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A detailed look into UK F1 television ratings


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#201 Ensign

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 17:32

Notice how many of those races - both Spa and Monza a couple of times - are what most F1 fans would call traditional marquee races. The reality is that the casual fan doesn't care about stuff like that. What makes for a high rating?: 1) a British driver doing well; 2) a close championship battle, especially a final race to decide it; 3) controversy in previous races that becomes a story in the mainstream media; 4) weather - if it is raining more people are home on a Sunday afternoon flicking through the channels looking for something to watch before Sunday roast; and 5) competition on other channels.

(Note: I have no actual data to prove anything but all the above is based on a couple of decades of observing casual fans - the kind who would think I'm a weirdo for actually posting at a motorsports forum!)

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#202 MinT

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 17:48

Scanned through the above posts but - did anyone suggest that the reducing viewer numbers has more to do with the percieved "boring" F1 racing than wether people like LH more than JB or got turned off by Legard ?

Talking to friends and colleagues most usually say "well I used to wacth but its just boring these days with no overtaking"



#203 D.M.N.

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 19:57

The numbers for the most watched sporting event of 2009 worldwide are out (included other years here for comparison purposes)...

2005
01 - 93m - Super Bowl
02 - 73m - UEFA Champions League Final
03 - 51m - F1: Canadian Grand Prix
04 - 23m - World Athletics
05 - 22m - World Series

2006
01 - 260m - FIFA World Cup Final
02 - 98m - Super Bowl
03 - 87m - Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony
04 - 86m - UEFA Champions League Final
05 - 83m - F1: Brazilian Grand Prix

2007
01 - 97m - Super Bowl
02 - 76m - F1: Brazilian Grand Prix
03 - 72m - UEFA Champions League Final
04 - 33m - Rugby World Cup
05 - 24m - World Athletics

2008
01 - 593m - Olympics: Opening Ceremony
02 - 252m - Olympics: Closing Ceremony
03 - 184m - Olympics: Women's Volleyball
04 - 178m - Olympics: 100m Athletics
05 - 166m - UEFA Euro 2008 Final
---
08 - 80m - F1: Brazilian Grand Prix

2009
01 - 109m - UEFA Champions League
02 - 103m - Super Bowl
03 - 54m - F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix **
04 - 33m - World Athletics
05 - 29m - Wimbledon 2009 Men's Final

** conflicting sources on whether it is actually Abu Dhabi, I think it was Abu Dhabi though at a guess (even though Reuters have corrected their article to say Bahrain was the most watched...)

F1, for the past few years has been the most watched sporting event alongside the Champions League final and Super Bowl, but that appeared to dip off a bit last year with ~54m watching the final race, and less than 54m watching for Brazil.

If Bernie needs a reason for Brazil being the final race, then that is it...

Edited by D.M.N., 02 February 2010 - 09:57.


#204 dank

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 20:04

Yeah but, you could suggest that the '06 and '07 end of season races had something to draw the punters in. Schumacher's departure, the three-way fight for the title etc. Abu Dhabi had just a new track and time setting to draw the punters in as everything else had been settled in the championship by then.

So why wasn't Brazil '09 a crowd puller? Perhaps because Button doesn't bring in as many punters and there was no guarantee that things would have been settled at that specific point in time?

#205 D.M.N.

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 21:05

Yeah but, you could suggest that the '06 and '07 end of season races had something to draw the punters in. Schumacher's departure, the three-way fight for the title etc. Abu Dhabi had just a new track and time setting to draw the punters in as everything else had been settled in the championship by then.

So why wasn't Brazil '09 a crowd puller? Perhaps because Button doesn't bring in as many punters and there was no guarantee that things would have been settled at that specific point in time?


Good point you make there, one I never thought of. I guess you could for '06, '07 and '08 actively promoted a title decider, whereas for '09 there were 2 possible rounds where it could have been solved at.

#206 stevvy1986

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 22:37

I'd imagine the fact he'd qualified 14th and so it didn't look like he'd win the title that day also had an impact, whereas had he started maybe 2nd, more may have tuned in, knowing he had a great chance. Just a thought, which may or may not be well placed.

#207 dank

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:50

Looks like it was actually Bahrain that was the third most watched sporting event in 2009?

http://www.sportbusi...owl-tv-audience

#208 D.M.N.

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 09:59

Looks like it was actually Bahrain that was the third most watched sporting event in 2009?

http://www.sportbusi...owl-tv-audience


If that really is the case, then you may be able to see Bernie's logic as having it Round 1.

I've added 2008's figures... 80m for F1. I can only assume 2006 is so high is because so many people wanted to see Schumacher's "final" race, despite the fact that Alonso had all but won the title with a 10 point lead heading into the race.

..saying that in the UK, the race only had just over 4m viewers.

#209 andy-i

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:09

Its interesting to breakdown the UK portion of those audiences:

01 - 109m - UEFA Champions League 9.42M* (ITV+Sky) 8.6%
02 - 103m - Super Bowl <500K* <0.05%
03 - 54m - F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 4.88M 9.0%
04 - 33m - World Athletics 3.32M 10.0%
05 - 29m - Wimbledon 2009 Men's Final 8.55M 29.4%

I think it shows that F1 along with Football and Athletics have truly global appeal.

Whilst Tennis is fairly popular worldwide, Wimbledon is a uniquely british phenomenon with nearly a third of the global audience.

*Also worth noting that BARB figures dont include Pub viewers which whilst small for the other 4 are very large for any big football match. I think you could add a few million to the ECL final figure.

**It also shows that the superbowl, whilst broadcast in over 200 countries is not a globally watched event. The US audience makes up over 95% of the total. The UK audience is tiny, not even making SkySport's top 10. I think my estimate of <500K is pretty fair.

Edited by andy-i, 02 February 2010 - 14:16.


#210 batsnumbereleven

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 17:27

**It also shows that the superbowl, whilst broadcast in over 200 countries is not a globally watched event. The US audience makes up over 95% of the total. The UK audience is tiny, not even making SkySport's top 10. I think my estimate of <500K is pretty fair.


And the Superbowl was a Sunday night at nearly midnight start (unless you also are including replays from Monday evening?)


#211 batsnumbereleven

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 17:30

From the Original Post:

1993 from 1992 did have a drop also - but I don't have many figures for those years.



Notable to me here is that Nigel Mansell dominated the Championship in 1992, but did not even compete in 1993. Although Damon Hill was in the Williams he'd vacated, he never looked ike a threat to Alain Prost.

(and sorry for the double post!)

#212 ivanalesi

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 17:37

I'm surprised the CL final had less viewers than F1 for the UK, this is good.

#213 D.M.N.

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 17:49

I'm surprised the CL final had less viewers than F1 for the UK, this is good.


Not sure which bit you're looking at, but Champions League Final gets ~9/10m in the UK, F1 gets ~4m.

Edited by D.M.N., 02 February 2010 - 17:49.


#214 Ensign

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 23:47

2009
01 - 109m - UEFA Champions League
02 - 103m - Super Bowl
03 - 54m - F1: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix **
04 - 33m - World Athletics
05 - 29m - Wimbledon 2009 Men's Final


The numbers above tell me that they only look at a selected number of sporting events to attach numbers to then list only the most watched event from each sport.

I find it implausible that Abu Dhabi got 54m but no other F1 race got more than 29m - the fifth place number. It would suggest tens of millions tuned in just because it was the last race, and not even a championship decider, whereas in other years even mid-season races like Canada sometimes had most viewers for the year. It's difficult to believe Abu Dhabi might have doubled Brazil and all the other races in 2009.

It wouldn't surprise me either if each UEFA CL semi-final match topped Wimbledon's 29m. Also, one of the recent NFL American football semi-final (ie Conference Final) games got 52.9 million viewers up from 39.6m in 2009*. So at least one NFL Conference Final in 2009 got more viewers in the US alone than 4th place athletics (33m) and Wimbledon (29m). That 2009 game would also have got a few million elsewhere, mostly Canada and anywhere there's a US expat population, enough to get it close to 45 million.

* Sports Media Watch

Edited by Ensign, 02 February 2010 - 23:50.


#215 ivanalesi

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 01:52

Ensign, if we start looking at bugs, this whole ratings thing will go busted... I find it extremely stupid, when someone starts talking about Internet as unproven tool, Internet stats are so much more truthful than any of these stupid TV "surveys".

Not sure which bit you're looking at, but Champions League Final gets ~9/10m in the UK, F1 gets ~4m.


Oops, I was watching the percentages, not the millions!

#216 andy-i

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 10:12

"The numbers above tell me that they only look at a selected number of sporting events to attach numbers to then list only the most watched event from each sport."

Ensign, you are right!!
They pick only the most watched single match/event in any championship or competition. If they didn't do it then the top 10 would be made up of World cup matches, Euro matches and Olympic events etc in the years they place.

"Oops, I was watching the percentages, not the millions!"

If you count the millions watching in a pub, then the % for the footy would be higher too. As already covered in another thread, Football is FAR MORE popular than F1 in the UK.

#217 Kenaltgr

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 14:28

If you have the 1991 British GP build up from a torrent, Interestingly Steve Ryder said the 1990 British Grand Prix had over "9 Million viewers". The selected races shown in the late 80's probably had even more.

#218 ivanalesi

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 15:03

May be because there has been much less competition back then on the market. Now you have a lot more channels.

#219 D.M.N.

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:41

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=39946

Heh...

One market which had no such trouble was the UK. Last year F1 was watched in the UK by 30.8 million viewers comprising over 50% of the population. This was good news for the BBC since 2009 was the first year of its current contract to broadcast the sport and it was a 6% increase on ITV's audience in 2008. The driving force behind the increase was, of course, Jenson Button's successful world championship challenge and the biggest audience of the year was for the Brazilian Grand Prix when 16.2 million people watched him win the world championship.


16.2m people? Ha, we wish.

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#220 BrendanMcF

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:04

http://www.pitpass.c...es_art_id=39946

Heh...



16.2m people? Ha, we wish.


That's an FOM calculation, not BBC viewing figures (which were around 8m AFAIK), and therefore includes news broadcasts. FOM have always published their data on this basis, nothing new.

#221 D.M.N.

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 21:41

So, in case you didn't realise (or have been living under a hole), F1 is back. So, what to expect ratings wise? Hmm.... first off with Bahrain last year:

2.4m (30.8%) [Qualifying]
4.3m (40%) [Race]

Australia last year, which was the first race had 3.33m and 4.98m combined for qualifying and the race respectively.

This weekend should improve on last year's Bahrain figures, not sure if the race can break 5m considering it is Mother's Day unfortunately.

#222 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 March 2010 - 07:24

I think you'll almost have to asterisk Bahrain and Australia this year due to their different points on the schedule. I expect Bahrain to be fractionally higher, Australia a little lower.

#223 D.M.N.

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 10:58

2.74m (31.2%) for Qualifying on Saturday...

#224 D.M.N.

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:42

Rating is out:

11:10 - Formula 1: The Bahrain Grand Prix: 4.8m (41.2%)
* 15-minute peak: 6.1m (47.2%) @ 13:30

Pleasing rating, good start to the year ratings wise.

Edited by D.M.N., 15 March 2010 - 10:50.


#225 Gene and Tonic

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:01

I bet they dropped off rapidly though

#226 D.M.N.

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:06

I bet they dropped off rapidly though

Well the peak was at the end of the race...

Suggesting that the audience increased throughout.

#227 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:16

Is it possible a lot of casual viewers thought the race would start at 1pm as per usual?

#228 D.M.N.

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:19

Is it possible a lot of casual viewers thought the race would start at 1pm as per usual?


Maybe, but then I think the average would not be as high as 4.8m.

#229 D.M.N.

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 15:47

Joe Saward has viewing figures for Germany and Spain, both unsurprisingly up: http://joesaward.wor...umacher-factor/

#230 MinT

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 16:18

Rating is out:

11:10 - Formula 1: The Bahrain Grand Prix: 4.8m (41.2%)
* 15-minute peak: 6.1m (47.2%) @ 13:30

Pleasing rating, good start to the year ratings wise.


If the racing doesnt get better quick I think we can see the numbers dropping fast.

#231 D.M.N.

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 16:17

Australian Grand Prix - Ratings Roundup
2008
Qualifying
0.38m (25.7%) - Live
1.70m (16.7%) - Re-Run
Total = 2.08 million

Race
0.81m (54.4%) - Live
3.75m (23.0%) - Re-Run
Total = 4.56 million

2009
Qualifying
0.80m (44.6%) - Live
2.53m (27.3%) - Re-Run
Total = 3.33 million

Race
2.13m (60.5%) - Live
2.85m (30.2%) - Re-Run
Total = 4.98 million

2010
Qualifying
0.81m (39.1%) - Live
1.93m (21.0%) - Re-Run
Total = 2.74 million

Race
1.95m (53.7%) - Live
2.56m (23.4%) - Re-Run
Total = 4.51 million

Lowest race rating for Australia since 2007, to be expected I guess considering it was not Round 1 of the championship.

#232 kar

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 16:21

Not really given it's 'euro friendly' timeslot.

#233 D.M.N.

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 16:26

Not really given it's 'euro friendly' timeslot.

True, but more people tune in for Round 1 just because it is Round 1.

#234 D.M.N.

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:09

Time for Malaysia's ratings (or non ratings)....

Qualifying
08:00 to 10:30 - BBC1 - 2.2m (31.5%)

Race
08:00 to 10:00 - BBC1 - 2.5m (34.1%)
09:55 to 11:10 - BBC2 - 2.6m (27.5%)

Re-Run: 14:25 to 16:25 - BBC2 - 1.0m (8.7%)

That's what happens, you see when you switch channels halfway through a race. Had it stayed on BBC One, the audience would have grown more and would have certainly been higher I think.

#235 D.M.N.

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 16:02

Malaysian Grand Prix 2010 - 15-Minute Breakdown
08:00 - 1.8m (39.1%)
08:15 - 1.9m (34.5%)
08:30 - 2.0m (31.9%)
08:45 - 2.2m (31.4%)
09:00 - 3.0m (36.8%) <-- race start
09:15 - 3.2m (36.4%)
09:30 - 3.1m (34.1%)
09:45 - 2.9m (30.5%)
10:00 - 2.7m (27.6%) <-- 10:00 onwards on BBC Two, clearly some didn't press the '2' button quick enough
10:15 - 3.2m (32.4%)
10:30 - 3.3m (32.9%)
10:45 - 2.4m (26.4%)
11:00 - 1.6m (18.8%)

Clearly a very disappointing rating, considering last year had 4.36 million - even if it was on an hour later.

#236 BigWicks

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 17:22

belgium last year had much lower viewing figures, it was held on a bank holiday weekend

yesterdays race had much lower viewing figures, it was held on a bank holiday weekend

don't have to be a genius to work out there is probably a connection here, DMN has the stats, all he has to do is going through the races which have been held on bank holiday weekends for the last 10 years and see if this pattern stands up to scrutiny

#237 dank

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 19:58

belgium last year had much lower viewing figures, it was held on a bank holiday weekend

yesterdays race had much lower viewing figures, it was held on a bank holiday weekend

don't have to be a genius to work out there is probably a connection here, DMN has the stats, all he has to do is going through the races which have been held on bank holiday weekends for the last 10 years and see if this pattern stands up to scrutiny


But how many races were:

A) On a Bank Holiday
B) Early in the morning
C) On Easter Sunday

Can't really compared like-for-like.


#238 D.M.N.

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:16

Formula 1 - The Chinese Grand Prix
2009
Qualifying
- live: 1.0m (41.4%)
- re-run: 1.9m (24.2%)
= 2.90m total (up on 1.96m in 2008)

Race
- live: 3.23m (54.0%)
- re-run: 1.40m (18.0%)
= 4.63m total (up on 4.42m in 2008)

2010
Qualifying
- live: 1.13m (34.3%)
- re-run: 1.17m (14.2%)
= 2.30m total (down on 2009)

Race
- live: 3.17m (46.5%)
- re-run: 1.53m (13.2%)
= 4.80m total (up on 2009 slightly)

Qualifying much lower than last year, and so are the shares which is a tad surprising.

The race did well though, no doubt helped by a McLaren 1-2.

Edited by D.M.N., 20 April 2010 - 16:16.


#239 OwenC93

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:21

The live qualifying was a good rating, but the re-run wasn't. Perhaps people realised the results to soon, or with McLaren and Ferrari not qualifying well.

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#240 BullHead

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:28

It's probably been asked before, but does anyone know how they go about obtaining these figures?

#241 demoing

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:33

It's probably been asked before, but does anyone know how they go about obtaining these figures?

check out BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) the people who gather the data

http://www.barb.co.uk/about/faq?_s=4

Viewing estimates are obtained from a panel of television owning households representing the viewing behaviour of the 26+ million households within the UK. The reporting panel of 5,100 homes is selected to be representative of each ITV and BBC region. The service covers viewing within private households only.

#242 BullHead

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:40

:up: Ah right. They actually do monitor viewing habits live, using special equipment set up in peoples' homes. Didn't know that. :)

#243 D.M.N.

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 15:38

Formula 1 - The Spanish Grand Prix
2009
Qualifying: 2.5m (30.1%) (up on 1.37m in 2008)
Race - 3.8m (36.0%) (up on 3.38m in 2008)

2010
Qualifying: 2.6m* (26.2%)
Race: 3.99m (35.0%) (up on 2009)

* note: build-up was 30 minutes shorter than last year due to Election 2010

Surprised to see the race was higher than last year, at least audience wise, despite no Brits really at the front unlike last year. Also the highest Spanish Grand Prix rating since 2000:

1996 - 4.81m
1997 - 3.21m
1998 - 3.60m
1999 - 3.69m
2000 - 4.00m
2001 - 3.69m
2002 - 3.72m
2003 - 3.20m
2004 - 3.04m
2005 - 2.72m
2006 - 2.20m
2007 - 3.00m
2008 - 3.38m
2009 - 3.80m
2010 - 3.99m

#244 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 17:55

What's interesting in that is in 2005 and 2006, as far as I know there wasn't a competitive British driver. At least in 03/04 Coulthard was in a front running car. That's about the only thing I can think of to justify the dip, 2006 in particular wasn't a dull season.

#245 D.M.N.

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 09:16

Formula 1 - The Monaco Grand Prix
2009
Qualifying: 2.59m (34.2%) (up on 1.69m in 2008)
Race - 3.50m (41.9%) (down on 3.83m in 2008)

2010
Qualifying: 2.2m* (26.0%)
- note: had longer post-qualifying show until 14:35.
Race: 4.7m (40.8%), peak: 5.7m (48.9%)
- highest race rating since 2000

Very good race rating in comparison to last year considering the Brits didn't do well. The peak share is also good.

Average this year stands at 4.37m compared to 4.32m last year.

Edited by D.M.N., 17 May 2010 - 10:11.


#246 Don_Humpador

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 10:57

Good ratings for the Beeb. Think they must be pretty pleased they picked up the F1 rights when they did - they have a classic season in the making.

#247 Ensign

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 19:14

From The Grauniad:

ITV1 was comfortably the most-watched channel for most of this period, with the only serious competition coming from BBC1's live coverage of qualifying for the Monaco Formula One grand prix.

BBC1's F1 coverage drew 2.211 million viewers (26%) between 12.10pm and 2.35pm and was more popular than ITV1's FA Cup final build-up while the two were head to head.


Guardian Media

The FA Cup got only 5.6 million on ITV, which is not that much more than F1. Assuming ITV had exclusive rights (?) that seems like a low number.


#248 D.M.N.

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 07:59

From The Grauniad:



Guardian Media

The FA Cup got only 5.6 million on ITV, which is not that much more than F1. Assuming ITV had exclusive rights (?) that seems like a low number.


It is, and shows the continuing decline of the tournament: http://www.digitalsp...;postcount=4973

The F1's peak on Monday was only 1m less than The FA Cup peak.

#249 ensign14

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:12

That, and it being on ITV.

#250 D.M.N.

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:36

I know its for one day only, but for once the F1 is more popular, very slightly, by the England national football team... some head-scratching at ITV this morning?  ;)

12:10 - BBC1 - Formula 1: The Turkish Grand Prix: 3.4m (29.2%)
* 15-minute peak: 4.88m (37.6%) @ 14:00
12:50 - ITV1 - International Football: England v Japan: 3.3m (27.4%)
* 15-minute peak: 4.63m (35.7%) @ 14:45

Source: Attentional

The F1 obviously lower, but that's not a surprise given the clash. A very good rating for it against the England International. Qualifying had 2.3m with a similar share.

Edited by D.M.N., 31 May 2010 - 12:55.