Channel 4 “fully committed” to current F1 deal

Channel 4 say they are still “fully committed” to airing Formula 1 in the UK, as the broadcaster seeks to reduce costs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Yesterday, the broadcaster outlined “a number of measures” to help them navigate through the forthcoming months, as COVID-19 hits the broadcasting sector, with advertising revenue plummeting.

Included in the measures is Channel 4’s aim to reduce the 2020 programming budget by £150 million, which according to The Guardian represents almost a quarter of their programme budget.

Last September, Channel 4 agreed a deal with Sky Sports to cover Formula 1 highlights, along with live coverage of the British Grand Prix weekend, through to the end of 2022.

Inevitably, COVID-19 brings into question a lot of Channel 4’s existing arrangements, as the broadcaster seeks to cut costs.

However, the broadcaster says that they intend to continue to cover Formula 1 when the action resumes.

Speaking to this site, a Channel 4 spokesperson said, “We remain fully committed to broadcasting Formula 1 as and when the racing begins.”

When the racing does resume, Channel 4 will again be covering F1 in extended highlights form, with Whisper remaining on-board as production partners.


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4 thoughts on “Channel 4 “fully committed” to current F1 deal

  1. Can you explain why ad revenues are dropping? With the UK in quarantine, hence millions of people indoors with their televisions on, why would advertisers be reducing their content?

    • Viewing figures may be higher, but most people have less expendable income at the moment.

      There’s also less competition for advertising slots, given that some sectors are not functioning at the moment (restaurants, leisure, holidays for example).

      Both, and other factors, will drive down the price of a 30 second slot, hurting broadcasters.

  2. Indeed, it’s also worth remembering that advertisers have to bid for slots months in advance of the broadcast. To give a couple of examples from a motor sport perspective, advertisers would by now normally be bidding to ITV4 for slots during the Snetterton race day program of British Touring Car Championships and, assuming Sky work to similar time scales, Sky would normally now be taking bids for the French, British, Austrian and Hungarian Grand Prixs.

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