Sky Sports coverage of Brazilian Grand Prix peaks with 1.15 million viewers

Live coverage of this past Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix peaked with 1.15 million viewers, overnight figures show. The race, screened live on Sky Sports F1 and BBC One, peaked with 1.15 million, a 5.9 percent share, at 16:55. The programme average for Sky from 14:30 to 19:30 was 544,000 viewers, a 2.94 percent share.

The combined peak came in at 7.53 million viewers, a 34.0 percent share, at 17:45. The 15-minute breakdown for Sky Sports F1 was as follows:

14:30 – 125k (1.04%)
14:45 – 189k (1.49%)
15:00 – 280k (2.03%)
15:15 – 366k (2.57%)
15:30 – 444k (2.98%)
15:45 – 576k (3.64%)
16:00 – 1.02m (5.88%)
16:15 – 997k (5.61%)
16:30 – 930k (5.04%)
16:45 – 1.10m (5.79%)
17:00 – 1.01m (5.04%)
17:15 – 1.01m (4.77%)
17:30 – 946k (4.40%)
17:45 – 784k (3.59%)
18:00 – 439k (2.00%)
18:15 – 251k (1.12%)
18:30 – 134k (0.58%)
18:45 – 109k (0.47%)
19:00 – 91k (0.38%)
19:15 – 96k (0.39%)

As noted several times, unlike the BBC audience which increases throughout as seen here, the Sky audience is largely stable throughout.

The combined breakdown is therefore as follows:

15:00 – 2.77m (20.0%)
15:15 – 3.47m (24.4%)
15:30 – 4.13m (27.8%)
15:45 – 4.81m (30.5%)
16:00 – 6.52m (37.7%)
16:15 – 6.74m (37.9%)
16:30 – 6.74m (36.6%)
16:45 – 7.19m (37.7%)
17:00 – 7.11m (35.5%)
17:15 – 7.44m (35.3%)
17:30 – 7.52m (35.0%)
17:45 – 7.00m (32.0%)
18:00 – 5.70m (25.9%)

The ‘Senna’ film, which preceded the Sky programme averaged 43k (0.40%) from 12:30.

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Sky Sports F1 unveil Christmas schedule

The Sky Sports F1 schedule for Christmas has been unveiled. The schedule for the three main days is as follows:

Sky Sports F1
Christmas Eve
18:00 – F1 2012: A Season to Remember (simulcast on Sky Sports 1)
20:00 – Singapore Grand Prix Replay

Christmas Day
10:00 – The F1 Show: Season Review
11:00 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (1/6)
11:30 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (2/6)
12:00 – F1 2012: A Season to Remember
14:00 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (3/6)
14:30 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (4/6)
15:00 – F1 2012: A Season to Remember
17:00 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (5/6)
17:30 – Britain’s Next F1 Star (6/6)
18:00 – F1 2012: Season in Stills
19:00 – F1 2012: A Season to Remember
21:00 – Inside Track: A Weekend with Marussia
21:30 – Britain’s Next F1 Star
22:00 – F1 2012: A Season to Remember

Boxing Day
10:00 to 19:00 – repeats
19:00 – Red Bull Season Review
19:30 – Ferrari Season Review
20:00 – Japanese Grand Prix Replay

The only new original content over Christmas is F1 2012: A Season to Remember which premières on Christmas Eve at 18:00. As of writing, no time or date has been announced for BBC’s season review, but I shall update the blog (or publish a new blog) when I see the details.

The F1 Show: Season Review is what was first shown on Friday 30th November, whilst Britain’s Next F1 Star began in late September.

The race replays are the full length Sky Sports programme including build-up and post-race reaction, and will be aired on the channel from Saturday 15th December through to Sunday 30th December.

Update – I wrote the above on Tuesday, with the blog scheduled for publication today. I notice Sky F1 Insider on Twitter says that there will be “review shows on every team”. I assume that will be twelve shows with clips of every teams’ season, either 15, 30 or 60 minutes long. I’ll update this blog (or publish a new blog) when I see confirmed details.

Update on 8th December – Schedules amended slightly.

Sky confirm races to remain advert-free in 2013

Sky have confirmed that all races next year on their Sky Sports F1 channel will remain advert-free. This post on their Help Forum by a Sky employee notes that “as per this season the actual races will be advert free”.

So it appears that things will remain the same with regards Sky’s advert policy concerning Formula 1. The saying ‘plans are always subject to change’ come into mind, especially considering it is a forum post, but given that it is from a Sky employee, you can take the post as somewhat official. In any case, it seems that Sky are planning to continue with the no advert approach during the races in 2013, which is a sensible move in my opinion.

Interestingly, though, one question raised by the original user, that being whether Sky Sports F1 will be part of the HD subscription for 2013, was not answered. No answer would suggest to me that the HD part is ‘under review’. In 2012, the channel was available for those with either the Sports package or the HD package, time will tell whether it will instead be exclusively for the Sports package from 2013.

How the title decider fared around Europe

Whilst the Brazilian Grand Prix decider fared better than expected in the United Kingdom, the title decider also delivered large ratings around Europe.

Starting in Sebastian Vettel’s and Fernando Alonso’s home countries, in Germany, the race aired on RTL and Sky Deutschland. RTL recorded a race average of 10.62 million viewers (40.9% share), whilst a further 610,000 viewers watched on Sky Deutschland. Interestingly, this is a split of 95% vs 5% for Sky, which is a larger gap than in the UK where it tends to be about 82% vs 18%. It may be that the title decider brought more casual viewers to RTL, meaning that the split was larger than usual. Over in Spain, the race on Antenna 3 averaged 7.15 million viewers, with a very similar share to that in Germany – a 41.7% share. Year-on-year, the increase is massive, the race last year having averaged 2.76 million viewers which shows how much it means to broadcasters for a title to be decided at the final race and in primetime.

Outside of the those two countries, the race also performed admirably in Italy. The F1 was comfortably the winner of the day there, the race peaking with 9.65 million viewers, a 45% share. In contrasting style, Netherlands’ viewership was 674,000 viewers on RTL7, a 15.1% share, although one has to take into account the lack of Formula 1 presence with no drivers or race held in Netherlands. So, from those four countries, and the UK, you are looking at a combined viewership already of 34 million viewers. I don’t know how that compares with last year or historically, but it shows how many viewers Formula 1 reaches from a small set of countries.

Across Europe, however, a few new deals come into effect from next year. In Italy, Sky Italia will screen eleven races exclusively live next season while in Netherlands the majority of races will be aired on pay-TV station Sport1. Whilst it will have a detrimental effect for some races, the nature of the deals means that the last race of the season will always be on terrestrial television meaning that the potential for big ratings is still there. Obviously, though, there is not always the guarantee that the title decider will go on to the final round…

Brazilian Grand Prix peaks with over 7 million viewers

The concluding race of the 2012 Formula One season peaked with over 7 million viewers yesterday, overnight viewing figures show. The Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw Sebastian Vettel crowned triple world champion averaged 5.17 million viewers, a 28.3% share of the audience, from 15:00 to 18:15 on BBC One. The race peak came at 17:45 as 6.64 million viewers, a 30% share, saw Jenson Button win the race following Paul di Resta’s crash. The 15-minute breakdown for BBC One went as follows:

– 15:00 – 2.49m (18.0%)
– 15:15 – 3.11m (21.8%)
– 15:30 – 3.69m (24.9%)
– 15:45 – 4.24m (26.8%)
– 16:00 – 5.51m (31.9%)
– 16:15 – 5.74m (32.3%)
– 16:30 – 5.81m (31.6%)
– 16:45 – 6.08m (31.9%)
– 17:00 – 6.10m (30.4%)
– 17:15 – 6.44m (30.5%)
– 17:30 – 6.57m (30.6%)
– 17:45 – 6.21m (28.5%)
– 18:00 – 5.26m (23.9%)

Looking at the more detailed five-minute breakdown, the race started with 5.39 million viewers (31.6% share) at 16:00, growing to 5.87 million viewers by 16:30. Ratings dipped slightly then to 5.70 million at 16:40 before climbing back to 6.19 million ten minutes later – partly thanks to the football going to half time, that dropped from 1.94 million to 1.25 million viewers. Figures largely stayed stable around 6.1 million before climbing to 6.5 million at 17:20, remaining at that level before the 6.64 million peak at 17:45.

When combined with Sky Sports F1, who’s figures and peak I have not seen yet, the peak will rise above 7 million viewers – it is a fair assumption to say Sky Sports F1 had a peak of more than 360,000 viewers. The peak will be down on 2008 and 2009, but in line with the conclusion of the 2010 season which had 7.2 million viewers at its peak for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It is above the average prediction from readers’ of 6.3 million viewers, however.

The F1 yesterday was probably dented by the football, shaving a potential 500,000 viewers from the audience, although I note that the denting was the other way around as well. The Chelsea vs Manchester City ‘Ford Super Sunday’ match averaged 1.30 million viewers, a 6.5% share, from 15:30 to 18:30 which is down on the comparative audience for Liverpool vs Manchester City last year and also was marginally lower than Swansea vs Liverpool just before it as well. The football peaked with 2.23 million at 17:45.

My own opinion is that the figures are good when you also consider that there were no British drivers fighting for the title, and above what I was anticipating. If Sky Sports F1 does add another 1 million to the peak, then the figures will definitely be worth smiling about for both broadcasters’. Overall though, across the season, and I hope to confirm this in the ‘2012 End of Season Verdict’ pieces in December, the ratings have been at their lowest since 2008, something that should not be overlooked.

I shall update this blog if I find the Sky figures – the ‘over 7 million’ peak may be revised to ‘just under 8 million’ if necessary.

Source: Attentional, ITV Media