Disney made a significant broadcasting change over the weekend that seemingly paid off.
That company has previously aired the Monaco Grand Prix live on ESPN and ESPN2 and then replayed the Formula One race on ABC. However, this year, they elected to air last Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix live on ABC, as well as airing a pre-race show that started airing at 7:25 a.m. ET.
On Wednesday, the company announced the statistics. And those indicated that F1 fans around the United States made sure to tune in for the race, with the broadcast TV distribution no doubt helping. This year’s version of the Monaco Grand Prix was the most-viewed live telecast on record for the event, as 1.79 million viewers tuned in for the race from 9-11 a.m. ET. Additionally, it was the third-largest F1 U.S. live audience ever.
? 1.79M viewers for the race (9-11a ET)
? Most-viewed live Monaco Grand Prix telecast on-record
? 3rd largest #F1 live audience ever in the U.S.
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) May 31, 2023
While Disney’s hopes for more parity and drama in the F1 season appear to be evaporating, the ratings are not. That was made increasingly clear when Sunday’s numbers became readily available, despite the race being in the early hours of a holiday weekend. Disney signed a three-year media-rights renewal with F1 last year. And the ratings have continued to steadily increase.
Unfortunately for Disney, whether those ratings continue to meet that mark remains to be seen. There’s been zero parity this season, as Red Bull Racing continues to dominate and comfortably blow past its competition.
[ESPN; photo from Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports]