TV viewing figures increase in 2010
However, it should be noted that in 2009 the calendar comprised 17 races, while there were 19 in 2010. This means, based on the disclosed figures, in 2009 each race attracted an average of 30.58 million viewers while in 2010 the average dropped to 27.73 million. Furthermore, it should be noted that the 2009 figures showed a slump of 13% on 2008.
While Bernie Ecclestone may well be delighted with a 1.3% increase, this seems small fry when one considers that 2010 saw the return of Michael Schumacher and Mercedes, Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, Jenson Button partnering Lewis Hamilton at McLaren and three brand new teams entering the sport, not to mention the return of Sauber. And let's not also forget the fact that in the final phase of the championship as many as five drivers were in with a shout of taking the title.
I've already debunked the myth of increased overtaking in other treads by eliminating the new "GP2" "figures", witch in effect showed a decline in overtaking of ~25% per car/driver (that remained from 2009).
It's the clear that average fans didn't like either:
a] the departure of some of the manufacturers
b] the decrease in real overtaking
c] both of the above
People simply continue to watch Formula 1 for the sakes of "points racing".