No Christmas cheer for Formula E

The 2015-16 Formula E season continued last month, with round three taking place in Punta del Este on Saturday 19th December 2015. Unfortunately for the championship, the second season continued to attract low viewing figures in the UK, unofficial overnight numbers show.

Live coverage of the race, broadcast on ITV4 from 18:00 to 20:30, attracted an average audience of 103k (0.5%). The race recorded a 5-minute peak figure of 196k (0.9%) at 19:40 as Sebastien Buemi claimed his fifth Formula E victory. Both measures are down on 2014’s average audience for Punta del Este of 197k (1.0%) and peak audience of 331k (1.8%). The average audience is down 47.7 percent, with the peak audience down 40.8 percent, despite facing similar competition year-on-year.

Highlights of the race did not fare much better on ITV on Sunday 20th December 2015. The programme, which aired from 09:25 to 10:20, averaged just 162k (2.2%), recording a 5-minute peak figure of 189k (2.5%) at 10:10. As an example of how the highlights programme is failing to bring an audience in, the 5 minute segments before and after the programme (09:15 to 09:20 and 10:20 to 10:25) both averaged over 200k.

The combined audience of 264k is higher than last year’s combined audience of around 240k, due to the fact that the highlights programme now airs on ITV instead of ITV4. I am not sure that can be spun as being good: both of this year’s numbers will be significantly below their respective slot averages. The highlights audience has dropped from 244k for Beijing to 201k for Putrajaya and now 162k for Punta del Este.

Something is not working: the scheduling, the advertising or the raw product itself.

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6 thoughts on “No Christmas cheer for Formula E

  1. The raw product is fine. But it’s obvious that ITV aren’t willing to put any real effort into promoting it properly; Sound of the Future is the perfect example of that. I can’t think of a better way to turn off audiences from watching the race than by prefacing it with showing a rushed magazine show devoid of any real content or passion for the sport.

  2. Hidden away on ITV4 with very little advertisement will hit any programme. ITV need to fully support it with ads, maybe put the odd race on ITV1 or let another channel push it on their main channel. I hear Channel 4 is a good place for Motorsport lately…

  3. I am one of the few who watched the whole thing in the absence of any F1 or BTCC.
    I was not enthralled, it was like a electric gocart race indoors in a warehouse, only much quieter.

  4. I tuned in for the first race and had a bad head after about 5/10 minutes.

    That dreadful music playing and the cars whining was just awful.

    (I think the music was dropped for future races)

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