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Formula One has generated exposure for Melbourne worth A$816.4m (£548.3m) over the past four years, an average of A$204.1m (£137m) per Grand Prix, according to new research by Formula Money.
Exposure to the 515 million unique viewers who tune into F1 race broadcasts annually is one of the main reasons that venues around the world compete to host Grands Prix. Even that represents only part of the overall picture as a vast number of people are also exposed to Grand Prix host cities through news broadcasts, television magazine programmes, print media coverage and the internet.
Exposure from the 2012 Australian Grand Prix alone was worth A$217.2m (£145.9m) to Melbourne, a 13.9% increase on 2011's tally of A$190.7m (£128.1m). This total was itself a 9.7% increase on 2010, when the Australian Grand Prix lost its prime position as season opener. In 2010, the race received exposure worth A$173.8m (£116.7m).
The 2012 total comprises A$145.1m (£97.4m) of exposure of the city itself during broadcasts of the race; A$3.2m ((£2.14m) through exposure of Melbourne-branded trackside hoardings during race and qualifying coverage; A$45.7m (£30.7m) of exposure of branding through news and sports highlights programmes; and A$23.1m (£15.5m) of exposure from global print media coverage of the event.
F1 is broadcast in 187 markets worldwide which gives Melbourne unparalleled exposure as no other international annual series has this level of coverage across free-to-air networks. The high level of coverage of F1 in the news media means that Melbourne also gains exposure to an audience outside race fans.
Melbourne receives significant print media coverage from hosting the Australian Grand Prix and this leads to a boom in coverage of the city during March, the month in which the race takes place. During the last three years, March has averaged more than 38,000 monthly articles. In contrast, April averaged only 33,700 articles and February just 33,200.
F1 also generates coverage in emerging markets. Print media coverage of Melbourne and F1 has increased in India as the popularity of the sport in the country has grown. In 2011, when India hosted its first Grand Prix, the level of print media coverage mentioning Melbourne and F1 was almost nine times higher than five years previously. In the same year, March was the month with the second-highest level of print media coverage of Melbourne in India, while just two years ago it was only the 10th best month.
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