German broadcaster RTL notes F1 ratings boost


German free-to-air television broadcaster RTL has revealed that its Formula 1 ratings have been steadily moving higher since the season kicked off in Melbourne in March.

The sport's ratings have been in a slump overall for the past few years, and Germany, historically a good TV market for F1, was no exception, but audience numbers are now turning around.
"This new Formula 1 is humming!" said Manfred Loppe who manages RTL's  sports broadcasting department

"And it's not only on the track, where the new rules are grabbing the audience, but also next to the track.

"Now there is more transparency, the spectators are getting closer," he added, referring to changes made since Liberty Media took over the sport.

How fans will view Formula 1 in the future is a key component of the sport's future, according to new owners Liberty Media.

The convergence of media in the digital age means that consumers must now be reached on phones, tablets or computers rather than just through the traditional satellite or cable broadcasting services.

F1 CEO Chase Carey is committed to creating a premium package which would allow fans to follow the sport globally, regardless of where they happen to be or of the device at their disposal.

"It's going to vary market by market, it's clearly not going to be one size fits all," Carey explained recently.

"We were really a non-player in the digital platforms, so whether it's free, pay or digital, we want to make sure we're engaging with them all.

"There's no question that the migration in places from free to pay has an impact on audience. Now, almost every sport in the world is going through a migration from free to pay – there is a directional shift to pay.

"We're going to be much more analytical about trying to evaluate the trade-off between reach and dollars," says Carey.

"I think in general what has been true is you expect to gravitate towards the pay platform over time, but we want to make sure we're maintaining the reach.


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