Formula 1

2023 Formula 1 Season on ESPN Breaks Through with Second-Highest Viewership in U.S. History

The 2023 Formula 1 season on ESPN platforms has concluded, securing its place as the second most-watched F1 season in U.S. television history. With an impressive average viewership of 1.11 million across 22 races, the season has left a significant mark in the realm of sports broadcasting.

Key Takeaways:

  • Historic Viewership Figures: The 2023 season attracted an average of 1.11 million viewers per race. This includes record-breaking live audiences for three races, notably the Miami Grand Prix with 1.96 million viewers, one of the largest in U.S. F1 broadcasting history.
  • Record-Breaking Events: Eight races throughout the season set new U.S. television viewership records, highlighting races such as the Monaco, Canadian, and Mexican Grands Prix, and reflecting Formula 1’s expanding American fan base.
  • Continued Growth and Expansion: This season’s success is a part of a broader trend of increasing popularity of F1 in the U.S., with viewership having doubled since 2018. This growth sets a positive tone for the upcoming 2024 season, which is eagerly anticipated.

The 2023 Formula 1 season on ESPN has been a remarkable journey in U.S. sports broadcasting. With an average viewership that closely followed the previous year’s record-breaking figures, the season has firmly established the escalating popularity of F1 in the United States. The average viewership of 1.11 million viewers over 22 races is a noteworthy achievement, especially considering the incredible viewership of 2.6 million for the 2022 Miami Grand Prix.

The season’s finale, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, attracted an audience of 927,000, demonstrating the sport’s growing appeal in the U.S., despite the dominant performance of Max Verstappen and Red Bull throughout the season. The season also witnessed several significant milestones, including setting records for live audiences in three of the four largest American TV audiences for F1 races ever, with the historic Monaco Grand Prix telecast attracting a record 1.79 million viewers.

U.S. television viewership records were broken in eight different races, covering a variety of locations such as Saudi Arabia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, and Mexico. The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, despite its late start time, drew an impressive average audience of 1.3 million viewers, emphasizing the sport’s growing appeal.

The steady increase in Formula 1’s television audience in the United States has been extraordinary. Since returning to ESPN platforms in 2018, the sport has seen a near 100 percent increase in viewership, from an average of 554,000 in 2018 to 1.11 million in 2023. This trend represents an average annual growth of 15 percent, showcasing the sport’s rising popularity in the U.S. market.

The 2023 season also marked the beginning of a three-year renewal agreement between ESPN and Formula 1, which was announced in fall 2022. This deal reflects a shared commitment to continue growing and promoting the sport in the U.S. market, setting a promising stage for the seasons ahead.

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