As already mentioned today, the Bahrain Grand Prix was the BBC’s first prime time Formula 1 highlights show. So, I thought it’d be interesting to have a look at the viewing figures.
For this sort of thing, we must consult The Guardian.
Live coverage on Sky averaged 0.7 million viewers. At teatime, the BBC highlights grabbed an average of 3.6 million. That’s a ‘total’, for what it’s worth, of 4.3 million viewers.
Of course, there was no Bahrain Grand Prix in 2011. But if we go back to 2010, that had an average of 4.8 million viewers for the BBC’s exclusive live coverage.
So, it looks like the combination of live pay-TV coverage and prime time free-to-air highlights hasn’t yielded the increased viewing figures that some expected.
Or it hasn’t yet: this is an inexact science, and one data point does not make a trend. Increased ratings could come as viewing habits adjust to the new model. Or could not. Either way, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on.
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