Entertainment & Arts

Formula 1 and Sky Sports agree exclusive TV deal

Lewis Hamilton racing in the Australian Grand Prix Image copyright EPA
Image caption The deal will see the British Grand Prix and other race highlights broadcast "free-to-air"

Formula 1 will no longer be shown on terrestrial television from 2019 after Sky Sports announced it had agreed an exclusive deal to broadcast the sport.

The broadcaster currently shares coverage with Channel 4, which took up showing F1 after the BBC ended its contract three years early in 2015.

Sky Sports said the whole of the British Grand Prix would be broadcast on a new "free-to-air" channel.

The five-year deal will also see race highlights shown on the free channel.

Both F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said they were "delighted" with the exclusive deal.

However, some fans of the sport have taken to social media to express their disappointment at the deal.

F1 fan site The PitCrew Online tweeted that it was "sad news", while journalist Dan Paddock wrote the move would not "just slash TV numbers, it'll drive away potential fans, engineers, journalists too".

The BBC ended its deal with F1 early after BBC Sport was asked to deliver £35m of savings as part of a £150m gap in the corporation's finances following cuts.

At the time BBC Sport said the decision had been made reluctantly and it realised it would be unpopular with audiences.

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