Formula 1 has released a number of viewing figures from the 2020 season and says that, all things considered, they are strong.
The sport headed into the year harbouring hopes of it being the biggest season yet in many ways, with the original calendar consisting of 22 races.
However, the plans were hugely disrupted by the global pandemic and, after a four-month delay, the campaign finally got underway in July and finished in December 17 races later.
With four fewer rounds than in 2019, it’s no surprise that the average audience dropped by 4.5%, but the 87 million figure still compares well with the previous six years.
The total amount of people to watch a race on TV in 2020 meanwhile was 1.5 billion compared to 1.9 billion in 2019. Given there were fewer races in fewer time zones though, the sport is happy with numbers.
In response to the findings, CEO and President Stefano Domenicali says that everybody is proud of what was achieved in 2020.
“Last year was an unprecedented time for everyone and Formula 1 had to adapt to the challenges presented by the pandemic,” he said
“We delivered 17 races, something many thought impossible earlier in the year. We did it safely and brought excitement and new races to our fans around the world. The audience figures for 2020 show the strength and resilience of our sport, with average audience figures in 2020 at 87.4m and a total season cumulative audience of 1.5bn.
“We had strong growth figures in China, the UK, Netherlands, Germany, and the USA, combined with the huge boost in our digital figures. We saw only a marginal reduction in TV audiences, caused by multiple reasons but clearly driven but a shortened and limited geographical calendar compared to 2019, but something every major sport has experienced in 2020.
“We are proud of what we delivered in 2020 and know we have an incredibly strong fan base and audience platform to grow in the coming years. We are delighted our fans feel a strong satisfaction with the sport, our season, and the way we responded to the global pandemic. We are looking forward to the start of the 2021 season after the winter break and we know our fans are as excited as we are to get racing.”