Formula E Is Moving To CBS Next Season

Illustration for article titled Formula E Is Moving To CBS Next Season
Photo: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP (Getty Images)

Formula E has been a notoriously difficult race series to watch in America. It’s normally been relegated to obscure channels at obscure times, and trying to stream it hasn’t even been simple. But starting for the 2020-21 season, FE is moving to CBS and CBS Sports alongside the promise of a slightly more accessible viewing experience.

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The United States has been high on FE’s radar since its inception, with two races taking place in the country in its first season (Long Beach and Miami) and continuing with at least one race per year ever since. While the stands haven’t always been packed, the racing has always been good, and people have been turning up to the events in steadier numbers.

Moving to CBS Sports—with the New York ePrix and one other race airing on CBS proper—for the seventh season is a big improvement for FE’s image in the US.

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CBS Sports generally airs US-based sports like football, basketball, and golf, with the occasional NASCAR and IndyCar coverage popping up. The channel isn’t really known as being big for racing, but FE isn’t really a series that cares about that—it’s been aiming to break boundaries and appeal to non-traditional audiences.

Race broadcasts will be 90 minutes each and will air live. There will also be an hour-long pre-race preview show. The only downside is that every other session—practice, qualifying—and 12 of the 14 races will be exclusively aired on the CBS Sports Digital platforms, which likely means a subscription.

That in itself is a little frustrating. That was my main complaint about FE being tucked away in the nether regions of Fox Sports—I had to buy special access to watch it. We’re probably going to have to do the exact same thing again, but at the very least, it seems like we’ll have a slightly more impressive build-up to races than we have in the past.

The first race of season seven will be the Santiago ePrix doubleheader on January 16-17, 2021.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

I appreciate Formula E for trying things that F1 just can’t as the legacy motorsport it is, but I just can’t find a way to like Formula E. It’s just so weird, from fan-boosts to all the other strange stuff. It feels like it’s trying to be a Twitch stream brought to life and it’s just as cringe and wince-inducing as every other politician, auto-manufacturer, or old brand trying to re-cast themselves as “woke”. (Insert fellow kids meme here).

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see electric motorsports gain in popularity, but if they’re trying the “videogame irl” approach, then they should just go all out and give whatever sweaty edge-lord stalks streams for the toxic dank memes control of boosts, races, drivers, millions of dollars in contracts and whatever else they can do to relate to the youth already...

*You have reached the end of this tangent*