1 – 383k – Live Spanish Grand Prix (Sunday, 11:30)
2 – 303k – Live Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying (Saturday, 12:00)
3 – 92k – Live Spanish Grand Prix Practice 3 (Saturday, 08:45)
4 – 77k – The F1 Show (Friday, 17:00)
5 – 71k – Live Spanish Grand Prix Practice 2 (Friday, 12:45)
6 – 48k – Legends (Saturday, 11:10)
7 – 42k – The F1 Show (Friday, 20:15)
8 – 41k – Legends (Saturday, 11:30)
9 – 36k – Inside Track: Brundle and Hamilton (Saturday, 11:17)
10 – 34k – Spanish GP3 Race 2 Replay (Sunday, 17:23)
A really bad set of ratings for the channel, highlighted by the fact that their main race day rating being their second worst ever for a European round, only ahead of last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. In their first season you could make the excuse that the channel is still getting up to speed, but across the board, ratings were down versus 2012 (it is worth noting also that the 2012 race day programme was longer than the 2013 race day programme due to the Williams pit fire).
The only bright spot for the channel is The F1 Show which appears to have settled at about 70,000 to 80,000 viewers. I think what is not helping Sky Sports F1 this year for the non-exclusive races is that BBC are now screening practice sessions live on BBC Two. BBC Two is more accessible than the Red Button, meaning that some viewers may be more enticed to watch on BBC instead of Sky. So whilst BBC Two gets about 600,000 viewers for practice, it depletes Sky’s figures slightly but more importantly means that those viewers get into the habit of watching BBC’s coverage for that particular weekend, denting Sky for the remainder of the weekend.
Elsewhere, the lack of GP2 and GP3 live action in the top ten is depressing, but unsurprising. The same applies for the fantastic Max Mosley programme which aired straight after the race programme ended. If you don’t promote with supplemental material and social media promotion, you don’t get viewers. Colour is needed. Interaction is needed. Bring it to life. Here is the weekly reach for the channel for all race weeks since the channel began:
As you can see the viewership reach was the second lowest ever, only behind the race week for the Korean Grand Prix in 2012. Heading into 2013, Sky would have been wanting to keep their existing audience, at the moment the ratings appear to only be going in reverse gear.