The inaugural Mexico City ePrix peaked with 331k across live and highlights this past weekend, overnight viewing figures show. However, numbers were dented by the lack of live coverage on ITV’s portfolio of channels and failed to pick up through live streaming.
Live coverage of the Formula E race, broadcast live on BT Sport Europe on Saturday (12th March), averaged 20k (0.12%) from 21:45 to 23:30, peaking with 38k (0.21%) at 22:00. It was the first time that BT Sport had covered the series live, as ITV4 were covering the snooker World Grand Prix tournament on Saturday evening. ITV4 aired delayed coverage from 23:15, which was watched by a further 38k (0.6%), peaking with 75k (0.8%) at 23:30.
The combined ‘live’ audience of 58k and combined peak audience of 113k is significantly down on the live ITV numbers for Punta del Este and Buenos Aires. Highlights of the race, broadcast on ITV’s main channel from 09:30 to 10:25 on Sunday morning, averaged 163k (2.5%), peaking with 218k (3.3%). It is clear now that the highlights programme has settled into this region, although the Mexico programme did not see any uplift with viewers tuning in who would normally watch the live broadcast. The total combined audience is therefore 220k with a combined peak audience of 331k across the three programmes.
Elsewhere, the 2016 IndyCar Series began on BT Sport//ESPN on Sunday evening. The race, airing live from 16:30 to 19:10, averaged 15k (0.09%), peaking with 29k. If anything, that is where IndyCar tends to be in the viewing figures, so no change on that front.
Despite Formula E not airing live on ITV4, a jump in numbers for their live streaming did not materialise. Around 2,000 devices were watching Formula E’s live stream of the Mexico City ePrix on YouTube, with around 260 devices active on the Daily Motion stream (note: I made reference to ‘people’ as opposed to ‘devices’ on Twitter, the latter is the more correct terminology – four people could be watching one device).
Earlier on Saturday, around 3,200 devices were watching the Indy Lights race on YouTube, with 2,200 devices watching Formula E’s qualifying session. The reason Formula E’s number is higher for qualifying than the race is because the race stream would have been geo-blocked in a lot more countries than a few hours earlier. Either way, these numbers are very low and show why, for the likes of Formula E, television is still king and should not be forgotten.
It is worth emphasising that, whilst YouTube is huge, live streaming on YouTube is not, the most popular stream as I write this has 4,700 devices watching it. In comparison, over on Twitch, the top 20 streams all have over 4,700 devices watching. The most popular stream has 32,800 viewers/devices watching it as of writing. This explains, to some degree, why Formula E is trying to tap into the Twitch market as that is where the viewers are, at the moment Twitch is one of Formula E’s competitors despite the two not being in direct competition.