Sky Sports has extended its deal to remain “the home of Formula 1” in the UK and Ireland until 2024 in a deal which will bring to an end live free-to-air coverage of the sport.
The subscription-based broadcaster originally secured the exclusive broadcast rights to Formula 1 for the 2012 season but agreed a deal with the BBC, which permitted the free-to-air broadcaster to show ten races live and the remainder as a delayed highlights package.
That same deal has now been taken up by Channel 4, with the UK broadcaster seeing out the remainder of the BBC’s original seven-year contract.
Sky’s new deal will eventually put an end to live free-to-air coverage once Channel 4’s deal ends in 2018 – though highlights from every race will still be shown on a free-to-air basis according to Sky. It’s not clear how exactly this will happen.
“This is a brilliant deal that takes Sky’s partnership with F1 to the next level,” commented Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports. “Since 2012, we have demonstrated unrivalled commitment to F1, offering fans innovations including a dedicated channel and the very best broadcasting talent.
“We are absolutely delighted that we are strengthening our coverage for viewers even further, with live and exclusive F1 from 2019 and the chance to watch in Ultra High Definition for the first time from next season. We are pleased to support F1 and look forward to working with them to progress, develop and enhance coverage of the championship during the agreement.”
Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone added:”I am delighted that we will continue to work together. Sky’s commitment to the sport and standard of coverage is second to none.”