Sky and Channel 4 Extend Partnership to Keep Formula 1 Highlights and the British GP Free to Air Through to 2026
The motorsport arena in the UK has been abuzz with the extension of the partnership between Sky and Channel 4, a decision that guarantees Formula 1 coverage to continue free-to-air until 2026. This comes as a relief to racing fans across the country, ensuring accessibility to live action, highlights, and more.
Details of the Extension
The renewed partnership means highlights of all Formula 1 qualifying, sprint, and Grand Prix races will be available on Channel 4, while Sky will continue to offer exclusive live coverage of all practice laps, qualifying, sprint, and Grand Prix races.
This deal enables the UK's racing fans to enjoy live action from the British Grand Prix, including all practice and qualifying laps, up to race day. Last year's British GP coverage on both Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4 reached a combined audience of 7.4 million.
The Historical Partnership
The latest extension marks eight years of Formula 1 rights sharing between two of Britain's most prominent broadcasters. It safeguards one of the most popular days in the British sporting calendar, making it available for everyone to relish.
The previous year marked the most-watched Formula 1 season ever on Sky Sports, with total viewing up 47% since its exclusive deal with Formula 1 in 2019. The channel also attracted younger audiences, with 28% of viewing coming from under 35s.
Comments from Key Executives
Channel 4's Chief Executive, Alex Mahon, expressed delight at striking another Formula 1 deal with Sky, emphasizing the benefits to the British public and Formula 1's reach and prominence.
Stephen van Rooyen, CEO of Sky UK & Ireland, praised the strong relationship between the two broadcasters, highlighting Sky's commitment to enhance the reach of Formula 1.
Engaging New Audiences
Both Sky and Channel 4 are leveraging their digital platforms to engage new audiences. Channel 4 has become a prominent social media brand for young people in the UK, with 85% of the country's 16–34-year-olds registered with a Channel 4 streaming account.
Sky Sports currently commands over 91 million subscribers across its social channels, amassing 1.5 billion YouTube views across all its channels.
Sky and Channel 4: A Strong Partnership
The partnership between Sky and Channel 4 has a rich history that has benefited UK sports fans. Previous collaborations have included live coverage of significant sporting events like England's wins in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup and ICC Cricket World Cup.
About Channel 4
Channel 4's mission is to create change through entertainment. It has been a British success story for over 40 years, engaging generations of young people. Channel 4 has the UK's most extensive free streaming service and is focused on finding and nurturing talent across the UK.
Sky Sports is renowned for its extensive coverage of sports, having grown from three to 14 channels in seven years. The Sky Sports app receives more than 3.5 million monthly unique users, and SkySports.com welcomes over 35 million visitors.
My Final Thoughts on the Sky and Channel 4 Formula 1 partnership.
The extension of the partnership between Sky and Channel 4 cements the continued availability of Formula 1 to the wider public in the UK. This agreement is more than just a business deal; it reflects a commitment to make one of the most thrilling sports accessible to all.
For more information about Channel 4 and its mission, you can visit their official press release.
What does this partnership mean for Formula 1 fans?
Fans will continue to enjoy Formula 1 free-to-air coverage until 2026.
How does this affect the coverage of other sports?
Sky and Channel 4 have a history of collaboration, and this extension strengthens their partnership in other sporting events as well.
What does this mean for the future of Formula 1 in the UK?
The continued collaboration ensures that Formula 1 remains accessible and prominent among British audiences, potentially attracting more fans and contributing to the sport's growth in the region.