"F1 was in trouble 5 years ago. The 3 words used to describe the sport were “expensive,” “technological” and (uh oh) “boring.” F1’s global TV audience shrunk by almost half from 2008 to ’16.
Then Liberty Media took over. Here’s what changed"
1. F1 Embraced Social
Before, teams couldn’t share any footage from official sessions (sound familiar?). That changed on Day 1 under Liberty. In one year, F1’s social channnels grew 55%. That set the stage for the openness necessary for Drive to Survive.
2. F1 Turned Races Into Events
Liberty made its 20 race weekends into “20 Super Bowls." Young fans want more than just a race, they want festivals. And parties don’t detract from the action.
BTW, having only 20 events on the calendar really helps too. Barries to entry are real.
3. F1 Made Telecasts More Welcoming
Sean Bratches called for a total revitalization of the production: "We are trying to make it simpler to help convey what is happening."
That included lowering cameras to play up the cars’ speed, and TV-friendly schedule changes.
4. In the US, F1 Let ESPN Broadcast for Free
After a good stint at NBC, F1 created its own streaming product (see No. 1), but it let ESPN air races too.
That cost millions in rights fees, but now the sport is set up for greater windfalls.
5. F1 Improved its Racing Quality
Oh yeah, the product matters too.
Rule tweaks (and years of consistency) have brought racing teams closer together on the track, creating more exciting moments.
6. F1 Developed Storylines
“We need to build the rivalries,” an F1 exec told FT in 2016. Verstappen-Hamilton has become the sport’s Red Sox-Yankees or Federer-Nadal, a simple on-ramp for new fans.
6b. As a transcendent star with crossover appeal, Hamilton has also helped attract US sponsors and viewers.
If Netflix proved one thing, it’s that games don’t sell. People do.
7. F1 Benefitted From Growing Digital Communities
F1 deserves the least credit for this element, but it’s also one of the most significant. New US fans can now find each other faster than ever, and dive into a global supply of content once they’ve finished their Netflix binge...
Although Netflix helped, it's not the only reason for the increase in popularity. Point 6 I fully agree with. I think it's fair to call the RB response in the aftermath of Silverstone theatrical. It got people talking tho.
What do you punks think?
Edited by RekF1, 28 October 2021 - 13:41.