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Formula 1 season smashes U.S. Television viewership records

As television viewership records fell by the wayside all year, the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship season has ended as the most-viewed ever on U.S. television, smashing a record that was set just one year ago.

The season averaged 1.21 million viewers per race across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, a 28 percent increase over the previous U.S. television record of 949,000 average viewers that was set in 2021. The 2022 season also became the first in U.S. television history to average 1 million or more viewers per race.

In addition, more female and younger viewers watched F1 races on U.S. television than ever before.

The 22-race season ended Sunday in Abu Dhabi with Max Verstappen winning his second consecutive World Championship.

The season included a record 2.583 million average viewers for the new Miami Grand Prix, setting the mark for the most-viewed live F1 telecast ever in the U.S.

Including Miami, there were 12 races that set all-time event viewership records:

  • Bahrain – 1.353 million average viewers
  • Saudi Arabian – 1.445 million
  • Miami (new event) – 2.583 million
  • Spanish – 1.14 million (largest live version)
  • British – 1.239 million
  • Austrian – 1.1 million
  • Hungarian – 1.23 million
  • Belgian – 1.03 million
  • Dutch – 1.14 million
  • Italian – 995K (largest live version)
  • Singapore – 1.036 million
  • Brazilian – 1.4 million (largest live version)

Other superlatives from the season:

  • The Monaco (1.396 million) and Emilia Romagna (1.166 million) races had their largest live cable audiences on record.
  • Seventeen races drew more than 1 million average viewers.
  • The season averaged 521,000 viewers per race in the Persons ages 18-49 demographic, an increase of 29 percent over 2021 (402K viewers).
  • Younger viewers were up significantly in 2022 – Persons ages 12-17 were up 49 percent over 2021, averaging 36,000 viewers per race, the largest year-over-year growth across all key demographics. Persons ages 18-34 averaged 238K viewers per race, up 43 percent over 2021, and Persons ages 25-34 averaged 169K viewers per race, up 46 percent over 2021.
  • Women averaged 352K viewers per race, up 34 percent over 2021, and averaged 28 percent of the 2022 audience.
  • F1 qualifying sessions on ESPN television platforms in 2022 averaged 554K viewers, up 17 percent over the 2021 full-season qualifying average (475K viewers).

The rain-plagued Japanese Grand Prix is not included in the overall viewership average for the season.

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Formula 1 recently announced an extension of their relationship with a new, multi-year contract that will keep F1 races on ESPN platforms in the U.S. through the 2025 season.

F1 returned to its original U.S. television home in 2018 – the first race ever aired in the country was on ABC in 1962. F1 races also aired on ESPN from 1984-1997. BCS Bureau

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