How ITV can possibly think that a few men hitting some balls across a table could possibly be anywhere near as exciting as yesterday’s spectacular Formula E race in Buenos Aires is beyond us. But unfortunately, it clearly does think this, as it’s been announced that live coverage of the upcoming Mexico City leg of the championship (on 12 March) on ITV4 has been shelved to make way for the World Grand Prix snooker tournament.
Presenter Jennie Gow broke the news during the highlights programme following yesterday’s Argentinian ePrix. The F1 Broadcasting Blog shed some more light on the situation, quoting viewing figures to illustrate why this is, in fact, an understandable move for ITV:
“From a viewing figures perspective, it is a sensible decision. According to overnight viewing figures, yesterday’s Buenos Aires ePrix attracted an audience of 132k (0.7%), recording a 5-minute peak of 248k (1.2%) on ITV4. Whilst the peak audience was the highest of the season for Formula E, it was down 41.3 percent on last year’s figure of 423k (1.9%).
“In comparison, the aforementioned World Grand Prix snooker tournament last year attracted average audiences of anywhere between 150k and 500k depending on the session and time of day. The semi-final session last year on the Saturday evening recorded a 5-minute peak of 422k (2.0%). The decision may well have been different had Formula E’s figures held up more this season, although I feel ITV’s extremely poor promotion of the series is to blame for that.”
The race will instead be shown at 23:15 on the Saturday, with normal coverage set to resume thereafter. It’s likely that it’ll still be streamed live on ITV’s website, but there doesn’t appear to be any other way to watch the race live in the UK as yet. We will of course keep you updated on this.
Do you think that Formula E deserves more promotion? Let us know what you think…