International sports heavyweight ESPN has agreed a US media rights deal with the W Series all-women motor racing championship for the coming 2022 season.

Through the deal, (announced today May 5), the network will cover all 10 W Series races across the course of the series’ coming campaign (featuring its most races ever), providing live coverage to a US audience of all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the races themselves.

The 2022 W Series season begins in Miami, Florida, from May 6 to 8, with all races this year to feature as part of the overall race weekend of the iconic Formula 1 series. Races will be held the day before F1 events at the same venues.

For the first two editions of the W Series – which launched in 2019 but had its 2020 season canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic – US coverage was provided by national network NBC.

ESPN already holds live F1 rights in the US – which is a key target market for the series' owners, Liberty Global – until at least the end of the 2022 season, with the latest deal between the two having been struck in 2019. This means its W Series coverage will tie in with the existing top-tier motor racing action it will be featuring on those same weekends.

There will be three W Series races in the US this year in total, with a double-header in Miami followed by an event in Austin, Texas, in October.

The series made its debut Stateside in October last year.

There are two F1 grands prix scheduled for the US in 2022, meanwhile – Miami in May, and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in late October.

Catherine Bond Muir, chief executive at W Series, said: “W Series is building great momentum in the USA … and I'm delighted that ESPN – with its reputation as the leader in sports broadcasting in the US, and who has done such a good job of promoting motorsport, and particularly Formula 1, in North America – will broadcast live coverage of all W Series races this year.

“I hope that the USA will become our largest market, and ESPN is a great step towards making that happen by helping us reach new audiences."

Earlier this week, Hard Rock, the US hotel, restaurant, and casino chain, secured title sponsorship rights to the W Series’ opening Miami double-header.

The two events are scheduled to be held at the Miami International Autodrome and will support the inaugural men’s F1 Miami Grand Prix, being held at the home of NFL’s Miami Dolphins.

In terms of media rights deals, meanwhile, the series entered into a three-year agreement with UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports late last month.

Under the deal, covering the 2022 to 2024 seasons, Sky will show live coverage of every qualifying and race session across its various channels in the UK and Italy.

The new deal will sit alongside the broadcaster’s existing deal for W Series in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.