Formula 1 shed around 15 million TV viewers worldwide in 2012, in comparison to the 2011 season

Recent figures show the global TV audience of Formula One has declined in 2012, despite producing one of the most exciting seasons in recent years.

A massive drop of 34% in China has helped attribute to the fall in numbers, as well as early morning starts for the sport’s traditional TV audience base in Europe.

"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," he said.

Despite figures dropping from 515 million in 2011 to around 500 million in 2012, several countries saw a significant increase in viewers last season. Brazil was one of these, with an 8.9% increase, as well as improvements in Spain (11.5%) and Italy (15%) that can be attributed to the strong showing of Fernando Alonso and Ferrari.

Other countries to experience drops in viewers included Russia and the US, while in the UK, figures dropped by a whopping 3.8 million as Britons experienced two options to watch the sport: with a mixture of live races and delayed ‘highlights’ packages on the BBC, or to cough up considerable fees for round the clock coverage from Sky Sports.

With TV audiences dropping, several countries are now turning to subscription TV packages for the sport, with France, Italy and the Netherlands all offering similar deals to the UK with coverage split between Pay TV and free-to-air.

Australian audiences once again will see the sport broadcast on Network Ten in 2013.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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