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22 Jun 14 13:46
Date Joined: 14 Mar 08
| Topic/replies: 9,480 | Blogger: joe39's blog
(R Post, by Tom Kerr)

FINAL viewing figures for Royal Ascot released on Sunday show that the meeting has lost almost 60 per cent of its television audience in just two years on Channel 4.

In another blow for the broadcaster, which has suffered a string of disappointing viewing figures for its racing coverage, it emerged Saturday's final day reached a peak of 883,000 viewers compared to 1.096 million the year before.

Saturday's broadcast was watched by an average of 605,000 viewers, down 27 per cent on 2013's average audience of 827,000.

In the final instance of the BBC's coverage of Royal Ascot two years ago an average of 1,899,000 watched coverage of the Saturday, three times the 2014 figure.

And in just two years Royal Ascot has lost 58 per cent of its TV audience, Channel 4 achieving a five-day average of 583,400 viewers compared to the BBC's 2012 five-day average of 1,382,600.

The five-day-average was also down 11 per cent on Channel 4's 658,000 average in 2013.

However, in a detail which highlights the competitive environment Channel 4 are operating in, that smaller average actually represented a marginally higher share of the total TV audience - 7.7 per cent against 7.6 per cent the previous year.

Nevertheless, the latest figures are likely to provoke soul-searching among those who signed the deal to make Channel 4 the exclusive terrestrial broadcaster of racing, a move that has dramatically reduced the television reach of racing's premier events.

Earlier this month Channel 4's coverage of the Derby was watched by a peak of 1.55m, the smallest television audience this century and less than half the 3.3m who tuned in to the BBC's coverage in 2012.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said on Sunday: "Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of Channel 4’s schedule and we are proud of the high quality coverage delivered by the Channel 4 Racing team over the last five days, which included a range of new presenters, features and innovations.

"We have continued to experience declines in total television viewing affecting all channels across the week and this is reflected in the share of viewing - which has grown despite the impact of World Cup football broadcast on other channels.

"Channel 4 has made a long-term and significant commitment to racing and we want to showcase it to the widest possible audience – which is why throughout the year it has been supported by major marketing campaigns and wider programming.

"We will continue to review and invest in our coverage and work with the whole racing industry to provide the best showcase for the sport."
Pause Switch to Standard View Channel 4 Racing ratings slump again
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Report jollie June 22, 2014 3:02 PM BST
bring big Mac in as Racing Overlord ! shake the boring fookers out of their topor
Report geordie1956 June 22, 2014 3:13 PM BST
Very regressive in thinking big mac will be the saviour - the interest simply isn't there to watch racing on TV - those who do watch are already converted so the decline seems inexorable - the plug will be pulled in the none too distant future
Report howard June 22, 2014 3:18 PM BST
Are people watching tv when it's a sunny week ?
Report A_T June 22, 2014 3:19 PM BST
It's presented by racing nerds so has no mass appeal  - and racing anoraks will be watching a subscription channel so ultimately it appeals to noone.
Report pawras June 22, 2014 3:25 PM BST
Ch4 or whoever needs to actually think about the demographics of their racing viewers rather all this pc diversity bullsh&t.
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