Major TV update for British F1 fans as Channel 4 confirms 2019 deal

Wednesday, 12 september 2018, 04:50 , by Matthew Scott

Formula 1 will remain on free-to-air television in the UK in 2019 after rival broadcasters Sky Sports and Channel 4 agreed a deal for highlights to be aired on the terrestrial channel. The British Grand Prix will also be shown in full on C4 next year.

Free-view F1 was expected to disappear from British screens, as it has recently in Italy, after Sky secured an exclusive deal.

Although C4's live races will dip from 10 in 2018 to just one next year, the highlights show is likely to be popular among fans, many of whom do not pay for Sky's subscription services.

It was recently revealed that Channel 4's F1 race coverage drew in more than double of Sky's for the same races – and Liberty Media have pinned recent slumps in television viewership on the rise of subscription services hoovering up rights, ESPN taking the 2018 rights in the United Sates from NBC another example.

It was not confirmed whether Channel 4's existing team which includes former F1 drivers David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Karun Chandhok will be used for C4's highlights package or the race in Silverstone, or whether coverage will be taken from Sky as it is in many countries across the world.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive Officer of Channel 4, said: "I'm delighted that we've been able to establish such an exciting and innovative partnership with Sky which will ensure that the British Grand Prix and highlights of the 2019 Formula 1 Championship remain available on free-to-air television for UK viewers."

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Comments (61)

  • Rob Bland
    I'd rather have C4 highlights shows than sky live coverage. I dislike sky as a company and I'm not overly impressed with their coverage and their costs. C4 on the other hand have a decent team and don't charge to view it. The article says liberty media is aware of issues regarding giving coverage rights to broadcasters who pay-wall the content, but they're not doing anything about it by continuing to let sky have it...
  • Roddy Bruce
    “Liberty Media have pinned recent slumps in television viewership on the rise of subscription services hoovering up rights, ESPN taking the 2018 rights in the United Sates from NBC another example.” So why do they continue to sell the rights to these companies knowing its killing the viewing figures ???
  • Amanda Crump
    One live race is a good deal?? I would hate to see a bad one. I refuse to pay just to watch f1 because you have to gave an 18 month contract and f1 doesn't run all year. Sky are also making existing subscribers pay for hd now as of 1st October sports will only be available in hd. Money grabbing so and so's
  • Ed Notley
    What about the rest of the season guys? Your broadcast is by far the best. Why should I subscribe to Sky, they have the monopoly on football of which I can’t say I care but it’s sport and you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Incomes would be sensible if the industry relied on ticket sales.
  • Kirstie Wyper
    I used to watch all the races. Never missed a qualifying or race. Stayed up or got up to watch long haul races. Then coverage started changing channels, Sky bought the rights and live race coverage got less and less. I barely watch F1 now, it's been ruined for fans like me
  • Mark Jackson
    How do they expect to get the next generation of fans hooked if they can't watch it for free. I agree sometimes the full race coverage can be long and boring if it is a dull track without much overtaking. But that makes you appreciate the good ones more. Its a real shame.
  • Sandy Crowe
    another nail in the coffin of F1. Look what happened to football when it went subscription only - sponsors left in droves and the amount of available money to the sport dropped considerably.
  • Scott Hamilton
    F1 and Sky will soon realise that you can't bully fans and force them to pay to watch. Many will just not watch and advertisers want viewers or they will not pay. When that happens there will be changes.
  • Robin Hill
    The way these yanks are going next year will be the last British GP. wasn't there goal to bring it to the masses, it's cheaper to watch the Belgium GP including travel than the British GP.
  • Bev Worth
    I love F1 and was paying for Sky but it got far to expensive, got rid of it and love Channel 4 coverage, great presenters, and if Channel 4 do lose F1 I will not be going back to Sky.
  • Dave Webster
    Hopefully Liberty will get it back on free-to-air once all the greedy Bernice deals expire, they'll want a bigger global audience or it may never recover
  • Stuart Thomas
    Well, it's better than nothing, but Liberty need to look long and hard at these exclusive deals, before viewership (and associated advertising revenues) start to drop ..
  • Chris Taubert
    C4 do a great job but I always tivo it even if I'm watching live. Wait 20mins then start to watch it so I can ffwd all the bloody adverts
  • Vicky Dee Clayton Simpson
    How's that great news one live race that's bad I love watching the live ones highlights don't show you half the race only a few laps hate it
  • Wullie Ormond
    Sky are rubbish, I much prefer the presenters on CH4. Subscription to sky is not worth it as it far to expensive and will kill the sport dead.
  • Georgie Mac
    Finally an update, sometimes the highlight are better than the live races and I love the presenting team on 4
  • Kris Ossa Ostle
    That's not gd news at all. I am not paying for sky when I would only watch the f1 on it.
  • David Hopkinson
    when is the contract up for renewal then liberty might give terrestrial tv a chance to air it again
  • Robert Durrant
    Loved it on the BBC and C4 are doing a good job Hate sky for ruining it Money talks walk
  • Martine Parkinson
    One Live race, rubbish, the excitement has gone by the time highlights are shown!!!!!

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