Formula One 2012 Viewing Figures Affected by a Drop in Chinese Audience image

Last year, Formula One’s global television audience was pushed back by a significant drop in viewers from China.

“The majority of our established markets brought larger audiences throughout 2012 than they delivered in 2011. A small handful of territories didn’t meet expectations in terms of reach, with the Chinese market suffering a decrease which could not be absorbed by a significant number of increases elsewhere,” said Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Although the audience surpassed half a billion viewers in the entire world, it seems that the Chinese audience, with more than 10% being under the age of 16 and 15% under 25, didn’t reach the expected target. Ecclestone believes that this drop was due to the scheduling clash with other events, which led to a total broadcast time in China of 229 hours, compared with 322 in 2011. The total reach dropping was 48.89 million viewers, which is almost 4% of the Chinese population, compared with 74.5 million in 2011.

In 2011 Brazil was the market with the highest number of viewers, 85,55 million, and last year the number increased 10%, followed by Italy and Spain, showing their interest in Fernando Alonso’s title challenge with Ferrari. Other countries were the audience showed a slight drop were Russia, the US and Germany.