The bidding forced Disney’s ESPN unit to stomp on the accelerator. Under a new contract that would run through 2025, ESPN will pay between $75 million and $90 million a year. Its current three year deal costs just $5 million a year.
Most F1 races will be carried on Disney linear networks–ABC or ESPN–but some will be streamed exclusively on ESPN Plus.
ESPN declined to comment. SBJ said that the other two bidders had been informed they won’t be getting the rights, but that the contract with ESPN hasn’t yet been formally signed.
F1’s popularity got a boost from Formula 1: Drive to Survive, a reality series that streamed on Netflix that turned some drivers and racing teams into stars. ■
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.
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