Formula E agrees FTA rights deals in Germany, Austria, Italy and France

All-electric series finalises its largest FTA distribution ever in Germany and Austria.
  • All races to be broadcast live on FTA TV in Germany and Austria
  • Mediaset to offer at least six live races in Italy
  • Minimum of 11 live races to be aired on L’Équipe.

The all-electric Formula E series has agreed its biggest free-to-air (FTA) distribution of live races ever in Germany, Austria, Italy and France.

A multi-year deal has been finalised with Red Bull Media House, the newly-launched DF1 platform, and Red Bull-owned ServusTV.

Races and qualifying sessions will be broadcast on DF1, which has replaced ServusTV’s linear channel in Germany. This represents Formula E’s largest FTA programming distribution in Germany since the series began in 2014.

ServusTV Motorsport, the broadcaster’s dedicated motorsport channel on Deutsche Telekom’s pay-TV service, Magenta TV, and over-the-top (OTT) platform ServusTV On will also carry race and qualifying sessions live.

In Austria, all 17 races of the upcoming season will air live on ServusTV. Its digital channels will also carry Formula E races.

“This exciting new partnership with Red Bull Media House, ServusTV, and DF1 marks a significant milestone in bringing Formula E’s racing to Germany and Austria – a region with a deep-rooted passion for motorsport,” said Aarti Dabas, chief media officer at Formula E.

“As we gear up for our most dynamic season yet, including a double-header race in Berlin, fans in these key markets will have access to more live race programming than ever before through free-to-air channels.”

Elsewhere, Formula E has agreed multi-year broadcast extensions with Mediaset in Italy and L’Équipe in France.

More races will be available on FTA TV in Italy than ever before, with the 17-race season split between Canal20 and Italia Uno – the latter receiving at least six live races. All races will also be available online on sportmediaset.it.

The previous agreement saw just four live races available on FTA TV in the country.

In France, every race will be available FTA. A minimum of 11 races and nine qualifying sessions will air live on L’Équipe. All races and qualifying sessions will be live on L’Équipe Live.

The French broadcaster will also increase the number of races presented as ‘super events’ from four to seven races. This will see extended coverage and presentation on the same scale as the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

BlackBook says…

While Formula E has turned its back on FTA in the UK, this latest round of deals highlights that the all-electric championship still sees value in this audience if the market is responding.

Ultimately, viewership in the UK has struggled, with the series bouncing around between the BBC, Channel 4, ITV4 and Channel 5. The move behind a paywall on TNT Sports makes short-term financial sense.

A similar media philosophy may be followed across Europe once audiences mature, but Formula E is currently happy to allow these markets to develop.

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