Pay-TV channel Canal+ has extended its agreement with Formula One for the French broadcast rights to the global motorsport series for a further three seasons.
The deal, which starts in March 2018, covers the practice sessions, qualifying and races for all Grands Prix in the calendar. It also includes Formula Two and GP3 races.
The extension is the first major media rights agreement to be made under the new owner of Formula One, Liberty Media. Vivendi Group-owned Canal+ has shown Formula One in France since 2013.
“We look forward to the continuation of our longstanding relationship with Canal+ and the Vivendi Group,” said Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One. “Formula One fans are the big winners with the planned marketing and brand building integration opportunities, utilising Vivendi’s far-reaching leadership in music, film, long and short form TV, digital and gaming.
“We are pleased to have completed this deal in time for the return of the French Grand Prix to Formula One in 2018 and look forward to putting on a great show for our fans in France.”
Maxime Saada, chief executive of Canal+, added: “Canal+ Group is pleased to have won the Formula One rights until 2020 and to be able to continue to offer its subscribers 100 per cent of this world class event exclusively.
“This successful outcome will come as a reward to the efforts of the Canal+ Sports team headed by Thierry Cheleman. They demonstrated their ability to innovate in the coverage of this major event, which earned Canal+ the prize for the best broadcaster in 2014.”
The deal follows the recent announcement that the French Grand Prix will return to the Formula One calendar for the 2018 season after an absence of ten years.