- F1 viewership in the United States has decreased due to the lack of competition
- ESPN’s F1 deal expires in 2025 with Amazon, NBC and Netflix looking to bid
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
ESPN is going all-in on the on the rights to stream Formula One in the United States despite the sport’s US viewership declining this year.
Following record years in 2021 and 2022, ESPN’s F1 viewership is down by 9% with two races left this season.
One of the main factors for the viewership dipping to an average of 1.1million viewers is the contrasting time zones. With races typically set in Europe, fans in the US have to get up in the middle of the night or early in the morning to catch them.
Even with Saturday’s Las Vegas Grand Prix happening in US soil, the race begins at 10pm local time or 1am in the east coast.
Another factor is the competitive imbalance in the sport. Red Bull and Mercedes have taken turns in going on championship runs in over the past decade.
The last time a different team won a constructors championship was Brawn in 2009. Red Bull won the title from 2019-2013 before Mercedes went on a title run from 2014-2021.
Red Bull regained the competitive edge and won the constructors title in 2022 with Max Verstappen at the forefront. Verstappen is also favored to win the Las Vegas GP this weekend.
ESPN is reportedly paying $85m annually for the US rights to F1 races. ESPN will have some competition for F1 rights by the time they renew their contract in 2025.
Amazon and NBC have been reported as potential suitors for the sport. Netflix, who recently tried their hand at live sports, also enters the pool behind the success of their ‘F1: Drive to Survive’ docuseries.
F1’s first event in Sin City since 1982 is getting major league treatment. Aside from turning the iconic Las Vegas strip to a colorful circuit worth $500m, crews from Good Morning America and Sports Center set to be on-site for the race.