Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 7th October, 2012)

From BARB:

1 – 390k – Live Japanese Grand Prix (Sunday, 06:00)
2 – 213k – Live Japanese Grand Prix: Qualifying (Saturday, 06:00)
3 – 121k – Japanese Grand Prix Replay (Sunday, 11:30)
4 – 113k – Live Japanese Grand Prix (Saturday, 29:30)
5 – 105k – Live Japanese Grand Prix: Qualifying (Friday, 29:00)
6 – 69k – Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Replay (Saturday, 10:00)
7 – 64k – Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Replay (Saturday, 14:00)
8 – 61k – The F1 Show (Friday, 10:00)
9 – 55k – Live Japanese Grand Prix: Practice 2 (Friday, 06:00)
10 – 47k – Live Japanese Grand Prix: Practice 1 (Thursday, 25:45)

Due to the way “TV days” work, TV operates from 06:00 to 06:00. Which is why there are some odd numbers above 24:00 in the above. To make things simple:

– 24:00 is midnight
– 25:00 is 01:00
– 26:00 is 02:00
– 27:00 is 03:00
– 28:00 is 04:00
– 29:00 is 05:00

The next thing is that any programmes in the above that go across 06:00 are split into two. Which is frustrating when trying to analyse things. To make things simple:

– Sky’s live Qualifying show from 05:00 to 07:45 averaged 174k.
– Sky’s live Race show from 05:30 to 10:15 averaged 360k.

Alarmingly, the numbers will be the lowest for Japan in nearly ten years. Even if you cut some of the build-up and post-race reaction from Sky, I could not see the live race getting above the 640,000 needed to break 3 million (combined with their only replay or not).

Apart from that, the only other valid comparison for Sky could be made with Australia which was a Sky exclusive race also and averaged 582,000 from 04:30 to 09:00. You could argue that the Australia race was the season opener, but even so, it doesn’t automatically mean that particular number should be ignored from comparison, especially when you also consider that Australia was an hour earlier! The channel also reached 1.92 million people, which compares with 3.41 million people for the Australia weekend. I haven’t had time to look at the reaches across the season, but 1.92 million might be the lowest yet for an exclusive Sky race.

Whichever way you spin it, the numbers don’t make for great reading.


4 thoughts on “Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 7th October, 2012)

  1. As noted elsewhere, one wonders how dedicated (avid viewer in FOTA/FOM terms) the Sky audience really are, I’m sure a dedicated viewer would watch qualifying just as much as the race itself.

    But it’s currently 56.7% of the race audience.

    Often Sky F1 ‘evangelists’ eulogise over the extra feeds, but how many people are watching these feeds, if nearly half the ‘dedicated’ race audience can’t be bothered to watch qualifying, what % are not watching any other output.

    There was some focus group research that suggested the ‘avid’ F1 fan wouldn’t turn away from the world feed (during a live race), while the casual fan is more likely to ‘stream’ hop, especially mid-race or if their favourite driver retires.

    It has been argued that either ‘stream hopping’ gives casual viewers somewhere to go when their attention wanes, and they might come back to the main feed later, but equally it has also been suggested that ‘stream hopping’ is the first step to channel hopping, and the loss of the casual viewer. The later might be the reason for the slow decline in Sky viewers over the length of a race, whereas the BBC usually sees a rise over the course of the race.

    • The extra Sky feeds have to be either in the high hundreds or very low thousands. I can’t see them being any higher. In comparison, although obviously the main programme has a much higher audience, the BBC F1 Forum also hidden behind the Red Button gets many, many more viewers than that, more like hundreds of thousands.

      I’m surprised about the focus group research though. I know they are advertised a lot, but I can’t see many casual fans making the effort in looking behind the Red Button for extra features. I would have thought it was the other way around, although I don’t have any anecdotal evidence to support that.

  2. The focus groups found the avid viewer stayed with the world feed, while the casual viewer surfed around as they lost interest after the first dozen laps or so.

    BBC Red Button F1 service had around 8.5 million viewers in 2011.

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