Five UK broadcasters for season five of Formula E with BT Sport now on board
It will be almost impossible to avoid Formula E in the UK this season, after BT Sport, the pay-television operator, became the fifth media outlet to snap up rights to the electric motor racing series.
BT Sport has been a broadcast partner of Formula E since its launch in 2014, but will offer its most extensive coverage yet in the 2018-19 season, which gets under way in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
BT Sport will show live races, qualifying sessions and practice sessions throughout the 13-race season, with preview shows and comprehensive highlights also on offer.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “With the addition of Formula E, BT Sport customers can enjoy even more racing action on the home of brilliant live motorsport in the UK.
"As well as Formula E, which is one of the most exciting and innovative racing series globally, motorsport fans can look forward to coverage on BT Sport of MotoGP, European Le Mans, Grand Prix, British Speedway and World Rally Championship.”
Ali Russell, media and business development director at Formula E, added: “With the closest and most progressive racing series entering its biggest season to date, it’s great that fans across the UK get to watch every session of Formula E.”
BT Sport joins the BBC, the public-service broadcaster, Eurosport, the pan-European broadcaster, Quest, the Discovery-owned free-to-air channel in the UK and Ireland, and YouTube, the video-sharing platform, as Formula E rights-holders in 2018-19, as the series prioritises eyeballs over high rights fees.
The BBC will show every race live across the BBC Sport website, iPlayer streaming service and via the red button on connected TVs. One ePrix will also be shown live on either BBC One or BBC Two.
Eurosport 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), and will offer extensive UK coverage of the 2018-19 season.
Its sister channel Quest will broadcast up to four races live, as well as a full highlights package of all 13 rounds on its linear channel and on-demand via QuestOD.co.uk or the QuestOD app, while 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."
Formula E has had somewhat of a nomadic existence on UK TV since its launch in 2014-15.
Commercial broadcaster ITV showed live coverage of the first two seasons on its ITV4 digital channel, with highlights offered on pay-TV's BT Sport, before the free-to-air live rights switched to Channel 5 ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.
Channel 5 and its 5Spike channel showed live and delayed coverage of races in 2017-18, with live coverage also available on Eurosport and extended highlights once again on BT Sport.