A recently released report from Formula 1 indicates that India has a large 31 million fan base.
Formula 1 recently released its performance numbers across markets for television, digital and others. The report proved a few things – Europe is Formula 1‘s key market. This is why the race broadcast timings are decided basis what is most convenient for the European audiences. Also, traditional variables still matter when it comes to increasing viewership. Poland proved how hero worship (for Robert Kubica) led to a spike in viewership while in the Middle East and North Africa, new distribution agreements brought in more viewers.
But the number that interested me the most? 31 million fans in India, a number that puts India in the top-5 fan markets. However, the irony is that despite such a large fan base, India doesn’t feature in the top-20 markets for television viewership and the Indian Grand Prix doesn’t seem like it will resurrect any time soon. In fact, if this fan base tuned in to live broadcast, Star Sports would be able to actively work on delivering better quality content like their European counterparts. Currently, the critical mass of television viewers is not high enough for Star Sports to invest further in the broadcast via pre and post race shows, features and more. One wonders what would it take to activate this fan base for commercial gains.
Along with television, the other opportunity that exists for this large fan base is in the area of betting. I’ve long written posts on betting in Formula 1 and there is ample opportunity to explore live betting odds with 10cric India. If only, we had bet on Max Verstappen’s win on debut with Red Bull Racing back in 2016. We predicted this on the Inside Line F1 Podcast back then. For those new to betting, there are several options for one to consider – including pole sitter, race winner, podium finishers, fastest lap and more. For now, a few big bets would be on whether Mercedes will continue in Formula 1 after 2020 or not. Will Lewis Hamilton deflect to Ferrari in the future? If those are standard ones, sample this – will Fernando Alonso ever return to Formula 1? Will Sebastian Vettel ever become a Formula 1 world champion again?