Formula E: Global TV Ratings hit record levels

CIRCUITO CITTADINO DELL'EUR, ITALY - APRIL 10: Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE21

Season 8 brought new locations, an expanding schedule & all-time viewing figures from around the world for Formula E.

Despite being a global racing series and officially sanctioned by the FIA as a World Championship, Formula E has still been searching for its place in the sports landscape. And while many factors both on and off the track have changed since its inception, Season 8 left viewers with the feeling that the series is getting closer to finding its groove. Thanks to the biggest schedule ever, 16 races, debuts in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Seoul, South Korea, plus an incredibly engaging new qualifying format Formula E saw global viewership grow 20% to 381 million.

The Chief Executive Officer for Formula E, Jamie Reigle, said:

“The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is building a passionate global fanbase, establishing itself as an appointment-to-view, premium live sport. Millions more fans tuned in to watch last season than ever before thanks to consistent scheduling, improved broadcast presentation, and sporting innovations like our game-changing qualifying format that we have put in place in close collaboration with the FIA. The championship went down to the wire in Seoul with four drivers vying for the title and Stoffel Vandoorne emerging as World Champion.”

Breaking down the numbers

Here’s a quick rundown of key viewing figures for Season 8:

  • Live viewing grew 10% up to 216 million
  • Total viewing hours were up 58%
  • Viewing for the new Duel qualifying system increased by 49% over Season 7’s fastest-lap format
  • Views on digital channels (YouTube, Twitter, etc.) were up 165%

Improving & expanding the product

Several factors have helped Season 8 reach these new heights. First, is scheduling consistency. Being a global sport, both in market and location, the series will inevitably air at times perfect for certain areas and inconvenient elsewhere. But there was a pattern emerging last season, even if it seemed like more locations would be better suited for a local night race. The second is adding new countries and thus a deeper reach. Last year, Formula E’s visit to Jakarta became the most-watched domestic race in Indonesia’s history with 27.6m tuning in.

Third, was the new qualifying format known as the Duels. A short drama-filled group stage followed by knockout one-on-one qualifying rounds. The new format, while engaging, also led to the title contenders starting from the front more often.

Looking ahead Season 9 already has a lot in its favor to once again increase the numbers. The series will introduce new circuits in Hyderabad, India, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Two more massive markets to pull from. Several new or rebranded teams – McLaren, Maserati, DS Penske, & ABT. Plus the debut of the new lighter and faster Gen3 car.

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will return for Season 9 kicking off in Mexico City on January 14th, 2023.

Featured Image Credit: Formula E Media