Formula E and BBC renew rights deal for 2021

‘Select’ races to be aired via UK public service broadcaster’s linear networks.

Formula E and BBC renew rights deal for 2021

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  • Majority of races set to air across BBC’s digital platforms
  • Formula E planning London return with delayed race at Excel Centre

The Formula E all-electric motorsport series has extended its UK broadcast partnership with the BBC to air every race from the 2021 season across the public service broadcaster’s digital and linear channels.

Live, free-to-air Formula E coverage will air via the BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website, with some races also airing live on the broadcaster’s linear channels, schedules permitting.

Supporting Formula E content will run across BBC digital platforms throughout the 2021 season in what the series sees as a key market, where many of its teams are based.

The broadcast rights deal follows a partnership signed between Formula E and BBC Global News in 2020 to produce a set of films for digital distribution designed to grow the series’ audience globally.

The broadcast deal comes ahead of Formula E’s return to the UK, with a race through London’s Excel exhibition centre and along the waterfront on the streets of the Royal Docks finally set to take place after being cancelled last year. With the pandemic still causing scheduling issues, the date for the London E Prix has not been confirmed.

Formula E debuted on the BBC two years ago with the 2019/20 season. Last year’s pandemic-disrupted campaign was also aired by Discovery-owned pay-TV network Eurosport, with select events also being shown live on free-to-air channel Quest. No other Formula E UK broadcast deals for the 2021 season have been agreed at this stage.

Aarti Dabas, Formula E chief media officer, said: "Extending our partnership with the BBC gives us the platform to bring the unpredictable action of our all-electric racing to people in the UK on mainstream channels and the popular BBC digital channels, as we also look to engage the next generation of sports fans around the world with our BBC Global News content partnership."

Season seven of Formula E will feature 14 races across 13 cities, starting with February’s season-opening double-header in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Portuguese driver António Félix da Costa is the defending champion.