F1 audience on the up

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Formula One racing's global television audience increased to 527m individuals over the course of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship according to figures releaes in late January 2011.

In what will be remembered as one of the hardest fought F1 seasons in history, TV audiences across the globe swelled in response to the on–track excitement. A function of this increased demand was additional coverage in many territories, as live free practice and additional qualifying and race programming were added to schedules around the world. In total over 16, 000 hours of coverage were telecast to 187 countries. There was growth in nine of the 11 largest TV markets, and it was a particularly strong year for Formula Ones European audience, with many of FOMs broadcast partners reporting their highest race audiences in a number of seasons. Whilst 2010 has delivered some great things, 2011 promises even more as Formula One seeks to build upon the foundations laid in our emerging markets and enthral our audiences across the world, commented Formula One Group CEO, Bernie Ecclestone. The 2011 season will see Formula One racing televised in HD for the first time, with all FOMs broadcast partners being offered HD coverage of all sessions. The 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship begins in Bahrain on 13 March 2011. Meanwhile, in Australia, Victoria premier Ted Baillieu has refused to rule out scrapping Melbourne's Formula One grand prix when the contract expires in four years time after the citys mayor, Robert Doyle, called for the state to dump the race because of rising costs and lack of local interest.

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