Mexican GP achieves highest audience for event on ESPN in US

2023 race attracted audience of 1.46m, the most since it returned to schedule in 2015.

The 2023 Mexican Grand Prix recorded an average live audience of 1.46 million on Disney-owned ESPN in the US.

Confirmed:

  • Largest US audience for Mexican Grand Prix since it returned to the schedule in 2015
  • The full telecast, which includes the pre-race show, averaged 1.08 million viewers, another event record
  • Race audience peaked at 1.94 million viewers

Context:

US audiences on ESPN have seen a slight decline this season, down seven per cent overall compared to 2022. Through 19 races, the 2023 season is averaging 1.12 million viewers. In light of this, it’s promising to see Mexico hit record viewership, the eighth race this year to achieve that mark.

Race audiences normally peak at the beginning of a race, but it would be interesting to see whether the average would have been higher had the first corner not seen Mexican driver Sergio Perez crash out of the race and Max Verstappen take his accustomed position at the front of the field. With around 11 per cent of the US population being of Mexican origin, the partisan viewers would have likely switched off in the same way the crowd was seen thinning out during the red-flagged period of the race.

Coming next:

The growth of Formula One in the US has been remarkable in recent years, with 2018 audience averages sitting at around 554,000 viewers. But it’s clear that the US was previously an underserved market, so this is an expected increase following the addition of more races in the country and the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries.

There have been high points this season in terms of viewership and the average will likely see a notable boost following the vaunted debut of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, but there are clearly motorsport fans in the US who are not yet convinced by the global motorsport series. The Nascar audience may be dropping, but it still boasts an average viewership around three times as high as Formula One. Currently, it appears the on-track offering is not competitive enough to persuade more viewers to invest their time.

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