Scheduling: The 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

After a sensational victory for Lewis Hamilton in Sebastian Vettel’s back yard, the two championship protagonists head for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final stop on the Formula 1 calendar before the Summer break.

It is a weekend packed with motor sport, on tarmac, gravel, two wheels and four to whet the appetite. This weekend is special for the British Touring Car Championship, as the championship holds an endurance style race lasting double the usual length at 60 miles. The special race takes place on Sunday at 17:15 UK time live as usual on ITV4.

> Feature: 60 years of British Touring Cars – the broadcasting story

Further afield, Julian Ryder returns to commentary duties with Eurosport for the 8 Hours of Suzuka, Ryder having stepped down from his MotoGP duties at the end of 2017. Alongside Ryder for the endurance race are Jack Burnicle and Terry Rymer, amongst others.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
28/07 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
29/07 – 18:45 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
28/07 – 10:30 to 12:15 – Practice 3
28/07 – 13:00 to 15:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
29/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
25/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
26/07 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
26/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
28/07 – 15:30 to 16:05 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)
01/08 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
27/07 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
28/07 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
29/07 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula Two – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
27/07 – 11:50 to 12:45 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 15:50 to 16:30 – Qualifying
28/07 – 15:40 to 17:00 – Race 1
=> 15:40 to 16:05 (Sky Sports Red Button)
=> 16:05 to 17:00 (Sky Sports F1)
29/07 – 10:15 to 11:15 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
28/07 – 09:40 to 10:20 – Qualifying
28/07 – 17:25 to 18:20 – Race 1
29/07 – 09:00 to 09:50 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Hungary
29/07 – Race
=> 11:30 to 12:15 (Eurosport 2)
=> 11:25 to 12:15 (Sky Sports F1)

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup – 24 Hours of Spa (Motorsport.tv)
28/07 and 29/07 – Race
=> 15:20 to 21:30 [Saturday]
=> 22:00 [Saturday] to 15:50 [Sunday]

British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton (ITV4)
29/07 – 10:30 to 18:30 – Races

Formula Three European Championship – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:00 – Race 1
27/07 – 13:45 to 14:45 – Race 2
28/07 – 08:00 to 09:15 – Race 3

Formula Renault Eurocup – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 14:45 to 16:00 – Race 1
28/07 – 10:30 to 11:45 – Race 2

Suzuka 8 Hours (Eurosport 2)
29/07 – 03:15 to 11:45 – Race

IndyCar Series – Mid-Ohio (BT Sport/ESPN)
29/07 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race

World Rally Championship – Finland
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
26/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 1 (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 11 (BT Sport 3)
27/07 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:00 to 22:30 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
29/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Live: Stage 17 (BT Sport X3)
28/07 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 22:15 to 22:45 (BT Sport 1)
29/07 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Live: Stage 21 [Special Stage] (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Power Stage (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:15 to 21:45 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
31/07 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

The schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Update on July 27th – From the “you have got to be kidding me” department, Sky have moved The F1 Show to 15:30, pushing the first half of Formula Two onto the Red Button. Yes, really. I believe this is the first time Sky have done this since they started showing Formula Two (then GP2) in 2012.

Advertisements

Scheduling: The 2018 British Grand Prix

Silverstone plays host to the third and final part of Formula 1’s triple-header marathon, and it is a news worthy event for all of the UK’s Formula 1 broadcasters.

Button joins Sky for one weekend…
The major news story is that 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button will join Sky Sports F1’s regular line-up for the Grand Prix weekend, strengthening their presentation team. It is Button’s first foray into Formula 1 broadcasting since he retired at the end of 2016.

Speaking to the Sky Sports website, Button said, “The British Grand Prix is an iconic part of the sporting landscape in this country, and as my home race, was always one that was really special for me. I’m really looking forward to being part of the Sky Sports F1 team, and to having the opportunity to ask questions of the drivers, rather than answering them!”

Scott Young, Sky’s Head of Formula 1, added, “Sky Sports F1 is respected for its knowledge and few people know Silverstone as well as [Jenson] does. That expertise and currency will provide engaging insights for our viewers on what it’s like to take on one of the most challenging circuits of the season.”

…but is also filming with Channel 4
Button is also assisting Channel 4 with filming of Speed with Guy Martin. The new commission follows Martin’s previous Formula 1 themed programming, the first of which aired in March 2016 (bike versus racing car), with the second following on in September 2017 (pit stop challenge).

This show sees Williams Heritage rebuild their FW08C car for Martin to race at Silverstone. Martin challenges Button, who will be in the banned six-wheel Williams FW08B car, which the team were going to race in the 1983 Formula One season. The challenge takes place this Thursday prior to the main weekend.

Although only officially announced last month, the documentary has been in development since the start of the year, with Channel 4’s analyst Karun Chandhok closely involved alongside Martin.

Sky One gets in on the action
As with the Spanish Grand Prix in May, both qualifying and the race air live on Sky One. This appears to be a new direction from Sky, perhaps ahead of further simulcasts in 2019 when viewing Formula 1 fundamentally changes for those without Sky Sports in this country.

Elsewhere in Sky’s line-up, The F1 Show for Silverstone remains in its live Thursday evening time slot in front of the main grandstand, however it does mean that there is no F1 Show on Saturday.

Sky are not airing the Masters Historic races, meaning that their schedule on Sunday morning looks emptier than usual. Sunday contains a hole from the end of Formula Two at 10:35 to the start of Porsche Supercup an hour later.

Slicks-0-Six returns, as does EJ…
The BBC’s radio coverage has been knocked for six recently due to the World Cup, but this weekend the race transmits live on BBC Radio 5 Live, with a special Slicks-0-Six chat show airing from 18:00. Slicks-0-Six returns having last aired after the British Grand Prix in 2015.

On the personnel front, Eddie Jordan returns to Channel 4’s coverage, in what is likely to be his, and a lot of people’s, last British Grand Prix as a broadcaster.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
06/07 – 10:00 to 11:35 – Practice 1
06/07 – 13:55 to 16:00 – Practice 2
07/07 – 10:55 to 12:25 – Practice 3
07/07 – 12:55 to 15:50 – Qualifying
08/07 – 13:00 to 17:35 – Race
=> 13:00 – Build-Up
=> 13:40 – Race
=> 16:30 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
06/07 – 09:30 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
06/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
07/07 – 10:45 to 12:15 – Practice 3 (also Sky 1)
07/07 – 13:00 to 15:40 – Qualifying (also Sky 1 [until 15:30], Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
08/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race (also Sky 1 [until 17:00])
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
04/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
05/07 – 15:00 to 15:30 – Driver Press Conference
05/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – The F1 Show
05/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
11/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC F1
08/07 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)
08/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Slicks-0-Six (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British Superbikes – Knockhill
07/07 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
08/07 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Races (Eurosport 2)
11/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

Euroformula – Hungaroring (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 13:30 to 14:30 – Race 1
08/07 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Race 2

Formula Two – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
06/07 – 11:50 to 12:50 – Practice
06/07 – 16:05 to 16:50 – Qualifying
07/07 – 15:40 to 17:00 – Race 1
08/07 – 09:15 to 10:15 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

GP3 Series – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
06/07 – 17:00 to 17:45 – Qualifying
07/07 – 09:20 to 10:15 – Race 1
08/07 – 08:00 to 08:55 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

IndyCar Series – Iowa 300
08/07 – 19:00 to 22:00 – Races

International GT Open – Estoril (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 14:30 to 16:15 – Race 1
08/07 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
08/07 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Speedway Grand Prix – Sweden (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

Virgin Australia Supercars – Townsville (Motorsport.tv)
07/07 – 06:50 to 08:45 – Race 1
08/07 – 06:50 to 08:45 – Race 2

World Superbikes – Misano
06/07 – 08:40 onwards (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:40 to 09:30 – SBK: Practice 1
=> 11:25 to 12:20 – SBK: Practice 2
=> 13:55 to 14:55 – SSP: Practice 2
=> 14:55 to 15:55 – SBK: Practice 3
07/07 – 09:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
08/07 – 10:00 to 15:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
10/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As always, the schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Updated on July 4th to reflect GP3 moving back to Saturday morning.

Scheduling: The 2018 French Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns to Paul Ricard for the first time since 1990, with the French Grand Prix! The race makes its return to the calendar, having last held a Grand Prix in 2008 at Magny-Cours. It forms the start of Formula 1’s first ever triple-header, Austria and Britain following in the next two weeks.

A returning race is normally a big thing, generating more publicity for the sport than usual, however that is not quite the case this year thanks to the clash with football’s World Cup extravaganza.

The start times for all the weekend’s action is an hour later than usual (and 130 minutes later than the 2017 European times), the change designed to avoid a clash on Sunday between the Grand Prix and England’s football game against Panama.

Because of the race starting at 15:10 UK time, Channel 4’s highlights are pushed deep into the evening. Channel 4 have opted to keep Bake Off: The Professionals and The Handmaid’s Tale in their usual slots, the F1 highlights starting at 22:10.

The free-to-air broadcaster cannot start their highlights programme at 18:00 (less than 3 hours after the race starts), so the options were to run a truncated show from 19:00, start the programme at 19:00 and drop either Bake Off: The Professionals or Handmaid’s Tale for a week, or do what they have done and start the F1 at 22:15.

It is very unfortunate as the F1 would comfortably bring in more viewers than both programmes based on audience figures so far. The football competition in that scenario would have been Poland versus Colombia, not exactly tier 1 material.

Sky have failed to capitalise on their exclusively live coverage, sticking to the usual routine of airing coverage on the F1 channel, with a Main Event simulcast. Exclusive race or not, I am struggling to grasp why they have not gone a step further and aired live coverage on Sky 1.

There is a massive shop window here for Sky to bring new viewers to their output, and they have not recognised that fact. Furthermore, there is limited coverage on 5 Live, so a major missed opportunity, in my eyes. A separate question is just why the FIA decided to run a triple-header in the middle of the biggest sporting event of the year, and not at either the start or end of the European season…

On the personnel front, Tom Clarkson continues to be super sub for Channel 4 reporter Lee McKenzie, McKenzie currently presenting rugby coverage elsewhere on Channel 4.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
23/06 – 18:30 to 20:10 – Qualifying Highlights
24/06 – 22:15 to 00:10 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
22/06 – 10:30 to 12:55 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
22/06 – 14:45 to 16:50 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
23/06 – 11:45 to 13:15 – Practice 3
23/06 – 14:00 to 16:40 – Qualifying
=> 14:00 – Pre-Show
=> 14:55 – Qualifying
24/06 – 13:30 to 18:10 – Race
=> 13:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 14:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 15:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 17:30 – Paddock Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Supplementary Programming
20/06 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview (also Sky Sports Mix)
21/06 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
21/06 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
23/06 – 18:15 to 18:50 – The F1 Show
27/06 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review (also Sky Sports Mix)

BBC Radio F1
22/06 – 10:55 to 12:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
22/06 – 14:55 to 16:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
23/06 – 11:55 to 13:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
23/06 – 14:55 to 16:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
24/06 – 15:00 to 18:00 – Race Updates (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Blancpain GT Sprint Series – Misano (BT Sport 2)
23/06 – 18:45 to 20:30 – Qualifying Race
24/06 – 12:15 to 14:15 – Championship Race

British Touring Car Championship – Croft (ITV4)
24/06 – 11:15 to 18:20 – Races

Formula Two – France (Sky Sports F1)
22/06 – 12:50 to 13:50 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
22/06 – 16:50 to 17:35 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
23/06 – 16:40 to 18:15 – Race 1
24/06 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Race 2

GP3 Series – France (Sky Sports F1)
22/06 – 17:45 to 18:30 – Qualifying
23/06 – 10:25 to 11:20 – Race 1
24/06 – 09:40 to 10:40 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Road America (BT Sport/ESPN)
24/06 – 17:30 to 20:30 – Race

World Superbikes – Laguna Seca
23/06 – 18:30 to 20:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
23/06 – 21:15 to 23:15 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
24/06 – 21:30 to 23:15 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
26/06 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

World Touring Car Cup – Vila Real (Eurosport 2)
26/06 – 09:00 to 10:30 – Qualifying
26/06 – 15:00 to 18:00
=> 15:00 – Race 2
=> 16:30 – Race 3

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Scheduling: The 2018 Canadian Grand Prix / Zurich E-Prix

Formula 1 heads across the ocean to North America for its annual June trip: the Canadian Grand Prix!

The race airs exclusively live on Sky Sports, with late night highlights the order of the day for Channel 4.

Lee McKenzie continues to wind down her Formula 1 commitments and focus on other sports, this time presenting rugby for Channel 4. McKenzie is missing several races this Summer with Wimbledon also on the agenda.

Elsewhere, Formula E heads to Switzerland for the very first time, as racing returns to the country for the first time since 1954. Note that the race takes place on Sunday evening, clashing with the first part of Sky’s build-up for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The BBC is airing a documentary looking at the electric series on its news channel on Friday evening called Driving Change. Part of a wider strand of programming from Radio 1’s Newsbeat team, the documentary looks at how Formula E is helping people make the shift to electric cars.

With Jack Nicholls on Formula E duty, Alex Jacques steps back into Nicholls’ shoes as BBC’s 5 Live F1 lead commentator.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
09/06 – 22:55 to 00:25 – Qualifying Highlights
10/06 – 22:40 to 00:40 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
08/06 – 14:30 to 16:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
08/06 – 18:45 to 20:50 – Practice 2
09/06 – 15:45 to 17:15 – Practice 3
09/06 – 18:00 to 20:35 – Qualifying
=> 18:00 – Pre-Show
=> 18:55 – Qualifying
10/06 – 17:30 to 22:10 – Race
=> 17:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 18:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 19:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 21:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
06/06 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
07/06 – 16:00 to 16:30 – Driver Press Conference
07/06 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
09/06 – 20:35 to 21:10 – The F1 Show
13/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
08/06 – 14:55 to 16:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
09/06 – 18:55 to 20:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
10/06 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula E – Zurich (online via YouTube)
10/06 – 07:55 to 08:55 – Practice 1
10/06 – 10:25 to 11:10 – Practice 2

Formula E – Zurich
08/06 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Driving Change (BBC News)
10/06 – 12:45 to 14:10 – Qualifying (5Spike)
10/06 – 16:30 to 18:15 – Race (Channel 5)
10/06 – 16:45 to 18:15 – Race (Eurosport 2)

British Touring Car Championship – Oulton Park (ITV4)
10/06 – 11:15 to 18:00 – Races

Euroformula – Spa
09/06 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Race 1 (BT Sport 2)
10/06 – 12:15 to 13:15 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

IndyCar Series – Texas 600 (BT Sport/ESPN)
10/06 (Sunday morning) – 01:00 to 04:00 – Race

International GT Open – Spa
09/06 – 14:00 to 15:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport 2)
10/06 – 13:15 to 14:45 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

World Rally Championship – Italy
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
07/06 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 1 [Ittiri Arena Show] (BT Sport 1)
08/06 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 23:30 to 00:00 (BT Sport 2)
09/06 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
09/06 – 15:00 to 16:00 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
09/06 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (BT Sport 3)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
10/06 – 08:30 to 09:30 – Live: Stage (BT Sport 1)
10/06 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Stage 19 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 1)
10/06 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
12/06 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

World Superbikes – Brno
08/06 – 08:40 onwards (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:40 to 09:30 – SBK: Practice 1
=> 11:25 to 12:15 – SBK: Practice 2
09/06 – 09:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
10/06 – 10:00 to 14:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
13/06 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Season high audience for Sky as F1 continues UK ratings resurgence

Daniel Ricciardo’s victory in the Monaco Grand Prix peaked with just over four million viewers, overnight viewing figures show.

Race
Live coverage of the race aired across four different channels on Sunday afternoon: Channel 4, and three of Sky’s channels.

Channel 4’s live programme, encompassing the build-up and the race itself from 13:00 to 16:30, averaged 2.15m (24.9%). The audience increased by 188,000 viewers compared with 2017’s average audience of 1.96m (23.8%) across a slightly shorter time slot. All of Channel 4’s race day broadcasts so far this year have recorded year-on-year increases.

Combined, Sky’s coverage averaged 721,000 viewers across Sky Sports F1, Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event. Last year’s programme aired across the F1 channel and Sky Sports Mix to an audience of 591k (7.2%), so yesterday’s audience increased year-on-year by 130,000 viewers.

Breaking Sky’s audience down, the F1 channel averaged 477k (5.6%) from 13:00 to 16:30 compared with 425k (5.2%) last year. Sky One averaged 167k (1.9%) across the same time slot, whilst 111k (1.2%) watched Main Event from 14:05 to 16:30, a shorter time slot than the other two Sky channels.

Sky’s average of 721,000 is their highest of the season so far, showing that simulcasting does make a difference to their total audience. Spain was an exclusive race for Sky last time out, which aired only on the F1 channel, whilst Monaco, simulcast across two different Sky channels, also aired on Channel 4.

The race started with 3.55m (41.0%) at 14:10, compared with 3.09m (37.0%) at 13:00 last year, so already at race start an extra half a million viewers were watching. The gap year-on-year remained around half a million viewers throughout, the trend relatively static.

A peak audience of 4.06m (42.5%) watched Ricciardo win the race at 15:50, a strong increase compared to last year’s peak audience of 3.53m (40.2%). At the time of the peak, 3.04m (31.8%) were watching Channel 4’s broadcast, with 1.02m (10.7%) watching across Sky’s three channels. The split was 75:25, compared with 76:24 at the time of the peak last year, suggesting that Sky One had little to no bearing on Channel 4’s audience, for the race at least.

The combined average audience of 2.87 million viewers is the highest average audience for Monaco since 2015, an increase of 12.5 percent on last year’s average of 2.55 million viewers. The race in 2016, which Channel 4 aired in highlights form, averaged 2.78 million viewers.

The combined peak audience of 4.06 million viewers is also the highest for Monaco since 2015, an increase of 14.9 percent on last year’s figure of 3.53 million viewers, and up 7.7 percent on 2016.

Qualifying and Analysis
Channel 4’s audience was equal compared with last year’s qualifying session. Live coverage from 12:55 to 15:45 averaged 1.14m (16.7%), compared with 1.14m (15.5%) across a shorter time slot last year. Their programme peaked with 1.73m (23.1%) as Ricciardo claimed pole, compared with 1.75m (21.7%) last year.

The additional viewers year-on-year came through Sky One’s simulcast. Live coverage on Sky Sports F1 averaged 267k (3.8%), versus 277k (3.8%) last year, whilst Sky One’s simulcast averaged 75k (1.1%). The combined Sky peak of 610k (8.5%) at 14:35 across two channels compares with 491k (5.9%) for just the F1 channel last year.

The combined average audience of 1.48 million viewers is a marginal increase on last year’s figure of 1.42 million viewers, with the combined peak audience of 2.33 million viewers an increase of 104,000 viewers year-on-year.

However, whilst the Monaco Grand Prix continues Formula 1’s excellent period from a viewing figures perspective, with no signs of slowing down, the Grand Prix was not the most watched sporting event over the weekend.

The big news story is that the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday evening between Liverpool and Real Madrid peaked with a massive 4.71m (25.8%) on BT Sport 2 alone, believed to be the biggest ever audience for a sporting event in the UK on pay television. The audience does not include the 1.8 million viewers that watched via BT’s digital platforms or YouTube, or the millions further that watched in pubs.

The 4.7 million viewers include those that watched the match for free on Virgin Media channel 100 and may take up a fair proportion of that figure. I mention the figure because it shows the lengths that BT went to, to ensure that the match reached the widest possible audience. The alternative would have been a ‘token gesture’, but BT again for the Champions League final went the distance to stream the final on YouTube.

Reality is that, events such as the Champions League are very rare: a match such as Saturday’s would have peaked with close to 15 million viewers on BBC or ITV. Divide that by three and you get to BT’s figure from Saturday. Divide the highest F1 peak from the BBC days by three, and you see why Sky struggles to break the two million peak mark for F1 (they have never done so).

Although Sky’s season high audience is a very good number for them, it is still relatively small money in the grand scheme of things, and they have failed to erode the current Channel 4 free-to-air audience for Formula 1.

Indianapolis 500 drops, but still respectable
The 2018 Indianapolis 500 peaked with 91,000 viewers on BT Sport 1 yesterday evening. Live coverage from 15:30 to 21:00 averaged 32k (0.26%). From 16:30 to 21:00, last year’s equivalent slot, the race averaged 38k (0.30%), unsurprisingly a substantial drop on last year’s audience of 129k (0.91%) when there was major attention on Fernando Alonso.

Of more interest is that this year’s audience tripled compared to 2016’s average of 12k (0.09%). The peak audience of 91k (0.64%) came at 19:05, also a major increase on the 2016 peak figure of 31k (0.16%). If anything, it shows that some of last year’s audience did return for this year’s race, even if it never hit the heights that it did last year.

The 2017 Monaco Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

overnights.tv-bannersF1