NBC claiming 'best F1 season ever' in cable TV ratings

Coverage up 30 percent over last season.

In its second season of presenting Formula One, NBC Sports Group’s 2014 coverage of all 19 races across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC produced record viewership, highlighted by NBCSN delivering the most-watched F1 season ever for a single cable network, according to The Nielsen Company.

NBCSN averaged 385,000 viewers for its live coverage of 12 races this season, up 86% vs. 2013 (207,000) and the best F1 season ever for a single cable network, surpassing the previous record held by SPEED in 2007 (379,000 for 13 races). NBCSN’s 2014 average viewership of 385,000 was also up 24% vs. 2012 average viewership on SPEED (311,000).

In addition, all 10 races that aired on NBCSN in both 2013 and 2014 posted year-over-year viewership gains. 

Viewership gain over 2013

Mar. 15 Australia 100%
Mar. 29 Malaysia 105%
April 6 Bahrain 197%
April 19 China 171%
May 11 Spain 100%
Aug. 24 Belgium 70%
Sep. 7 Italy  67%
Sep. 21 Singapore 58%
Oct. 4 Japan  49%
Nov. 23 Abu Dhabi 34%

Across 16 races, NBCSN (12 races) and CNBC’s (4) live coverage combined to average 348,000 viewers, tying the 2011 season on SPEED as the best F1 season on cable in seven years (2007; 379,000; SPEED), up 77% vs. NBCSN/CNBC’s F1 average viewership in 2013 (197,000), and up 12% vs. SPEED’s 2012 F1 average viewership (313,000).

For all 19 races, NBC Sports Group’s coverage averaged 477,000 viewers, up 30% vs. 2013 (366,000) and up 15% vs. 2012 (414,000; FOX/SPEED; 20 races).

Viewership was boosted by NBC’s presentation of the Canadian Grand Prix on June 8, which averaged 1.462 million viewers to rank as the most-watched F1 race in seven years (2007 Canadian Grand Prix, FOX, 1.494 million), and the most-watched F1 race for NBC Sports Group since it acquired exclusive Formula One rights prior to the 2013 season.

NBC Sports Live Extra also saw significant gains in its streaming coverage during the 2014 F1 season, generating 6.1 million minutes streamed from live races, up 290% vs. 2013. Live Extra’s 19 F1 races in 2014 averaged 8,100 uniques and 322,000 minutes consumed, up 140% and 159% vs. those same metrics in 2013, respectively.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Article type Analysis
Tags cnbc, nbc, nbcsn