Formula 1 on Channel Four
Although the BBC’s F1 contract ran until the end of the 2018 season, it decided to “reluctantly” end its Formula 1 television contract three years early as part of savings across the corporation.
Channel 4 will take on the BBC’s F1 broadcast rights from the 2016 season.
Channel 4 will broadcast 10 live Formula 1 races, including practice and qualifying sessions, in each of the three FIA Formula One World Championship seasons from 2016 to 2018.
It will also broadcast comprehensive highlights of all 21 Grands Prix and qualifying sessions – including those shown live by Sky Sports F1. All of the live coverage and highlights will be broadcast free-to-air and in high definition.
In a first for a UK terrestrial commercial broadcaster, no advertising breaks will be taken through the duration of the live races.
Bernie Ecclestone, Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group said: “I am sorry that the BBC could not comply with their contract but I am happy that we now have a broadcaster that can broadcast Formula 1® events without commercial intervals during the race.
“I am confident that 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 2019, Sky Sports will have exclusive live rights for F1 in the UK, (ore information on Formula 1 exclusively on Sky Sports here ). Under this deal, Channel Four will show highlights of all Qualifying and Races. The British Grand Prix weekend will also be shown live on Channel Four. This is currently a one year deal, so may change for the 2020 season.
Formula 1 on Channel Four – Presenters
Your C4 F1 team:
Lead – Steve Jones
Ben Edwards lead commentator
Alex Jacques lead commentator from 2021
David Coulthard – co commentator
Pit lane – Karun Chandhok & Lee McKenzie
Pundits: Eddie Jordan, Mark Webber, Susie Wolff, Bruno Senna, Alain Prost, Alessandro Zanardi and Nicholas Hamilton
Special Features : Murray Walker
Advert Breaks on Channel 4
Channel 4 have confirmed their plans for commercial breaks within their ten live race programmes.
Channel 4 will be airing their live ten races uninterrupted.
But they have announced how their ad breaks will happen over the course of the race shows.
The last full length commercial break will take place before the national anthems.
The last ad break before the race will occur “just moments before the formation lap”, and will last 30 seconds. Mercedes-Benz Cars UK the only company that will advertise in this slot.
A further 30 second ad break “just after the winner takes the chequered flag.”
The first full ad break after the race taking place when cars are in parc fermé.