SailGP, one of the world’s fastest growing sport leagues, saw the largest American television audience in league history when 1.784 million viewers tuned into a CBS broadcast of the Spain Sail Grand Prix on Sunday, Nov. 5.
The event, which was capped off by the U.S. SailGP Team earning its first victory in Season 4, saw a nine percent increase in viewership over last year’s SailGP event in Spain and marked the most-watched sailing race in the U.S. since 1992.
SailGP managing director, Andy Thompson, said: “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 U.S. sports at what is an extremely exciting time for the league and the United States team in particular.”
The victory in Spain was the first in over a year for the U.S. SailGP Team and propelled the squad to third place overall on the Season 4 leaderboard.
“SailGP is grand prix racing like you’ve never seen before,” Thompson continued. “We are attracting an increasing number of fans with our adrenaline-fueled racing, where any of the competing teams can bring home the victory on any given weekend. We’re looking forward to finishing Season 4 in the United States – with a major event in New York City in June 2024 before the season Grand Final in San Francisco in July 2024 – and we know thousands of fans won’t just be watching from home but also heading out to support the U.S. team live from the shoreline.”
Switzerland SailGP Team helmed by Sebastien Schneiter lead the SailGP Fleet on Race Day 1 of the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, Italy © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP
In July, SailGP announced an increased partnership with CBS and CBS Sports including 12 dedicated hours on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+, doubling the network coverage from Season 3, and expanding to more than 50 hours of original programming across broadcast and CBS Sports Network.
The record-breaking audience is the latest milestone signifying that SailGP has arrived as a mainstream sport in the U.S. – as the league has expanded in Season 4 with a record 13 events across four continents – with events in major U.S. Cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Fans can tune in to watch every event in SailGP Season 4 on the CBS Sports Network including the upcoming Emirates Dubai Sail Grand Prix presented by P&O Marinas, December 9-10.
*SailGP Spain (Andalucia-Cadiz) on Sunday, 11/5/23 averaged 1.784m viewers on CBS from 5:00-6:00pm – 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). Sunday’s 1.784m viewers was up +9% from last year’s 1.636m viewers on Sunday, 11/13/22 for SailGP Spain (previously the most-watched sailing race since 1992).
Source: Nielsen NTI, Pre-DVR (05/09/92-12/25/05), LIVE+SD (12/26/05-11/05/23).
by Laura Muma