- Total viewing hours increased 58% YoY
- Scheduling consistency, standard of racing and the new qualifying format all credited for increase
The all-electric Formula E series has seen its cumulative media consumption grow 20 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to reach 381 million total viewers.
The series has also revealed that viewership of its live races also grew to a record high of 216 million, a ten per cent YoY increase. Formula E attributes this increase to three particular areas: scheduling consistency across the season, the standard of racing and its new qualifying format.
The ‘duel’ qualification format sees all 22 drivers compete in groups before progressing to head-to-head knockouts, with the overall winner achieving pole position. This new format saw definitive success, with the cumulative audience increasing 49 per cent compared to the previous season’s traditional battle for the fastest lap.
The four-way championship battle would have also encouraged viewers to tune in, although the previous season’s finale saw 18 drivers have a mathematical chance at taking the crown.
The series' desire to acclaim its scheduling consistency runs in contrast to fan complaints throughout the season of difficulties watching races. In the UK, for example, Formula E's live race sessions would regularly switch between channels, leaving viewers to look for live coverage on YouTube.
Formula E races also had to compete in the same slot as Formula One. The London ePrix, a marquee date on the Formula E calendar, was scheduled against the Belgian Grand Prix – a decision that would surely have damaged the all-electric series' viewership.
That said, globally, the all-electric series has faired better. This season’s race in Jakarta, for example, was the most-watched race domestically in the championship’s history, with a cumulative audience of 27.6 million in Indonesia.
The series’ social and digital channels also improved compared to the previous season, with video views increasing 165 per cent and engagement rising by 49 per cent.
“The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is building a passionate global fanbase, establishing itself as an appointment-to-view, premium live sport,” said Jamie Reigle, chief executive of Formula E.
“Millions more fans tuned in to watch last season than ever before thanks to consistent scheduling, improved broadcast presentation and sporting innovations like our game-changing qualifying format that we have put in place in close collaboration with the International Automobile Federation.
“The championship went down to the wire in Seoul with four drivers vying for the title and Stoffel Vandoorne emerging as world champion.
“We thank our global network of committed broadcast partners for their contribution to delivering a record-breaking season eight. We will work together to build on our momentum and reinforce Formula E’s emergence as a mainstream sport for the next generation.”