When it made its debut 8 years ago, Formula E introduced an entirely new sport—electric racing. Since then, the racing series has gone from strength to strength, steadily expanding both the capabilities of its cars and the fan appeal of its races, while serving as an invaluable test bed for new EV technology and demonstrating the superior performance of EVs for millions of people around the world.
Now, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, as it is formally known, reports that its global audience for Season 8 set a new record for the second year in a row. Formula E cites a four-way battle for the championship, a new qualifying format and a return to racing in Asia as factors that helped to bring out more fans than ever.
Live viewership grew to all-time high of 216 million, a 10% increase compared to last season, and the total audience grew to 381 million, a 20% increase. Total viewing hours for Season 8 races increased by 58%, and video views on social media soared by 165%.
Among a series of broadcast presentation and sporting enhancements introduced for Season 8, there was a new qualifying format: all 22 drivers competed in two groups, and the top 4 in each went on to a head-to-head knockout Duels tournament. The audience for the qualifying runs increased by 49% compared to Season 7.
Season 8 featured Formula E’s biggest calendar to date: 16 races in 10 cities, including debuts in Jakarta and a double-header in Seoul. The Jakarta race was the most-watched domestic race in the championship’s 100-race history, with a cumulative audience of 27.6 million in Indonesia.
Technical innovations continue: the new Gen3 race car was unveiled earlier this year in Monaco, and Formula E calls it “the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built.” It will debut in January 2023 in Mexico City at the start of Season 9.
“The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is building a passionate global fanbase, establishing itself as an appointment-to-view, premium live sport,” said Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle. “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. The championship went down to the wire in Seoul with four drivers vying for the title and Stoffel Vandoorne emerging as World Champion.”
Source: Formula E