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TV viewing figures up

NEWS STORY
13/01/2009

According to the sport's annual broadcasting report, the Formula One World Championship was watched by 600 million people in 2008, up by 3 million on 2007.

Despite the absence of a high-profile local hero, Italy, which hasn't had a Formula One World Champion since Alberto Ascari in 1953, remains the most popular TV market for F1, with 37.5 million viewers tuning in over the courdse of the season.

Lewis Hamilton's championship success saw ITV increase its audience by 7 percent, with 29.1 million viewers in total.

Despite having five drivers, twenty-five percent of the grid, Germany continues to lose viewers in the wake of the end of the Schumacher era, indeed, with 29.6 million viewers it slipped behind France.

Bernie Ecclestone's remorseless drive into Asia appears to be working, with China (119 million) now moving ahead of Brazil (110 million).

Ecclestone claims the figures show that the figures show F1 to be in "rude health".

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