ESPN Renews Formula 1 Rights Through 2025 Season

(Image credit: ESPN)

The Walt Disney Co. and its ESPN unit said they extended their relationship with Liberty Media's Formula 1 auto racing in the United States through the 2025 season.

Under the new deal, at least 16 races will appear on ABC and ESPN each season, more than have appeared annually on ESPN Networks since 2018, when ESPN reacquired the rights.

The new deal includes expanded direct-to-consumer rights. The companies said ESPN can roll out new ways for fans to watch F1 content, including on ESPN Plus.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"After Formula 1 returned to the ESPN networks five years ago, the popularity of the sport has grown impressively," said Ian Holmes, director of media rights and content creation, Formula 1. "The extension and expansion of our partnership is a reflection of exciting times ahead and a result of our shared desire to bring Formula 1 to as broad and diverse an audience as possible in the U.S. The popular commercial-free broadcasts ensure that viewers continue to engage with F1 before, during and after the race. From next year we will have six races in the Americas, which means more favorable time zones to fans in the region, making the Formula 1 offering more compelling than ever."

F1 generated record ratings in 2021, averaging 949,000 viewer per race. So far this year, live F1 races are averaging 1.2 million viewers on ESPN networks.

Races on ABC and ESPN will continue to appear in a commercial-free format.

"Formula 1 and ESPN have been a strong and successful team and we’re delighted to extend our relationship," said Burke Magnus, ESPN president, programming and original content. "We look forward to serving fans in some new and innovative ways in the next three years as we continue to bring the reach and relevance of the Walt Disney Company networks and platforms to Formula 1." ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.