APRIL 3, 2002

F1 ratings in the US disappoint

THE preliminary TV ratings for Speed Channel's coverage of the first two Grands Prix of 2002 are very disappointing with an audience averaging only 145,000 people. The races were aired at two o'clock in the morning although they were rebroadcast at a later time. The rating is only a par with the viewing figures of the old Indy Lights series - when that was still in existence.

The figures were not helped by the lack of time available to Speed Channel to publicize its plans in Formula 1. Things should improve as the broadcasts come at more sensible times for the European races and as people become accustomed to the scheduling. However the ratings in Brazil will not be very good as Speed Channel gave out the wrong time for the broadcast to many of the program guides including the TV Guide and the DirecTV onscreen guide. This meant that many people tuned in to the Interlagos race in the final minutes of the broadcast.