Sky’s IndyCar scheduling this weekend

So this weekend there is Live IndyCars on Sky Sports 2 at 02:30. Which is fair enough, that’s just the luck of the draw unfortunately that some races are on in the early hours. What I don’t get, though, is where the repeats are scheduled, or rather the lack of repeats are scheduled on one particular channel. Scrolling through the channels, I see:

- 02:30 to 05:00 – Sky Sports 2 [live]
- 10:00 to 12:00 – Sky Sports 2 [repeat]
- 17:00 to 19:00 – Sky Sports 4 [repeat]
- 20:00 to 22:00 – Sky Sports 3 [repeat]

Two of the three repeats are either against F1 or Football while the other repeat is against the Legends programme featuring Mika Hakkinen on Sky Sports F1.

With scheduling like this, it is as if Sky are not willing to commit to IndyCars given the disastrous three thousand viewers last Saturday. Fact is there, there are a lot of people that want to watch IndyCars, but can’t. Why? Because they have Sky Sports F1 but don’t have the other Sky Sports channels. I outlined the various ratings reasons here, but to summarise, this is how the IndyCar Series has rated so far this season:

Round 1 – St. Petersburg
- first hour and a half shown behind Red Button due to Malaysian Grand Prix overrunning
- Sky Sports F1
- Sunday 25th March, 19:00 to 20:30
- programme average: 21,000 (0.09%)
- peak: 34,000 (0.15%) at 19:05

Round 2 – Barber
- Sky Sports 4
- Sunday 1st April, 20:00
- programme average: under 30,000; outside of BARB Top 10

Round 3 – Long Beach
- Sky Sports 4
- Sunday 15th April, 21:00
- programme average: under 25,000; outside of BARB Top 10

Round 4 – São Paulo
- was originally meant to be shown on Sky Sports 4, but moved to Sky Sports F1 as race time was moved earlier (more here)
- Sunday 29th April, 16:30 to 19:00
- programme average: 16,000

Round 5 – Indianapolis
- Sky Sports 4
- Sunday 27th May, 16:30 to 21:00
- programme average: 28,000
- peak: 53,000 at 17:20

Round 6 – Detroit
- Sky Sports 4
- Sunday 3rd June, 20:30 to 25:00
- programme average: under 35,000; outside of BARB Top 10

Round 7 – Texas
- Sky Sports 1
- Saturday 9th June, 01:30
- programme average: ???

Round 8 – Milwaukee
- Sky Sports 3
- Saturday 16th June, 18:00 to 22:00
- programme average: 3,000 (0.01%)
- race average from 20:00 to 22:00: 4,000 (0.02%)

The above ratings are criminally low, and are in fact lower than all live content that airs on Sky Sports F1, including GP2 and GP3. With that in mind, would it not make sense to move it to Sky Sports F1 to try and boost ratings?

The current schedule for this Sunday on Sky Sports F1 is:

09:30 – LIVE: GP2 Series
10:35 – filler
11:30 – LIVE: European Grand Prix
16:15 – NEW: Legends: Mika Hakkinen
17:15 – filler
19:00 – NEW: European Grand Prix Highlights
20:30 – Legends: Mika Hakkinen (R)
21:30 – GP2 Race 2 (R)
22:35 – European Grand Prix Highlights (R)
24:05 – Legends: Mika Hakkinen (R)
25:00 – off-air

Filler’s are in the wrong place there quite frankly. The schedule, in my opinion, should go:

09:30 – LIVE: GP2 Series
10:35 – NEW: Legends: Mika Hakkinen
11:30 – LIVE: European Grand Prix
16:15 – NEW: IndyCar Series
18:15 – NEW: European Grand Prix Highlights
19:15 – Legends: Mika Hakkinen (R)
20:15 – GP3 Race 1 (R)
21:00 – GP3 Race 2 (R)
21:50 – GP2 Race 1 (R)
23:15 – GP2 Race 2 (R)
24:20 – off-air

The schedule above has nine hours back-to-back of original content without any fillers to get into the way, with the highlights show sensibly on slightly earlier to avoid a clash with Euro 2012.

For those wondering, the Legends’ series has had:

- Nigel Mansell, 18th March: 76,000 (1.03%)
- Jody Scheckter, 25th March: 49,000 (0.65%)
- Alan Jones, 22nd April: 25,000 (0.16%)
- John Surtees, 13th May: 15,000 (0.10%)

So a timeslot change for itself to earlier in between GP2 and the main Formula 1 show on Sky may actually help it. Although I suspect for such a cheap programme, ratings are not as relevant, plus they are repeated multiple times so do their job well. Back to IndyCars though, and this particular Sunday moving the Legends programme to 10:30 would open up a slot for the IndyCar Series repeat to go into at 16:15 and give it some much needed exposure on Sky Sports F1.

Because let’s face it, the IndyCar Series ratings above are not only sad, but also plain embarrassing.

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Posted on June 21, 2012, in IndyCars, Ratings, Scheduling, Sky Sports F1 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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