New Delhi: Formula One has expanding its foothold in Asia with nine races scheduled to take place here in the 2013 season. The corresponding rise in F1 TV ratings however have hardly kept pace and in fact, registered a 34% dip in China over the course of the last season.
The Asian viewership - dominated by the TV audience in China - has tumbled significantly and it has become a source of concern for officials. A report published in The Guardian says that races in Asia were organized in the evening so that fans in Europe - the traditional base of F1 audience - can catch the action in the morning. This has led to clashes with other sporting events which also take place in the evening and the Asian viewers having to make choices against F1.
The same report says that while a total of 515 million audiences watched F1 in 2011, a definite number for 2012 was not revealed but is believed to be just over the 500-million mark.
The number has not been dismal globally as Brazil - the largest F1 audience - recorded a rise in viewership. Countries like Spain and Italy also registered larger numbers in the last season. The decline in TV audience in the emerging Asian countries as well as in USA and Russia, however led to the overall figure being less than what it was in the 2011 season.