In a record-setting season for television viewership, ESPN networks averaged more than 20 percent in audience gains and set seven event viewership records during the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship season that ended this past weekend. Live Formula 1 racing returned to ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC in 2018
Over the 21-event season, live race telecasts averaged 671,000 viewers, an increase of 21 percent over the average of 554,000 on ESPN networks last year and up 25 percent from the 538,000 average on NBC networks in 2017.
Seventeen of the 21 races saw year-over-year viewership increases and seven races earned U.S. viewership records. In addition, the young adult demographic (persons ages 18-34) was up 75 percent over 2018 and 89 percent over 2017.
“This was a fantastic season for Formula 1 on our networks,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling. “The viewership increases and event records demonstrate that the core F1 fans in the United States are tuning in and new viewers are watching as well.
“We look forward to helping Formula 1 celebrate its 70th anniversary in 2020.”
ESPN and Formula 1 recently announced a new, three-year deal to keep F1 races on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the 2022 season. As an additional element of the new deal, ESPN Deportes will serve as the exclusive Spanish-language home for all Formula 1 races in the U.S. starting in 2020.
The 2020 Formula 1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15.