Formula E

Formula E Smashes Global TV Viewers For Second Consecutive Season

3 Mins read
Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E

Season Eight of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship was one for the record books, as the all-electric series announced that 2022 saw their highest TV figures yet, following on from the records set in 2021. 2022 was the biggest Formula E calendar the championship has ever had, with more races somehow making the series feel more interactable and viewable, with a clearer story line being generated throughout the year.

2022 was a vital year for the championship due to the amount that was changed to make it a better spectacle. The new Qualifying Duels has played an instrumental part to the championship’s success this year, with the format being easier to understand and more enjoyable to follow than the previous system used.

Season Eight also saw a welcomed return to Asia for the series, with races in Indonesia and South Korea representing a further global reach for the sport. The series was supposed to race in China in 2021; however, the pandemic made it simply impossible. The last race in Asia prior to this year’s Jakarta E-Prix was all the way back in 2019, before the world-breaking Coronavirus pandemic put a halt on what felt like everything.

Perhaps the main reason why the audience was so big this year was because of the titanic four-way title fight, which hit an unbelievable climax at the first ever Seoul-E Prix. Stoffel Vandoorne, of course, claimed the title in what was the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team‘s last year in the series, meaning they left the championship staggeringly with the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.

In general, the series itself just went up a level last year with the race results somewhat representing the championship order, something that makes it a more attractive proposition to fans given the confusion that previously occurred when the race winner one week would be towards the back at the next. A lot of that does come down to the new Qualifying format, as mentioned, which will hopefully suit the Gen3 cars just as well as it suited the Gen2 in Season Eight.

In regard to the stats, Qualifying alone saw a forty-nine percent increase on Season Seven, adding further proof that the new format has been accepted by the fans exceptionally and actually in my opinion is a method that would work brilliantly in other single-seater series’. The Jakarta E-Prix took the honours for the biggest domestic audience, with 27.6 million viewers tuning in from the country.

Credit: Suberashi Auto Photo

Interestingly, for the second consecutive season the championship’s live audience made up the majority of their overall viewing figures, with the figure increasing by ten percent compared to 2021. It meant their total live viewers for the season came in at two-hundred eighty-one million, with the cumulative audience sitting at a much improved three-hundred eighty-one million. The championship’s cumulative audience increased by twenty percent based on 2021, meaning that Gen2 certainly ended on a high.

The data compiled by Formula E also shows that TV viewers were watching the series for longer this year than previously, with the average viewer duration having increased by twenty-eight percent based on 2021, whilst the total viewing hours increased by a whopping fifty-eight percent. The championship also saw a forty-nine percent increase in social media engagement and a one-hundred sixty-five percent increase in social media views.

All the stats prove that 2022 really was a massive step forward for the series and that despite issues surrounding it, more people are not only aware of the category but are tuning in on an E-Prix basis. 2023 has the potential to be Formula E’s best and biggest yet, with the calendar set to be the longest the series has ever seen.

New races in Brazil and India will bring an even bigger audience to the championship, especially with one of the biggest sides in the sport being from India and arguably it’s most influential and successful driver being from Brazil. Maserati and McLaren joining also adds a new element, despite the fact that Mercedes and Techeetah will be desperately missed.

Gen3 is, obviously, the key reason as to why Formula E can hope for Season Nine to be it’s most successful yet, with the new generation of car being faster, more powerful, more efficient, and potentially more overtake friendly due to its smaller chassis. More overtakes make for more exciting race, and more exciting racing makes for potentially bigger audiences. If Gen3 works well then the series is set for a bright generation, should it not work, though, then that’s a story for another day.

Jamie Reigle, Chief Executive Officer, Formula E, thanked the “committed broadcast partners” who played their part in what was a “record-breaking” year for the championship.

“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.

 “We thank our global network of committed broadcast partners for their contribution to delivering a record-breaking Season 8. We will work together to build on our momentum and reinforce Formula E’s emergence as a mainstream sport for the next generation.”

Credit: Sam Bloxham courtesy of FIA Formula E
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