The Monaco Grand Prix performed solidly during the Bank Holiday weekend, unofficial overnight viewing figures show.
With warm weather damaging ratings across the board on Saturday and Sunday, Formula 1 escaped relatively unscathed thanks to a good figure for BBC’s highlights show, although Sky Sports F1’s live coverage was hit badly. Live coverage of the race on Sky Sports F1 averaged 797k (8.5%) from 12:00 to 15:30, which compares with 1.10m (12.1%) for the equivalent slot last year. That’s a drop of around 30 percent across both viewer and share measures. The total TV audience for the slot was marginally up yesterday for the slot, so for whatever reason, the race just didn’t perform well, unsurprisingly perhaps given that very little happened in the first 60 laps. There’s a pattern emerging that Sky’s coverage is struggling ratings wise year-on-year, which needs to be tracked as the season progresses.
BBC’s highlights programme was up year-on-year. The show averaged 3.44m (23.3%) from 17:05 to 18:05, up on last year’s highlights number of 3.33m (23.3%). That’s a good number, when you consider that last year’s highlights programme was boosted by Nico Rosberg’s qualifying incident. Overall, the combined audience of 4.23m is down 4.7 percent on last year’s audience of 4.44m. It is, however, up on 2013’s number of 4.00m. Overall, it is a good number, although I suspect one side will be a lot more pleased than the other.
Formula E and Indianapolis 500
Over the weekend, viewers failed to turn up for ITV4’s Formula E coverage from Berlin, which dropped to its lowest number since the Putrajaya ePrix last November. Live coverage on ITV4 from 14:00 to 16:30 averaged 112k (1.6%), peaking with 154k (2.2%) at 15:05. What’s unusual here is that the pre-race portion was above 100k for the majority, which is unusual, except that the programme failed to gain viewers after 15:00, and remained stagnant around 140k. It’s not a good number, being on the same weekend as the Monaco Grand Prix won’t help matters. Hopefully under the “lessons learnt” category for season one, the organisers add “don’t clash with F1.” As a general rule of thumb, having a race at the end of May won’t help anyone as all the attention from motor sport media is elsewhere.
Speaking of elsewhere, the Indianapolis 500 averaged 19k (0.1%) from 16:00 to 21:00 on ESPN. The race itself, from around 17:30 to 20:50 averaged 22k (0.1%), peaking with 46k (0.3%) at 18:15. One point I’d like to add, especially in the case of the 500, is that the numbers don’t include online viewing. Anyone (including myself) who watched via the BT Sport app will not be included in the above number, and the same applies for anyone who watched via any other sources.
The 2014 Monaco Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.