Last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix may have been a little short on action, but that didn’t keep it from producing another strong TV audience for Formula 1 in the U.S. — or actually, two of them.
The live telecast of the race on ESPN2 garnered a 0.6 Nielsen rating, averaging 934,000 household viewers and raising the season average for live telecasts to 901K, despite being on “The Deuce” rather than the ESPN flagship. It also beat the audience for both the 2018 and ’19 Monaco GP live telecasts, which aired on ESPN. (The race was not held last year due to the global pandemic.) Meanwhile, a replay of the race at 12:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon on over-the-air ABC averaged 0.5/763K viewers.
For perspective, the two shows’ combined audience was still fewer than watched Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race from COTA (1.4 rating, 2.4m viewers on FS1) but securing the largest F1 audience ever on ESPN2 — and the fourth-largest F1 audience ever on cable — was an encouraging demonstration of growth nevertheless.