More people are watching Formula 1 on the telly, it seems.

Formula 1 bosses have reported an increase in its television and digital audience and significant social media growth during 2017 compared to the previous season. F1 said the cumulative audience, which is the aggregate of the average audience of all F1 programming in the top 20 markets, was 1.4bn – representing an increase of 6.2 percent on 2016.

It added the top four markets were Germany, Brazil, Italy and the UK, with all registering positive growth. Italy had a 19.1 percent rise, followed by Brazil (+13.4%), UK (+3.9%) and Germany (+0.9%). Cumulative viewing of live and non-live races held steady at around 603m, with F1 reporting a one percent increase of live audience for practice and qualifying segments. 

F1 said 352.2m unique viewers watched F1 programming at least once, with bosses saying this is the first time since 2010 that that number has not fallen. 

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There was a huge boost in social media interaction, with F1 totalling 11.9m followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This represents a rise of 54.9 percent on 2016, which F1 says makes the championship the 2017 fastest-growing sport brand on social media. According to the statistics, F1 heads Formula E, Spanish football league La Liga, the Champions League, NFL, the English Premier League, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL and NASCAR.

F1 made a big push regarding its social media and digital platforms last season, relaxing some of the restrictions for F1 teams regarding on video content on social media. It has also significantly increased the amount of video content it makes available on its own platforms. F1 added the minutes spent on Facebook were up over 1600 percent compared to 2016 while there were 64m views of its video content on Twitter, which is 165 percent up year-on-year.

'We are encouraged by the growth in audience numbers across linear and digital platforms during the 2017 season,' said commercial chief Sean Bratches. 'Central to our efforts last season was to improve the fan experience across our platforms and it is encouraging to see the engagement that fans around the world have with Formula 1 media. 

'Our work continues as Formula 1 fans will see material changes in 2018 with respect to both incumbent experiences and the creation of new ones. It is a good time to be a Formula 1 fan.'

Source: Motorsport.com