Football competition hurts Chinese Grand Prix ratings

Competition from Sky Sports 1’s Ford Super Sunday and ITV’s coverage of The FA Cup yesterday dented Formula 1’s ratings yesterday, overnight figures show. BBC One’s re-run show averaged only 1.35 million viewers, the lowest ever figure for a Chinese Grand Prix re-run. On Sky, their second Ford Super Sunday game from 14:00 averaged 1.21 million viewers, whilst ITV’s FA Cup coverage had over 4 million viewers.

The dent in the re-run rating did not increase the live ratings, as both BBC and Sky were down year-on-year. BBC One’s live coverage brought 2.58 million (35.6 percent) to the channel, compared with 2.85 million (39.4 percent) last year. Sky averaged 455,000 viewers from 06:30 to 11:00, compared with 480,000 from 06:30 to 11:30 last year. Overall, here is a summary of the overnight race ratings:

2008 – 4.42 million (2.44m + 1.98m)
2009 – 4.63 million (3.23m + 1.40m)
2010 – 4.70 million (3.17m + 1.53m)
2011 – 4.74 million (3.27m + 1.47m)
2012 – 4.93 million (2.85m + 1.60m + 480k)
2013 – 4.38 million (2.58m + 1.35m + 455k)

The live race on BBC One peaked with 3.88 million, compared with 4.21 million last year; Sky’s peak being 846,000 viewers versus 887,000 viewers last year. Whilst the football was a valid reason for the BBC’s re-run ratings, it does not explain the drop for the race ratings, especially when you consider that a Brit was on pole.

Whilst the race was down year-on-year, Qualifying and Practice performed very well, soaring to record highs for China despite the farce that Qualifying turned into. BBC’s live coverage averaged 1.13 million, up on 1.09 million last year. The re-run averaged 1.90 million (20.6 percent) versus 1.17 million (11.9 percent) last year, albeit last year’s Qualifying re-run was on BBC Two. Sky’s coverage was marginally up – 283,000 viewers versus 251,000 viewers last year. Here is a round-up of Qualifying in China:

2008 – 1.96 million (0.63m + 1.33m)
2009 – 2.90 million (1.00m + 1.90m)
2010 – 2.30 million (1.13m + 1.17m)
2011 – 2.93 million (1.38m + 1.55m)
2012 – 2.53 million (1.09m + 1.17m + 251k)
2013 – 3.31 million (1.13m + 1.90m + 287k)

Finally practice on BBC Two performed very solidly for the channel. Live coverage of practice 2 averaged 201,000 viewers, whilst the re-runs averaged 311,000 viewers and 470,000 viewers.

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11 thoughts on “Football competition hurts Chinese Grand Prix ratings

    • Mr E is the one who is laughing as he is the only one who has came out of this deal good. Even Sky might start loosing on this investment if not already as their estimates were supposed to be a lot greater than they are getting despite all their media spin and downright lies about more viewers watching F1.

      • Sky are losing money, the new subscribers weren’t numerous enough in year one, they’ve lost subscribers in year 2, they ran over budget by September culminating in cutbacks, and have resorted to new viewers needing a SS subscription so as to try and claw back the losses.

        Viewing for the channel is currently an average of 16.% down on last year

      • Interesting Kaz, do you work in that area or how do you know this. I don’t doubt what you are saying as I saw their projected viewing figures on an advertising brief and they were significantly more than what they got last year never mind now with a further drop.

        Maybe Sky should have taken note why ITV dropped their coverage early and why BBC wanted to renegotiate their deal.

  1. Had the football really much to do with it as live was well down too. BBC practice looks to have pulled in more viewers than the whole race and qualifying on Sky!

  2. Hi everyone, here in Italy, Sky averaged 807,872 viewers for the live coverage at 9am, just a few below BSkyB’s ratings!!
    On Rai1 (free live coverage at 9am) the race averaged 4.13 million viewers, while the rerun at 7.35pm 1.385 million viewers….

  3. Not great race numbers. Some of it could be put down to the early start time though. One wonders how many viewers they’re losing through illegal streams. You don’t have to look far on the internet to find them. Though that probably wouldn’t apply to this race as it was on the bbc too. I think their NOW TV plan is a good idea charging per day. So many people used NOW TV for the Manchester derby it crashed with their servers overloaded so there is potential there.

  4. as I non sky subscribe I have took to email sponsors of the f1 teams saying I am not buying there products. I actually got a few responses.

    We do have dish on our house and I do hope mr e mad idea of free sky box for f1 happens but even then is still a pain as you just locked to one room in the house and I often gets sent out living room to watch f1.

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