Viewing figures of Formula One in 2019 show a loss of 19.2million viewers from the previous year as the sport continues to embrace pay TV deals and move away from regular network coverage.
In Tuesday's press release, Formula One announced that viewing figures had increased from 1.781billion in 2018 to 1.922bn in 2019 - the highest figures for a global audience since the 2012.
However, a closer examination of the figures reveals how the figures have been twisted to hide a decline in audience.
"In terms of unique viewers, during 2019 the sport remained stable in the top 20 markets at 405.5m (+0.3%), while there was a slight decrease globally (-3.9%), with the overall number of viewers standing at 471m," read the statement.
The same statement in 2018 posted a global audience of "unique viewers" at 490.2m.
The reason for the claimed increase in audience is that Formula One are counting returning viewers as new viewers for each session that they tune in to. For example, if you were to watch all three practice sessions, qualifying and the Grand Prix, as an individual, you would count as five viewers.
The practice of twisting figures to spin a good news story is nothing new and, after losing major partner TATA Communications, the championship needs to maintain a strong image in order to attract new money.
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