Hungarian Grand Prix soars to best number since 2011

An adrenaline filled Hungarian Grand Prix, won by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, helped the race hit its highest number since 2011, unofficial overnight viewing figures show.

Race
Live coverage of the race, broadcast live on BBC One from 12:15 to 15:15, averaged a strong 3.87m (32.5%), peaking with 4.97m (36.8%) at 14:45. It is BBC’s highest number for Hungary since 2011, perhaps unsurprising given the fact that they have only covered Hungary in highlights form in recent years. Nevertheless, it is another reminder that live action does draw viewers, and that viewers do prefer watching something live – if they have the choice. Over on Sky Sports F1, their live coverage from 12:00 to 15:30 averaged 625k (5.3%), peaking with 830k (6.1%). Including the simulcast on Sky Sports 1, those numbers rise to 745k (6.3%), with a peak of 1.00m (7.4%), again at 14:45.

The combined average of 4.61m is the third highest on record, since at least the late 1990s. In recent times, 2009 averaged 4.81m (42.5%), whilst 2011 averaged 4.65m (42.2%), both slightly higher than 2015. The combined peak of 5.98m (44.2%) as Vettel won the race yesterday compares extremely well, only behind 2011’s peak audience of 6.10m (50.0%). It is no surprise that all of the highest peaks this year have been recorded when BBC are covering the race live, and all of those peaks have been in the six million viewer ballpark. I think I should underline that the Hungarian round has traditionally rated well with viewers, the last time the race rated under 4 million viewers was 2008.

The great number from Hungary, combined with some recent solid audiences, means that the 2015 Formula One season is currently 8 percent up year on year. I’ll have more analysis in a few weeks time, but the numbers bode well heading into the latter half of the season.

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

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10 thoughts on “Hungarian Grand Prix soars to best number since 2011

  1. Trying to understand why Sky are now doing the Sky Sports 1 simulcast week after week. Is it just because of promotion, or is it because they are concerned with the numbers they’ve been getting. If so, perhaps they are considering moving F1 to Sky Sports 1,2,3,4 and ditching the dedicated channel?

    • I think we’ll know the answer to that with Belgium. Super Sunday is on Sky Sports 1. Ashes is on Sky Sports 2. So, the question is, will the F1 be simulcast on Sky Sports 3 or 4? It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  2. Every time Lazenby mentioned Bianchi he sounded as sincere as an estate agent (as did some of the drivers TBH).

    I’ve been very vocal about how weak and thin Sky’s presentation is but normally I don’t get specific, as TV production is my job and I’m not working for them for free, but…

    Much as the weekend was overshadowed by Bianchi’s death it also gave the opportunity for a piece with some real insight into a drivers psyche. To talk about how his death does, or doesn’t effect the drivers mindset, focus and confidence. Whether driver deaths effect the way designers, team principles and mechanics approach their work.

    Not only would this have made a great item, done tastefully, but I think it could have been an additional tribute to Bianchi.

    • I agree on Lazenby but nobody in the paddock sounds more true to his words than Brundle, and he’s the one who they let do the videos about him.

  3. Does Bernie see these figures, if he does why isn’t he pushing for BBC to be given more live coverage at the same price? He is interested in getting as much coverage for all the sponsors as possible, no matter whether it’s logos on the cars or the advertising posters round the circuits etc. To sell space he must show them that the coverage is in the millions, but only if BBC is live, for live Sky Sport only brings in a fraction of BBC’s viewers. Why not subsidise the BBC with some of his own millions, after all that money came from the viewers in the first place, whether on trackside or on TV.

  4. I just think the simulcast is because they currently have nothing else to show at the moment they often do that when they need something in the sky sports 1 schedule

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