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Sky, Channel 4 extend Formula 1 partnership through 2026

The opening lap of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The opening lap of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

British broadcaster Channel 4 and Comcast’s Sky have extended a multi-year partnership that will allow fans of Formula 1 to watch select coverage on free-to-air television for the next few years.

The deal allows Sky to continue offering live coverage of Formula 1 races, while affording Channel 4 the ability to air highlights and time-delayed coverage of qualifying, sprint and Grand Prix races, the companies announced.

The British Grand Prix and all related practice and qualifying laps will simulcast on Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4, making the programming available to free television viewers and Sky subscribers alike.

“We’re thrilled to have struck another Formula 1 deal with Sky and are delighted to once again bring UK audiences Formula 1 for free,” Alex Mahon, the CEO of Channel 4, said in a statement. “The partnership between Channel 4 and Sky benefits the British public and allows everyone to get into the sport, brings in new fans and ensures Formula 1 gets much wider reach and prominence with British audiences. Just like British fans I love that unique Formula 1 combination of engineering technology, personal humanity, glittering glamour and unbelievable race tension.”

The partnership lasts through 2026, and will result in Sky and Channel 4 sharing rights to Formula 1 events for eight years.

“Together with Channel 4 we’ve shared some of the most iconic moments in sporting history and our relationship is as strong as ever,” Stephen van Rooyen, the chief commercial officer of Sky Group and CEO of Sky UK and Ireland, said in a statement. “The length and nature of this deal shows Sky’s deep commitment to help increase the reach of Formula 1 and continue to support one of the most exhilarating, and fastest growing sports in the world.”

Channel 4 will broadcast its portion of the events and related coverage on terrestrial television and the Channel 4 streaming service. Sky will offer most of its Formula 1 coverage on Sky Sports F1, which is available on satellite, the Now TV streaming service, Virgin TV and some cable platforms.

Sky and Channel 4 have worked out similar deals involving other athletic events, including matches from the International Cricket Council.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).