Formula 1 and the Walt Disney Company have announced a multi-year extension of its broadcast partnership, meaning F1 will continue to be broadcasted on ESPN Networks across the United States of America until 2025.
Part of the extension will ensure that at least 16 races will be aired on ABC and ESPN, continuing the commercial-free presentation which has been used over the past five seasons.
The 2021 season which saw Max Verstappen win his first World Championship set a record as the most-viewed F1 season ever on US television with an average of 949,000 viewers per grand prix.
That number has grown to seven figures this season with the maiden Miami Grand Prix generating an average viewership of 2.6 million, a record for F1 in the states.
The F1 President and CEO, Stefano Domenicali, said: “We are delighted to announce that our partnership with ESPN will continue.
“Formula 1 has seen incredible growth in the United States with sold-out events and record television audiences, and the addition of Las Vegas to the calendar next season, alongside Austin and Miami, will see us host three spectacular races there.
“The ESPN networks have played a huge part in that growth with their dedicated quality coverage. We are excited to expand our relationship and continue to bring the passion and excitement of Formula 1 to our viewers in the US together.”
The ESPN President, Burke Magnus, added: “Formula 1 and ESPN have been a strong and successful team and we’re delighted to extend our relationship.
“We look forward to serving fans in some new and innovative ways in the next three years as we continue to bring the reach and relevance of the Walt Disney Company networks and platforms to Formula 1.”
The Miami GP only averaged 735,000 viewers in the 18-49 age demographic, which is the only thing that matters to advertisers for TV ratings. It was also aired on a free channel, but nice try. ESPN pulled this same BS in a PR stunt at the end of last year to cover their lack of actual growth in ratings. For example, the Dutch GP last month aired on ESPN and only got 1.15 million total, which barely above the old 800k figure Speedvision had 15-20 years ago when F1 was virtually unknown in the US. F1 is still a dud in the US. I reckon if they got rid of blowhard Crofty as an announcer and threw in some tard rap music here and there they might add 100k more viewers in the 18-49 demo.