Formula One records uneven TV ratings for the year

MUMBAI: In spite of changes in the regulations and with the launch of new Grand Prix races around the world, Formula One recorded uneven TV ratings in 2004. The information is contained in a study conducted by Eurodata TV.

In Germany and Italy, the enthusiasm caused by the multiple victories of Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari faded with the passing seasons.

In Finland, MTV3 which benefited these last seasons from the Raikkonen effect, saw its audience ratings drop for the first time in years.

In Asia, Formula One meet mixed results. In Japan, the seasonal record was once again reached during the national Grand Prix, with an average rating of 5,2 per cent on Fuji TV, i.e. slightly more than one inhabitant out of 20. In China the 1st edition of the Shanghai GP was followed by less than one inhabitant out of 100.

But this figure still represents 7,9 million viewers for CCTV5, almost as much as the average audience of the races in the main European countries

On a more positive note 2004 was a geographical opening season for Formula 1 with new circuits in Asia and in the Middle-East, including four Grand Prix races during the night or very early morning in Europe, which was not the best for audience records.

However, the European broadcasters took advantage of these morning programmes to reach strong audience shares. Thus with the live diffusion of the Australian Grand Prix at 4 am, RTL in Germany reached more than 60 per cent of audience share, Rai 1 in Italy almost 80 per cent and MTV3 in Finland more than 94 per cent.

The average audience remains significant in many countries. For instance, the Grands Prix races keep on gathering an average of more than 8,3 million viewers in Germany and almost nine million in Italy.

Finally, the new races often appear among the most followed on television, the Bahrain Grand Prix taking the lead of F1 audience of the year in Germany with more than 11,5 million viewers and in Italy with almost to 13 million viewers.

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