Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix on ABC attracts record 2.6 million viewers; largest live F1 U.S. TV audience ever

ABC’s live telecast of Sunday’s inaugural Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix attracted a record average viewership of 2.6 million, the largest audience for a live F1 telecast ever on U.S. television.

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The race telecast, which aired from 3:30 p.m. until 5:36 p.m. ET from the Miami International Autodrome, peaked at 2.9 million average viewers in the 4:45-5 p.m. quarter-hour as defending World Champion Max Verstappen steered his way to victory. The race averaged 735,000 viewers in the Persons ages 18-49 demographic.

The top 10 local market ratings for the race telecast were:

Miami3.7
West Palm Beach2.4
Atlanta1.8
Los Angeles1.6
San Francisco1.6
Hartford1.5
Philadelphia1.5
Milwaukee1.5
Charlotte1.5
Cincinnati1.4

ABC’s full telecast, which included the 90-minute Grand Prix Sunday pre-race show that aired from 2 p.m. until the race started at 3:30 p.m., averaged 2.1 million viewers.

Through five races, the 2022 F1 season is averaging 1.4 million viewers per race, up 49 percent over the 2021 season average (949,000 viewers) and up 131 percent over the 2020 season average (609,000 viewers). This year’s seasonal average of 1.4 million viewers is 53 percent larger than average of 922,000 for the first five races of the 2021 season. The 2021 season was the most-viewed F1 season ever on U.S. television.

With interest in the inaugural Miami event high, an audience of 953,000 viewers tuned in on Saturday to watch F1 qualifying, which aired at 4 p.m. on ESPN. And an audience of 398,000 watched Friday’s Practice 1, which aired at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Both represent the largest viewership for a qualifying or practice session since F1 returned to ESPN in 2018.

The most-viewed Formula 1 race telecast in U.S. television history was ABC’s same-day delayed presentation of the 2002 Monaco Grand Prix, which followed the Indianapolis 500 telecast and averaged 2.784 million viewers. The previous record audience for a live race telecast was 1.744 million for the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix, which aired on ESPN.

The next race on the F1 schedule is the Formula 1 Pirelli Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, May 22. The race airs on ESPN2 at 8:55 a.m.

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