- F1 TV subscriber numbers boost media rights revenue
- Saudi Arabian GP breaks viewership records in US
Formula One saw its Q1 revenues increase by US$21 million year-over-year (YoY) to US$381 million for the three months ended 31st March 2023, the series’ owner Liberty Media has revealed.
Operating income somewhat stabilised at US$35 million, up US$1 million compared to Q1 2022, but adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortisation (OIBDA) fell from US$122 million to US$117 million.
Primary Formula One revenue increased in the first quarter with growth across media rights, race promotion and sponsorship. Media rights revenue increased due to continued growth in F1 TV subscription revenue and increased fees under new and renewed contractual agreements.
Race promotion revenue grew due to contractual increases in fees, and sponsorship revenue increased due to the recognition of revenue from new partners, as well as growth from existing deals.
Other Formula One revenue decreased in the first quarter primarily due to lower freight income driven by the easing of freight cost inflation on billing rates, partially offset by increased hospitality revenue from higher Paddock Club attendance.
Speaking on an earnings call, the president and chief executive of Formula One, Stefano Domenicali, shed further light on how the sport’s audience was shifting.
He said: “Formula One is engaging with our fans across platform. Global audiences exceed 70 million viewers for the first two races of the season with significant increases in key markets across Europe and North America.
“In the US, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix broke 1.52 million viewers marking ESPN and cable’s most viewed Grand Prix on record. Across our digital channels, F1 reached 62.9 million social media followers as of Q1, up 31 per cent year-over-year.”
Q1 has seen multiple sponsorship deals agreed, with Liqui Moly, Paramount+ and Puma signing up, in addition to a contract extension with MSC Cruises.
Both the Austrian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix also agreed contract extensions until 2027 and 2026, respectively.