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It’s not when, it’s how many

2015 is the start of a new media dynamic for V8 Supercars (V8SC). A lot has been written on the Foxtel/TEN deal, and following the raw data this week, many have reported that the numbers were significantly lower than 2014. Unfortunately, most are still looking at the 2015 figures through 2014 eyes and not measuring the new deal accordingly.

There are a number of reasons V8SC are not in a panic about the regularly reported downturn of viewership. Most simply, because year to date it is not down.

Why is it that everyone is saying otherwise? Because most people are only looking at the ‘Live’ view numbers.

Many commentators, bloggers and journalists report the ‘Live’ figures and portray the replays as irrelevant, they rule out the value of these viewers, and disregard the person who watched the Rugby League ‘Live’ then once the game is over watch the V8’s. If it is sponsorship and commercial deals that makes the V8 world go round (see our story on the latest V8 research here), then each of these viewers are as important as the ones that watch it ‘Live’. The way the replays (both on TEN and Foxtel) are preported in some media, you would think that the sponsors are erased from the pictures (like clips of cars with cigarette advertising) and a person watching these broadcasts is having no exposure to any of the products and services on the cars, track or TV graphics.

‘Live’ viewing numbers are not the whole story. V8 Supercars now has multiple delivery strategies:

Strategy 1 – Live TV – Subscriber TV 100%, Free to Air TV 33%

Strategy 2 – Live Online/Mobile Webcast – Foxtel Play – Foxtel Go – SuperView (Overseas) 100%

Strategy 3 – Delay Highlights Broadcast – Free to Air 66%

Strategy 4 – Delay Broadcast – Subscriber TV – 100%

Strategy 5 – Playback – Subscriber TV 100% Free to Air PVR 100%*
(*Playback numbers are only counted when viewers don’t fast forward through the content

To fully comprehend the viewer for V8 Supercars, you need to analyse the consolidated ratings, (explained here In short, the real figures for V8 Supercars viewing is not available until between seven and 14 days after the event, depending on when the final replay is shown.

V8 Supercars has provided Supercar Magazine with the Live numbers from Perth last weekend. These do not include the delayed broadcasts and playback data which is not available until next week, when all the Foxtel replays have concluded.

Foxtel 98,000
Race 7 (Foxtel) 92,000
Race 8 (Foxtel) 85,000
Races 7&8 (TEN/ONE) 198,000
Saturday Total 375,000
Race 9 (Foxtel) 90,000
Race 9 (TEN/ONE) 273,000
Weekend Total 746,000

V8 Supercars estimate the replay and playback numbers will be approximately 40,000. This will result in the total viewing numbers being 20% down on 2014.

However, for the first three races of 2015, viewing numbers for the series are actually 50%  up on last year. One weekend shouldn’t be the barometer for the success of the new media deal.

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7 Comments to It’s not when, it’s how many

  1. How about raw numbers for comparison. Say how many watched the race live last year. I am sure the live numbers last year are significantly higher. Also how many are repeat viewers that also watch the live race, highlights and PVR views. Not having these figures does not show true penetration. Ultimately there are less viewers and the social media feedback more than supports this. As a result sponsors are getting less exposure and it’s only a matter of time until those figures start to reflect the true situation.
    Further why is it that other media organisations only report live viewers at only 63000 and not V8 Supercars inflated numbers. The highlights figures are almost highly inflated. The only round thus far too increase is the FTA Adelaide round.
    Time will tell.

  2. Are you serious with this report? Foxtel races 7 & 8 would have the same people watching it. Aren’t the race days on Foxtel all one continuous telecast? You cannot count viewers twice just because there are two races. What this actually shows is that people were switching away from the telecast on Foxtel. Who wrote this story??? No writers credit I see.
    This story has a PR smell to it, aimed at the corporate sector to give the best impression from a not so good position.

    • This happens a lot in this area.

      Take Bathurst for example. Everyone who camps on the mountain for the weekend gets counted every day (in theory, not a physical count) so one person becomes four for the event. Plus if you travel from the top of the mountain to the bottom you get counted again when you go through the gates there. Do it a couple of times and the one person can be counted several times to inflate the numbers.

      There has been a history of overinflated numbers in this game for many years and I’m sure if sponsors got the true, individual eyeball, numbers there would be less money on the table.

  3. what a load of fertilizer!!
    simple fact is the new deal is rotten to the core and long time fans are turning away in large numbers. when fans can’t see, they don’t go to races. so less bums on seats = less merchandise sales = less value for sponsorship money.
    wake up people you are killing your sport for a short term cash injection!

  4. Great manipulation of numbers to try and justify a poor decision for a quick cash grab at the expense of the fan base… V8 Supercars are as a good as dead.