ESPN2’s live telecast of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 31, attracted the largest U.S. television audience on record for the event, the second Formula 1 event of the season in as many races to do so.
An average of 711,000 viewers watched the telecast on ESPN2, up three percent over the average audience of 692,000 that watched the race last year on ESPN2 and up 72 percent from the 413,000 that watched CNBC’s telecast in 2017. The race began at 11:05 a.m. ET.
The Bahrain telecast drew the second-largest U.S. cable television audience for a Formula 1 race on record, surpassed only by the mark of 820,000 to see the Monaco Grand Prix on ESPN last year. The Bahrain telecast also saw an increase of 16 percent in the Adults 18-34 demographic.
The number for the Bahrain event comes on the heels of ESPN earning an audience of 659,000 for the season-opening Rolex Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, an event that began at 1 a.m. ET. That audience was also the largest U.S. television audience for the event on record and was up 277 percent over the audience of 175,000 that watched the race on ESPN2 in 2018 and up 177 percent over the 238,000 that watched it on NBCSN in 2017.
ESPN2’s telecast of the Formula 1 qualifying session for the Bahrain event also saw an increased audience over last year – the average of 340,000 viewers was up nine percent over the 311,000 that watched Bahrain qualifying last year on ESPN2.
The next event on the Formula 1 schedule is the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, April 14. The race will air live on ESPN2 at 2:05 a.m. ET.