BBC secures Formula E rights for first time
The BBC, the public-service broadcaster in the UK, is to show Formula E, the electric motor racing series, across its platforms for the first time in the 2018-19 season, it was announced today.
The BBC will show every race of the season live across the BBC Sport website, iPlayer streaming service and via the red button on connected TVs, beginning with the 15 December opener in Saudi Arabia.
One ePrix will be shown live during the season on either BBC One or BBC Two, Formula E said.
The BBC deal complements the innovative agreement Formula E signed in the UK with YouTube, the video-sharing platform, two weeks ago.
YouTube will stream every ePrix live with guest appearances and involvement from YouTube 'influencers' in a bid to "open up the series to a younger demographic" and make the sport "more accessible than ever before."
At the time, Formula E told Sportcal it was working on a free-to-air rights deal in the UK.
Ali Russell, media and business development director at Formula E, said today: “The ABB FIA Formula E Championship will continue to be broadcast to the masses and across a variety of platforms in the UK. It’s imperative that Formula E remained on a free-to-air network in such an important territory and key market for motorsport. What better place to showcase some of the best and most competitive racing than on the BBC.”
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, added: “It’s great news that live motorsport is returning to our screens at the BBC. I’ve no doubt the upcoming season will bring with it some exciting wheel-to-wheel moments and we can’t wait for it to begin.”
Eurosport, the Discovery-owned, pan-European broadcaster, is about to enter the second year of a three-season rights deal covering 54 markets (it holds non-exclusive rights in the UK and Italy).
During the 2017-18 season, commercial free-to-air broadcaster Channel 5 and its 5Spike channel showed live and delayed coverage of the races, while pay-TV's BT Sport aired an extended highlights programme from every round of the championship.
The BBC showed Formula 1 motor racing until 2015 but then negotiated the termination of its rights deal early, with commercial broadcaster Channel 4 picking up the rights.