SailGP, one of the world’s fastest growing sport leagues, is proving that high-octane, hydrofoiling sailboat racing is ready-made for the mainstream.
A CBS broadcast on October 23 showcasing the league’s race weekend in Saint-Tropez – the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix – was the most watched sailing event on U.S. broadcast in over 30 years*, averaging 1.609 million viewers.
The viewership numbers prove that edge-of-your-seat racing isn’t just for motorsport and there is an increasing appetite for SailGP’s unique racing format that features the sport’s best athletes competing in flying F50 catamarans that consistently hits speeds approaching 60 mph (100 km/h).
The CBS broadcast showcased racing from SailGP’s fastest race day yet at the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix | Saint-Tropez, where the French SailGP Team recorded a top speed of 62 mph (99.94 km/h) and where the U.S. SailGP Team had its first-ever SailGP event victory, led by SailGP driver and sailing legend Jimmy Spithill.
In just its third season, SailGP has grown from six teams to nine, and five events to 11 – all set at iconic locations around the world (including San Francisco and Chicago); with more expansion on both fronts already announced for Season 4.
“This new action-packed, high adrenaline style of sailing is definitely attracting a broader audience; it’s fast-paced, exciting and brilliant to watch,” said Russell Coutts, SailGP CEO and co-founder. “We’ve focused on creating a racing property not just for sailing fans, but anyone who appreciates top quality racing and incredible competition.”
A recent recipient of Broadcast Sports Awards ‘Best International Program’, the SailGP model has been engaging existing and new fans at a rapid pace. The league’s broadcast success underscores a banner year for the global racing property that – now just over halfway through its third season – includes already increasing its global dedicated TV audience by 56 percent from last season to over 64.5 million, and growing its total live digital viewership by 240 percent in the same time period (26.6 million).
Viewers can catch the next action-packed broadcast of SailGP racing on CBS this Sunday, November 13 at 5 p.m. ET, which includes USA highlights from the Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucia-Cádiz presented by NEAR.
SailGP on Sunday, 10/23/22 averaged 1.609m viewers on CBS – making it the most-watched sailing race since 1992 (3.266m viewers for America’s Cup on ABC on 5/9/1992 from 3:00-6:00pm). Source: Nielsen NTI, Pre-DVR (05/09/92-12/25/05), LIVE+SD (12/26/05-10/23/22)