Formula 1 races has renewed its deal with ESPN Networks in the United States through the 2025 season.
A new multi-year contract was announced in Austin at the second of two US stops for F1 during the 2022 season.
Under the renewal, at least 16 races will air on ABC and ESPN each season, more than in the previous five years since F1 returned to ESPN networks in 2018. Also, all race telecasts on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will continue commercial-free, as it has been for the past five seasons.
The new agreement also allows ESPN some flexibility to stream F1 content via ESPN+ over the next three years. The companies said details on that are to be announced later.
“Formula 1 and ESPN have been a strong and successful team and we’re delighted to extend our relationship,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN President, Programming and Original Content. “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.”
Last year, F1 celebrated its most-viewed season on US television, with an average of 949,000 viewers per race. The average has moved into seven figures in 2022. Through 18 races, live F1 telecasts are averaging 1.2 million viewers on ESPN networks – with multiple events attracting race-record television audiences.
Earlier this year, the telecast of the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on ABC generated an average viewership of 2.6 million, the largest US audience on record for a live F1 race.
“We are delighted to announce that our partnership with ESPN will continue,” said Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO at Formula 1. “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.”
“After Formula 1 returned to the ESPN networks five years ago, the popularity of the sport has grown impressively,” said Ian Holmes, Director of Media Rights and Content Creation, Formula 1. “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 that 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 favorable time zones to fans in the region, making the Formula 1 offering more compelling than ever.”
The next event in the 2022 F1 season is the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, Oct. 30. The race will air live on ESPN at 3:55 pm ET.