Austrian Grand Prix up year-on-year

The Austrian Grand Prix saw a ratings increase compared with last year’s race, overnight viewing figures show.

The race, won by Nico Rosberg and broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, averaged 528k (6.3%) across three and a half hours from 12:00 to 15:30. A further 224k (2.7%) watched the action on Sky Sports 1 during the same timeslot, bringing the combined Sky Sports number to 752k (9.0%). The combined number is up on last year’s Sky Sports F1 only figure of 721k (9.6%). In isolation, the Sky Sports F1 number for 2015’s race is low, with Sky Sports 1 dragging the numbers up.

Despite an almost identical Sky Sports audience compared with Canada – the viewer split between 1 and F1 differs a fair bit – 84% vs 16% in Canada compared to 70% vs 30% for Austria. So, why the difference? There are two reasons I feel, the time of day and also exclusivity. Sky shared live coverage with the BBC, whereas Sky had exclusive live coverage of coverage. The numbers imply that casual viewers are more likely to watch F1 on Sky Sports 1 than Sky Sports F1, which is unsurprising given the name of one of those two channels, but an interesting observation nevertheless.

BBC One’s highlights programme, which aired from 17:05 to 18:35, averaged 3.11m (23.1%). The number is comfortably up on 2014’s figure of 2.45m (12.2%), but the comparison is invalid given that last year’s highlights programme aired on BBC Two from 19:00, so it is difficult to compare the two. However, it does show the pull of BBC One in comparison to BBC Two as a whole.

The combined BBC and Sky average of 3.86m is up on 2014, due to the highlights scheduling factor. There’s not anything else to note given that Austria was off the calendar prior to that for a decade.

The 2014 Austrian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

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