Monday December 4, 2023

Formula 1 Stokes Growing U.S. Audience

  • Formula 1 has seen major growth in the U.S. following Netflix's 'Drive to Survive.'
  • The race series is eyeing a third U.S. location.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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As it negotiates its next set of media deals, Formula 1 can now credibly say that it has awakened the sleeping giant: the U.S. market.

The global racing series, which took in $787 million in Q4 2021, has seen its popularity accelerate since the release of Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” and is now looking to build on that momentum. 

“It’s really not just ‘Drive to Survive,’ I think the value proposition of Formula 1 in the U.S. has clearly grown exponentially from the last time we did a [media] deal,” F1 director of media rights Ian Holmes told Front Office Sports.

  • F1 said it has over 36 million fans in the U.S., one of its fastest-growing markets.
  • Globally, the company said 445 million people watched at least one race in 2021, a 3% uptick year-over-year, led by China with 70.8 million unique viewers.

Tripling Down?

Last October’s race in Austin, Texas, had 400,000 fans in attendance – the most among all 2021 F1 races, and way up from 2019’s 268,000 fans, according to F1.

Miami will see its first race in May, and F1 is eyeing a third U.S.-based contest.

“If we do end up with a third race in America, and you add in Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, suddenly you have six events in the Americas time zones, and that starts to slightly change the emphasis of the championship,” said Holmes.

Holmes acknowledged reports that F1 is looking at a possible race in Las Vegas, while adding, “Who wouldn’t want to race in New York?”

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