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Monaco GP on NBC is most-watched F1 race in U.S. since 2007

May 28, 2013, 4:09 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Race Getty Images

NBC’s live broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix this past Sunday morning was watched by nearly 1.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Formula One™ race on U.S. television in six years, and up 241% vs. last year’s race, which aired on SPEED, according to Fast National data provided today by the The Nielsen Company.

The Monaco Grand Prix (7:59-10:30 a.m. ET/4:59-7:30 a.m. PT), which was broadcast live on U.S. network television for the first time, was watched by 1.456 million viewers and scored a 1.0 household rating. It is the most-watched F1 race on U.S. television in six years, since FOX broadcast the Canadian Grand Prix in the afternoon in 2007 (6/10/07, 1.494 million).

Viewership for the race was up 241% vs. last year’s Monaco telecast on SPEED (427,000 viewers), and was up 40% vs. FOX’s four-race F1 average last year (1.038 million), all of which were broadcast in the afternoon.

NBC tallied triple-digit increases vs. SPEED’s telecast last year among two key demographics, Adults 18-49 (461,000 vs. 127,000, up 263%) and Adults P25-54 (674,000 vs. 160,000, up 321%).

The next F1 race is the Canadian Grand Prix, which will air live on NBC at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 9. For more information on the NBC Sports Group’s F1 coverage, including the Canadian Grand Prix, click here.

  1. hastrmanek - May 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Would’ve been even cooler if I could have turned on my local NBC station (Indianapolis’s own WTHR, during Indy 500 weekend, no less!) and seen it. It’s a fun thing to crow about how many people watched a race on your network, but why not consistently broadcast the race across all of your stations next time? At least when it’s on NBCSN, I know it won’t be pre-empted by something else.

    • Tony DiZinno - May 28, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      To this note, and there will probably be others commenting the same, decisions made by local affiliates such as WTHR are their decisions, not national, when it comes to coverage of the race. It got bumped to 13.2 in Indy for the live broadcast; I was at the Speedway covering the Indianapolis 500.

      • hastrmanek - May 28, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        Thing about that is, absolutely NONE of the copious amounts of promotion, nationally on NBCSN or locally on WTHR, mentioned “oh yeah, and be sure to catch this on some other channel, sorry!” To be fair, the WTHR twitter was some help, and I did find the 13.2 alternative (albeit not in HD) but still, what an unnecessary mess, especially in a market that would likely have really enjoyed all the live racing it could get on Memorial Day weekend. I ended up watching it online on Sky, commercial-free, when I would have gladly sat through tons of ads on NBC, in HD, were I given that opportunity.

  2. autojim - May 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Houston’s KPRC Channel 2 bumped it not for something interesting like the Indianapolis 500 pre-race festivities), but for an hour of local news and TWO hours of infomercials about cosmetics. Fourth largest TV market in the United States, and this is the treatment we received.

    It was not on their digital channel. Station GM Jerry Martin’s response was that “they’re a news-driven station” and suggested that since it was available via the internet and on tape-delay on NBCSN (which, I understand, was also FUBAR’d — haven’t had a chance to check my DVR recording of that yet), it really didn’t matter, because more people were interested in a live rehash of the previous night’s 10pm newscast and cosmetics than an international sporting event.

    Mr. Jerry Martin is wrong.

  3. capvid86 - May 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Unbelievable disappointment in the NBC-SN Monaco F1 coverage!!!!
    Local Comcast cable TV guide showed NBC-SN coverage at 10:30am Sunday, which was the same as the listing on the network’s website,
    No mention of a live broadcast prior to the re-air at 10:30am on that network.
    Yes, the race aired live on local NBC affiliate, but my DVR was set for the 10:30 re-air.
    Some idiot decides to show the race live on both networks and the race runs long.
    Same idiot must have decided that 10:30am slot was suitable to re-air a street race that would likely run long in the first place.
    So when my family sits down Sunday night and starts recorded F1 show, we are greeted with finishers on the podium and race is spoiled for everyone.
    Since the re-air race starts late, he recording doesn’t cover the last half of the race.
    So I set DVR to record next re-air at 10:30pm.
    Guess what?
    No F1 race recorded at that time slot, just some other crap on the network until an hour or so in when the Indy 500 Festival Parade show comes on.
    Well at least I captured that, since it wasn’t on (pre-empted by last half of “Senna”) when I tried to record it on Saturday.
    Bottom line is that both Sunday listings for the race on NBC-SN were wrong and my family ended up not even getting to see the last half of the race, even after having the finish spoiled from the very start.
    NBC-SN needs to go back to being an all-soccer network and leave motorsports for a professional (Speed) network to cover.

    • herrstig - May 30, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      Same thing happened to me. My DVR didn’t record the race on NBC for some reason, so I turned to NBC-SN for the replay that was scheduled at 10:30. Just like yourself, the race was completely spoiled for me too.

  4. flitters17 - May 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    Totally agree with above – capvid86 – We also taped the F1 at 10.30am Sunday morning – sat down at 6pm to watch the race, avoiding all news coverage during the day of who won, only to turn the recording on to see the winners awards be given out!!! – was not happy!! 😦 then fast forward to the start to watch the race to see what happend, only to be cut off at lap 65 (not the full 78!) so didnt even get to see them passing the checkered flag. Again was not happy!! Then notice later on it was showing again – so thought well try again….only to tune in to some parade!! So gave up.
    We are great fans of F1 and really hope this is not going to happen again.
    Please NBC sort this problem out before the next race.

  5. lokimgne - May 29, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    I like the sound of this “ended up watching it online on Sky, commercial-free”. Might have to look into that.

  6. bikingscr016 - May 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Same problem here, maybe I missed it but I turn on NBCSN and it’s not F1. I couldn’t avoid be exposed to the results prior to eventually seeing the race. Wasn’t too happy about it.

  7. thenicklemansbrothera - May 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    Time Warner Maine botched coverage. Did pre race at 7:00 am and then to fishing for a few hours. Showed the last 10 laps and THEN showed the whole race after that. oing to SKY for Canada.

  8. apexassassin - May 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Just wanted to say I watched the FP2 and Quali coverage so I knew what time and which channels to set my dvr for.

    I have to admit I also run the Sky live free lowdef stream and before anyone starts talking how awesome it is, find a BBC feed to see how it’s really done right. 😉 Ads aside, I think the NBC team do a better job with less time than Sky (Sky has massive pre and post session segments) and only BBC rivals us for content – again, commercials aside.

    As far as NBC sending the guys to the track you could hardly tell they were there during the race. If Johnny Herbert can stick his head out the window and tell the viewers what he sees why did our broadcast seem nearly the same as if they were in the studio? Aside from my and Matchett’s difference of opinion on Perez’s Nouvelle Chicane “passes” I thought the guys did a terrific job!

    Oh and whoever chose Cypress Hill’s “Superstar” for the preview ads should get a pay raise. That was brilliant, especially given the relevance of the Gumball Rally to Monaco and their connection to that.

  9. bikingscr016 - May 29, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Apex, couldn’t agree more with the song selection. I’ve tried finding the commercial online but apparently it isn’t up anywhere.

    • apexassassin - May 30, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Yeah me too… I wanted to include the link in my original post.

      Even my hockey loving non-f1 fan friends all turned their heads strictly because of the song and two of them ended up watching some the GP even though they’ve never tuned in on their own before – I’ve been known to a grab the remote if I know a replay is on and if they are going to talk Penguins during the Intermission, lol – so it was effective as well.

      It’s a shame first time viewers have see some of the races we’ve had this season… I was really hoping Pirelli would have brought better tires and the DRS would be unrestricted rather than more restricted than ever. This “slow” F1 isn’t what it F1 should be.

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