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    Here’s an extract from this link,

    sponsors take note ;-)
    More than a million viewers watched the climax to the first grand prix of the season on Sky’s new Formula 1 channel but its overall audience was down 75% on BBC1’s coverage last year.

    Season opener the Australian Grand Prix, the first to be broadcast exclusively by Sky, had an average audience of 526,000 viewers between 4.30am and 9am on Sunday, with a five-minute peak of 1.02 million as Jenson Button took the chequered flag.

    Live coverage of the race itself, which ran from 6am to 7.40am, was watched by an average of 874,000 viewers.

    The BBC’s live coverage of the same race last season averaged 2.13 million viewers, a 51.1% share of the audience.

    The Australian grand prix is traditionally one of the lower-rating F1 races because of the time difference. Sunday’s audience figures included viewers who recorded it and watched it later in the day – as did the BBC1 figures for 2011.

    The BBC, which will broadcast half of this year’s grand prix live as part of its new joint rights deal with Sky, averaged 2.7 million viewers for its highlights programme between 2pm and 4pm on BBC1, a 22.9% share.

    Sky’s audience was always going to be substantially down on last year’s free-to-air coverage. Sky’s dedicated F1 channel is available to subscribers to Sky Sports or Sky’s high definition channels.

    A Sky Sports spokesman said the broadcaster did not discuss ratings for individual programmes.

    He added: “It is the performance of the whole channel we are interested in. We are pleased with the launch of the channel overall.”

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