Sky Sports F1 to broadcast Porsche Supercup live this year

Sky Sports F1 is to broadcast the Porsche Supercup series live for the remainder of this season, I can confirm.

The channel from the Monaco Grand Prix weekend onwards will broadcast live coverage of every Porsche Supercup race.

Sky’s deal does not affect Eurosport’s current Porsche Supercup contract. Eurosport currently broadcast every race in either live or highlights form, and have done for many years; Sky having never aired the series live.

Live coverage of the series did initially appear in Sky’s draft Spanish Grand Prix schedules, before its removal. This time, I understand that the deal is definite, starting with this weekend.

BBC’s current 5 Live Formula 1 commentator and part-time Formula E commentator Jack Nicholls has been hired by Sky to commentate on the remaining Porsche Supercup races this season.

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Scheduling: The 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Aside from the 101st Indianapolis 500 this weekend, there is the small matter of the Monaco Grand Prix!

Channel 4 will be covering the race live, the first time that a free–to–air broadcaster has done so since 2012. Susie Wolff is back with the team in Monaco, her first appearance this season, whilst Mark Webber and Eddie Jordan will also be part of the team. Like in Russia, the channel will be on air for four and a half hours on race day. The third episode of F1 Meets airs between practice three and qualifying on Saturday, as Lee McKenzie chats to Claire Williams.

Over on Sky Sports, the race will be simulcast on Sky Sports Mix, the first simulcast on Mix since Malaysia last year. The rest of the weekend scheduling is as anticipated, with practice taking place on the Thursday, a Monaco tradition.

Outside of the F1 and the Indianapolis 500, it is a packed weekend of motor sport, with Formula Two and World Superbikes amongst the other events taking place across the weekend.

For the Indianapolis 500 schedule, please head over here

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
25/05 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1
25/05 – 12:55 to 15:00 – Practice 2
27/05 – 09:55 to 11:25 – Practice 3
27/05 – 11:55 to 14:30 – Qualifying
28/05 – 12:00 to 16:30 – Race
=> 12:00 – Build–Up
=> 12:35 – Race
=> 15:10 – Reaction

Supplementary Programming
27/05 – 11:25 to 11:55 – F1 Meets… Claire Williams

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
25/05 – 08:45 to 10:55 – Practice 1
25/05 – 12:45 to 14:55 – Practice 2
27/05 – 09:45 to 11:10 – Practice 3
27/05 – 12:00 to 14:40 – Qualifying
28/05 – 11:30 to 16:10 – Race
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live (also on Sky Sports Mix)
=> 12:30 – Race (also on Sky Sports Mix)
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live (also Sky Sports Mix)

Supplementary Programming
24/05 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Driver Press Conference
24/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Preview
24/05 – 21:00 to 21:15 – Paddock Uncut
25/05 – 16:00 to 16:40 – Team Press Conference
25/05 – 16:40 to 17:10 – The F1 Show
26/05 – 17:00 to 17:30 – The F1 Show
31/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
25/05 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
25/05 – 12:55 to 14:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
25/05 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
27/05 – 12:55 to 14:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
28/05 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British GT – Snetterton 300 (Frontrunner)
28/05 – Races
=> 11:20 to 14:00
=> 15:40 to 17:45

Euroformula – Spa
27/05 – 14:30 to 15:30 – Race 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
28/05 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

Formula Renault Eurocup – Monaco (BT Sport 3)
27/05 – 09:00 to 10:00 – Race 1
28/05 – 10:00 to 11:00 – Race 2

Formula Two – Monaco (Sky Sports F1)
25/05 – 10:55 to 11:45 – Practice
25/05 – 15:10 to 16:00 – Qualifying
26/05 – 10:25 to 11:55 – Race 1
27/05 – 15:05 to 16:25 – Race 2

Formula V8 3.5 – Jerez
27/05 – 12:30 to 13:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport 3)
28/05 – 12:00 to 13:30 – Race 2 (BT Sport 2)

International GT Open – Spa
27/05 – 15:30 to 17:15 – Race 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
28/05 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

Porsche Supercup – Monaco
28/05 – Race
=> 08:30 to 09:30 (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:45 to 09:20 (Sky Sports F1)

Speedway Grand Prix – Latvia (BT Sport 3)
27/05 – 16:45 to 20:15 – Races

World Rallycross Championship – Britain (Motorsport.tv)
28/05 – 14:00 to 16:05 – Race

World Superbikes – Donington Park
27/05 – Qualifying and Race 1
=> 10:30 to 16:15 (Quest)
=> 10:30 to 16:15 (Eurosport 2)
28/05 – 10:30 to 16:15 – Support and Race 2 (Quest)

World Touring Car Championship – Germany (Eurosport 2)
27/05 – 10:15 to 12:15
=> 10:15 – Race 1
=> 11:15 – Race 2

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

Update on May 23rd –  Sky Sports F1 is to broadcast the Porsche Supercup series live for the first time, I can confirm. The above schedules have been amended as a result.

Spanish Grand Prix continues upward trajectory

The Spanish Grand Prix continued Formula 1’s recent upward trajectory in the ratings following on from positive numbers in Bahrain and Russia, overnight viewing figures show.

Race
Year-on-year comparisons are difficult for this race for the individual broadcasters, as both channels aired the race live last year, whereas Sky Sports had exclusive live coverage this season. However, the numbers do show an interesting pattern. As always, figures exclude on-demand methods such as Now TV, Sky Go and All 4.

Live coverage of the race, broadcast on Sky Sports F1 from 12:00 to 15:30, averaged 530k (6.7%), peaking with 888k at 14:35 as Lewis Hamilton claimed victory. In comparison, Sky’s coverage last year, despite sharing with Channel 4, averaged 559k (6.4%), with a peak figure of 883k. So, despite having exclusivity, Sky’s figures failed to increase.

A peak figure below one million viewers for a Sky exclusive European round is disappointing, especially considering that two Premier League games on Sky Sports 1 brought in audiences over the magic million mark (West Ham vs Liverpool and Tottenham vs Man United).

Channel 4’s highlights programme, which aired from 18:45 to 21:00, averaged 2.12m (11.5%), peaking with 2.89 million viewers. Their highlights number marks an increase on the number for their Spanish Grand Prix live programme last year. Overall, Channel 4 should be pleased, with a number that is higher than a lot of their highlights programming from 2016, only behind Austria and Germany.

The combined audience of 2.65 million viewers is up 6.4 percent on last year’s average audience of 2.49 million viewers. The combined peak audience of 3.78 million viewers is up 5.6 percent on last year’s peak audience of 3.58 million viewers. Whilst both metrics represent a sizeable drop compared to 2015, the viewing figures mark a positive step in the right direction as the championship battle continues to heat up.

Qualifying
Live coverage of qualifying, broadcast on Sky Sports F1 from 12:00 to 14:40, averaged 289k (4.0%), peaking with 476k. Channel 4’s highlights programme from 17:30 to 19:00 added a further 1.14m (8.1%), with 1.56m watching at its peak.

The qualifying highlights followed an identical pattern to that of the race a day later: Channel 4 up slightly, Sky Sports down slightly despite the latter having exclusivity.

The combined average audience of 1.43 million viewers is up 9.3 percent on last year’s average audience of 1.31 million viewers. However, and failing to complete a ‘clean sweep’ as a result, the peak audience was down slightly year-on-year, with a combined peak audience of 2.04 million viewers recorded compared with a peak of 2.16 million viewers in 2016.

The 2016 Spanish Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

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Scheduling: The 2017 Spanish Grand Prix / Monaco ePrix

The Formula 1 paddock moves into Europe for round five of the 2017 Formula One season, the Spanish Grand Prix. The weekend’s action will be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports F1, with highlights airing each evening on Channel 4.

Anthony Davidson will be back with Sky Sports for the Spanish round of the season. As announced pre-season, Davidson will be with the team for five races this year. Elsewhere, the Formula E championship returns with round five from Monaco. Martin Haven will be back in the commentary box as Jack Nicholls will be covering the Formula 1 action for BBC Radio 5 Live. Haven will be alongside Bob Varsha and Mike Conway as Dario Franchitti is stateside for the Indianapolis 500 build-up. The electric championship speeds up now with eight races taking place in the next two and a half months!

Also in action, next weekend is IndyCar action from the Indianapolis road course, whilst the World Superbike riders will be at Imola.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
13/05 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
14/05 – 18:45 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
12/05 – 08:45 to 11:00 – Practice 1
12/05 – 12:45 to 14:50 – Practice 2
13/05 – 09:45 to 11:15 – Practice 3
13/05 – 12:00 to 14:35 – Qualifying
14/05 – 11:30 to 16:15 – Race
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
10/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Preview
11/05 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Driver Press Conference
12/05 – 01:30 to 01:45 – Paddock Uncut
12/05 – 17:35 to 18:15 – Team Press Conference – to be confirmed
12/05 – 18:15 to 18:45 – The F1 Show – to be confirmed
17/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
11/05 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
12/05 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
13/05 – 09:55 to 11:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
13/05 – 12:55 to 14:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
14/05 – 12:30 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

Formula Two – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
12/05 – 11:00 to 11:45 – Practice
12/05 – 14:55 to 15:25 – Qualifying
13/05 – 14:35 to 15:45 – Race 1
14/05 – 09:30 to 10:25 – Race 2

Formula E – Monaco (online via Channel 5’s social media channels and YouTube)
13/05 – 06:55 to 07:55 – Practice 1
13/05 – 09:25 to 10:10 – Practice 2

Formula E – Monaco
13/05 – 10:45 to 12:10 – Qualifying (Spike)
13/05 – 14:30 to 16:15 – Race (Channel 5)

Formula V8 3.5 – Monza (BT Sport 3)
13/05 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Race 1
14/05 – 10:30 to 12:00 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Spain (Sky Sports F1)
13/05 – 08:45 to 09:20 – Qualifying
13/05 – 16:10 to 17:00 – Race 1
14/05 – 08:20 to 09:00 – Race 2

IndyCar Series  Grand Prix of Indianapolis (BT Sport 2)
14/05 – 20:30 to 23:00 – Race

Porsche Supercup  Spain
13/05 – 17:15 to 18:15 – Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
14/05 – 10:30 to 11:30 – Race 2 (Eurosport 1)

Speedway Grand Prix – Poland (BT Sport 3)
13/05 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

World Rallycross Championship – Belgium (Motorsport.tv)
14/05 – 13:00 to 14:55 – Race

World Superbikes – Imola
13/05 – 09:15 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
14/05 – 10:00 to 15:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
16/05 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As mentioned, once Sky’s schedules are in shape, I will update the above information.

Update on May 9th – I have had confirmation from Sky that their original schedules were incorrect. Sky will not be broadcasting the Porsche Supercup series and GP3 practice live, so exactly the same as previous years. I have also amended the Formula E commentary line-up – Dario Franchitti is in fact stateside and not covering the event.

Bottas win peaks with 3.4 million viewers

A peak audience of 3.4 million viewers watched Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas clinch his first Formula 1 victory at the Russian Grand Prix, overnight viewing figures show.

Race
Last year, Channel 4 aired highlights of the race with Sky broadcasting the race exclusively live, meaning that year-on-year comparisons are difficult to make.

Live coverage of the race, which aired on Channel 4 from 12:00 to 15:10, averaged 1.92m (19.7%). Channel 4 split their programming into three sections in television guides and on the EPG.

The pre-race build-up averaged 865k (11.8%) from 12:00, with the race itself bringing in 2.16m (21.5%) from 12:35 to 15:10. An audience of 656k (6.0%) stuck around for Channel 4’s analysis from 15:10 to 16:30.

Channel 4’s coverage peaked with 2.73m (27.6%) at 13:15 as the race restarted following the Safety Car period. Compared with last year, the peak is on the lower end of the scale for live races.

Sky Sports F1’s live coverage averaged 447k (4.5%) from 12:00 to 15:30, peaking with 752k (7.3%) at 13:55. The timing of Sky’s peak coincides with the gap between BT Sport’s Premier League game yesterday (Man Utd vs Swansea) and Sky’s first Premier League match (Everton vs Chelsea).

The combined average audience of 2.37 million viewers is marginally down on last year’s average audience of 2.40 million viewers. The peak audience is unusual, in that the peak audience did not occur at the same point as Sky’s and Channel 4’s own unique peak audiences.

In fact, the combined peak audience of 3.44 million viewers (31.3% share) occurred at 14:30. At the time of the peak, 2.72m (24.8%) were watching on Channel 4 (down 4,000 viewers on their own peak at 13:15) and 713k (6.5%) were watching on Sky Sports F1 (down 39,000 viewers on their own peak at 13:55).

There was a core audience of 3.2 million viewers watching with very little movement throughout the first 75 minutes, the race never once dropping below 3.16 million viewers. The audience breakdown for the respective broadcasters shows off the different audience profiles, Sky driven by other programming in their portfolio, with Channel 4 more general channel hopping. The numbers for the race are solid, but like the event itself, not spectacular.

Qualifying
Live coverage of qualifying across Sky Sports and Channel 4 fared poorly on Saturday afternoon.

Channel 4’s programme, which aired from 11:55 to 14:30, averaged 937k (12.4%). Their broadcast peaked with 1.60m (19.3%) at 13:55 as Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position. It is Channel 4’s second lowest audience ever for a live Formula 1 qualifying broadcast, only ahead of last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix (811k/11.4%).

Sky Sports F1’s broadcast averaged 197k (2.6%) from 12:00 to 14:40, which is one of their lowest qualifying audiences on record. Vettel’s pole position peaked with 371k (4.5%) at 13:55.

The qualifying session was up against other live sporting competition on free-to-air television: snooker on BBC One and horse racing on ITV, however both programmes started at 13:30, so are unlikely to have had a major impact.

The combined audience of 1.13 million viewers is the lowest for a qualifying session since the 2008 European Grand Prix, which was up against the Olympic Games closing ceremony. The combined peak audience of 1.97 million viewers (23.7% share) is marginally up on last year’s peak audience of 1.9 million viewers, last year shown in highlights form on Channel 4.

A larger proportion of Formula 1’s viewership is skipping the pre and post-session festivities, instead choosing to just watch the on-track action. Earlier in the day, an audience of 370k watched the third practice session across Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1 (291k and 79k respectively), peaking with 446k (7.3%) at 10:40.

The 2016 Russian Grand Prix ratings report can be found here.

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