ESPN Inks New Broadcast Deal With F1

October 4, 2017 by: Shauna O'Donnell

Courtesy: ESPN/ABC/Formula 1

By Philip Sayblack

Formula 1 racing is returning to the ESPN networks.

ESPN announced Wednesday the network has reached a broadcast rights deal with Formula 1 to broadcast the FIA Formula 1 Racing Championship series throughout 2018. The deal gives ESPN and ABC the broadcast rights for all 21 of the series’ races beginning with the season-opening Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix on March 25 and ending with the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Nov. 25.

Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president of programming & scheduling, was enthusiastic about the series’ return to the ESPN networks after being away for many years.

“ESPN has a long commitment to motorsports, and F1 is a crown jewel in the sport,” Magnus said.  “There are many passionate Formula 1 fans in the U.S. and we look forward to bringing the pageantry, spectacle and excitement of F1 to viewers across the ESPN platforms.”

Sean Bratches, Formula 1 managing director of commercial operations, was just as enthusiastic about the new deal as Magnus.

“We are excited about the return of the world’s foremost motor racing platform to the ABC and ESPN platforms,” Bratches said. “ABC’s Wide World of Sports first started airing live live grands prix in the early 1960s and this linear partnership with ESPN represents a significant step forward in achieving Formula 1’s aim of broadening the sport’s appeal.  The U.S. market is very important growth opportunity for Formula 1 and we are looking forward to working with ESPN to ignite the growing fan interest.”

Formula 1 made its Wide World of Sports debut on June 10, 1962 with the Monaco Grand Prix, a week after the race was actually run.  ABC ran a handful of Formula 1’s races up until 1988.  ESPN joined ABC in broadcasting Formula 1 in 1984 with a 10-race schedule.

Following the broadcast of that 10-race schedule, ESPN would continue to air Formula 1 races until 1997, its last year carrying the series.  The full schedule for Formula 1’s return to the ESPN networks in 2018 is noted below.

2018 FIA Formula One World Championship Schedule on ESPN and ABC

(all times Eastern)


Time Event Network

March 25

12:55 a.m. Australian Grand Prix


April 8

1:55 a.m. Chinese Grand Prix


April 15

10:55 a.m. Bahrain Grand Prix ESPN2

April 29

8:55 a.m. Azerbaijan Grand Prix ESPN2
May 13 7:55 a.m. Spanish Grand Prix ESPN2
May 27 7:55 a.m. Monaco Grand Prix ESPN
3:30 p.m. Monaco Grand Prix ABC *
June 10 1:55 p.m. Canadian Grand Prix ESPN
June 24 7:55 a.m. French Grand Prix ESPN2

July 1

7:55 a.m. Austrian Grand Prix ESPN2
July 8 7:55 a.m. British Grand Prix ESPN
July 22 7:55 a.m. German Grand Prix ESPN2
July 29 7:55 a.m. Hungarian Grand Prix ESPN2
Aug. 26 7:55 a.m. Belgian Grand Prix ESPN2
Sept. 2 7:55 a.m. Italian Grand Prix ESPN2

Sept. 16

7:55 a.m. Singapore Grand Prix ESPN2
Sept. 30 7:55 a.m. Russian Grand Prix ESPN2
Oct. 7 12:55 a.m. Japanese Grand Prix ESPN2
Oct. 21 2:55 p.m. United States Grand Prix ABC
Oct. 28 2:55 p.m.

Mexican Grand Prix


Nov. 11

10:55 a.m. Brazilian Grand Prix ESPN2

Nov. 25

7:55 a.m. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ESPN2

* re-air

More information on the network’s Formula 1 coverage is available online along with all of Formula 1’s latest news at:




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