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F1 extends ESPN partnership

NEWS STORY
01/11/2019

F1 has extended its partnership with broadcaster ESPN in the USA until 2022.

The extension comes off the back of double-digit viewership growth in the United States over the past two seasons since coverage returned to ESPN in 2018.

According to F1, the 18 races thus far this season, have seen an average of 671,000 viewers on ESPN networks, an increase of 19 percent over the average of 561,000 at this point last year on ESPN networks and up 24 percent from the average of 542,000 on NBC networks in 2017.

All but three of the 18 races this season have seen year-on-year viewership increases, in addition, the demographic of persons aged 18-34 has grown 81 percent from 2018 and is up 87 percent from 2017.

The new deal will see all F1 races continue to air live on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC and all practice sessions, qualifying and races will air live and in replay across ESPN platforms, including on-demand replays on the ESPN App.

ESPN also will continue to air the races commercial-free and will again partner with Sky Sports. The FIA Formula 2 Championship and the FIA Formula 3 Championship, as well as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series, will also continue to be broadcast across the network.

As an additional element of the new deal, ESPN Deportes will serve as the exclusive Spanish language home for all F1 races in the US starting in 2020. Spanish-language coverage of F1 will be made available to fans on ESPN Deportes television network and streaming on the ESPN App.

When it began in 2018, the relationship marked the return of Formula 1 to its original US television home - the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997.

"Our partnership with ESPN has delivered a 19 percent increase in viewership across the US," said Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1, "and we are delighted to extend our partnership through to 2022.

"The US is one of our key focuses for growth and ESPN know and understand the US sports audience like no one else. The combination of their dedicated coverage and Formula 1's amazing racing spectacle is a perfect partnership for us to build on our recent success with US audiences."

"When we brought Formula 1 back to ESPN two years ago, we had faith that Formula 1 fans in the United States would support the coverage," added Burke Magnus, ESPN executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling. "That faith has been rewarded many times over, and we greatly appreciate how fans have responded in record numbers. We're also delighted to add Spanish-language rights to this new deal. This provides us with a unique opportunity to serve Hispanic Formula 1 fans across ESPN platforms in English and Spanish. We look forward to continuing the relationship with Formula 1 and working together to build the sport in America."

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1. Posted by alistairmx, 02/11/2019 11:12

"ESPN has the worst coverage in USA. Obscure version that you have to have an extra account to view everything apart from main race. Fox Sports in Mexico has all practice, Qualifying and race in 1 Channel."

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2. Posted by Spartacus, 01/11/2019 22:02

"Congratulations to ESPN, I hope as an improvement the broadcast is more consistently placed as well as the replays. I have to search around and find each playback time on ESPN U, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNews. If I hit record all with the DVR it sends it into tailspin!"

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