US Networks Fight over Formula 1 US Broadcast Rights

By Tanveer Kaur

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

F1 Drivers at a press conference. (Getty Images)

Formula One is in conversation with multiple US broadcasting networks for a viewership deal for the upcoming 2023 season. Currently, the viewing rights are owned by ESPN, which they acquired from NBC in 2018.


The new viewership deal comes as Formula One sees both a boost in the popularity of the sport in the United States and seeks to host three Grand Prix in the U.S during the 2023 season. In the 2021 season, F1 on ESPN in America averaged nearly 950,000 viewers. In the first two races this season, the number of viewers grew by 47 percent, with the races averaging 1.4 million viewers.


In an interview with CNBC, president and chief executive of the global motorsport series’ owner Liberty Media, made the group’s desire for a lucrative deal public. He acknowledged the symbiotic relationship with ESPN in regards to growing popularity of the sport. In the interview saying, “ESPN has been a great partner. They got a very good deal because we’ve had a rise in popularity and they’ve capitalized on that as well,” he said. “Our hope is we’ll find a great partner going forward, which could be ESPN or it could be somebody else,” Maffei stated. “And it’s likely to be at a much better price for us that’s hopefully still good for our broadcast partners too.”