Skip to content

Formula 1 Announces Multi-Year Contract Renewal with The Walt Disney Company

Formula 1

In a move that will make many race fans happy, Formula 1 has inked a new multi-year contract renewal with The Walt Disney Company for races to continue to air on ABC and ESPN.

The Deal

Under the new contract, which runs through 2025, at least 16 races will air on ABC and ESPN each season, and all race telecasts on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will continue the commercial-free presentation, a format that ESPN says has proven popular with viewers in the league’s past five seasons.

All race weekends will continue to include live telecasts of all three practice sessions and qualifying (including the F1 Sprint) as well as pre-race and post-race coverage. The new agreement includes an increased focus on qualifying, with more sessions airing on ESPN or ESPN2.

ESPN studio shows including SportsCenter will continue on-site coverage from races in the US, including the new event in Las Vegas for 2023, with coverage at other races potentially added.

ESPN Deportes will continue as the Spanish-language home of F1 in the US.

The new deal also allows ESPN to provide additional ancillary programming on its platforms to support its F1 coverage over the next three years, such as streaming on ESPN+ and hosting a dedicated website area for F1 coverage.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Formula 1

The History

The first Formula 1 race ever aired in the U.S. was on ABC in 1962, and ESPN later aired races between 1984 and 1997.

In 2017, Disney and Formula 1 struck a new rights pact, moving the sport from NBC back to ESPN and ABC in 2018, where it has aired since.

ESPN says its 2021 season was the most viewed on U.S. TV, with an average of 949,000 viewers watching each race.

“The ESPN networks have played a huge part in that growth with their dedicated quality coverage. We are excited to expand our relationship and continue to bring the passion and excitement of Formula 1 to our viewers in the US together,” said Stefano Domenicali, president and CEO at Formula 1, in a statement.

Formula 1

Upcoming Races

Today’s U.S. Grand Prix will air live on ABC with coverage beginning at 1:30pm ET. The next event in the 2022 F1 season is the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday, Oct. 30, and it will air live on ESPN at 3:55pm ET.