Eurosport are to broadcast Formula E live in the UK alongside Channel 5, the broadcaster confirmed this morning.
The press release left room for interpretation, but speaking to this site, Eurosport say that they “will be broadcasting Formula E in the UK live on a non-exclusive basis.” The contract is part of a wider Eurosport deal with Formula E across Europe, where the channel will broadcast the series in 54 markets. The deals vary from exclusively live coverage to sub-licencing to a free-to-air broadcaster.
The 2017-18 Formula E season will be the second and currently final year of Channel 5’s contract, and the first of three seasons with Eurosport. I have heard suggestions that Channel 5 may have a greater on-air presence for some rounds this season, implying that they see Formula E as a medium to long-term investment. Channel 5’s coverage of season three averaged 280,000 viewers according to overnight viewing figures.
For readers unaware, Liberty Global and Discovery Communications are minority investors in Formula E. And Eurosport is part of the Discovery family, meaning that it is no major surprise to see Formula E’s presence on Eurosport expanded across their various outlets. The UK situation beyond season four with regards free-to-air television remains to be seen…
Based on their track record with other motor racing series’, I would expect Eurosport to use their own commentary line-up. Eurosport’s resident lead commentator Martin Haven did stand-in for Jack Nicholls as lead commentator for Formula E’s World Feed last season, and would be prime contender to lead Eurosport’s coverage of the electric series.
5 thoughts on “Eurosport to broadcast Formula E live in the UK”
Good news. And it makes sense seeing as EuroSport have a shareholding in the series through Liberty Media and Discovery Communications. I’m surprised they waited this long.
I doubt Eurosport will use the Aurora Media commentary team, they like to have their own (normally for the worse because you could end up with Tom Gaymor or Mark Cole) so they can dip into the race half-way through but still show you the start of the race, then of course there’s the opportunity to have adverts.
Interesting. Since British Eurosport separated from Eurosport International they’ve seemed to treat four wheel motorsport with a level of contempt with regular rescheduling and coverage shown “as-live” in the midnight hours. The exception to this has been WTCC, a series which has lost all sanity since Citroen came in a few years ago, which is of course promoted by Eurosport so the British arm dare not mess with that coverage I guess.
I have to say I will probably watch the Eurosport coverage when its actually live. Nice to have Five as a backup for when the Formula E inevitably gets shunted around the schedules because theres mixed doubles lawn bowls that British Eurosport can show instead.
To be fair Channel 5 haven’t exactly been shy about shunting FE down to Spike if they want to show some boxing. Even then, they cut off halfway through the podium at the last race in Montreal last season so they could show an old movie. So it does make you wonder how invested they actually are.
True enough. Hopefully both channels won’t shunt live coverage on the same weekends.