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MotoGP fan-base continues to grow

MotoGP fan-base continues to grow

MotoGP fan-base continues to grow

Valentino Rossi defended his MotoGP World Champion status for yet another year in 2005 and with it cemented his place in MotoGP folklore. Despite Rossi's domination, the year certainly wasn't without its excitement, and fans continue to discover the thrills of MotoGP. Over seventeen rounds of the series, television, on-site and website audiences all showed significant increases as the Italian won eleven races on board his Yamaha, and helped bring the factory a memorable triple crown of Rider, Team and Constructor World Champions in their 50th anniversary year.

It was the emergence of young talents like Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden, who both enjoyed maiden victories, which kept the public entertained as they pushed the more experienced Rossi to the limit. With around 50 TV networks showing live or same day transmissions of the MotoGP spectacle, a total of 5,290 million viewers tuned in to the seventeen rounds of the championship, representing an increase of over 60 million viewers on 2004.

MotoGP coverage was provided across the globe, with the average number of viewers per Grand Prix standing at a massive 311 million in 207 countries. More than half of that total (142 million) watched the races live in 184 countries. In terms of total broadcast hours for the season, there was another rise in figures, with an increase of around 2% to 3,790 hours, whilst another milestone saw free-to-air broadcasting topping the 5,000 million mark for the first time, with the remaining 276 million homes being reached by cable or satellite television.

The total number of spectators passing through the turnstiles at circuits was also on the up in 2005, with onsite crowds reaching over 2 million for the first time ever. Attendances rose at all circuits apart from Portugal and Great Britain, where both races were affected by rain on race-day. In comparison to the previous year, the total number of spectators visiting the races was up by over 10 percent, and even counting the fact there were seventeen races in 2005 compared to sixteen the previous year, average attendances were up around 4% at just under 120,000.

After a ground-breaking step into the Chinese market with the first ever Grand Prix in the world's most populated country, and a historic race on the Asia-Europe frontier in Turkey, the biggest crowd of the season actually came at the season opener in Jerez, where an increase of 30,000 fans took the weekend total to 237,232, a rise of nearly 15% on 2004. There was also a popular return for MotoGP to the United States, where a massive crowd of 153,653 over the weekend saw Nicky Hayden win his first MotoGP event at Laguna Seca in California. There were further big improvements at Brno and Sepang, with over 20% more fans at those two venues, whilst circuits such as Catalunya, Sachsenring and Mugello also saw more than a 10% increase. Total attendance for 2005 reached a massive 2,033,545.

MotoGP, 2005

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