Whilst the Brazilian Grand Prix decider fared better than expected in the United Kingdom, the title decider also delivered large ratings around Europe.
Starting in Sebastian Vettel’s and Fernando Alonso’s home countries, in Germany, the race aired on RTL and Sky Deutschland. RTL recorded a race average of 10.62 million viewers (40.9% share), whilst a further 610,000 viewers watched on Sky Deutschland. Interestingly, this is a split of 95% vs 5% for Sky, which is a larger gap than in the UK where it tends to be about 82% vs 18%. It may be that the title decider brought more casual viewers to RTL, meaning that the split was larger than usual. Over in Spain, the race on Antenna 3 averaged 7.15 million viewers, with a very similar share to that in Germany – a 41.7% share. Year-on-year, the increase is massive, the race last year having averaged 2.76 million viewers which shows how much it means to broadcasters for a title to be decided at the final race and in primetime.
Outside of the those two countries, the race also performed admirably in Italy. The F1 was comfortably the winner of the day there, the race peaking with 9.65 million viewers, a 45% share. In contrasting style, Netherlands’ viewership was 674,000 viewers on RTL7, a 15.1% share, although one has to take into account the lack of Formula 1 presence with no drivers or race held in Netherlands. So, from those four countries, and the UK, you are looking at a combined viewership already of 34 million viewers. I don’t know how that compares with last year or historically, but it shows how many viewers Formula 1 reaches from a small set of countries.
Across Europe, however, a few new deals come into effect from next year. In Italy, Sky Italia will screen eleven races exclusively live next season while in Netherlands the majority of races will be aired on pay-TV station Sport1. Whilst it will have a detrimental effect for some races, the nature of the deals means that the last race of the season will always be on terrestrial television meaning that the potential for big ratings is still there. Obviously, though, there is not always the guarantee that the title decider will go on to the final round…