Best & Worst Speedway Grand Prix television viewing figures by year from 1999 to 2018 (plus average viewing figures)

THE highest and lowest live speedway grand prix (SGP) television viewing figures for 1999 to 2018 are in and don’t make pretty reading. The patient remains on the critical list but, thankfully, the eyelids are fluttering. The info below also includes the average for each season – if available – from all live SGP meetings for which BARB speedway viewing figures are available.

These are the closest we can get to oranges with oranges comparisons. They are fact rather than opinion based. They use the widely-adopted industry standard analytical template for assessing UK television audiences. These are publicly available, independent, statistically significant verifiable results that use a published methodology and template.

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From these statistics, the golden era of live SGP viewership over the last nineteen years are the years 2006-2008. Since then, there has been a dramatic decline in audience interest. Praise where faint praise is due, after Sky Sports handed back the keys and walked away from British and grand prix speedway, at least the BT Sports audience for the SGP series is better than those obtained during the troubled Eurosport era (they failed to trouble the scorer from 2013 to 2015). Indeed the British SGP rose in 2018 – after a truly awful 2017 – but still remain at a level that is less than half the SGP historic lifetime average. The lowest ever viewing figures for an individual SGP meeting were recorded by BT Sports in 2017.

Interestingly, the figures BT Sports have got nowadays for the live British speedway have been praised by many with vested commercial interests without any independent corroboration or verification. Indeed, they are so good that BT Sports have corporately decided that they no longer wish to declare them to BARB. Whether BT Sports would take this position if they were rising significantly for either their sports or speedway live broadcasts is a counterfactual question to ponder.

Riders, fans, sponsors, media and rights holders alike need the British television speedway audience patient to continue to recover and show further signs of life during the 2019 SGP series – starting with the Warsaw Speedway Grand Prix – rather than relapse and require the last rites.


With thanks to Mr S. Bear for his kind help compiling these independent and verifiable live broadcast British television SGP viewing figures.

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