Formula 1 and Sky Sports announce extensions in UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy

Sam Cooper
George Russell speaking to Martin Brundle on the grid. Australia April 2022

Mercedes driver George Russell speaking to Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle on the grid. Australia April 2022

Sky Sports will continue to host race coverage in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Italy after a new deal was struck with Formula 1.

The TV broadcaster has been the home of F1 in the UK and Ireland since 2012 and that deal has now been extended further until 2029.

Sky will also broadcast all F1 sessions and the race in Germany and Italy with home nation races being shown on free-to-air channels.

As well as providing live showing of the races, Sky will again lend its commentary team to 80 markets meaning fans across the world will continue to hear the likes Martin Brundle and Jenson Button giving their thoughts during a race.

Global interest in Formula 1 has increased massively in recent years and the sport has stated that in the UK alone, viewership has been up by 60% since 2019. The average viewership for the 2022 season is 1.7 million and of the 4.3 million new viewers to Sky Sports F1, 1.7 million were women.

In a sign of how much the sport has grown, four of the five most watched races ever have taken place this year.

While not quite as steep a rise, the viewership has increased in Italy as well. 1.5 million have tuned in this season, a 20% boost from 2021, and 1.937 million viewers watched the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in March, making it the most-watched GP in Italian pay-TV history.

In Germany, the viewing figures have gone up by 24% compared to 2021 and half of the new viewers are under the age of 25. 40% of them are women and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix also set a Sky record of 1.38 million viewers.

Sky Sports were awarded a BAFTA earlier this year for their coverage of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

President and CEO of Formula 1 Stefano Domenicali said he could not “think of a better partner to continue to reach our fans.

“Since the beginning of our relationship in 2012 we have both strived to bring the excitement, emotion, and drama of Formula 1 to our traditional fans while engaging new and more diverse audiences,” the 57-year-old Italian continued.

“Formula 1 has seen huge growth in recent years, and I can’t think of a better partner to continue to reach our fans with dedicated, expert and in-depth coverage.”

F1’s director of media rights and content creation Ian Holmes praised Sky for allowing the sport to return to venues such as Zandvoort and bring new races onto the calendar like Miami.

“This new agreement with Sky reflects our long-term partnership and shared ambition to grow Formula 1 to new audiences and markets.

“In recent years we have returned to historic venues such as Zandvoort, and brought in new and exciting races such as Miami and of course Las Vegas next year. I am delighted that Sky will continue to be with us through this exciting era of our sport.”

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