Formula 1 reports 'significant' year-on-year TV and digital growth

Formula 1 has released statistics to outline that it enjoyed a “significant increase” in its audience figures across the 2018 season, both in terms of TV viewers and digital content.

Unique viewers were registered at 490.2m, marking a 10 per cent year-on-year gain, with China, France and the USA among the biggest growth areas, with China profiting from a return to free-to-air TV.

It outlined that Brazil (115.2m), China (68m) and the USA (34.2m) are the three largest markets in terms of TV reach.

The TV cumulative audience in the top 20 markets – based on ranking of TV audience – saw a three per cent increase from 1.758bn to 1.59bn.

Brazil, Germany and Italy were the leading markets in terms of cumulative audience while China, France and Indonesia had the largest year-on-year increase.

According to the figures the Monaco Grand Prix had the largest cumulative audience – with 110m people tuning in – while events in Bahrain, France, Austria, Great Britain, Italy and Mexico also surpassed 90m.

Social media figures were again strong, as in 2017, with Formula 1 having put an increased effort into its digital platforms, which were under-utilised during the previous ownership.

Formula 1 was the fastest-growing sport across the primary social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube), with the total number of followers reaching 18.5m.

Data provided by the Nielsen Group also determined that Formula 1’s overall fanbase grew from 503m to 506m from 2017 to 2018, with the sport reaching a younger audience.

Of the new fans attracted in the last two years – since Liberty Media acquired the sport – 61 per cent are under the age of 35, with 36 per cent under the age of 25.

It means Formula 1 has an average fan age of 40, which is “in line with other major global sports and leagues (i.e. football, NBA, NFL, tennis), which have average ages between 39 and 40,” as per a statement released by the championship.