Formula One’s new American broadcaster ESPN just released their broadcast schedule for 2018, Racer reports. Whether you’re using F1's streaming platform or not, you’ll have to stream some F1 sessions next year. Nearly every race except the Monaco Grand Prix has at least one practice session on ESPN’s streaming platform ESPN3.
Racer published ESPN’s full F1 broadcast schedule for the year here, and to the network’s credit, most qualifying and race sessions at least make it on to ESPN2, a real-life TV channel, with the occasional appearance of channel-I-forgot-existed ESPNEWS. All 21 races of the season will be aired live on TV. As previously reported, all 125 hours of ESPN’s F1 stuff will include commentary from the international Sky F1 broadcast team.
Monaco gets the most actual TV airtime of them all for being a legendary fancy-parade around narrow streets, with the race airing live on ESPN’s main channel and re-aired in the afternoon on ABC. The Canadian, American and Mexican grands prix will air on ABC live, which is understandable. But if you watch all the practice sessions, too, you’re going to need to learn to love ESPN3.
ESPN3, for those of you who haven’t watched it in a while, is a streaming service you log into with your cable subscription. So, if you’re a full-on cord-cutter, you’ll still probably want to buy F1's own non-cable-affiliated stream (or perhaps borrow your mom’s cable login, as I know some of you do, but definitely not us, no way no how. Nope).
What’s awful about ESPN’s schedule is that ESPN currently has qualifying for the American and Brazilian grands prix listed as delayed showings. While those times are both still marked as “TBD,” it’s almost unforgivable that ESPN would choose to tape-delay any session of the U.S.’s home race.
Lastly, if all of this is making you miss the NBC Sports crew, there is one piece of good news this week. Former NBC Sports pit lane reporter Will Buxton, who has already appeared in preseason testing live streams for F1, confirmed that he will be one of the presenters on F1's digital platforms.
You know, digital. More streams. ESPN is dragging the cable TV holdouts into an F1 live stream whether they like it or not, so 2018 is truly the year of the live stream.
[Full disclosure: Jalopnik is owned by Univision, which holds the Spanish-language broadcast rights to F1 in the U.S.]
Correction [3/21]: The headline was tweaked for clarity after its original publication.