Netflix in a bid to acquire F1 broadcasting rights in the US

Netflix in a bid to acquire F1 broadcasting rights in the US

Netflix is exploring a deal to acquire Formula 1 broadcasting rights in the United States according to sources.

Netflix is said to be preparing a $100 million a year bid for the rights to live coverage of Formula One in the United States, following the success of its Drive to Survive series.

According to, Netflix is one of several firms attempting to acquire broadcasting rights as Formula One grows in popularity in the United States. The Netflix docu-series Drive To Survive has been a worldwide success, credited with introducing many new fans to the sport.

Disney-owned ESPN currently holds the rights, but the deal expires this year, and potential broadcasters are thought to be lined up in the wake of the so-called boom that has followed Drive to Survive.

The streaming behemoth lost subscribers for the first time in in a decade in the first quarter of 2022, but it still had 221.6 million worldwide, including 74.6 million in the United States and Canada.

Liberty is thought to be looking for around $100 million per year, and in addition to Netflix and ESPN, NBC Universal and Amazon are known to be in the running.

While ESPN’s viewing stats are now exceeding all prior records, with the Miami event pulling an average of 2.6 million people on ABC – the highest-ever total for a US F1 broadcast – one has to wonder if the reputed $100 million price is realistic. Indeed, while ESPN is said to be offering $70 million per year, it is now paying around $6 million.

Despite other parties’ interest, ESPN’s director of programming and acquisitions, John Suchenski, stated that his organisation is committed to keeping the rights beyond the present contract.

“We are aggressively pursuing a renewal,” said Suchenski. “We feel we have a distribution package and event presentation that can’t be matched in the industry, and the viewership and exposure growth they have received since returning to ESPN platforms in 2018 is reflective of what we can do for them.”

“It has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Understandably, they are looking at other options.”

“We had very good meetings with them in Miami recently and are in constant communication.”

The F1 calendar will feature three races in the United States next year: Miami, Las Vegas, and Austin, the latter of which has hosted a grand prix since 2012.

This would be a first for Netflix, which has always shunned live sports coverage.

Leave a Reply