Sky Sports will continue to broadcast Formula 1 across key European territories in forthcoming seasons, the two parties have today confirmed.
In the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Sky will air Formula 1 until the end of the 2029 season, a five-year extension to their existing deal which was set to expire at the end of 2024.
Further afield in Europe, the broadcaster has extended their rights agreements with F1 in Italy and Germany until the end of 2027. Deals in both territories were set to expire at the end of this season.
The deal includes broadcast rights to Formula Two, Formula Three and the Porsche Supercup.
Live coverage of the home race, and highlights of all other races, will remain available on a free-to-air basis. This is the same as the current UK deal, but an increased level of exclusivity for Sky in Italy and Germany, with fewer races available live on a free-to-air basis.
As part of the new agreement, F1 TV’s premium-level offering, which allowed fans access to live action, will no longer be available to fans in Germany.
F1 says that, from 2023, viewers watching via Sky will have an “improved multi-screen and second-screen option, tracking their favourite driver’s position on the circuit or selecting a driver’s on-board camera.”
Formula 1’s president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said “We are incredibly proud of our long-term partnership with Sky, and we are delighted to announce that we will continue working together until 2029, a very important commitment from Sky.”
“Since the beginning of our relationship in 2012 we have both strived to bring the excitement, emotion, and drama of Formula 1 to our traditional fans while engaging new and more diverse audiences. Formula 1 has seen huge growth in recent years, and I can’t think of a better partner to continue to reach our fans with dedicated, expert and in-depth coverage.”
Sky not only brings fans live coverage but a range of behind-the-scenes access and content that brings F1 to life. We are hugely excited about the future of the partnership and the journey of Formula 1.”
Stephen van Rooyen, Executive Vice President & CEO, Sky UK & Europe, added “Every race. Every moment. Every twist and turn. All exclusively live on Sky for years to come!”
“Formula 1 continues to break records on Sky, with millions more watching than ever before across our markets, driven by new younger and female fans which is fantastic for the sport. More than 80 countries will continue to enjoy our world class analysis and content of one of the most exhilarating sports in the world.”
Announcement in the making for some time
Motorsport Broadcasting understands that the announcement has been in the making for some time.
F1 and Sky were originally set to announce the extension on the Friday of the Italian Grand Prix weekend, however both parties agreed to delay the announcement following the death of Queen Elizabeth II the evening before.
Sky have made moves in recent months to lock in long-term deals in the UK: Scottish football (2029), England cricket (2028) and PGA Tour golf (multi-year) some of the most recent extensions, however the F1 extension is their most high profile yet.
By the end of 2029, Sky will have broadcast 18 F1 championships and close to 400 races live on their F1 channel, compared with 12 full seasons on ITV and 22 full seasons on the BBC (19 under the ‘Grand Prix’ banner and 3 from 2009 to 2011).
While Sky’s F1 viewing figures in the UK largely plateaued when coverage of half the races also aired across the BBC and later Channel 4, their viewing figures have surged in recent years.
The broadcaster was the beneficiary of a titanic championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen last year, while also benefiting from Netflix’s Drive to Survive season, increasing their younger audience.
More details and analysis very soon…