Live F1 to remain off terrestrial TV until 2029 as Sky signs new exclusive deal

Martin Bundle and Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1 to remain off terrestrial TV until 2029 as Sky sign new exclusive deal - GETTY IMAGES
Martin Bundle and Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1 to remain off terrestrial TV until 2029 as Sky sign new exclusive deal - GETTY IMAGES

Live Formula One coverage in the UK will remain off terrestrial television until the end of 2029 at the earliest, with Sky announcing a new exclusive deal on Friday.

The pay-TV broadcaster will also continue its deals in Italy and Germany until 2027, expanding upon its exclusivity in both regions, although the home races in each Sky territory will remain on free-to-air.

It is unclear whether that means Channel 4 will continue to show the British Grand Prix live each summer. Its current highlights and live British Grand Prix deal is set to expire at the end of this season.

Sky purchased the full broadcasting rights from the BBC for the 2012 season, although the BBC continued to show highlights until the end of 2015 when Channel 4 acquired them for 2016 and beyond.

As well as live coverage of the British Grand Prix, Channel 4 also agreed a one-off deal with Sky to show last season’s Abu Dhabi finale.

Max Verstappen wins F1 2021 title - Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi to win the title last year - GETTY IMAGES
Max Verstappen wins F1 2021 title - Max Verstappen pipped Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi to win the title last year - GETTY IMAGES

In a press release, Sky said it had registered growth across all of its F1 channels this season, with average UK viewing figures up to 1.7 million per race, a claimed rise of 60 per cent since the UK exclusive deal began in 2019. The statement added that in that time it had attracted 4.3 million new viewers, of which 1.7 million were women.

As the sport continues to boom off the back of the Netflix: Drive to Survive phenomenon, Sky also said that four of the five most-watched races in the broadcaster’s history had taken place this season.

As part of the new deal, Sky will continue to air Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup when the events appear on the F1 undercard.

"Since Sky joined Formula 1 in 2012 the scale and the quality of their F1 content has continually increased," said Ian Holmes, F1's director of media rights and content. "This new agreement with Sky reflects our long-term partnership and shared ambition to grow Formula 1 to new audiences and markets."