It might be the greatest achievement in the history of motorsports. It did not happen on the track. Liberty Media became the new owner of Formula 1 in January of 2017, and in just five years it accomplished what could not be done in the first 65 years of trying: turn F1 into a mainstream sport in the United States. Thanks largely to the Drive to Survive documentary series on Netflix, F1 has exploded in popularity, and that has pushed to a huge increase in TV ratings and scope in the U.S. The result is a renewal deal with ESPN that will reportedly be worth between $75 and $90 million per year. The previous three-year ESPN deal, which expires at the end of 2022, is said to be worth $5 million annually.
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