Stunning 2/3rds (ongoing) collapse in Speedway Grand prix UK television viewing figures
After the Speedway Grand Prix UK television viewing figures black hole of three years of Eurosports speedway grand prix broadcasts, for the first time since 2012 we have verified audience figures.
Despite widespread acclaim for the knowledgeable and authoritative BT Sports Speedway studio team of Natalie Quirk and Scott Nicholls in combination with the established/experienced commentary team of Nigel Pearson and Kelvin Tatum broadcasting over the world feed as well as the calibre of the entertainment and racing offered by the 2016 series of the Monster Energy Speedway Grand Prix, sadly there has been a catastrophic collapse in audience interest in the Speedway Grand Prix.
Worse still, though this dramatic shrinkage continues a long-term trend, live broadcast average viewing figures per Monster Energy Speedway Grand Prix have nearly halved since 2012 from 67,454 to a pitiful 35,125 in 2016.
A brief glance at the television viewing figures for the Malilla Speedway Grand Prix illustrates and exemplifies the disaster overseen and engineered by the management team of SGP rights holders BSI (BSI/IMG). Ten years ago, the industry standard measurement of the average size of the television viewing audience by BARB reported 155,000. Two years later in 2008, 117,000 UK armchair viewers tuned in to see the SGP racing from Malilla. In six years, by 2012, viewing figures had shrunk by two-thirds to 50,000. While, by the time the 2016 series rolled into Malilla, viewing figures had shrunk by another two-thirds to only 14,000. Indeed, if repeated at any SGP round in 2016, the Malilla viewing figures from 2012 would bes the best of the season. If the current rate of decline continues, it will soon be quicker to introduce the UK armchair viewers to the riders rather than announce the riders.
The usual suspects will dispute the accuracy and authenticity of these industry standard BARB figures by doubting the methodology, real life viewing patterns or by claiming to have access to better analysis. However, until there are published or verifiable figures to the contrary, these figures kindly researched and tabulated by speedway fan Charles McKay form the only historic record we have of the popularity of the Speedway Grand Prix live broadcasts on British television.