Formula One has confirmed a new long-term broadcast partnership with Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).
The agreement gives CCTV the right to show live coverage of all qualifying sessions and races from the global motorsport series, starting with Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
CCTV will broadcast approximately 100 hours of live coverage during the 2018 season, with the action available across the CCTV-5 and CCTV-5 Plus sports channels, as well as the CCTV-5 mobile app and the CCTV sports website.
The deal was first reported earlier this month, when Chinese news site Jiemian.com claimed CCTV would be sharing rights with pay-TV broadcaster Great Sports and online streaming platform Tencent Sports.
Great Sports has held the rights to Formula One in China since 2002, while CCTV first broadcast the championship in 1994.
“We are very happy to bring back Formula One on CCTV,” said Ian Holmes, Formula One’s director of media rights. “CCTV is the dominant broadcaster in China, with more than 1.1 billion people watching its channels each year, offering our sport an extraordinary opportunity for Formula One to engage with mass audiences.”
“China is a key market for Formula 1 where we have an ambitious plan to significantly grow the fan base and deepen engagement with our sport,” said Yath Gangakumaran, Formula One’s director of strategy. “Increasing the reach of Formula One through this agreement with CCTV is a crucial component of the plan.
Fang Gang, CCTV’s director of sports channel, added: “Since 1994, the partnership between CCTV and Formula One has brought the pinnacle of motorsport to China and more than one generation of fans grew up with this combination.
“Formula One remains one of the best spectacles on the planet and technical regulations in recent years highlight the sport’s emphasis on sustainability which is close to CCTV’s vision.”