Formula 1 will continue to be shown free-to-air in 2016 after Channel 4 stepped in to take over from the BBC, who have ‘reluctantly’ ended its agreement early.
The BBC had been scheduled to host live Formula 1 until the end of the 2018 season, but as a result of budget cuts from the corporation, the contract has been terminated with immediate effect.
Channel 4 have jumped in to take over the coverage, and will show ten live Grand Prix in each of the next three seasons, with the other races to be shown in a highlight package. The station has also announced each race will be shown without advertising breaks.
“I am sorry the BBC could not comply with their contract,” said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. “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.”
Channel 4 will announce which races it will show live in due course, as well as its commentary and announce team. BBC will continue to bring coverage of every Grand Prix on its radio outlet BBC Radio 5 Live, after extending its contract until the conclusion of 2021.