Sky Sports British Speedway Viewing Figures 2012: Third worst ever

The latest Sky Sports British Speedway viewing figures for the 2012 season don’t make edifying reading for speedway fans concerned about the allegedly diminishing likelihood of contract renewal.

Looking to the positive, from June to August 2012 speedway was consistently the second most popular sport on Sky Sports (after WWE) – albeit on Sky Sports 3. Clutching at straws, live British Speedway appeared three times this season on the premier Sky Sports channel (Sky Sports 1) compared to twice last season. Sadly, this is as good as the news gets…

In a nutshell, the average viewing figure of 71,809 is the third worst ever viewing figure since 2000 (70,000) and 2001 (69,285). On average 8,802 (11%) less people watched British League speedway during 2012 (particularly worrying after the signs of improvement in the 2011 figures). If you exclude the more ‘popular’ play off meetings, the fall per live televised meeting comparatively improves to only 5,563 (or 7.33%) lost viewers (on average) every week. That said, even the Play Off Final itself is less popular with the viewers in actual numbers and on average. 2012 saw Belle Vue v Wolverhampton record the second lowest ever television audience for a live meeting (35,000) – while Lakeside v Swindon (37,000) was the fourth lowest ever. Interestingly, Belle Vue v Birmingham was the most popular (100,000) regular league meeting televised live during the 2012 season.

Experts can advise on the reasons behind the decline (format, commentary, presentation, product weakness, track variability) until the cows come home or, indeed, the possible solutions. Either way, even for those in denial, these figures need urgent immediate improvement if the Sky Sports television contract for British Speedway is to be renewed.


How BARB compiles their figures is explained here. Some claim that the above figures (once again, kindly and diligently compiled by Charles McKay) don’t show the real picture. If so, please make this ‘evidence’ (publicly) available to corroborate your claims and also to ensure British speedway has the tools to better negotiate future contracts with Sky Sports to televise the sport.


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6 Responses to Sky Sports British Speedway Viewing Figures 2012: Third worst ever

  1. Mat
    January 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Are Sky aware of how many speedway fans watch their speedway coverage, but not necessarily live. I know of many who attend meetings on a Monday night and so watch the re-run of the live show later, or indeed as I do watch it recorded once the kids have gone to bed and also to avoid monopolising the television for 3 hours on a Monday evening. Do these statistics take into account these viewers and of course Sky subscribers. I don’t mix in huge social circles but know of over 20 speedway fans who subscribe to Sky Sports who will definitely (as will I) cancel their subscription should Sky drop speedway from their schedules and in particular Speedway GP as seems threatened for 2013.

  2. margaret ingham
    February 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I also watch via V+ so how can they monitor this? I won’t be paying for sky sports with no speedway coverage.

  3. Fred Flintstone
    March 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Presumably if Speedway is to disappear from Sky then so will all the other sports that had lower viewing figures……. the above article quotes “from June to August 2012 speedway was consistently the second most popular sport on Sky Sports”

    So will just leave us with WWE and nothing else.

    Read what you like into statistics and make the answer what you want it to be!!!

  4. Steve Skerry
    March 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    It’s articles like this that have probably helped speedway’s demise on Sky. The last thing the sport needs is stories like this pointing out how nobody watches it!! How truly unhelpful! If Sky execs were in any doubt about keeping the GPs they wouldn’t be after this article! Totally irresponsible and surprising from somebody who writes regularly about the sport.

    What surprises more is how cloak and dagger Sky’s withdrawal has been. I can’t find one official story searching through Google that says Sky has dropped speedway. This is surely a massive story for speedway. Why this has not been reported more prominently in Speedway Star?? Anyone, who’s anyone, knows that Eurosport is a very poor cousin to Sky Sports, I can’t begin to imagine how bad the presentation of it will be on Saturday’s for the NZ opener.

  5. October 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    for me,if no speedway on sky. sky can go & take a run, as this is the main reason i got it,,,

  6. philip walker
    October 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Euro sport cover speedway very well.
    I only want to watchspeedway .dont want to watch studio chat.
    Sky should do more premier.
    And this from an elite club supporter.
    Who wishes his club would drp down to see some
    Decent speedway every week,

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