Following on from previous UK rights announcements, coverage of the upcoming 2018-19 Formula E season will also air on Quest, series organisers have confirmed.
The channel, which is available free-to-air, will air highlights of every round, with four races also airing live. The supplementary rights agreement increases Quest’s own sporting line-up, which includes regular highlights of the English Football League. Action will also air on Quest’s on-demand platforms.
From Formula E’s perspective, Quest sits alongside the BBC, YouTube and Eurosport in the ever-expanding UK arena, a major shift compared with previous seasons. Discovery Communications owns both Quest and Eurosport, whilst they are also a minority investor in the electric series.
The UK rights agreement between Discovery and Formula E is like the British Superbikes series, but on a smaller scale. Every BSB race airs live on Eurosport, with Quest also airing a selection of rounds live. Eurosport provides significant on-site coverage for British Superbikes, which is not currently the case with Formula E from a UK stand point.
At a glance: the UK rights so far…
> Season 1 – ITV4
> Season 2 – ITV4
> Season 3 – Channel 5 / 5Spike
> Season 4 – Channel 5 / 5Spike / Eurosport
> Season 5 – BBC / YouTube / Quest / Eurosport / BT Sport
Simon Downing, Head of Quest and Eurosport UK, said: “We are delighted to be adding to our sports line-up on Quest. The upcoming season is set to be an incredible one with plenty of action for fans to enjoy.”
Ali Russell, Director of Media & Business Development at Formula E, said: “We are delighted that Quest have become a major addition to our UK broadcast offering for Season 5, guaranteeing that the ABB FIA Formula E Championship will continue to be available on a free-to-air basis in a key market for us.”
“We are excited by Quest’s coverage plans and believe that this partnership will further amplify the popularity and growth of Formula E in the UK,” Russell added.
The wording of Russell’s statement may suggest that Quest are planning bespoke wrap-around coverage for the races that they are airing live, but this is unconfirmed as of writing. It is also unclear whether highlights will air on the same day as the race, or whether they will air later in the week. I have requested comment from Formula E on this front.
Update on December 4th – In addition to the above, schedules for the first race weekend in Saudi Arabia show that BT Sport are joining the Formula E party. Formula E have yet to issue this as a press release, but BT’s schedules include live action from Saudi Arabia. BT will cover every session live, including the Shakedown on Friday afternoons, as well as the supporting Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Series.