Miami GP attracts largest live F1 audience in US TV history

Record 2.6m viewers tune in on Disney-owned ABC.

Miami GP attracts largest live F1 audience in US TV history

Getty Images

  • Race viewership peaks at 2.9 million
  • Smashes previous record of 1.74m for 1995 Brazilian GP
  • Averages 735k viewers in 18 to 49 demographic

The inaugural Miami Grand Prix racked up an average viewership of 2.6 million on commercial network ABC, the largest ever audience for a live Formula One broadcast on US television.

The figure smashed the previous record for a live race telecast in the US, when 1.74 million tuned in on ESPN to watch Michael Schumacher win the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Viewership for the Miami Grand Prix peaked at 2.9 million. The race also performed strongly in the 18 to 49 demographic, averaging 735,000 viewers.

The first five races of the 2022 Formula One season have achieved an average of 1.4 million viewers per race on Disney-owned platforms, a 53 per cent increase compared to the first five races of 2021.

This increase is particularly encouraging for the global motorsport series, as the 2021 campaign was the most-viewed Formula One season ever in the US.

The average viewership for the first five races also compares well against the 2021 average (949,000 viewers) and the 2020 season average (609,000 viewers), an increase of 49 per cent and 131 per cent, respectively.

In the lead-up to the Miami Grand Prix on 8th May, 953,000 viewers watched Formula One qualifying on ESPN and 398,000 watched the first practice session on ESPN2. Both represent the largest viewership for a qualifying or practice session since ESPN secured rights to Formula One in 2018.

While the Miami Grand Prix is the largest live audience for a Formula One race in US history, it did not quite match the audience recorded for the 2002 Monaco Grand Prix. Shown on delay due to a clash with the 86th running of the Indianapolis 500, the race around the streets of Monte Carlo averaged 2.78 million viewers on ABC.