F1 on UK TV from 2019 – live on Sky and highlights on C4
From 2019 for six seasons, Sky will have exclusive rights to all live sessions and weekends for F1, in a deal believed to be worth just shy of £1 billion.
However there is a free-to-air aspect of Sky’s contract, which requires free to air live coverage of the British Grand Prix and highlights of all the other races on a channel that has “90% technical availability”.
First thoughts would be that Sky would run these free to air requirements on one of their own channels, like Pick.
However, reports coming from this weekends British Grand Prix suggest that Channel 4 are onthe verge of signing “sub let rights” for highlights from qualifying and race weekends, and live coverage of the British Grand Prix. The BBC’s Andrew Benson reports that Channel 4 “is on the verge of concluding a deal to take on this aspect of the contract.” Channel 4 have yet to comment, but a source has told the BBC that the agreement “is very close”, with “still a couple of areas to be resolved between C4 and Sky.”
It is not clear when a deal will be confirmed, as there are still a couple of areas that have yet to be resolved between C4 and Sky, such as amount of highlights to be shown, and how much of a delay would be required before those highlights can be show, but it is expected to be within the next weeks.
This deal will be similar to F1 deals in other countries, like in Spain, where Movistar have exclusive rights, but TVE show highlights and the Spanish Grand Prix