Formula E enjoyed record-breaking viewing figures for its 2021 season, with a 32 per cent year-on-year increase.
The all-electric championship has seen its popularity recover from a pandemic-hit 2020 season as viewership rose to a cumulative audience of 316 million.
The series claims the rise is a result of several new free-to-air (FTA) agreements in key markets, which “lifted Season 7’s live audience above pre-pandemic levels underscoring the organic growth in fan interest in electric open wheel racing.”
This was achieved despite a shorter calendar and a lack of races in Asia – an important market for the championship.
The season finale, which saw Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries crowned the first ever FIA Formula E World Champion, saw a live television audience making up 62 per cent of viewers for the first time ever.
Mercedes’ success, as well as new broadcast deals, were also a driving factor in Germany’s audience growing 338 per cent against Season 6. Brazil saw the second largest growth at 286 per cent and the UK, which saw a return to racing in the capital, London, saw a 156 per cent growth in viewership.
Other European countries also saw huge growth with audiences more than doubling in Italy and France, whilst the US’s cumulative audience grew 25 per cent year-on-year thanks to its two races in New York being aired on CBS.
Indonesia’s Formula E audience exploded with a 147 per cent increase on Season 6 on its free-to-air TVRI channel.
These numbers were also reflected in the percentage of viewers watching race programming live rather than highlights or repeats. Fans in Germany (730% increase), Italy (+234%), France (+232%), UK (+164%) and Indonesia (+92%) were all far more likely to tune in to watch the 24-driver grid compete live than via highlights.
“This was a record-breaking year for Formula E as we worked with our teams, media partners and sponsors to deliver a fan-first strategy emphasising live race audience development and direct engagement on our digital platforms,” said CEO, Jamie Reigle.
“It’s clear there is strong fan interest in Formula E’s electric racing in cities and we are delighted to see our strategy of partnering with broadcasters committed to localised, engaging and accessible free-to-air coverage paying off.
“We are set for a fantastic Season 8 as we welcome back fans at our races in some of the most iconic city locations in the world. We are focused on strengthening our broadcaster footprint and relationships, increasing our global audiences and delivering an integrated media platform to serve our fans and support our continued growth.”