Charles Leclerc Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Formula 1 is having a strong year on the Disney family of networks, and Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix continued that positive trend.

Per a release from ESPN, the Sunday morning race averaged 1.965 million viewers on ABC, peaking at 2.3 million in the 11:15 a.m. ET quarter hour.

That’s the third most-watched F1 race in the United States ever, behind just the Miami Grand Prix in 2022 and 2024. This year’s Miami Grand Prix set the all-time record earlier this month with an average audience of 3.1 million viewers.

The strong viewership for Monaco comes despite a 45-minute delay after a first-lap crash. Perhaps more impressively, after the race resumed at 9:45 a.m. ET, it averaged 2.07 million viewers.

ESPN renewed its Formula 1 media rights back in 2022 through the 2025 season, increasing its annual rights fee from an estimated $5 million to between $75 and $90 million. Despite the increase in fees, ESPN has kept its Formula 1 race presentation ad-free. ESPN may need to pony up even more money if it wants to retain Formula 1’s media rights past 2025, especially with Apple reportedly mulling a global bid that would run into the billions.

ESPN’s next Formula 1 race is the Montreal Grand Prix on Sunday, June 9, beginning at 1:55 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.