ESPN agree three-year extension for F1 coverage in US

Sam Cooper
F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali speaking. Austin, October 2022.

F1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali speaking during a contract announcement with ESPN. Austin, October 2022.

ESPN will continue to broadcast Formula 1 races in the United States for the next three years after a new deal was agreed with the sport.

After agreeing a new deal with UK broadcaster Sky last month, F1 has done the same in the States with current broadcaster ESPN having their contract extended through to the end of the 2025 season.

ESPN, owned by the Walt Disney Company, has had the rights to broadcast F1 races since 2018 and crucially, they will remain commercial-free.

F1 has announced at least 16 races will air on ABC and ESPN and have also stated their plans to allow US fans to consume F1 content on platforms such as ESPN+, with details to be announced at a later date.

The 2023 season is set to be the biggest year in US F1 history with the country set to host three grands prix as part of a record-breaking 24-race calendar. The United States Grand Prix will continue to be held in Texas, while the Miami Grand Prix is on the calendar for its second year.

The Strip in Las Vegas will be converted into a race track for the weekend as F1 returns to Sin City for the first time since 1982.

The number of US residents tuning in has been growing year-on-year with an average of 949,000 viewers per race in 2021 rising to 1.2 million in 2022. For the inaugural Miami Grand Prix, an average of 2.6 million US viewers tuned in.

For Spanish-speaking viewers, ESPN Deportes will continue to broadcast the races.

President and CEO of Formula 1 Stefano Domenicali said the partnership with ESPN will help continue to grow the sport in the US.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with ESPN will continue,” he said. “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.”

F1’s director of media rights and content creation, Ian Holmes, said the six races in the America region (US, Miami, Las Vegas, Mexico, Brazil and Canada) will make the F1 offering “more compelling than ever”.

“After Formula 1 returned to the ESPN networks five years ago, the popularity of the sport has grown impressively. The extension and expansion of our partnership is a reflection of exciting times ahead and a result of our shared desire to bring Formula 1 to as broad and diverse an audience as possible in the US.

“The popular commercial-free broadcasts ensure viewers continue to engage with F1 before, during and after the race. From next year we will have six races in the Americas, which means more favourable time zones to fans in the region, making the Formula 1 offering more compelling than ever.”

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