BBC live coverage helps Japan increase year-on-year

The Japanese Grand Prix increased year-on-year, overnight ratings show, but when comparing the Japanese and Korean Grand Prix ratings from 2012 and 2013, an interesting pattern emerges.

Live coverage of the race on BBC One, from 06:00 to 09:15 averaged 1.30 million viewers, recording a 15-minute peak of 1.96 million at 08:15. The re-run at 14:00 averaged 1.92 million viewers. I have not seen Sky Sports F1’s viewing figures, but if last year’s Korean Grand Prix is to go by, then the race programme averaged around about 210,000 viewers.

Japanese Grand Prix – Official Ratings
2004 – 2.86 million
2005 – 3.32 million
2006 – 2.87 million
2007 – 3.17 million
2008 – 3.14 million
2009 – 3.63 million
2010 – 3.70 million
2011 – 4.38 million
2012 – 2.76 million / 2.88 million (using ‘35 percent theory‘)
– overnight figures were ~2.70 million / 2.80 million
2013 – 3.42 million / 3.50 million (overnight rating)

Japan has always been one of the lowest rated races on the calendar, as seen above only one race in the past ten years has averaged over 4 million viewers. When you consider that the title race is almost over, I’d say yesterday did respectably. Not great, but not appalling either. An interesting comparison, and why I have called the title what I have, is comparing BBC non-live for Japan 2012 and Korea 2013 with BBC live for Korea 2012 and Japan 2013:

– BBC live: 3.18 million / 3.42 million (JPN 2012 / KOR 2013)
– BBC non-live: 2.76 million / 2.84 million (KOR 2012 / JPN 2013)

Does this mean a good half a million people for the Asian races just read the result and not bother to tune in if BBC are not showing it live? I don’t know, but thought it was an interesting little tidbit worth bringing up. It may well be viewers hanging over who usually watch BBC Breakfast, but who knows.

Over on ITV, ‘Senna‘ averaged 1.09 million viewers at 22:20 for its première airing. The timeslot restricted its numbers badly with it going on beyond midnight. Promotion from ITV was appalling too, I didn’t see any adverts for the film, sadly. My initial thought that the slot was good turned out to be wrong, and it seems like it could have got double or triple the audience in a 21:00 slot on BBC Two. Expect it to be repeated frequently on ITV4, and film repeats on ITV4 tend to do well. ITV have the exclusive terrestrial rights to Universal films, so don’t expect it to turn up on other terrestrial channels.

The 2012 Japanese Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

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One thought on “BBC live coverage helps Japan increase year-on-year

  1. regarding senna, there was a bit of promotion on itv over the weekend including, I think, during x factor/downton abbey ad breaks, but yeah, the slot plus knowing it’d contain adverts and go on past midnight (when alot of people will have been up early for the F1 or pulled an all nighter to include bathurst) meant it was always likely to struggle. seems I was right when I said it was a poor slot originally.

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