Purpose-driven sailing league SailGP has announced that its Spain Sail Grand Prix event drew an average of 1.78 million viewers in the US, a record domestic broadcast audience for the sport.
The event is the most watched sailing race in the US since 1992, with a marked viewership growth in the country of 9% on last year’s Spain Sail Grand Prix, which drew a then-record 1.6 million viewers.
The race, broadcast in the US on national network CBS, was won by the United States SailGP Team, making it the team’s first race win of the season.
Andy Thompson, SailGP managing director, stated: “The viewership numbers achieved on CBS are a clear demonstration of the growing interest in SailGP in the United States. We’re breaking records and rivaling some very long-established US sports at what is an extremely exciting time for the league and the United States team in particular.”
The Spain race is the fifth round on the SailGP calendar in 2023 and is the third consecutive season that the event has been held.
Currently in its fourth season, SailGP expanded its partnership with CBS ahead of the 2023 season in a move that has likely led to record-breaking viewership.
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The network pledged to double its coverage of SailGP in the expanded rights deal signed in July. The broadcaster’s increase in coverage currently is seeing 12 dedicated hours aired on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+ streaming platform across the season.
As part of the increase, more than 50 hours of original programming will continue to be aired across the CBS Network.
The expanded coverage comes after last season’s success. The third campaign of SailGP became the most-watched sailing event on US broadcast in more than 30 years, a record now extended by the 2023 Spain Sail Grand Prix.