WSBK Increases TV Viewers by 33% in 2010

01/14/2011 @ 5:50 am, by Victoria Reid8 COMMENTS

WSBK’s worldwide television audience grew by 33% from the 2009 to 2010 season. According to Infront, the “championship reached a cumulative audience of 498 million” for the 2010 season, meaning each WSBK race garnered around 40 million viewers. While still a considerably smaller number than MotoGP, which claims around 300 million viewers for each race, this is the sort of jump in audience that makes sponsorship dollars appear more easily. The official WSBK website had “a 30% increase of unique visitors compared to 2009,”with a total of four million individual visitors in 2010.

Though the overall television audience grew by 33%, the live television audience grew by a smaller percentage of 18%. It should be noted though that the live audience figure is not something determined necessarily by fans, but by the contracts between Infront and the various international broadcasters. As an example, there is no live coverage of WSBK in the United States on the SPEED channel. Even MotoGP only began receiving something approaching live coverage on that network for the 2010 season.

Live coverage or not, the most important news for WSBK is what the increased audience can do for sponsorships in the series. As the audience grows, WSBK’s attractiveness to companies beyond Western Europe grows as well. A growing television and online audience could attract more companies willing to invest in what otherwise could be considered a frivolous pursuit, and more sponsors can be wooed by logical appeals to their pocketbooks. Accordingly, these numbers are heartening for those involved in the sport.

As noted by Infront CEO Paolo Flammini, “The worldwide broadcast distribution and audience figures for the 2010 FIM Superbike World Championship clearly demonstrate the value of the series as a communication platform for established as well as upcoming brands. Its growing fan base and outreach of the motor sport series provide sponsors with an effective platform for targeting an attractive demographic within sport.” Still, one should look at them warily as they have been released by the group most likely to benefit from their positive nature.

Source: WBSK/Infront Motorsports; Photo: © 2010 Dan Lo /

  • Rob

    doesnt seem too much of a shock there. GP last year was a waste and WSBK was great racing as was WSS.

  • Sloan

    They need to provide a HD feed to SpeedTV and I’d watch it more. It’s almost unbearable to watch a MotoGP race in high-def then try to watch a WSBK program afterward. Even AMA racing (which was spectacular this year, I might add) had a better picture. I like WSBK but I don’t HAVE to watch it if the picture is crappy.

  • SBPilot

    They are extending HD coverage which is nice but I don’t even have it and I watch most of my stuff online anyway. I’m most excited about on-board footage. In my opinion that is what WSBK broadcasting lacked most to MotoGP. Some of the best shots and excitement is captured via on-board cameras.

    I won’t be surprised if WSBK viewing increases again significantly this year due to the on-board cameras and extended HD. MotoGP viewing numbers this year will be off the roof cause of Rossi going to Ducati amongst the other team switches though.

  • Prich

    I’m with you guys. I’m always surprised at what a poor quality they broadcast the races. I can hardly tell the colors of the bikes apart, so I have to pay incredible attention just to figure out who I’m watching.

  • Damo

    HD coverage would be nice, I mean ESPN broadcasts obscure European Kick Boxing championships in HD, why can I watch my WSBK as well?

    What channel do you cats watch MotoGP on in HD? I am still on SD up here in Massachusetts.

  • dmclone

    Sad to say but I was a lot more interested in it the previous year when the U.S. was represented. I still watched every race but not having Spies was disappointing.

  • Ricardo

    I have always watched WSBK regardless. Better to watch a hard fight in SD than most of the boring Motogp races in HD.

    I’m glad these numbers prove armchair racers predicting its demise were wrong.

  • Sean in Oz

    Here in Oz MotoGP is broadcast live (because it is late at night) on free to air TV. To watch WSBK you need cable TV, which is expensive since there is very little else worth watching on it. We get a short highlights show of WSBK a week later on free to air.