F1’s insane growth highlighted in new deal

Despite its smaller broadcast package, F1’s digital reach nearly rivals the NFL and MLB.

Singdhi Sokpo

NASCAR’s cultured European cousin, as we once called it, is on a roll.

Formula One (F1) reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Disney and ESPN for US broadcast rights at a value of $75m-$90m per year, or 15x-18x more than the deal currently in place.

Why so hot?

The sport’s American fanbase has grown 33% since 2020, and more than half the fans credit Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” docuseries with playing a major role in their fanhood. (Fanship?)

In 2021, race viewership on ESPN surged 56%, and hoards of people attended races in Miami and Austin.

On TikTok, the hashtag #formula1 has ~17B views. That’s:

  • Around 1/5 as many as #NBA (~87B)
  • Almost 1/2 as many as #NFL (~43B)
  • Around 2/3 as many as #MLB (~29B)

That’s extraordinarily impressive for a sport that has a broadcast package currently valued at just ~$5m annually.

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