AUSSIE Formula One fans have stayed up en masse to watch Daniel Ricciardo deliver McLaren a famous victory in the Italian Grand Prix, last night.
An average audience of 130,000 people watched the race – which started at 11:00pm AEST – making it the second most watched Grand Prix of the year to date, proving Ricciardo’s box-office draw among Aussie sports fans.
Only the Azerbaijan GP, which started at the much more user-friendly time of 9:00pm AEST, drew a larger audience.
The race, which saw World Championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen controversially collide at the first chicane, is the fourth most-watched race on Australian TV since the resumption of F1 racing following the Pandemic last year.
Probably not coincidentally, Ricciardo’s last victory in the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix also saw a TV ratings spike for that race proving his star power with Aussie audiences.
The 130,000 audience does not include Kayo Sports streaming figures, however Kayo chief Julien Orgin told Mediaweek in May that their F1 audiences were substantial.
“Firstly, the tentpole sports are important – there’s no getting around that. AFL, NRL, cricket, Formula 1, Supercars and NBA are all critical. As Patrick Delany said, the numbers we are seeing for these sports are unprecedented.
“Over 300k unique users for AFL games and nearly 300k unique users on a weekly fixture NRL game.
“We are getting 150k for Formula 1 races at midnight.”
Kayo recently confirmed they now have more than 1 million Australian subscribers to their Aussie sports-streaming platform.
‘Danny Ric’ was still trending on Twitter in Australia more than 11 hours following the start of the race last night.
The Italian GP was the third most-watched show on Aussie subscription TV on Sunday.
RANKED: Most watched F1 races since 2018
2019 Australian Grand Prix 290,000
2018 Australian Grand Prix 279,000
2018 Chinese Grand Prix 210,000
2019 Chinese Grand Prix 188,000
2018 Singapore Grand Prix 185,000
2018 Spanish Grand Prix 177,000
2018 Monaco Grand Prix 167,000
2019 Singapore Grand Prix 162,000
2020 Turkish Grand Prix 158,000
2020 Russian Grand Prix 144,000
2019 Russian Grand Prix 143,000
2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 138,000
2021 Italian Grand Prix 130,000
2018 Hungarian Grand Prix 129,000
2018 British Grand Prix 127,000
While this doesn’t look especially brilliant for Danny Ric’s triumph, here’s some context.
Firstly, these are the Fox Sports Audiences only.
Kayo Sports was only launched in late 2018, so there was no bleed of the F1 audience to streaming platforms that year, and very little in 2019 as the service was established. Kayo has approximately five times the number of subscribers now than it did at the end of the 2019 season.
The Australian Grand Prix aside, the China races rate well because they tend to start late afternoon (circa 4pm) in Australia; a perfect viewing time for big TV ratings.
The same can be said for the Singapore GP, which thanks to its close proximity to Australia always starts at about 8:30pm Eastern – the perfect ‘prime time’ TV window.
The Russian GP has rated well in the last few years because it has also started at an earlier time than the ‘usual’ 11PM Eastern race start time, much like Azerbaijan.
Both Russian events on the list, plus the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix and this year’s Baku race, started at 9:10pm AEST which is much more favourable than the usual near-midnight race time.
Of the four races on that Top 15 list that started at the ‘traditional’ 11PM AEST timeslot, the top two were won by Daniel Ricciardo.
Working full time in the motorsport industry since 2004, Richard has established himself within the group of Australia’s core motorsport broadcasters, covering the support card at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix for Channel 10, the Bathurst 12 Hour for Channel 7 and Porsche Carrera Cup & Touring Car Masters for FOX Sports’ Supercars coverage. Pretends to be a PR guy / Journalist and sometimes photographer to make ends meet when not yelling at a television in a padded room.
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