Carey explains drop in TV audience figures

Date published: August 12 2018

Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey has said the drop in TV viewing figures is not due to a lack of interest in the sport.

There has been a four per cent drop in viewing figures compared to 2017, but Carey has said that is simply due to coverage in Italy moving from free-to-air TV to a subscription service.

“That [drop] is largely due to our move from free to pay television in Italy,” Carey said during an investor call.

“Excluding Italy our television viewership is up three per cent year-on-year and our Saturday viewership for qualifying is up even more.”

Carey was also quick to point out that attendances on race weekends have also risen.

“Live attendance in aggregate is up 4 per cent year-on-year at the 10 tracks where we raced last year,” he added.

“And attendance at the two tracks we did not have in 2017, which are France and Germany, was well in excess of expectations. In Germany, the promoter even had to build new grandstands to meet demand.”

Research carried out by Liberty also suggests that fans are more engaged with Formula 1 now compared to previous seasons.

He said: “44 per cent of our average fans are more interested in the 2018 season than they were in 2017 versus only 7 per cent a year ago.

“66 per cent of fans believe F1 has improved versus two years ago, just 15 per cent say it’s worse.

“And 67 per cent of fans say F1 is in good hands with Liberty while 10 per cent disagree.”