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Daniel Ricciardo tipped for TV role as ESPN ponder ‘Manningcast’ for F1 – The Independent

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The Australian appears unlikely to have a seat on the grid for the 2023 season
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Daniel Ricciardo has forged a strong connection with American Formula 1 fans
Daniel Ricciardo has been tipped for a television role as ESPN consider options for expanding their coverage of Formula 1.
Ricciardo appears unlikely to return to the grid in 2023 after the ending of his McLaren contract a year early, with most vacancies seemingly filled or deemed undesirable by the Australian.
That may leave the 33-year-old exploring other options, with broadcasting perhaps an option for the popular driver.
Ricciardo has forged a strong connection with fans of the sport of the USA, playing to the Austin crowd at the United States Grand Prix by donning a University of Texas Longhorns’ American football jersey.
And broadcasting heavyweights ESPN appear keen to understand what opportunities there may be to work with Ricciardo as they look to further integrate the motorsport into their programming.
“[Daniel Ricciardo]’s obviously a tremendous personality that really resonates with the fans, especially in this country,” said ESPN’s president of programming and original content Burke Magnus.
“So nothing specific there, but I don’t think it’s a stretch. I have no idea what he’s interested in doing honestly, but he’s certainly got the personality for our line of work, I would say.
“I think it’s critically important to see F1 drivers through the context of American sport.
“We did a feature last year where we highlighted the friendship that Daniel Ricciardo has with Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills – certainly one of the best NFL quarterbacks going right now. So trying to integrate F1 into our entire portfolio through creative ways of presenting content is definitely top of mind for us.”
The popularity of Formula 1 in America has boomed in recent years, with the Netflix documentary series “Drive to Survive” helping attract greater attention.
Three races will be hosted in the USA in 2023, with a race in Las Vegas returning to the F1 calendar for the first time in more than 40 years.
ESPN are therefore keen to innovate and expand their coverage, with Magnus citing the success of the channel’s “Manningcast” as a possible route to engaging more “casual fans”.
Introduced ahead of the 2021 NFL season, the “Manningcast” is hosted by Super Bowl-winning brothers Peyton and Eli Manning, and offers viewers an alternative form of programming during ESPN’s flagship Monday Night Football broadcast.
The pair of former quarterbacks offer insight in a more laid-back manner, hosting guests and recalling stories from their NFL careers, with less of a fixed focus on the in-game action.
The broadcast has proved popular among NFL fans, averaging more than 1.5 million viewers during its first season on the air, and Magnus believes a similar programme could work for Formula 1.
The veteran ESPN executive explained: “We haven’t made any firm decisions but Manningcast, for example, that we do on Monday Night Football, something like that for Formula 1 would be incredibly interesting as well – an alternate presentation above the race that could help sweep in casual fans.
“The upside in our business is always the casual fan. The avid fans are going to be there, the upside is getting more casual fans and creating avid fans of them.”
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Daniel Ricciardo has forged a strong connection with American Formula 1 fans
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