TV numbers are Formula 1's currency. When ratings are up, the Formula One Group is able to negotiate top-dollar contracts - which in turn trickles down to teams, albeit diluted - and when global numbers peak so does the value of sponsor and partner deals, whether at team or commercial rights holder (FOG) level.
Circuit owners, too, score through increased awareness in their territories, while there is little doubt that today's fledgling viewers are tomorrow's drivers, engineers, buyers of tickets/merchandise/games, and pitlane reporters.
F1 was once very much a fringe sport, watched live mainly by petrolheads; today it's a mainstream activity followed not by the billions all too often misleadingly spoken about, but certainly hundreds of millions across the globe.
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