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F1 CEO sees TV rights opportunity with ESPN deal due to expire


Formula 1 enjoys a surge of popularity in America, so its CEO is looking to partner with media companies for more lucrative U.S media deals.

At 2022, the current agreement between ESPN and the racing league will expire. In 2019, the deal was renewed to $5 million annually. Sports Business Journal reportedLiberty Media is the owner of the league. It is currently seeking $75 million annually for its next television rights deal.

Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 Group CEO, declined to give details about potential partners or the amount the league seeks. However, he said to CNBC that he saw “great opportunities” in negotiations and expected the next deal “to build on” the ESPN fees.

He said that ESPN had done a wonderful job in promoting the company within that environment. The great thing about the partnership is that we can make sure the future offerings we discuss with them are well-positioned, both in terms content and in terms for fans who will be following along. And of course, fees. “The future looks very exciting for us.”

Formula 1 set a new viewership record last season when it averaged 934,000 viewers per race on ESPN channels and the ABC network — up 54% compared with F1′s 2020 races. F1′s 2021 viewership included an average 1.2 million viewers for the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

There are no signs that the growth will slow down. ESPN reported that the March season opener, Bahrain Grand Prix was held in March averaged 1.3 million viewers in the U.S.The race reached 1.5 million viewers at its final minute.

Formula 1 shares main tracking stockIt has risen 34% in the last year, and more than doubled its size since 2017.

In large part, the U.S. has seen a surge in interest in this sport. NetflixDocuseries, “Drive to Survive.” Season 4 of the show, released in March, attracted its largest audience to date and broke into the weekly Top 10 in 56 countries, according to Formula 1 and Netflix. Thursday’s announcement by the parties was that the series would be returning for its fifth and sixth seasons.

Others speculate that Netflix may be interested in acquiring the company. buy the live F1 media rights,It marks its first venture into live sport. Domenicali refused to exclude it.

He said, “Netflix helped us a lot.” They did an amazing job. It’s impossible to do that alone. We were able to accomplish an extraordinary job together. We may also have other ways that we can work together to increase our access in America’s market.

F1 will be hosting three U.S. races in 2023. This includes a race at Las Vegas in November, and a U.S. Grand Prix at Austin in October. Miami Grand Prix was the first. runs this weekend.

The sport is well-known internationally, and has a worldwide audience of more than 80,000,000 per race. However, the U.S. has fared worse with Nascar, which had just below 3 million viewers for each race last year.

Domenicali explained that we are still at the start of this journey. Our sport is very popular. To ensure that the narratives we tell are appealing to American audiences, it takes a great deal of effort.