Ratings

Television ratings can be spun many ways to suit a particular agenda. The purpose of this page is to outline the different sources which have been used to collate the ratings that have been put on the site over the years.

The official ratings can be found via the BARB website.

The overnight ratings can be found on any of the following websites:

Broadcast
ITV Media
Media Guardian

The overnight viewing figures that are reported on this website come from overnights.tv, which has been the case since 2014. The viewing figures that I report commonly use the programme averages. The reason for that is because they are the figures most widely reported, and to collate race averages would require a significant amount of effort going across ten years of data.

Since the inception of Sky Sports F1, they have varied the length of their programming and more recently have split their race day programming into chunks. In 2012 it was one long programme. Now, it is four smaller parts. To ensure consistency, I use the three and a half hour slot which currently covers ‘Pit Lane Live’ and the race itself. This ensures year-on-year comparisons can be compiled and analysed without misleading readers.

Alongside the programme averages, I tend to report the peak audiences. This is, the five or one-minute segment where the audience was at its highest. So, what data do I use and what data do I ignore? Instead of writing out a paragraph or two, I have bullet pointed what I use below:

2011 and before
Asian based races
– live showing
– afternoon re-run

European based races
– live showing

American based races
– live showing

2012 and after
Asian based, Sky exclusive races
– Sky live showing
– BBC / Channel 4 afternoon highlights

Asian based, non-exclusive races
– BBC / Channel 4 live showing
– Sky live showing
– BBC / Channel 4 afternoon re-run

European based, Sky exclusive races
– Sky live showing
– BBC / Channel 4 evening highlights

European based, non-exclusive races
– BBC / Channel 4 live showing
– Sky live showing

American based, Sky exclusive races
– Sky live showing
– BBC / Channel 4 late-night highlights

American based, non-exclusive races
– BBC / Channel 4 live showing
– Sky live showing

That sounds complicated, but it is the way to get the best results and to portray the viewing figures in the most accurate way. You could argue why don’t I include Sky’s highlights? You could then say, well why don’t I also put BBC Three’s evening highlights in and also ITV1’s highlights from 2008 and before? The point is, where do you draw the line before you find you are reporting eight ratings for one race? And if you start referring to third, fourth and fifth showings, then I would have to ask “well, why were these people not watching live?”.

It is a tough one, I admit. But in the interest of clarity, the above is how I make comparisons, year-on-year. If there is anything unclear above, leave a comment and I shall change or add things if necessary.

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