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F1 Bahrain GP: Channel 4 scores healthy figures for live F1 TV debut

Channel 4's live F1 TV debut for the Bahrain Grand Prix performs well in the ratings, with a peak of 3.2m and an average of 2.3m
Channel 4 says it reached a peak of 3.2m viewers during the Bahrain Grand Prix, its first live broadcast of an F1 race.

The channel, which has taken over the rights to show F1 on terrestrial television in the UK from the BBC, has invested heavily in its production, while its presenting team includes the likes of David Coulthard, Karun Chandhok, Susie Wolff and Mark Webber.

According to Channel 4, the broadcast – the first of ten live races it will show in 2016 – averaged 2.3m, with a peak of 3.2m. It added it was the most watched channel in its time slot.

By contrast, Sky Sports F1 – which shows every race live on its pay channel - is known to average just over 600,000 viewers per race, while BBC's live coverage averaged around 3 million in 2015.

Channel 4 will show F1 in a part-live, part-highlights package format in 2016 having taken over from the BBC when it ended its contract early.

Channel 4's deal is for three years, though FOM has already confirmed that Sky Sports F1 will get wholly exclusive live rights from 2019, a move that has been heavily criticised by fans unhappy at the move to an entirely pay TV model.

Did you watch Channel 4's live Bahrain Grand Prix coverage? What did you think? Comment below…
by Ollie Barstow

Tagged as: TV , Bahrain Grand Prix , live , Channel 4

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April 04, 2016 3:53 PM
Last Edited 1 day 23 hours ago

Good show, on the whole. Still stuff to improve, though. Susie Wolff is pointless. It definitely doesn't need more than two pundits, and she was much weaker than DC and Webber. She might have been useful in getting access to the Merc garage, but if you're going to get in, at least do something other than sit at the back for a minute then walk out without speaking to anybody. A much bigger disappointment, though, was Jordan's "interview" with Ecclestone. A four minute opportunity for the old man to spout meaningless drivel about nothing, mostly quali, when there are far more important questions for him to answer. This is the man who is denying millions of UK viewers "free-to-air" access. From what I've seen, no interviewer has tackled him about it. No-one has asked him if "non-paying" fans are no longer important to him. No one has mentioned how he thinks the sponsors are going to react to seeing their UK eyeballs reduced by eighty percent. I had thought Jordan would, but no. Wimp.

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