TV News: Weekend TV Ratings up big for F1 and Cup (2nd Update)

The re-air of the Saudi Arabian GP F1 race on ESPN2 10:30pm Sunday night drew an additional 49,000 viewers, and the ESPNews 6:30pm re-air drew 20,000 giving the total race TV viewership in the USA = 1,445,000 + 49,000 + 20,000 = 1,514,000.

March 29, 2022 

ESPN Formula 1 Viewership Surge Continued with Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Race Earned Cable’s Largest F1 Audience Since 1995, ESPN’s Largest Since 2018 Return

One week after a record-setting audience watched the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship season opener on ESPN, the viewership for Sunday’s live telecast of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix surpassed the week-old record as ESPN’s largest F1 audience since 1995 and the largest on any ESPN network since it returned to the sport in 2018.

The race, which began shortly after 1 p.m. ET, averaged 1.445 million viewers, peaking at 1.82 million in the 2:15-2:30 p.m. quarter-hour near the end of the race. The viewership audience exceeded last week’s average of 1.353 million for the Bahrain Grand Prix as the largest since ESPN returned to F1 and the second-largest on U.S. cable on record behind the 1.74 million that watched the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The race is the 10th most-viewed F1 event in the U.S. on record, broadcast or cable, and the largest audience since 1.49 million watched the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix on NBC.

The telecast led all of U.S. cable for Sunday in multiple key demographics including Persons 18-34, Persons 18-49, Male 18-34, Male 18-49 and Male 25-54.

The audience was up 54 percent over last December’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on ESPN2 (937,000 average viewers), and was up 57 percent over last year’s second race from Emilia Romagna, Italy, on ESPN (918,000 average viewers).

In addition to the race telecast, ESPN2’s live coverage of F1 qualifying on Saturday at 12:55 p.m. earned an average audience of 631,000 viewers.

Through two races, the 2022 F1 season is averaging 1.4 million viewers, up 47 percent over the full 2021 F1 season (949,000 average viewers). This year’s seasonal average is 52 percent larger than the first two races of the 2021 season (922,000 average viewers) and and 99 percent larger than the first two races in the 2020 F1 season (703K viewers).

The F1 season continues with the Formula 1 Heineken Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, April 10. The race will air live on ESPN at 12:55 a.m. ET (late Saturday night in other U.S. time zones).

March 29, 2022 

The TV ratings for both the NASCAR Cup race at COTA and the F1 race from Saudi Arabia this past Sunday were up big

The Saudi Arabian GP F1 race on ESPN saw the biggest increase – up 54.9% from when the inaugural race ran on December 5th, just 4 months ago. F1 fans, thanks to DRS, were treated to a thrilling battle to the finish between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Once again, the F1 broadcast brought in the highest percent of people in the all important 18-49 age bracket – music to any advertisers ears.

It shows that F1 is drawing a younger generation of fans, whereas NASCAR and IndyCar have an aging fan base.

Weekend TV Ratings

Network Event Location Total Viewers 18-49 Viewers 2022 TV Rating 2021 TV Rating % Chg
FOX NASCAR Cup Race Austin 3,731,000 758,000 2.18 1.44 +51.4%
ESPN F1 Saudi Arabian GP Race Jeddah 1,445,000 649,000 0.79 0.51 +54.9%
FS1 NASCAR Xfinity Race Austin 1,075,000 199,000 0.64 0.58 +10.3%
NASCAR Truck Race Austin 719,000 158,000 0.42 0.36 +16.7%
ESPN2 F1 Saudi Arabian GP Quals Jeddah 631,000 291,000 0.36
FS1 NASCAR Cup Quals Austin 281,000 55,000 0.17
FS1 NASCAR Xfinity Quals Austin 230,000 53,000 0.15


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