Sunday the 14th July 2019 will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest sporting afternoons/evenings of all time. London took centre stage for two of the most remarkable sports events in recent memory, with drama building at Lords and Wimbledon simultaneously throughout a scintillating afternoon and evening of action. Not to mention the British Grand Prix which saw Lewis Hamilton break even more records.
One thing is for sure, it made for incredible TV with millions of viewers in the UK glued to their TV sets watching the drama unfold.
However, just how much viewing was happening is hard to get a grasp on. This is because much of the action was aired simultaneously, and in the case of the Cricket and the Formula 1, across multiple channels.
This is especially the case for the Cricket World Cup Final, which over the course of the day was aired on 5 different channels*, the Formula 1 also aired on both Sky Sports and Channel 4.
To make understanding the data easier, we have put together some key stats for yesterday’s viewing, taking into consideration all the viewing, across all the channels.
- The Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was the most viewed sporting event of the day, with a peak audience of 10.3m viewers on BBC 1 occurring at 19:07, just as Federer’s miss-hit handed Djokovic his 5th Wimbledon title at the end of the longest final in the history of the championships.
- This was closely followed by the final of the Cricket World Cup, which had a peak audience of 8m across all channels* occurring at 19:29, just as Jofra Archer delivered the final bowl of a dramatic super over.
- The Formula 1 had a peak audience of 3.6m across both Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4, occurring earlier in the day at 14:57 in the middle of a dramatic race won by Lewis Hamilton, who now has more British GP wins than any other driver in history.
Viewing Across the day
As the action became increasingly more dramatic, total viewing levels increased. At just after 7pm, the total number of people viewing either the tennis or the cricket was over 15 million, that is 1 in every 4 people in the UK.
As expected, these viewing levels resulted in a healthy share of viewing on Sunday afternoon and evening. In fact, from 1pm onwards, over half of all viewers watching TV were watching one of the three sporting events. This peaked again at around 7pm, with a combined share of over 70%.
These incredible viewing levels are an indication of just how enthralling yesterday’s sporting action was. For me, it is a level of drama that is difficult to replicate and an afternoon of sport that will live long in the memory.
Yesterday’s viewing, along with the viewing levels to the Women’s World Cup Football this summer show the power of sport in bringing viewers into live TV, there simply isn’t anything quite like it.
With the Olympics and Euro finals taking place next summer we could well be in for some more incredible moments to savour in 2020.
*Cricket on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky One, Channel 4, More 4.
*Formula 1 on Sky Sports F1, Channel 4
Matt Ross – Head of Insight @ Digital-i