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ESPN hopes to get F1 rights extension

In the 2019 season, the network increased its Formula One viewing capacity by 21%.

John Suchenski, director of programming and acquisitions of the US broadcaster believes that ESPN wants to continue its partnership with Formula One beyond 2022.

In 2017, ESPN replaced NBC as the US sports broadcasting house after Liberty Media acquired the global motorsport series. As the network owned by Disney has had to deal with the arrival of Formula One’s over-the-top (OTT) style streaming service, F1TV, the viewership of ESPN continues to grow.

In the 2019 season, the network increased its Formula One viewing capacity by 21%, with an average of 671,000 viewers per live broadcast. This year its live race coverage for the French and British Grands Prix has also surpassed one million viewers.

Suchenski told the Racer news agency that he wants to extend Formula One broadcasting agreements with ESPN beyond the current deal which runs until the end of 2022.

We obviously would love to continue to partner with F1 long term on this, and continue to grow the sport here and their property in the US,” Suchenski said.

“So, we’re hopeful. We have nothing obviously to announce at this time on that front. We still have the rest of the season to get through as well as next season. But we’re definitely hopeful that we can continue our great partnership with them.

“They’re obviously very pleased, as are we. It’s a great mutual partnership and something that we hope can continue for many years into the future.”

“We have a regular dialogue on [how ESPN can help],” he added.

They’re very transparent with us on what they are planning this year. We partner with them on what they did in LA and Miami earlier this year, we’re looking to partner again with them in Austin, so we use our outlets to help push their messaging and stuff. So that’s one way. Obviously, they’re very good at what they do on their own as well, too.

“I think they can reach the core fans more so maybe than even we can, and them continuing to do that is great. And I think what they’ve been doing thus far has been really good and I certainly think it’s helped contribute to what we’ve seen with the growth for this year and everything.”

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