The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has continued to grow its live television audience globally through Season 7 to record-breaking levels, recovering strongly from the pandemic-hit previous season.
By the dramatic conclusion of Formula E’s first-ever World Championship season which was won by Mercedes-EQ’s Nyck de Vries in the final E-Prix of Season 7 on August 15 in Berlin, the live television audience made up the majority of Formula E TV viewers (62%) for the first time in the Championship’s history.
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship increased its cumulative audience to 316m – a 32% year-on-year growth – driven by new distribution agreements with free-to-air (FTA) channels in key markets, which also lifted Season 7’s live audience above pre-pandemic levels underscoring the organic growth in fan interest in electric open wheel racing. This was achieved despite a shorter calendar and a lack of races in Asia.
After Season 6 was cut short due to COVID-19 and wrapped up via six races in nine days in Berlin, Season 7 saw the Championship return to iconic global cities including Rome, New York and London with 15 races in eight locations.
A combination of improved broadcast content and alignment on start times with broadcasters to optimise live audience and channel share contributed to +26% increase in the average viewing duration per live race.
Overall, Formula E’s positive Season 7 performance was driven by new media deals struck in key markets of Germany, Italy, Brazil, UK, France, USA and Indonesia which all demonstrated spectacular growth above the global average.
– Germany’s audience saw the biggest increase of +338% against Season 6 with races airing consistently on FTA broadcaster Sat.1.
– Brazilian audiences increased +286% YOY on FTA channel TV Cultura and Globo’s SporTV pay channels.
– UK live audiences grew 156% on Season 6, driven by two London races airing live on Channel 4, two on BBC2 which delivered the highest-ever Formula E audience in the UK; plus four races on Discovery’s FTA channel, Quest.
– Italy’s viewing audience grew +128% compared to Season 6 with five races on Mediaset’s main channel, Italia Uno, and 13 races on new partner Sky Italia.
– France increased +123% YOY driven by a positive new partnership with L’Equipe.
– USA’s cumulative audience growth of +25% YOY was positively impacted by two races, including the New York E-Prix, airing on the main CBS network.
– Indonesia’s Formula E audience exploded with a 147% increase on Season 6 on its free-to-air TVRI channel.
These numbers were also reflected in the percentage of viewers watching race programming live rather than highlights or repeats. Fans in Germany (730% increase), Italy (+234%), France (+232%), UK (+164%) and Indonesia (+92%) were all far more likely to tune in to watch the 24-driver grid compete live.
Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer, Formula E, said: “This was a record-breaking year for Formula E as we worked with our teams, media partners and sponsors to deliver a fan-first strategy emphasising live race audience development and direct engagement on our digital platforms. It’s clear there is strong fan interest in Formula E’s electric racing in cities and we are delighted to see our strategy of partnering with broadcasters committed to localised, engaging and accessible free-to-air coverage paying off. We are set for a fantastic Season 8 as we welcome back fans at our races in some of the most iconic city locations in the world. We are focused on strengthening our broadcaster footprint and relationships, increasing our global audiences and delivering an integrated media platform to serve our fans and support our continued growth.”
Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will begin on January 28, 2022 for its biggest season ever with 16 races in 12 world locations. For more information on Formula E visit www.FIAFormulaE.com