F1’s Miami GP sees US audience drop 24% on ABC

Still achieves second-highest live US audience for F1 race.
  • 1.96m viewers tune in compared to 2.58m in 2022
  • F1 continues to beat Nascar in the 18-49 demographic
  • Smallest audience in Sunday afternoon slot on ABC in past month

This season’s Miami Grand Prix saw a 24 per cent drop in viewership compared to 2022's debut event, but it still saw the second-highest live Formula One audience in the US.

An average of 1.96 million viewers tuned in to Disney-owned commercial network ABC to watch the fifth round of the season, compared to 2.58 million in 2022.

While this ranks second in terms of live viewing figures in the US, the most watched race in American history remains the tape-delayed 2002 Monaco Grand Prix, with 2.78 million viewers watching on a delay.

The race went head-to-head with the Nascar Cup Series race in Kansas, which achieved an average viewership of 2.35 million. But, Formula One once again impressed in the 18-49 demographic with a rating of 0.61, almost double the 0.33 that Nascar recorded.

At this time of year, ABC would normally cover the National Basketball Association (NBA) season. With the playoffs in full swing, the Miami Grand Prix could not compete with the 9.8 million viewers that tuned in for the previous weekend’s winner-takes-all match-up between the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors.

The Miami Grand Prix was also the lowest audience that ABC has seen in the Sunday afternoon slot since it broadcasted an XFL spring football league game opposite the final round of the Masters golf tournament last month.

BlackBook says…

The viewership figures don’t make for good reading when compared to the NBA, but this was the most watched first round playoff game in 24 years, hardly a fair comparison for a sport struggling to offer meaningful competitive action.

And, despite Formula One offering little beyond a Red Bull one-two most weeks, the sport continues to do well in the 18-49 demographic in the US. This is a good indicator for future growth, so Formula One needs to ensure that it consolidates this budding audience.

Although, the sport needs to be careful moving forward, especially once the novelty factor wears off for events like the Miami and Las Vegas Grands Prix. Once the glitz and glamour fades, will hastily designed circuits offering mediocre racing be enough to keep audiences interested?

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