Formula E "surprised & disappointed" - ProSieben will no longer broadcast races on German TV from 2024
The Munich-based free TV channel ProSieben will no longer broadcast Formula E on German television with immediate effect. The broadcaster confirmed this on Friday afternoon in response to an enquiry from e-Formula.news. It is still unclear where the races will be shown from 2024. In response to our enquiry, Formula E expressed its "surprise and disappointment" at ProSieben's withdrawal, which may not have been in accordance with the contract.
Bad news for all German Formula E fans and companies involved in the electric series: The upcoming 2024 season will no longer be shown on ProSieben and will therefore no longer be able to benefit from the broadcaster's significant reach. This could be accompanied by a decline in the popularity of the racing series in Germany, unless Formula E can find an alternative with a comparable reach.
The reason given by ProSieben is the recently stagnating viewer numbers: "Formula E has had a good TV home with a loyal regular audience over the last three years," explains spokesperson Christoph Körfer to e-Formula.news. "We have received many positive reactions to our broadcasts from the large motorsport community. However, viewer interest in Formula E has unfortunately not developed as expected."
Interest has dwindled measurably over the past 2 years
An understandable reason, which we can substantiate with our German TV season analysis from last August. On average, Formula E broadcasts in 2023 fell short of the previous year's average in all key measurement categories. And the 2022 season had already been unable to keep up with the good ratings of its higher-reach sister channel Sat.1 in the previous year.
The average number of viewers fell from 280,000 to 249,000 per race last season, with peak viewing figures dropping from 361,000 to 352,000. In terms of total viewers per E-Prix, the average fell from 729,000 to 709,000. Sat.1 had once achieved an average of 1.08 million. The reporting by the ran racing team was always at a high level from our perspective. Nevertheless, the facts speak for themselves.
Formula E: "ProSieben withdrew from multi-year contract extension"
At the request of e-Formula.news, Formula E responded with a meaningful statement: "We were surprised and disappointed when ProSieben told us that they had decided not to continue as the Formula E broadcaster in Germany."
"The difficult market conditions resulted in ProSieben withdrawing from a multi-year contract extension which had been agreed just months before, following a successful 9th season that saw a 4 percent increase in global audiences. Formula E would like to thank ProSieben for their valued partnership this past three years."
Who will broadcast the 2024 Formula E season?
What's next for Formula E in Germany? Who will broadcast the season opener in Mexico in mid-January? All these questions are still unanswered. "We are now in active discussions with a range of major broadcasters and content providers to ensure a great new German home for the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, starting with the Mexico City E-Prix on Saturday, 13 January," Formula E told us.
The only thing that is currently certain is that next year's races will not be shown on TV on ProSieben or as a live stream on ran.de. The same therefore also applies to qualifying sessions and free practice. "We no longer have the rights to Formula E from 2024," the broadcaster confirmed.
It is the next serious setback for the series within just a few weeks: Just recently, the British broadcaster Channel 4 also decided to stop broadcasting Formula E races from 2024. Just over a month ago, the electric series had boasted that it had reached four per cent more live viewers worldwide with the 2023 season. Nevertheless, the bad news from the important markets of Germany and the UK is likely to hurt.