Formula One’s global audience declined in 2012, pushed down by a 34% drop in viewing in China, according to the motorsport organisation’s annual broadcasting report.
The decline in China was attributed in part to Grands Prix clashing with local sporting events.
A number of territories, including Brazil,where viewing was up 8.9%, Spain, where it was up 11.5%, and Italy, up 15%, showed increases in viewing, but declines were also noted in the US, Russia and the UK, where Formula One rights are split between pay TV operator BSkyB and the BBC.
Last week Canal+ secured Formula One rights in France and will take the competition to pay TV only for the first time in that country.
“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 ofincreases elsewhere,” said Bernie Ecclestone, president and CEO of Formula One Management.