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Volume 6 No. 212


F1 "has been left reeling by the news that the sport has lost in the region of 50 million" TV viewers over the course of the past 12 months, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The news serves as a "serious blow" to F1 chiefs "and reflects a steady drop in viewing figures in recent years," which F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone argues is down to Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel's total domination of the sport. The figures have been published in F1's global media report for '13, "which measures the number of people who have watched more than 15 non-consecutive minutes of the sport during the season" (DAILY RECORD, 2/3). MOTORSPORT reported the news also shows why Ecclestone "is pushing so hard for the 'double points' concept to be trebled to the final 3 races of the season, despite the fan backlash." Mercedes Exec Dir Toto Wolff, however, likened the backlash to a "sh**storm" and said that "the fans cannot be ignored." Wolff said, "Was it (double points) the right move? Ninety-nine percent of our fans and spectators thought it was the wrong move, so perhaps it is something to revisit" (MOTORSPORT, 2/3). For the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Christian Sylt wrote even in Vettel's home country of Germany, "the audience fell 8.7%." The number of people there "who watched at least 15 nonconsecutive minutes of the sport dropped to 31.3 million." Brazil, which is F1's biggest single viewing market, "also suffered as the audience dropped to 77.2 million from 85.6 million." The report also shows that China lost 29.8 million viewers -- more than any other country -- "due to a change from state broadcaster CCTV to a network of 13 regional partners." The report said this was done "to ensure that Formula 1 coverage of every race and qualifying session is shown live" and the change is expected to reverse the downward viewing trend in the future (WSJ, 2/2).

German private-TV channel Sat.1 "recorded enormous ratings" for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII, according to Manuel Weis of QUOTENMETER. Sat.1 started its Super Bowl broadcast at 12:05am on Monday morning. The pregame coverage attracted 1.4 million viewers and had a market share of 21.4%. The game, which started at 12:30am, was watched by an average of 1.59 million viewers during the first quarter. The number translated into a market share of 21.1%. In the target demographic 14-49, Sat.1's "ran Football" program obtained a market share of 31.7% in the first quarter. During the second quarter, which started at 1:15am, the market shares increased to 26% and 38.3%, respectively. The viewership number also stayed high with 1.45 million people tuned in to the broadcast. The halftime show featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers attracted 1.19 million viewers shortly before 2am. The market shares jumped to 28.3% and 41.1%, respectively. In the third quarter, which kicked off at 2:30am, Sat.1 reached a market share of 45.6% in the target demographic. Despite this late hour, 1.15 million people watched the game from East Rutherford, New Jersey. The number equaled a 31.5% share. Audience numbers for the period after 3am will not be available until Tuesday. However, Super Bowl XLVIII has already exceeded the top ratings of last year's broadcast (QUOTENMETER, 2/3).

BUNDESLIGA: DWDL's Alexander Krei reported German public broadcaster ARD "attracted more than 5 million viewers to its 'Sportschau' program on each of the first two matchweeks of the Bundesliga's second half." However, the show "has trouble attracting the target demographic." Saturday's show had a market share of 15.8% in the target demographic. German pay-TV channel Sky obtained a market share of 10.8% with its Bundesliga simulcast on Saturday. Sunday's game between Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt was watched by an average of 1.09 million viewers. Bayern's 5-0 win had a 6.6% share in the target audience.

WINTER SPORTS: DWDL's Krei also reported in addition to the Bundesliga, ARD "aired plenty of winter sports over the weekend." Saturday's coverage of the FIS Freestyle skiing World Cup event attracted an average of 1.44 million viewers around noon. The number translated into a market share of 15.8%. The following ski jumping broadcast obtained a market share of close to 16%. The second round of the event was watched by 2.74 million viewers (DWDL, 2/3).

The IOC awarded Television Broadcasts Ltd. the exclusive broadcast and exhibition rights in Hong Kong for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. TVB has acquired the exclusive broadcast and exhibition rights across all media platforms, including free-to-air TV, subscription TV and new media (TVB). ... In Hong Kong, "most locals were unable to watch" the Six Nations rugby tournament. Setanta Sports, which has broadcast the competition every year since '10, "had quietly sold its broadcasting rights to Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sports." The decision meant "only subscribers to TVB's lesser-known Network Vision were able to watch" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 2/2).