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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Formula 1, ESPN Agree to Extension Reportedly Worth $255M

  • Disney's networks will continue to broadcast Formula 1 after the two linked up on a three-year deal worth a reported $225 million.
  • The deal represents a 17-fold increase on ESPN's current deal, which expires after this season.
Formula-1
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Formula 1 has found an increasingly passionate U.S. audience, and now it’s committing even more to its American media partners.

Disney and F1 struck a deal that will keep F1 on its networks through 2025.

  • ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 will carry at least 16 races annually. ESPN Deportes will remain the series’ Spanish-language broadcaster.
  • The networks will continue their commercial-free presentation. 
  • The three-year deal reportedly carries an $85 million annual price tag, a 17-fold increase from the network’s $5 million-per-year deal ending this season.
  • The deal expands ESPN’s direct-to-consumer rights. The network, whose ESPN+ streaming service had 22.8 million subscribers as of July 2, said it would release details at a future date.

ESPN has teamed with Sky Sports on their broadcasts of races, practices, and qualifying sessions. 

Races this year are averaging 1.2 million viewers across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, per Nielsen, a 26% year-over-year increase.

American in the Driver’s Seat

Next season will also likely bring a much-discussed asset to F1: an American driver.

The Williams racing team announced that F2 driver Logan Sargeant will join its F1 team next year, provided he finishes the year with enough superlicense points, which he is on pace to do.

A Harris poll from May found that 16% of all U.S. adults and 35% of those interested in F1 would be more drawn to the series if it included an American driver.

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