Your Formula 1 2014 television viewing habits revealed

Over 350 people in the past month have given their thoughts on how they have consumed Formula 1 both so far this season, and also in 2013. The findings are not meant to be representative of the entire population, but merely a snapshot, of what my blog readers think as the season is in its early stages. The first question removed anyone who is not based in the United Kingdom, which brings the total number of people down to approximately 320.

One general comment to begin with – question three (pay-TV) has been commented upon, in that users clicked ‘Other’ because there no option for ‘None’. Admittedly, this was an oversight by me, however on the basis that many of you clicked ‘Other’, I don’t believe this affected the results significantly.

General Conclusions
– 16 percent of readers have changed their viewing habits between 2013 and 2014
– 83 percent of readers would pay £9.99 or less if Sky Sports F1 was a stand-alone channel
– 34 percent of readers believe BBC’s F1 line-up has got worse between 2013 and 2014
– Consumption of races broadcast exclusively by Sky has increased, but not for either broadcaster

The main conclusion concerns Sky Sports F1’s pricing model. As documented extensively on this blog, the price that fans have to pay year-on-year to view Formula 1 has increased for 2014, and this is noticeable in the comments that were made. Looking at the comments made, I think £4.99 per month would be the most realistic price for the channel, and should satisfy most of their potential audience should Sky wish to offer it as a stand-alone channel, but I don’t think that is very likely myself.

BBC’s line-up changes has unsurprisingly had a negative effect on the results, more people are likely to view Sky Sports F1 this season, but the swing is not as big as expected (see below). A lot of people commented on Gary Anderson’s exit, and it is definitely a big theme on people’s minds, many feeling that BBC’s coverage is heading in the wrong direction given the nature of Anderson’s comments.

Audience trends
– Illegal streaming and foreign TV on the rise for Sky exclusive races?
– More content being consumed during shared races

Some fascinating trends here, in completely the opposite directions. One trend that is concrete is that ‘Other’ viewing has increased from 13 percent to 16 percent for Sky’s exclusive races. Which, considering how close the other results are year-on-year in this area is surprising. On the basis that Sky have not had anyone downgrade over the Winter (four out of 195), this appears to be BBC viewers hunting out other methods of watching. For the shared races, more content appears to be being consumed across the board, however I do accept, that when looking at the results, the outcome for both can go both ways.

Change versus 2012
The final three questions asked whether readers were more likely or less likely to watch BBC or Sky versus 2013. Whilst Anderson and BBC have split, and a lot of readers were unhappy about it, not a lot of people have defected to Sky as a result. 58 percent said that there was no change as to whether they consume BBC coverage in 2014 versus 2013, compared with 61 percent for Sky. There was a swing from less to more for Sky and vice versa for BBC – 22 percent more likely to sample Sky’s coverage compared with 2013 versus 16 percent for BBC.

As I said at the beginning, the survey is by no means definitive, but is there to just give a snapshot of the picture from my blog readers. This post is just my reading of the results, however for full disclosure the survey results are below. I think though that the survey results are only part of the story, the comments, of which there were a lot are worth a read. An advanced warning that there are ten pages worth of comments, but some of them are fascinating. I could have narrowed it down to just ten, but felt that I needed to include a wider range so to avoid ‘handpicking’ the ones that I personally liked.

The full survey results can be found here, and a selection of detailed comments from a variety of readers can be found here.

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6 thoughts on “Your Formula 1 2014 television viewing habits revealed

  1. I find bbc f1 coverage is ten times better than sky even thou I have sky. The bbc provide a better service. Sky has to many adds in the programes.

    • Yes, I have both and agree, but ten times better is overdoing it a bit.

      What I do think is interesting is that as Sky start their third year of coverage, they now seem stuck at an average of 7/800,000 viewers for most GPs. So unless the free to air service stops completely, I really can’t see any further growth in their viewing figures. I was lucky enough to be an existing Sky HD customer, so I can still watch Sky F1 at no extra cost. However, anyone new to Sky and wanting to watch F1 now has to subscribe to the full Sports package. I certainly wouldn’t upgrade to the Sports package if I lost my HD service. With household budgets becoming ever tighter, I think their audience has probably now peaked and wouldn’t be surprised to see it gradually decline.

      • Thanks for your reply I took out sky when they started f1.i have to pay for the entertainment part which I don,t want. I will go bbc every tine because sky has to many adds
        And the bbc is much better because the sky presenters are on the drivers backs.the bbc give unbiased opinions.

  2. Sky coverage seems like they are just eager to share their middle aged music collection, far too many abstract montages that add nothing.

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