The BBC have terminated their contract to show F1 races three years early.
And Channel 4 have snapped up the rights.
Channel 4 will now take over free-to-air coverage of Formula 1, and will show a selection of live races during 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The channel will broadcast 10 live races, including practice and qualifying sessions from 2016 to 2018. It will also broadcast highlights of all 21 grands prix and qualifying sessions including those shown live by Sky Sports. And to keep F1 fans happy, they have vowed that there will be NO advertising breaks will be taken through the duration of the live races.
Sky Sports F1 will continue to show the complete set of races each season. The BBC will retain the radio rights for Formula 1 in an extension of previous rights until 2021.
The future of the BBC’s presenting and commentary team of Suzy Perry, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard is now up in the air, with Channel 4 only saying there will be an announcement about its line-up in due course.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said: “I am sorry the BBC could not comply with their contract.
“But I am happy we now have a broadcaster that can broadcast Formula 1 events without commercial intervals during the race.
“I am confident Channel 4 will achieve not only how the BBC carried out the broadcast in the past, but also with a new approach as the world and Formula 1 have moved on.”
In what is a coup for Channel 4 as ITV was expected to regain the rights, chief executive David Abraham said: “Formula One is one of the world’s biggest sporting events with huge appeal to British audiences. “I’m delighted to have agreed this exciting new partnership with Bernie Ecclestone to keep the sport on free-to-air television.”
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