Gaining Traction: Record U.S. Audience on ABC, Acknowledging Disney’s Commitment to F1
ABC’s broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday drew the largest live U.S. audience ever for the race, with an average of 1.79 million viewers tuning in. It was also the third–largest live audience ever recorded in the U.S. for a Formula 1 race.
This marks a notable increase in viewership from last year’s 1.6 million average viewers on ESPN. Sunday’s race also included 818,000 viewers of the qualifying event that aired on ESPN the day prior to the race, as well as a Sunday afternoon re–run on ABC that averaged 564,000 viewers.
Disney’s decision to air the race live on ABC is part of the company’s commitment to Formula 1 that was formalised last year with a three–year media rights renewal. Lopez Negrete Communications senior vice president Bob Imbriani commented, “Disney has done a great job with promotion and creating appointment viewing for F1.” On Disney’s US networks, F1 is averaging 1.27 million viewers this season, up 5 percent from last year’s full season average of 1.21 million.
The record for the largest live U.S. audience for an F1 race is held by last year’s Miami Grand Prix on ABC, which drew 2.6 million average viewers. Second place goes to the Miami Grand Prix this year, with an average of 1.96 million viewers. Formula 1 Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn commented about the increased viewership:
“This is a really strong result and testament to the work of the Formula 1, ESPN, ABC and Disney teams.
We saw a large audience for Saturday’s qualifying session and now the second–largest ever ABC live viewership figure for an F1 race.” Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix marks a record–breaking moment for Formual 1 in the United States, and confirms Disney’s strong commitment to the sport. This monumental success is just the beginning of what is to come – the best is yet to come for F1 fans this season.