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Decline of TV ratings in Germany


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#701 Tourgott

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 15:29

Perhaps they were horrified by the ugly look of the cars.

 

We had pretty ugly cars since 2011. Mercedes/Williams were actually the best looking cars since a few years.



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#702 Tapz63

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 15:39

Does anyone know how many people watched the final?

Edited by Tapz63, 26 November 2014 - 15:39.


#703 SUPRAF1

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 15:43

Personally, I think you guys are looking too deeply into this when the reason is simple.

 

No one cares about cars anymore.

 

I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to support this, but I'm a young male in a first world country and no one in my age group is what you would traditionally call a petrol-head. For many of the youths I see here, a car is nothing more than a tool to go from A to B. It doesn't help that they're getting so complicated that you can't tinker around with them in a garage like you could in the past.

 

An interest in cars is IMO a prerequisite for getting into motorsports, so a dying car culture is just going to reduce viewership numbers. Most people are interested in football/basketball etc and there's no room left for F1. All the other things such as louder engines and bigger personalities will help but they cannot help reverse the fundamental downward trend. 



#704 SenorSjon

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 15:55

In the Netherlands, you get taxed to death if you buy a new car, own it, when you refill the fuel tank and when you pay your insurance as a under 24. Cars are now so expensive to own, most youths think of other means to go around. Races disappearing behind paywalls or walls of advertising aren't helping. Like I said, if most common households are having difficulty making ends meet, cars are not the first thing on their mind.



#705 BRG

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 15:59

Personally, I think you guys are looking too deeply into this when the reason is simple.

 

No one cares about cars anymore.

 

And that has happened all of a sudden, over the last 12 months?  Unlikely.



#706 Nonesuch

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 16:22

I would say, pick a few to why people quit watching.

 
These are fair points, and while not everyone will subscribe to them, I think most will be able to at least see why others might find them to be another 'drop in the bucket', so to say.

 

It's unlikely any one of those would instantly cause someone to stop watching F1, but it all adds up in the end. Apathy is much worse for an entertainment venture than disappointment or frustration.
 

It does still not explain the drop of 1 million from 2013 to 2014.

 
Right, the drop is too big and too sudden for it to be due to an accumulation of frustrations, many of which have been a factor for years.
 

An interest in cars is IMO a prerequisite for getting into motorsports, so a dying car culture is just going to reduce viewership numbers.

 
This no doubt plays a part, as F1 is far from the only form of motorsport experiencing a decline in viewers. But that would likely be a more gradual decline, not 10% to 20% from one year to the next.

 

In the Netherlands, you get taxed to death if you buy a new car ...

 
That's true even before you buy a new car, which probably doesn't help matters. :p


Edited by Nonesuch, 26 November 2014 - 16:23.


#707 Tourgott

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 16:24

And that has happened all of a sudden, over the last 12 months?  Unlikely.

 

This.

Plus at least here in Germany a car is still pretty important to all age groups. Old people have got their Mercedes and young people have got a tuned Golf or something like this.  :lol:



#708 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 20:15

Official RTL numbers (German).

 

In short:

 

5.74 million watched the Abu Dhabi race on RTL, a market share of 34.2%.

On average in 2014, 4.36 mil watched, market share 28.2%.

This are the worst numbers since 1994.

In 2013, 5.28 mil watched on average.

Best numbers were 2001, with 10.44 mil watching on average.

RTL blames difficult-to-understand rules and bad PR generated by the sport itself. "The public did not see the fascination to the degree of previous years."

 

Of course, obviously, F1 has made a shambles of their PR, but a few points can be added:

 

1. 28-34% market share is still huge. Most sports (at least those holding annual events) or indeed any TV program would kill for that. Yes, it's not the same as approx. the 65% market share of 2001, but still pretty good.

 

2. You cannot sustain a 65% market share forever, period. The only road from there leads down. Such market shares are reserved for unique events which capture the public's imagination (as Schumacher did at the time), and those cannot go on forever by definition.

 

3. They did not factor in migrations to other services. Obviously this would not explain the 2001-2014 difference, but I would argue plays a small factor in the 2013-2014 comparison though it probably only makes a small dent. But still: Some people may have migrated to Sky, I know I did. Some more people may have turned to Austrian ORF, which has no ads, far superior commentators, and is readily available in German to anyone with a sat receiver and the will to procure a decryption card from neighboring Austria. Some may have turned to whatever internet service they fancy. 

 

4. It's not just F1 that failed to capture the interest, RTL utterly failed to build a large stable fanbase which cares about more than Germans winning, and did so over 25 years of coverage. You cannot develop a fanbase interested in the sport as such by having Kai Ebel and Heiko Wasser around forever.

 

5. RTL rides on thrills, and thrills never last. Their culture and economic model means they need to inflate a new bubble every so often (and at least regarding F1 this is not entirely their fault - they can only pay the F1 fees by capturing large numbers of the public who have no deeper interest), but these bubbles lose air slowly and/or implode suddenly. E.g., when Boris Becker was on the height of his career, tennis tournaments used to be on major free TV stations all the time, and basically the whole nation watched him win Wimbledon. A few years ago it was ski jumping. And so on. These sports are now either gone completely from RTL or still aired but nobody watches (ski jumping is back on public TV, tennis is on Eurosport/Sky). Was that the fault of those sports? Did tennis become any worse after Becker?

 

6. Similarly you cannot replace a Schumacher with a Vettel and then a Rosberg. At some point the story simply loses steam. Little to do with the personalities of the three IMO, the world has simply changed, time has passed, etc.

 

7. Football: 9,69 mil people watched the EuroCup quali Germany-Gibraltar, also on RTL. Considering that nothing can compare to the standing of football in Germany right now, I don't think this makes the F1 numbers look all that bad.


Edited by KnucklesAgain, 26 November 2014 - 20:27.


#709 Risil

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 20:17

Analysis! Thank you very much KnucklesAgain. :up: :up:



#710 Sash1

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Posted Yesterday, 08:04

In the Netherlands, you get taxed to death if you buy a new car, own it, when you refill the fuel tank and when you pay your insurance as a under 24. Cars are now so expensive to own, most youths think of other means to go around. Races disappearing behind paywalls or walls of advertising aren't helping. Like I said, if most common households are having difficulty making ends meet, cars are not the first thing on their mind.

 

On the other hand, a free event like Gamma Racing Day manages to fill most of the Assen MotoGP TT circuit without the people really knowing any of the racing series (as on other days they have trouble filling the main stage). I saw a lot of families there. Good advertising beforehand, low access treshold (like free tickets, free parking, you can bring your own food etc). And that was "just" for stuff like Dutch SS and SBK championsip, superkarts, Renault Clio, Dutch open Supercars and some demo's with WSBK machines and a Red Bull F1 car driven by Buemi. The stands were filled with people and they were enjoying themselves.

 

Whereas F1 only got more expensive, disappeared behind a pay wall and created more and more distance between public and teams.

 

The same happened with World Superbikes. Ticket prices went up, airtime down, amount of visitors to the track dropped massively compared to the glory days. Whereas MotoGP remained relatively cheap and still has a local tv deal. I saw a dip there but they maintain to draw huge numbers of people to the tracks. DTM does well too, even when the event was a last minute thing thanks to another track not being able to host it. 

 

In France the LM24h manages to almost sell out every year. Low access, low price, maintaining a good relationship with their public with low access streams, radio Le Mans, etc.

 

And didn't a low access truck race in Germany draw 100k people in the same weekend F1 managed to get maybe 40k to the track?

 

F1 wants to be elite, well they forgot the middle class who pay the bill.



#711 ronsingapore

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Posted Yesterday, 15:28

Personally, I think you guys are looking too deeply into this when the reason is simple.

 

No one cares about cars anymore.

 

I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to support this, but I'm a young male in a first world country and no one in my age group is what you would traditionally call a petrol-head. For many of the youths I see here, a car is nothing more than a tool to go from A to B. It doesn't help that they're getting so complicated that you can't tinker around with them in a garage like you could in the past.

 

An interest in cars is IMO a prerequisite for getting into motorsports, so a dying car culture is just going to reduce viewership numbers. Most people are interested in football/basketball etc and there's no room left for F1. All the other things such as louder engines and bigger personalities will help but they cannot help reverse the fundamental downward trend. 

 

In country, a car would cost 3-6 times what it would cost elsewhere; basically, you got to have easily half a million in cash just to buy and then maintain an avergae for the next 6-7 years.

 

I am not sure what is happening in the western hemisphere, but in the asia-pacific region, the ones interested in motorsports can those whom are already driving cars and not just driving cars but with a deep interest in it and with the willingness (and cash) to sustain a deep interest in it. I think I am one of the very rare few whom do not drive, does not own a vehicle and take public transport to have any interest in motorsport. Otherwise, for most of my peers, it really does not register at all in their minds.



#712 Disgrace

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Posted Yesterday, 17:46

And that has happened all of a sudden, over the last 12 months?  Unlikely.

 

I think a declining cultural interest in cars is an inevitability. Take air travel for instance; we once dressed up just for the journey. A couple of decades later and low-cost airlines have a quarter of European market share. Put simply, the romance is long gone once a market becomes mature, and the car industry is just that. I imagine most people associate cars now with the misery of the commute.

 

Plus, a year in terms of cultural interest is actually becoming quite a large amount of time. Does anyone care about last year's iPhone?

 

An age of constant invention naturally begets one of constant failure. The life span of an innovation, in fact, has never been shorter. An African hand ax from 285,000 years ago, for instance, was essentially identical to those made some 250,000 years later. The Sumerians believed that the hoe was invented by a godlike figure named Enlil a few thousand years before Jesus, but a similar tool was being used a thousand years after his death. During the Middle Ages, amid major advances in agriculture, warfare and building technology, the failure loop closed to less than a century. During the Enlightenment and early Industrial Revolution, it was reduced to about a lifetime. By the 20th century, it could be measured in decades. Today, it is best measured in years and, for some products, even less.



#713 Ensign

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Posted Yesterday, 18:09

In addition to all the other problems - bad rules and regulations, ugly cars, boring generic tracks, supposed lack of personalities, the move to pay TV, lack of car culture with the young, the stench of corruption, the internet, and many other things -  we can add new TV watching norms due to greater competition from other sports. For most people F1 is a second or third favourite sport that benefitted from a fairly exclusive time slot in the 80s and 90s when other mass appeal sports either weren't being played or were not being shown live on television. It is still living off fans who got hooked during that period and before in the 70s.  Now pretty much all the big European football leagues have early Sunday afternoon matches.  I don't know how long the Bundesliga has had a 14.30 Sunday afternoon fixture but I do know that the early English Premiership match is fairly recent and it is now my habit to flip back and forth between the F1 and football, and quite often tennis too (most tennis finals are in the same time slot). 

 

To those who say the fall in numbers (a million in a year or whatever) is too great to be explained by things that have been going on for many years (eg DRS, lack of European races,) well, you are wrong.  We are not talking about a staple product like food or soap but entertainment.  It happens all the time with sports, sitcoms, and other TV programmes. Support/TV ratings decline a bit on occasion due to everything from competition from a big sporting event to nice weather outside but still remain stable due to a built up, but not growing, fan base. Then those occasional rating declines start to become the new normal suggesting loss of passion, growing apathy, and slowly changing habits (much of life is habitual!), especially among casual fans. From there, if new passionate fans aren't being created, all it takes is for 10 to 20% of casual fans to switch off altogether and for a similar percentage of former dieharders to start missing the occasional race and BOOM the overall ratings fall off a cliff. In countries the size of Germany, Italy, and the UK losing a million regular viewers is not difficult.