BBC picks up full Formula E digital rights

UK public service broadcaster to show races across various platforms.

BBC picks up full Formula E digital rights

Formula E

UK public service broadcaster the BBC will show coverage of every ABB FIA Formula E Championship race from December after picking up a digital rights package for the 2018/19 season.

The global electric street racing series will be featured live on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button starting with the opening event of the fifth season, which takes place in Saudi Arabia on 15th December.

Formula E had reportedly been in talks with Channel 4, with discussions apparently ongoing for several months and delayed by the recent deal secured by the UK free-to-air broadcaster for Formula One highlights next year.

With the digitally-focused nature of the deal with the BBC, it is thought that Formula E is still looking for a linear broadcast partner for the UK market. Last season’s UK Formula E coverage was shown by Channel 5 and its smaller sister channel 5Spike.

Ali Russell, media and business development director at Formula E, said it was "imperative" the racing series remained on a free-to-air network in a "key" market for the sport.

"What better place to showcase some of the best and most competitive racing than on the BBC," he said.

"We're fully-charged and ready for the new season on the streets of the most recognisable cities - and this year promises to be more intense and unpredictable than ever."

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, added: “It’s great news that live motorsport is returning to our screens at the BBC. I’ve no doubt the upcoming season will bring with it some exciting wheel-to-wheel moments and we can’t wait for it to begin.”