ITV’s MotoGP highlights stumble as BT increases

Highlights of the first MotoGP race of 2015 stumbled off the starting blocks last night as BT Sport recorded a record high for its MotoGP coverage, unofficial overnight viewing figures show.

Last year, BT Sport’s coverage from Qatar averaged 126k (0.8%) from 15:00 to 20:30. The MotoGP portion averaged 187k (0.8%), peaking with 230k (1.1%). The programme length this year was slightly shorter due to rugby coverage preceding it, with new programme The Chequered Flag following at 20:00. Yesterday, from 16:00 to 20:00, BT Sport 2 averaged 172k (1.1%), which is up on the equivalent number of 142k (0.8%) from twelve months ago. For the MotoGP race, from 18:30 to 20:00, the channel averaged 212k (1.1%), peaking with 263k (1.4%). By all three measures, BT Sport was up year-on-year, by around 15 percent. BT’s numbers are actually a record high for them.

Those of you that follow my F1 posts know that, even if the pay TV broadcaster does increase its numbers, it is rendered redundant if the free-to-air broadcast struggles. And that is the case with ITV4. ITV4’s Qatar highlights programme last year from 20:00 to 21:00 averaged 492k (2.2%), peaking with 603k (2.6%). This year, the programme averaged 372k (1.6%), peaking with 455k (1.9%). So whilst BT gained, ITV4 lost a quarter of its audience. The end result is that, combined, coverage averaged 584k versus 679k last year, a drop of 14 percent. Again, I would remind readers that in 2013, BBC Two’s live coverage averaged 1.67m (6.9%), peaking with 2.12m (8.4%).

It’s probably worth noting that, over the course of last year, ITV’s higlights dropped off towards an average of 300k. The first 2015 rating is slightly above that. Whether 2014’s first programme was an anomaly for ITV because it was the start of the new deal, remains to be seen.

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3 thoughts on “ITV’s MotoGP highlights stumble as BT increases

  1. Reblogged this on survival of the fastest and commented:
    BT Sport up, ITV highlights down – Always love checking out the F1 broadcasting blog and their update on the 2015 Qatar MotoGP figures is especially worth a mention, so here’s a reblog of their findings, recommended reading!(Wonder how much closer racing puts into the equation, what a race!)

  2. ITV4’s highlights show is pretty lame, let’s face it; the racing may be great but the broadcast package is shallow & uninspired. For Qatar, at least we were shown a brief glimpse of the front end of the starting grid, plus a couple of quickie post-race bursts of Italian enthusiasm
    from Dovizioso & Rossi, so maybe some small improvements are due this year.
    The problem is the 1 hour format. With commercials, it leaves no time for anything other than the race itself, ie no build-up, no debrief, which is frustrating.
    Until a more balanced, informative package is made available, ITV4’s highlights won’t appeal to anyone other than hard-core fans, who will tolerate lousy coverage because it’s all that’s available free-to-air.

  3. BT Sport has not learned from last year and still employing that idiot Huewen who is hopeless, Julian Ryder is not the same without Toby Moody and Neil Spalding, the three made a great team. It’s a shame Bt did not see sense and share live rights with British Eurosport and perhaps the BBC again. At least the BBC did see sense when there were protests at them having sole rights and shared it with British Eurosport. Sadly, it’s nothing about the fans and the racing, it’s just about money and BT plus Dorna are only interested in that. I do subscribe to BT Sport but only due to Plusnet from who I get my broadband and phone, giving Sky customers half price BT Sport, I certainly would not pay BT full prices, their coverage is no better that British Eurosport, in fact, they have more dedication to bike racing and is why I still subscribe for BSB and WSB. I’ve no interest at all in football which is all BT Sport is about, they are just trying to grab other sports to try and get more subscribers to support their extortionate amounts they are paying the football teams.

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