Advanced Television

ESPN: F1 2022 season sets US viewership records

November 24, 2022

The 2022 Formula 1 World Championship season has ended as the most-viewed ever on US television, beating a record that was set just last season.

The season averaged 1.21 million viewers per race across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, a 28 per cent increase over the previous US television record of 949,000 average viewers that was set in 2021. The 2022 season also became the first in US television history to average 1 million or more viewers per race.

In addition, more female and younger viewers watched F1 races on US television than ever before.

The 22-race season ended on November 20th in Abu Dhabi with Max Verstappen winning his second consecutive World Championship. The season included a record 2.583 million average viewers for the new Miami Grand Prix, setting the mark for the most-viewed live F1 telecast ever in the US.

Including Miami, there were 12 races that set all-time event viewership records:

  • Bahrain – 1.353 million average viewers
  • Saudi Arabian – 1.445 million
  • Miami (new event) – 2.583 million
  • Spanish – 1.14 million (largest live version)
  • British – 1.239 million
  • Austrian – 1.1 million
  • Hungarian – 1.23 million
  • Belgian – 1.03 million
  • Dutch – 1.14 million
  • Italian – 995K (largest live version)
  • Singapore – 1.036 million
  • Brazilian – 1.4 million (largest live version)

Other figures from the season:

  • The Monaco (1.396 million) and Emilia Romagna (1.166 million) races had their largest live cable audiences on record.
  • Seventeen races drew more than 1 million average viewers.
  • The season averaged 521,000 viewers per race in the Persons ages 18-49 demographic, an increase of 29 per cent over 2021 (402K viewers).
  • Younger viewers were up significantly in 2022 – Persons ages 12-17 were up 49 per cent over 2021, averaging 36,000 viewers per race, the largest year-over-year growth across all key demographics. Persons ages 18-34 averaged 238K viewers per race, up 43 per cent over 2021, and Persons ages 25-34 averaged 169K viewers per race, up 46 per cent over 2021.
  • Women averaged 352K viewers per race, up 34 per cent over 2021, and averaged 28 per cent of the 2022 audience.
  • F1 qualifying sessions on ESPN television platforms in 2022 averaged 554K viewers, up 17 per cent over the 2021 full-season qualifying average (475K viewers).

(The rain-plagued Japanese Grand Prix is not included in the overall viewership average for the season.)

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Formula 1 recently announced an extension of their relationship with a new, multi-year contract that will keep F1 races on ESPN platforms in the US through the 2025 season.

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