Formula 1 organisers try to arrest TV audience slump

FRANKFURT: Cut-throat competition forced by fiction based programmes and reality television have pushed some Formula One event organisers to modify their offerings in order to attract more TV viewers.

The information is contained in Eurodata TV Worldwide's Formula One TV Audience Ratings. It notes that the la Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) tried to maximise the three important elements of suspense, show and challenge. To achieve this aim they modified their rules this year during the off season. They are looking to prevent a regular and overall decrease of their TV audience ratings.

Asia is a problem area for the FIA. In Japan, the seasonal record was reached during the National Grand Prix with an average rating of four per cent for Fuji TV. This translates to less than one inhabitant out of 20. In China, the best score recorded was 7.9 million viewers on CCTV5 for the San Marino Grand Prix i.e. less than one inhabitant out of 100. In comparison, the Real Madrid tour organised in Asia last August allowed this same channel to gather more than 21 million viewers during the broadcast of the friendly match opposing the stars from Madrid to the Dragons Team. In India the matches aired on Ten Sports.

The progression margin in terms of TV audience remains important notably in this part of the world and the FIA understood it well. It has hence decided to organise, as early as next season, a new Grand Prix in China.

Meanwhile as far as European audiences are concerned the report notes that for the first time since 2000, the average Formula One season audience ratings is increasing in France with an average of 3.6 million viewers per Grand Prix. In Italy on an average around 9.7 million viewers tune in to each race. The UK has an average of 3.2 million viewers.

The best performance comes from Finland where Kimi Raikkonen attracted an average of one inhabitant out of five in front of their television for each Grand Prix. Surprisingly Germany has fared poorly despite the new successes of Michael Schumacher which drove him to his sixth world championship title. The audience rating has been decreasing for the last three years. However the races still gathered an average of nine million viewers.

Eurodata TV Worldwide is the international databank for programmes and television audience ratings covering more than 600 channels in 70 territories. Eurodata TV Worldwide produces a number of reports each year and a range of services which help in the decision making process of international professionals within the audio -visual world.

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