F1 global TV audience reaches 1.9bn but unique viewership falls 3.9%

Motorsport series also continues to see growth across digital platforms.

F1 global TV audience reaches 1.9bn but unique viewership falls 3.9%

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The Formula One global motorsport series has revealed that its global cumulative television audience climbed nine per cent to 1.922 billion during the 2019 season, although the number of unique viewers fell 3.9 per cent to 471 million.

In terms of cumulative audience, the figure is the highest for Formula One since 2012 and represents a third consecutive year of growth. The top five markets were once again Brazil, Germany, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands, each of which had audiences higher than 100 million.

However, the series reached nearly 20 million less unique viewers globally in 2019, despite seeing big audience increases of 569.7 per cent in Poland and 239.6 per cent in the Middle East.

News of the drop in unique viewership comes shortly after it was reported that the series had seen its TV audience in the UK fall by 8.6 million in what was the first year of its exclusive rights deal with pay-TV giant Sky Sports.

The number of unique viewers did at least remain stable in Formula One’s top 20 markets, climbing 0.3 per cent to 405.5 million, with Brazil, China, Germany, the US and Italy being the five countries with the highest reach.

All told, 19 out of the 21 Grands Prix recorded a higher cumulative audience compared to the 2018 season. The Italian Grand Prix was the most watched event of the 2019 campaign, reaching 112 million viewers to achieve the highest audience since the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix.

There was also significant growth across Formula One’s social media platforms, with the total number of followers of its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube accounts growing 32.9 per cent to 24.9 million. Total impressions on social media were up 48.3 per cent to 15.5 billion, while videos posted on those platforms achieved 3.1 billion views, an increase of 60.9 per cent.

Formula One also said page views on its core digital platforms soared 82.3 per cent to surpass one billion, with much of that growth being owed to the series’ official app, which achieved a 152.3 per cent increase to record 714.2 million views.

In addition, according to data drawn from 27 markets by industry analyst Nielsen, Formula One continued to attract younger fans during 2019, with 62 per cent of new fans roped in over the last two years under the age of 35.

In other Formula One news, French pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ has extended its exclusive rights deal with the series for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The network will continue to provide full coverage of every race weekend, as well as showing the Formula Two and Formula Three categories.