F1 Renews Media Rights Deal with ESPN
ESPN Secures F1 Media Rights Through 2025
In a strategic move, Formula 1 (F1) has chosen to renew its media rights deal with ESPN, according to reliable sources from the Sports Business Journal. While Amazon made a considerably higher bid to stream the prestigious auto racing series, ESPN managed to secure the rights by offering a significantly increased amount. The new deal will see ESPN paying between $75 million and $90 million annually to cover F1’s media rights, a staggering 1,500% more than its previous three-year deal. This renewal reflects the growing popularity of F1 in the United States.
The Growing Popularity of F1 in the US
F1 initially partnered with ESPN in 2018 when the sport’s popularity in the US started gaining momentum. ESPN’s willingness to pay $5 million per year for a three-year deal in 2019 demonstrated F1’s increasing influence. Since then, F1 has witnessed exponential growth, attracting over a million viewers per race. This surge in popularity turned the bidding for F1’s media rights into a fierce competition.
Interestingly, it was not the highest bid, but ESPN’s dedicated and expanding audience that ultimately sealed the deal. The US audience for F1 expanded significantly thanks to the Netflix documentary series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” which introduced the sport to a whole new set of fans. Consequently, Netflix was initially interested in securing F1’s media rights but dropped out of the negotiations due to financial constraints.
Contenders in the Bidding War
Aside from ESPN, other major contenders in the bidding war for F1’s three-year media rights deal were Amazon and Comcast. While ESPN emerged as the victor, Comcast was willing to match ESPN’s offer. However, it was Amazon that put forward the highest bid, reportedly offering $100 million per year. Despite Amazon’s tempting offer, F1 decided to stick with ESPN, recognizing the network’s experience and proven track record of boosting viewership.
The Expansion of F1’s US Presence
F1’s Growing Popularity Drives Expansion
F1 has experienced substantial growth in its US audience, but there is still potential for further expansion. In the upcoming year, F1 plans to organize six races in US time zones, including three domestic races. Currently, F1 events take place in Sao Paulo, Mexico City, and Montreal, which are located outside the US. However, the addition of three more races within the US showcases F1’s commitment to engaging with its American fanbase. While the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, has been a popular F1 venue since its debut in 2012, F1 recently introduced the Miami Grand Prix in 2022. In yet another exciting development, F1 will launch its anticipated race in Las Vegas in 2023.
F1 Hits the Streets of Las Vegas
The forthcoming F1 race in Las Vegas will be a major highlight. While F1 races were held in the Caesar’s casino parking lot during the 1980s, the 2023 race will take place on the streets of Las Vegas. To accommodate the necessary infrastructure, F1 has acquired a 39-acre lot that was previously home to the Ice nightclub. This move demonstrates F1’s commitment to providing an exhilarating experience for both drivers and spectators in the iconic city of Las Vegas.
ESPN’s Role in Broadcasting F1
Disney’s Influence on F1 Broadcasting
ESPN, a subsidiary of Disney, will continue its coverage of Formula 1 events through its ABC and ESPN television networks. This means that a significant portion of the F1 schedule will be broadcasted on mainstream television channels. However, as part of the renewed media rights deal, ESPN also has the option to stream selected F1 races on its digital platform, ESPN+. This strategic decision allows F1 to cater to the preferences of an increasingly digital audience while providing fans with more access to thrilling races and behind-the-scenes content.
A Deal with Promising Potential
The renewed media rights deal between F1 and ESPN sets the stage for an exciting future. With the sustained growth of F1’s popularity in the United States, ESPN’s commitment to expanding its viewership, and the addition of new races, F1 is poised to captivate a broader audience on American soil. As the demand for exhilarating and fast-paced auto racing continues to grow, F1 remains at the forefront of delivering thrilling spectacles and unforgettable moments.
With the renewal of F1’s media rights deal with ESPN, the stage is set for continued growth and success in the United States. ESPN’s significant financial commitment demonstrates its confidence in F1’s immense potential to entertain and engage with audiences across the nation. As F1 expands its presence in US time zones with the addition of new races, including the highly anticipated event in Las Vegas, the sport is poised to further capture the hearts of American racing enthusiasts. Through a combination of traditional television broadcasting and digital streaming options, F1 aims to cater to the evolving preferences of fans while delivering unparalleled racing experiences.
1. How much will ESPN pay annually for the renewed F1 media rights deal?
ESPN will pay an estimated amount between $75 million and $90 million per year as part of the renewed media rights deal with Formula 1.
2. Why did F1 choose to renew its media rights deal with ESPN over Amazon?
Although Amazon offered a higher bid, Formula 1 decided to stick with ESPN due to the network’s proven ability to grow viewership and its experience in covering the sport.
3. How has F1’s popularity grown in the United States?
F1’s popularity in the US has experienced significant growth, with over a million viewers per race. The Netflix documentary series “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” played a pivotal role in attracting new fans to the sport.
4. How many races will F1 hold in US time zones?
F1 plans to organize six races in US time zones, including three domestic races. This expansion showcases F1’s commitment to engaging with its American fanbase.
5. What broadcasting options will ESPN offer for F1 races?
In addition to broadcasting F1 races on its ABC and ESPN television networks, ESPN also has the option to stream selected races on its digital platform, ESPN+. This allows fans to enjoy F1 content on both traditional and digital platforms.