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Caitlin Clark Outshines F1 as Her Rising Fandom Draws 44.4 Million Views in Just Last Three Games

Somin Bhattacharjee

Caitlin Clark Outshines F1 as Her Rising Fandom Draws 44.4 Million Views in Just Last Three Games

Caitlin Clark is one of the biggest stars in American sports, even though she hasn’t reached a professional level yet. The former Iowa Hawkeyes guard is regarded as one of the best college basketball players of all time and has declared for the 2024 WNBA draft. Her stardom has led to a huge number of eyeballs on her as of late. In fact, she drew in more viewers to her last three basketball games, than F1 managed in the USA all of last year.

Clark played in three huge NCAA games over the last week. According to Entertainment Strategy Guy, Iowa’s final against South Carolina had 18 million viewers, and their previous games against UConn and LSU had 14.2 million and 12.2 million viewers respectively. A combined total of over 44 million people in the US tuned in to watch Clark and Iowa in these last three games of the NCAA season.

This viewership number could not be matched by F1 throughout the whole of 2023. There was an average of 1.1 million viewers per race, and a total of 22 races on the calendar does not rack up the number even close to 44 million.

There are two interpretations to this. Caitlin Clark is a phenomenon and is lifting women’s basketball to new heights in the US and around the world. Her presence in the WNBA, where she is widely predicted to be the number one draft pick, will surely elevate the league.

On the other hand, it paints a picture surrounding F1’s viewership slump in the United States. Even though it is still a promising market with immense growth potential, F1 won’t be happy with the number of people watching races in the country.

Reasons for F1’s slump in America

F1 started witnessing huge growth in the US after Netflix’s Drive to Survive became a hit in 2019. The organizers wanted to add more races in America to meet demands, and they did. Miami and Las Vegas became part of the F1 calendar, and both events have been commercial successes.

However, the TV viewership keeps going down. In 2022, the inaugural Miami GP drew in 2.6 million viewers. That number went down by 650,000 in 2023, alarming F1 and the race’s stakeholders.

Max Verstappen’s dominance is considered to be one of the reasons behind this slump in the US. F1’s popularity reached its peak in 2021 when Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen provided fans with arguably the greatest title battle of all time. Since then, Red Bull has been running a one-horse race, with Verstappen winning almost every Grand Prix.

The audience, which craves racing action, does not want to see the same driver win week in and week out, without any sort of resistance from his competitors. Until this changes, F1 could find it difficult to pull themselves out of the hole they are in.

About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee


Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 editor at The SportsRush and has written more than 2000 articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and considers sports to be a part of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the legendary Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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