Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 12th May, 2013)

From BARB:

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:

Sky Sports F1' s weekly viewership reach as of the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix race week. Source: BARB.
Sky Sports F1′ s weekly viewership reach as of the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix race week. Source: BARB.

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.

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5 thoughts on “Sky Sports F1 – Top 10 ratings (week ending 12th May, 2013)

  1. With Lewis on the front row you wouldn’t have expected a drop of over 32%.
    Sky have now lost over 20% (on average) of their 2012 viewers.

    Sky need to seriously look at their output and their presenters, as something is driving away a significant % of viewers, something is serious turn-off.

  2. Definitely not a good news for us and Sky F1.

    IMHO the show is at its 2012 level or even improved.

    Perhaps Karen is right, Sky need to rethink everything.

  3. To pick up on a few points.

    I think it’s fair to say that the Spanish GP was dull as dish water, if you combine this with poor wrap around coverage even stalwart fans find it harder and harder to keep coming back for disappointment.

    This has the knock on effect of generating terrible word of mouth for new subscribers, with even fanatical F1 fans suggesting to potential new viewers that Sky’s coverage isn’t worth the money.

    GP2 has received hardly any promotion or features from the Sky team. I think this reflects two things.

    One is the subconscious knowledge that their (Sky’s) F1 output is mediocre and may suffer in comparison to coverage that costs a fraction of their budget to produce, yet can be many times more entertaining to watch.

    Two, the lack of support underlines Sky’s ignorance of the F1 fan. They don’t understand that true motorsport enthusiasts would watch a Chekhov play if they worked in some V8’s.

    As for the Max Mosley program (Architects of F1) I think the poor figures can also be attributed to scheduling and Sky’s main output. Even the most addicted F1 fan finds it hard to watch more F1 after 2 1/2 hours of a few blokes stood in a car park talking repetitive rubbish.

  4. Viewers for the Spanish GP were actually down 71.4%, if you cheekily take into account Sky’s over optimistic claims about the number of viewers their race programme would attract.

    No wonder Santander jumped ship.

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