 Legends (Saturday, 11:30)

The first thing here is that the Sky Sports F1 channel reached only 1.98 million people for the Belgian Grand Prix week, which is the lowest reach ever for the channel during a race week. But that, for me, does not mean we can just ignore the above figures.

The highlights programme, that essentially forced the IndyCar Series onto the Red Button, whichever way you look at it, is poor. A programme that had 35,000 viewers forced the IndyCars onto the Red Button? That is just depressing. Sky don’t have enough faith in it to think it can get more than 35,000 viewers? Given that the title could have been decided in Sonoma, and with a bit of promotion during the F1 programme (maybe adverts during the breaks), it would have easily surpassed 35,000 viewers, in my opinion.

The GP2 figure is embarrassing, I can’t say it more bluntly than that. As the other GP2 and GP3 live programmes are outside the top ten, it means they had under 28,000 viewers. Which, is again embarrassing. Even their live The F1 Show on Friday evening in Spa had under 28,000 viewers. I know people criticise Sky’s Formula 1 coverage, but The F1 Show deserves a lot more than 28,000 viewers! Those two figures are just sad. I’m going to put up a blog about GP2 at some point in the next week before Singapore, because given that it is the title decider, I hope Sky dedicate more air-time to GP2. Will they? I doubt it. Although I don’t have figures to hand, Eurosport probably had around the same for GP2, while in 2008 I believe GP2 had just under 100,000 viewers on ITV4.

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5 thoughts on “Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 2nd September, 2012)

  1. Sir,

    It may be worth conducting research on your articles. Contractually, Sky are unable to show IndyCar on a non-Sky Sports channel unless via prior agreement with the rights agency. It is not a question of broadcasting whichever show will obtain the higher viewing figures.

    • Well for one, Sky Sports F1 is not a “non-Sky Sports channel”. Secondly, the IndyCar Series has been shown on Sky Sports F1 multiple times in the past. St. Petersburg (March 25th – the latter half of the race) and São Paulo (April 29th) were both shown on Sky Sports F1 when there were sporting events on the other four Sky Sports channels: https://f1broadcasting.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/skys-indycar-scheduling-this-weekend/

      What was different this time? Not much as I could see, except it was decided for IndyCar Series to be shown behind the Red Button.

      • We are talking contractually, not semantically. Sky Sports F1 is not one of the Sky Sports suite of channels as outlined in the contract.

        As you say, it’s been shown twice – whilst technically that IS “multiple” times in terms of what can and can’t be done those two times weren’t just a question of “let’s stick it on 408” but agreement had to be sought to show it on a channel outside the contract, which was negotiated before Sky Sports F1 was even conceived. It was this sort of thing which prevented “Sky Speed” being anything more than just a concept.

        You have a good blog here, but it comes across as far too “fan” at times, there’s more to broadcasting than just what we’d ‘like’ to do, or how much ‘faith’ there is in a broadcast.

      • Okay, that’s fair enough. You seem to have some inside knowledge, so I shall take your word for it. Keith Huewen alluded to on his Twitter that next year’s IndyCar Series contract has not yet been finalised so I do hope the Sky Sports F1 point is changed. If I am to be honest with you, I don’t mind it being on Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and 4, but to me it just seems common sense to put it on Sky Sports F1 live if there is no room on any other Sky Sports channels.

        I do think your last sentence is a little unfair, I have noted numerous times how everything I write is my opinion and my own thoughts, of course it comes across a bit like a “fan”, because I am a “fan” and as a “fan” I want the best content on Sky Sports F1 (and BBC F1 for that matter). Considering the amount people pay for the Sky channels, I don’t think that is completely unrealistic to expect. Nor do I believe I have suggested anything in this particular blog or any other blog which is completely out of the realms of possibility in the future.

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