The Singapore Grand Prix held up well yesterday afternoon on BBC One and Sky Sports F1, although live football on Sky Sports 1 inevitably dented the Formula 1, meaning that ratings also were at their lowest since 2008.
The race programme on BBC One averaged 3.37 million viewers (24.6% share) between 12:10 and 15:20, whilst Sky Sports F1 averaged a further 443,000 from 11:30 to 16:30. That brings the average to 3.81 million viewers, which compares as follows to previous years:
Singapore Grand Prix – Past Ratings
2008 – 3.73 million
2009 – 4.30 million
2010 – 4.43 million
2011 – 4.34 million
2012 – 3.81 million
Even if you were to strip out Sky Sports F1’s average so you were only working from their average from 12:10 to 15:20, you would not see a major increase, in fact it would still remain lower than previous years.
The BBC One programme peaked with 4.09 million viewers (31.6% share), interestingly as soon as the race started at 13:05. Including Sky Sports F1, that would rise to about 4.9 million viewers, possibly tipping 5 million. The fact that the viewership peaked at the start suggests that the football did play a factor. On a normal day I would have expected it to peak just before Lewis Hamilton went out. The football viewing figures support the theory that Liverpool vs Manchester United did dent the Formula 1, it averaged 1.99 million on Sky Sports 1 between 13:00 and 15:30, peaking with just under 3 million viewers, by far the biggest Super Sunday rating so far this season.
Looking at the official ratings on the BARB website, the 13:30 kick-off games on Sky Sports 1 from 2009 through to 2011 on the day of the Singapore Grand Prix averaged 220k (2009 – a Championship game), 753k (2010) and 441k (2011 – a Championship game). So the fact that Sky Sports 1 averaged 1.2 million viewers more yesterday than previous years against the Singapore Grand Prix, yet the Grand Prix only lost half a million viewers I think is a credit to how well the Formula 1 holds up against tough competition.
Having said that, I do have to question why Sky decided to schedule a top tier Premier League match against the F1 race? I know they don’t dictate the scheduling of Premier League games within the season, but they could have put Liverpool vs Manchester United on at 12:45 on Saturday or tonight at 20:00. To swing that around however, would Sky Sports F1 have got a million more viewers yesterday if the football was not on? No. Would BBC F1 have got a million more viewers yesterday if the football was not on? Now that, is an interesting question… (Update, see Stevvy’s comment below regarding the scheduling of the football)
Qualifying on Saturday averaged two million viewers between 13:00 and 15:30. Once you include Sky Sports F1, it will be a slight drop versus 2.4 million from last year, but nothing significant.
Some of the 2012 ratings are sourced from the Media Guardian website.