July races in New York and London will air on CBS, while eight additional contests will be on CBS Sports Network. ViacomCBS properties, including CBSsports.com and PlutoTV, will also carry qualifying action and shoulder programming for a total of “well over 100 hours” of content, according to CBS Sports executive vice president of programming Dan Weinberg. “It’s another great example of how from our perspective we are putting together deals that hit multiple distribution platforms across our entire portfolio,” Weinberg said.
Formula E chief media officer Aarti Dabas also mentioned ViacomCBS’ youth-oriented brands (including MTV and Nickelodeon) as well as its morning and news show platforms as additional assets the sport is hoping to leverage. Financial details were not disclosed. “It was important for us to have a partner who was strong on digital and had different offerings,” Dabas said. Formula E previously aired on Fox’s networks.
While races are distributed globally, Dabas has targeted the U.S. as a key growth market since joining Formula E earlier this year. Working with CBS, Formula E will create a unique broadcast product for the American market, which “only takes international sports seriously if they’re Americanized,” Dabas said. She pointed to the Champions League as an international product that CBS has marketed to domestic customers, and to the National Women’s Soccer League as another relatively young organization that CBS has committed to growing.
Next year, CBS will also air the inaugural season of the Superstar Racing Experience, a short-track stock car series founded by Tony Stewart.