Report: F1 US TV ratings up 35% on ESPN

Global motorsport series averaging 1.3m US viewers so far this season.

Report: F1 US TV ratings up 35% on ESPN

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  • F1 edges out Nascar for most 18 to 49 viewers
  • Nascar Cup Series average viewership on Fox Sports up 6% YoY to 3.48m

Formula One’s rapid ascent in the US is continuing, with Disney-owned ESPN seeing its viewership for the global motorsport series rise 35 per cent on last season, according to the Sports Business Journal (SBJ).

A reported 1.3 million viewers have tuned in on average heading into the 2022 campaign’s summer break, up from the average of 934,000 viewers on ESPN last year.

The prior ratings record for the US was 748,000, set in 1995, highlighting the scale of Formula One’s growth in recent years.

The figures come against the backdrop of slowed growth for the most popular motorsport category in the country, Nascar.

Notably, Formula One has reportedly been beating the stock car racing series in the 18 to 49 demographic, though Nascar Xfinity had more total viewers.

A particular highlight for Formula One in 2022 was the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on 8th May, which scored an average viewership of 2.6 million on Disney-owned commercial network ABC, the largest audience for a live Formula One telecast ever on US television. The race also averaged 735,000 viewers in the 18 to 49 age range.

In contrast, the Nascar Cup Series race at Darlington, which was aired on Fox Sports One on the same day as the Miami Grand Prix, racked up 2.61 million total viewers and 517,000 viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic.

Overall, Nascar remains king in the US, averaging 4.59 million viewers on Fox so far this year, up ten per cent on 2021.

Having wrapped up its coverage of the 2022 Nascar Cup Series, Fox’s average viewership across both Fox and Fox Sports One sits at 3.48 million, equating to a six per cent increase year-over-year (YoY).

The 2022 edition of the Daytona 500 on 20th February saw Fox net an average viewership of 8.87 million, an 84 per cent increase on last year. However, when compared to the 2019 edition, the last race not impacted by weather delays, Fox’s audience is actually down three per cent from 9.2 million viewers.