5.2 million watch Canadian Grand Prix

An average of 5.2 million viewers watched the Canadian Grand Prix across BBC One and Sky Sports F1 yesterday, overnight viewing figures show. The figures are up on last year’s ratings, which hit a six year low thanks to coverage being exclusively live on Sky Sports.

Yesterday’s coverage on BBC One from 18:15 to 21:10 averaged 4.61 million viewers, a 23.6 percent viewing share. A further 624,000 viewers watched on Sky Sports F1 from 17:30 to 22:00, bringing a combined average of approximately 5.2 million viewers. Amusingly, the combined average is higher than last year’s combined peak figure – which shows the significant effect that live free to air prime time viewing can have on the overall figures. As of writing, I have not seen a peak figure yet, but looking at the numbers above, I imagine it is between 6.5 million and 7 million viewers.

It is worth noting that the average is down on the 6.1 million number and the 8.5 million peak seen in 2011. This should not be considered a surprise really when you compare yesterday’s race to 2011’s race – the latter is much more likely to bring in casual viewers thanks to how that race developed.

Canadian Grand Prix – Official Ratings
2002 – 5.74 million
2003 – 4.00 million
2004 – 3.58 million
2005 – 4.97 million
2006 – 2.74 million
2007 – 4.69 million
2008 – 3.99 million
2009 – no race
2010 – 5.31 million
2011 – 6.21 million
2012 – 3.46 million / 3.79 million (using ‘35 percent theory‘)
2013 – 5.23 million / 5.45 million

One thing that you will spot is how the ratings fluctuate for Canada massively year-on-year. The odd years tend to do better than the even years, the reason being that the even years tend to find themselves either against the European Championship or the World Cup football, which inevitably dents the F1. I think overall yesterday’s rating is good, not fantastic, but a solid performance nevertheless.

Qualifying on BBC One averaged 2.41 million viewers from 17:00 to 19:10. Once Sky’s rating is factored in, it will be down on 2011 but up on 2010’s number of 2.35 million (albeit that was on BBC Two) and level with 2012’s number of 2.68 million. The more impressive number of the weekend for me was for practice three, which averaged a very respectable 700,000 viewers on BBC Two.

As of writing, I have not yet done the year-on-year comparisons ready for the mid-season blog posts in August, but I think (barring any significant decreases or increases) that the numbers will be in-line with 2012, but again down on the ratings highs we were used to seeing in 2011.

The 2012 Canadian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here. Note: The ratings information comes from Digital Spy, Media Guardian and BARB.

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