F1 extends exclusive live rights deal with Eleven Sports in Poland
Formula 1 motor racing has extended its exclusive media rights deal with Eleven Sports in Poland until 2022, in a three-year agreement meaning that the international subscription broadcaster will continue its exclusive coverage until the end of that season.
Eleven, which has held the rights since 2016, will continue to offer complete live coverage of all races, practice and qualifying sessions as well as additional programming including studio shows, in-house magazine #ElevenF1 and on-site interviews and reports.
Formula 1 added that Eleven will also sub-license highlights coverage to Polsat, the Polish commercial and pay-TV broadcaster that is the majority owner of Eleven in Poland, while TVP, the public-service broadcaster, will receive segments of the live races together with highlights of the 2019 season.
These deals “will provide extensive free-to-air coverage for the sport throughout the three-year term,” Formula 1 said.
Eleven Sports will also broadcast the FIA Formula 2 and FIA Formula 3 Championships and the Porsche Supercup Series on sports channels belonging to Polsat from 2019 to 2022.
Eleven is now active in 10 markets: UK and Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, USA, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan and Myanmar.
It recently missed out on domestic soccer rights in Poland in a highly-competitive tender, but its portfolio in the country also includes a range of top European soccer leagues.
Marc Watson, Eleven’s executive chairman and group chief executive, recently told Sportcal: “In Poland, the business has continued to grow, we have some extensions on key content coming up in the next few weeks.
“The F1 season is about to start, and having Robert Kubica [the Polish driver returning to the sport after eight years] back with Williams, it is a huge development for us in that market. It will really enable us to grow the business there.”
Greg Maffei, the president and chief executive of Liberty Media, Formula 1’s parent company, recently admitted that it will struggle to attract as many online viewers as other sports properties because of its competing television rights deals.
Last year, Formula 1 launched F1 TV, the sport’s over-the-top service, which is now available in 48 countries worldwide.
However, while Liberty, which acquired Formula 1 in a $4.4-billion deal at the start of 2017, has high hopes for the service, it admits that growth will be limited by a lack of exclusive content, given that there are only a certain number of grands prix, and these can be watched on traditional television in around 200 territories.
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