Live free-to-Air Formula 1 to disappear from UK TV from 2019

From 2019, live Formula 1 races will only be shown exclusively on Sky Sports after the broadcaster agreed a new broadcast agreement with F1 bosses that will continue until at least 2024.

This means Formula 1 will no longer be shown on free-to-air terrestrial television stations, with Channel 4 set to lose their rights after just three years after taking over from BBC this season.

The only exceptions will be the British Grand Prix, which Sky will show live on its soon-to-be-launched free-to-air Sky Sports Mix channel, as well as two other ‘prime time’ races throughout each season, while highlights of every qualifying session and race will also be shown on the channel.

Barney Francis, the Managing Director of Sky Sports, believes it is fantastic news that Formula 1 will be solely live on Sky, and is also welcoming the decision to introduce Ultra High Definition to the sport for the first time from 2017.

“This is a brilliant deal that takes Sky’s partnership with F1 to the next level,” said Francis. “Since 2012, we have demonstrated unrivalled commitment to F1, offering fans innovations including a dedicated channel and the very best broadcasting talent.

“We are absolutely delighted that we are strengthening our coverage for viewers even further, with live and exclusive F1 from 2019 and the chance to watch in Ultra High Definition for the first time from next season. We are pleased to support F1 and look forward to working with them to progress, develop and enhance coverage of the championship during the agreement.”

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has welcomed the new agreement with Sky, and believes they offer the best coverage of the sport.

“I am delighted that we will continue to work together,” said Ecclestone. “Sky’s commitment to the sport and standard of coverage is second to none.”