The latest television audience figures for F1 broadcasts in Britain show recent live Formula 1 broadcasts are attracting half a million more viewers on like-for-like events compared to last year.
While last year’s Italian Grand Prix attracted fewer than 2.91m viewers and did not rank among ITV’s top 30 programmes for that week, this year 3.55m viewers tuned in to see Sebastian Vettel score his first F1 win.
Similarly the Belgian Grand Prix pulled in 3.87m viewers in 2008 – last year fewer than 3.31m were watching.
However the European Grand Prix at the new Circuito Urbano Valencia did not rank in the top 30 programmes on ITV in the week it aired, meaning fewer than 3m were watching.
The general trend for F1 audiences in Britain is very positive, however. In 2007 nine of the 18 F1 rounds failed to attract large enough audiences to feature in the top 30 programmes in the week they were broadcast. So far this year only three of the first 14 rounds did not make the top 30 (Singapore Grand Prix data not available yet).
This may partly be down to the strength of rival programming on ITV being better in 2007. But there is a clear upward trend when comparing like-for-like Grands Prix. Here are the viewing figures for 2008 so far:
|16 March 2008||Australian Grand Prix**||3,900,000|
|23 March 2008||Malaysian Grand Prix*||(<2.81m)|
|06 April 2008||Bahrain Grand Prix||3,580,000|
|27 April 2008||Spanish Grand Prix||3,510,000|
|11 May 2008||Turkish Grand Prix*||(<2.9m)|
|25 May 2008||Monaco Grand Prix||3,980,000|
|08 June 2008||Canadian Grand Prix||3,990,000|
|22 June 2008||French Grand Prix||3,350,000|
|4 July 2008||British Grand Prix||4,530,000|
|20 July 2008||German Grand Prix||3,190,000|
|3 August 2008||Hungarian Grand Prix||3,880,000|
|24 August 2008||European Grand Prix||(<3m)|
|7 September 2008||Belgian Grand Prix||3,870,000|
|14 September 2008||Italian Grand Prix||3,550,000|
*Did not rank among the top 30 programmes on ITV that week.
**’As live’ replay
Why are F1’s TV figures going up in Britain? The Lewis Hamilton effect? A wet summer? More entertaining Grands Prix? Share your explanation below.