TV News: Weekend TV Ratings – F1 skyrockets (Update)

Some more data on the F1 numbers below.

  • It was the second most-viewed F1 race on both cable and ESPN on record – 1995 Brazilian GP remains first (1.74 million viewers)
  • It’s now the most-viewed race on any ESPN Net since F1 returned in 2018 – surpassing last year’s USGP on ABC (1.2 million)
  • It was the most-viewed Bahrain GP on record, beating last year’s race on ESPN2 (927K).
  • Audience peaked at 1.5 million toward end of race in 12:30-12:45 quarter-hour

March 22, 2022 

The F1 TV Rating for the Bahrain GP last Sunday set a new USA TV record with 1.353 million viewers tuned in to the race on ESPN, up a whopping 41.4% over 2021.  What is significant about the F1 TV rating is the ratio of 18-49 year-old viewers to total viewers.  The ratio is much higher for F1 than any other form of motorsport, indicating that F1 is drawing heavily in the all important 18-49 age bracket.

In Canada, a much smaller country than the USA, the Bahrain GP drew a respectable 316,000 viewers on TSN for qualifying and the Sunday race drew 575,000 viewers, both up significantly over 2021. F1 is booming worldwide since American company Liberty Media took over.

NASCAR ratings at the newly re-banked Atlanta Motor Speedway were up across the board over 2021, with the Cup race drawing over 4 million viewers on FOX.

So far in 2022, NASCAR viewership on FOX is up 16%, averaging 5,221,000 viewers per race through the first 5 races, vs. 4,484,000 in 2021.

The Texas NTT IndyCar Series race drew a much better TV rating than in 2021 because the race moved from NBCSN to NBC this year.  NBCSN ratings were always so horrible it is not really a good comparison – it was a 0.24 rating last year.  It is why NBC terminated the channel. However, the race was also on NBC in 2020 and comparing that rating, the race was down 13.9% from 2 short years ago.  Not a good trend.

What is also interesting is the fact the Bahrain F1 race drew significantly more viewers than the IndyCar race despite the F1 race being on a cable channel and the IndyCar race being on a network channel – NBC.

It is safe to say F1 is now far more popular in the USA than the NTT IndyCar Series.

Weekend TV Ratings

Network Event Location Total Viewers 18-49 Viewers 2022 TV Rating 2021 TV Rating %Chg
FOX NASCAR Cup Race Atlanta 4,003,000 716,000 2.36 2.21 +6.8%
ESPN F1 Race Bahrain 1,353,000 656,000 0.75 **0.53 +41.4%
FS1 NASCAR Xfinity Race Atlanta 1,123,000 217,000 0.66 0.63 +4.8%
NBC IndyCar Race Fort Worth 954,000 211,000 0.62 *0.72 -13.9%
FS1 NASCAR Truck Race Atlanta 841,000 155,000 0.51 0.39 +30.8%
CNBC Supercross Indianapolis 204,000 103,000 0.08 0.16 -50.0%

*Last time IndyCar Texas race was on NBC in 2020. Pathetic 2021 NBCSN Rating was 0.24
**ESPN2 in 2021


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