F1 TV Ratings: Japanese Grand Prix Fails to Extend Record Streak – Last Word On Sports

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The race was scheduled to start at 1 a.m. in the morning on Sunday on the East Coast of America. That is potentially the biggest reason there was a major drop in viewership from the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix. Another could be the nearly one-and-a-half hour-long rain delay following Carlos Sainz’s crash on the second lap, leading many people to turn off their TV and go to sleep.
This poor performance for ESPN shouldn’t be cause for much concern as viewership is still up nearly 36% since we started tracking F1 TV ratings with the Belgian Grand Prix. It should be noted though that this was the race the Max Verstappen was able to clinch the World Driver’s Championship for the second consecutive year.
Table statistics can be found here.
This coming weekend’s race should see another record-breaking race, with it being the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. The race’s afternoon start time aligns perfectly for the American crowd like the Miami Grand Prix earlier this year. Plus the pre-race and Grand Prix itself will air on ABC. The Miami Grand Prix had a rating of 2.6 million people, and this weekend could be even higher. Although this weekend F1 has the NFL to contend with unlike Miami this past spring.
All of this leads up to the 2023 season and a record-breaking three races in America. Will the spectacle of the Las Vegas Grand Prix be enough to shatter records or will a late Saturday night start time hinder viewership? Not only is the race expected to begin once the east coast has gone to bed, but also because it is on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend which is also “Rivalry Weekend” for college football. Stiff competition for F1, but first it’s the return of COTA.

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