Miami Grand Prix draws F1’s largest live US television audience

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix drew the largest audience for a live Formula 1 race broadcast in the USA.

Formula 1’s regular broadcaster in the US is ESPN but parent network ABC took on the Miami Grand Prix broadcast, boosting viewership. An average live audience of 2.6 million people watched the coverage.

Qualifying and practice were broadcast on ESPN. Qualifying drawing 953,000 viewers and the first practice session on the new Miami International Autodrome attracted 398,000. These were the largest qualifying and practice audiences since F1 returned to being broadcast on ESPN in 2018.

F1’s figures compared favourably with those for NASCAR, America’s most popular form of motorsport, which held its Darlington 400 on the same day, drawing an audience of 2.614 million.

An average 735,000 people between the ages of 18-49 watched the Miami Grand Prix. This is a key demographic reflecting the younger audience growth F1 claims it has seen from the popularity of Netflix’s Drive To Survive series. They represent between 28% of F1’s viewers, which compares favourably to NASCAR’s 19%.

Last year’s US Grand Prix drew an average audience of 1.2 million, the most viewed in the US in 2021, showing significant growth in audience to Miami.

The average US audience for F1 races in 2020 was 609,000 viewers, growing by over a third to average 949,000 viewers per race in 2021. For the 2022 season F1 reported an average of 1.4 million US viewers per race, exceeding last year’s most-watched event by 200,000.

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2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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21 comments on “Miami Grand Prix draws F1’s largest live US television audience”

  1. Nice. Mwahaha now they have had a taste of what a boring race looks like in the sport. Of course, for me it was not boring because I love the sport, but for majority it was a borefest. I’d assume this was to replace Vietnam’s layout because this track reminds me of it. However, Vietnam appeared to be better than this if it had gone through.

    1. @krichelle I hadn’t thought about any Vietnam similarity, but admittedly, slight resemblance.
      More so to Jeddah & Baku, though, with also blue runoff area color from Yas Marina & Paul Ricard.

      1. @jerejj
        I was fine with Baku as a one off unique event especially with the mix of the very long straight and the twisted section through the old town. Now they are replicating that in every new event added to the calendar to draw inside cities crowd is becoming really pathetic.

        1. Yeah, I think Baku is unique and especially the last sector is great.

          It’s one of the few places during the year where you REALLY get an idea of the insane speed these cars are driving at!

  2. Electroball76
    11th May 2022, 22:16

    Not great, not terrible!
    What’s that, like 1 out of every 230 people?

  3. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
    11th May 2022, 23:08

    Do these numbers include the F1 TV audience? Thats how I watch the races in the US

    1. The wording of the article seems to be talking about the ABC coverage. I generally DVR the races, and the only reason I watched this one live was because it at 3:30 pm, not because it was the Miami Grand Prix. They could hold the Saskatoon Grand Prix, and I’d probably watch that live too.

      1. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
        12th May 2022, 2:00

        While I do enjoy a early morning race with breakfast, it’s nice to have a proper afternoon one from time to time! :)

      2. Will be interesting to see the numbers for the US GP at Austin later this year – that would confirm (or not) whether these kind of numbers can be sustained @kerrymaxwell

    2. The figures don’t include F1TV, Roku or other similar streaming services. They are useless for historical or international comparison. Only really useful in comparison with other recent broadcasts, which was very positive. It was similar to NASCAR (which granted was on FS1) and above half of what the NBA playoffs got.

  4. Cup racing was on FS1 (pay TV) while the GP was on ABC (free). Cup still outrated it. If Fox airs the Darlington race if’s a route. The races overlapped, which wasn’t good for either one.

    Also of note, the Kentucky Derby’s (a horse race) numbers on Saturday obliterated both.

  5. The reason that networks in the USA are lining up for are bidding war are not the sheer numbers, but more so the key demographic (18-35 affluent tech centric) watching the races. This is what advertisers covet

  6. That’s okay numbers for the US market. Unfortunately the race was lacklustre, the layout was bad, especially s1, which hurts racing and forces cars into single file right after the start.

  7. I don’t think is a success. In Italy 2.3 million people watched this race and has less than 1/5 of US popolation. What we are talking about? C’mon…

    1. That’s a completely nonsensical comparison. What numbers did NASCAR do in Italy?

      The US _does not care_ about F1. it’s started caring a little very recently, and it’s been a lot of work to get it where it is. The difference is that America is showing growth, while Italy, if anything, quite the opposite!

      If we are to look at what’s booming, Curling is probably the biggest grower of the year in Italy. Numbers are a really cool thing, they can tell you a lot. But you need to understand their context and significance.

      1. In Italy is quite opposite? Sky Italy scored his best values last friday and is a pay tv..

        Nobody watch Nascar in Italy first because nobody broadcast it and honestly, who cares about that stupid oval races waiting just for a caution, crashes and yellow flags?

        1. Even discounting the schumacher winning years, italy had almost many times as much audience as it has since going pay-only, and it’s not a major growth area. it’s growing y-o-y with Ferrari being competitive, but it’s not a growth trend to note.

          I am not making a quality comment re F1 or NASCAR. I don0’t particularly like NACAR either, but what I am saying is—compare apples to apples.

  8. Whilst that sounds largeish, it doesnt really seem all that big in a country of 300+ million.
    It would be great if we could see a comparison as a % of population across a range of countries for a more valid comparison.

  9. Worth remembering that the Austin GP always falls during the NFL season which take a lot of sports viewers away from the F1

  10. “Worth remembering that the Austin GP always falls during the NFL season which take a lot of sports viewers away from the F1” Good point. The hour of the Miami start is when people in the US expect sports to be shown/run/aired … OZ was 0100 EDT hours. Only the strong survive that.

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