Formula One reports global rise in TV and digital audience in 2018

Formula One enjoyed an increase in worldwide audience figures across television and digital platforms in 2018, according to owners Liberty Media.

The global cumulative TV audience was put at 1.758 billion, which represents a rise of three per cent compared to 2017.

The top three markets in terms of TV reach were Brazil, China and the United States, largely a result of new or revised broadcast deals in those countries.

The Monaco Grand Prix had highest cumulative audience of the season with 110 million viewers while six other races — Bahrain, France, Austria, Britain, Italy and Mexico — had more than 90 million viewers.

Meanwhile, the number of followers across the sport’s own social media platforms rose 53.7 per cent in 2018 from the previous year.

Formula One also said its fanbase had grown by three million to 506 million, with 205 million under the age of 35.

Most recent

Social media giant Facebook’s challenges around its Copa Libertadores coverage in Latin America have convinced it that non-exclusive rights models form “one of the best ways” of breaking into markets where entrenched viewing habits restrict the potential for exclusive rights to grow engagement with the platform.

The Football Association rejected a higher bid for domestic FA Cup rights for the 2021-25 cycle from incumbent pay-television broadcaster BT Sport in favour of commercial broadcaster ITV, SportBusiness Media understands, in a move that took the competition exclusively free to air in the UK.

Spanish football’s LaLiga extended its rights deal in China with Wuhan DDMC Culture in May without going to market, where it would have faced a tough task maintaining its income, SportBusiness Media understands. The Chinese rights market has cooled since the previous deal was agreed, and DDMC is thought to be paying the league a strong rights fee.

South African pay-television operator Multichoice is facing the biggest challenge in its 26-year history in the form of a two-pronged regulatory attack on its dominant position in the country’s sports-rights market.