FTA motor racing boost in Germany as ProSiebenSat.1 lands Formula E rights
Formula E, the electric motor racing series, looks set to be the only international motorsport to be shown exclusively on free-to-air television in Germany next year, after commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 secured the rights in a long-term deal announced today.
ProSiebenSat.1 will begin its coverage with the start of season 7 from January.
The broadcaster said it will employ "recognisable motorsport talent" and will have crew on the ground at all races, bringing fans the latest news and reaction from the paddock.
To complement the live race programming, ProSiebenSat.1 and Formula E will develop non-live and ancillary electric mobility and motorsport content.
Germany is considered a priority market for Formula E, with Berlin the only city to have featured on the calendar in every season and currently hosting Formula E’s season finale of six races in nine days, an amendment to the calendar enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Championship partners Allianz, BMW i, Bosch, DHL and HUGO BOSS are all German brands, while four major German automotive manufacturers - Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche - compete for the series title.
Formula E's chief media officer Aarti Dabas, the former media rights head at the International Cricket Council, said: "Germany is an important market for Formula E, our teams, manufacturers and partners. ProSiebenSat.1’s focus on delivering localised and high-quality coverage using diverse talent and innovative presentation will enable us to grow the reach, engagement and affinity for our sport.
"Our partnership with ProSiebenSat.1 will deepen our connections with Formula E fans in Germany through localised activities and custom content targeting the electric generation. As we enter our first season as an FIA World Championship this partnership will ensure Formula E reaches the broadest possible German audience."
Stefan Zant, managing director of 7Sports, the broadcaster's sports business arm, added: "Electric mobility is an absolute future topic and the best example of our strategy of not only acquiring new rights but also building up innovative topics in the long-term. We have numerous plans for presenting and delivering sustainability and electric mobility beyond the mere racing season. The broadcast of Formula E on all platforms should be of interest to all advertising partners who want to engage in a sustainable environment."
Formula E rights in Germany have been held by Eurosport, the pan-European sports broadcaster, since 2015-16, when it replaced pay-TV's Sky Deutschland. Its present three-year rights deal covering 54 European market expires this year.
ARD and ZDF, the public-service broadcasters in Germany, have struck sub-licensing deals with Eurosport in recent years to show Formula E races free-to-air.
The free-to-air Formula E deal in Germany from 2021 coincides with another commercial broadcaster RTL ending its Formula 1 coverage after this season.
RTL has shown Formula 1 since 1991 but claimed recently to have been priced out in the new cycle, with coverage to move exclusively to Sky, which will offer four races per season for free.