In a commercial age driven by global broadcast multi-casting, any serious attempt to launch a new motorsports championship will require the early acquisition of one or more substantive TV contracts. In this case, then, it certainly appears that Formula E is well-ahead of the curve.
On the heels of recent news associated with additional substantive commercial investment, the series has begun to announce numbers of significant global TV contracts ranging from the Asia-Pacific region to the U.S, while ultimately aiming for the hat-trick with a cluster of networks across the EU. “We have others with Germany and France which are very advanced, and we will start communicating soon,” said Formula Chief, Alejandro Agag, “(…) so global coverage is coming along very good.”
Perhaps the most telling of these early relationships is the recent deal with China’s state-run CCTV, which harbors 45 channels, and upon which Formula E’s initial broadcast laurels will rest, when the championship launches in September at Beijing.
“We will get huge figures in China” says Agag, “(…) but we will have to build the figures in the UK. I think it is good because we can build up through the season and then have the big event in London which we should really try to push.”
Nevertheless, challenges still abound, “The first race will be tough because it is at 4am or something like that,” he continued, “(For 2014, we are) aiming to get a cumulative live audience of 205,894,000 which is not huge but is not bad. So, an average of 20 million per race.”
The 2014 campaign kicks off September 13th at the Olympic Park in the city of Beijing. Along with interest driven by new rounds of capital investment, and now a solid list of broadcasters, the series is being supported by some of the most important names in business and motorsports including; McLaren, TAG Heuer, Michelin, Renault, Williams, Audi and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.