Formula One

F1 Viewing Keeps Growing Globally

By Jay Stuart | January 21, 2019

Formula 1 showed a jump in both audience numbers on both broadcast and digital platforms during the 2018 season compared with the year before, indicating that the racing circuit has been rejuvenated under Liberty Media in its second season of ownership.

It’s the second year straight that the numbers are up.

The cumulative TV audience reached 1.758 billion and in the top 20 markets it stood at 1.59 billion, an increase of 3% compared to 2017.

On the digital front, F1’s growth on YouTube was particularly high at 115%, the highest subscriber growth rate of all marquee rights holders.

Unique TV viewers grew by 10% globally in 2018 to 490.2 million in 2018, and unique viewers were up by 14% in the top 20 markets (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA, plus Pan Latin America and Pan Middle East).

Brazil is the strongest TV market of all for F1 audiences. It was number one both in terms of television reach with 115.2 million viewers and cumulative audience (which grew by 20% there).

With a return to CCTV as the main broadcaster in China reach in that market was more than three times higher than in 2017 at 68 million, making China number two in terms of reach, with USA  third at 34.2 million.

Other markets with big increases in reach were the Indian subcontinent (+87%), France (+51%), Russia (+27%) and USA (20%).

Behind Brazil, the markets for cumulative audience were Germany and Italy (as in the past).

China (+69%), France (+40%), Indonesia (+25%) were the countries with the highest improvement among the top 20 markets.

The Monaco Grand Prix had the highest cumulative audience of the season with 110 million viewers, up 10 from last year. Six events also had more than 90 million viewers: Bahrain, France, Austria, Great Britain, Italy and Mexico.

In 2018 the number of users across Formula 1’s social media platforms also rose significantly.

Total number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube reached 18.5 million (up 53.7% compared to 2017), confirming Formula 1 as the fastest growing major sport on social media platforms.

The average number of unique users per race week was 11.1% higher than the previous year.

Total impressions grew up by 29.2% to 10.4 billion, video views by 77.2% to 2.0 billion and minutes watched rose 84.6% to 1.75 billion.

With 205 million fans under the age of 35, Formula 1 is third among of all global sports leagues in terms of the number of fans in this age group, according to Nielsen. Almost two thirds of the fans (62%) were 45 or younger.

Formula One