RTL have not left the Formula 1 broadcasting scene in Germany after all – Sky have given them the rights to show four races in 2021 live.
The free-to-air broadcaster gave up its rights to broadcast Formula 1 in Germany come the end of the 2020 season, with Formula 1 moving behind the paywall through Sky Sport F1, a newly-launched channel in Germany.
But Sky will allow RTL to broadcast at least four races of the 2021 season live, marking a surprise return to Formula 1.
Under the deal, Sky had the right to sub-licence, with RTL taking up this option. The Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, round two of the 2021 season, is the first race set to be broadcast live by RTL on April 18.
The Spanish, Italian and Sao Paulo GPs will also be shown live on RTL.
Devesh Raj, CEO Sky Germany, said: “Sky Q combines linear TV, on demand, media libraries, apps, streaming and convenient functionalities on a common platform like no other service. By partnering with Mediengruppe RTL and integrating TV Now, we are strengthening Sky Q’s position as the leading aggregation platform.
“Sky is also the new home of motorsport in Germany. Only on Sky can motorsport fans follow all 23 race weekends. In order to specifically give Formula 1 an even bigger stage and thus promote our great Formula 1 broadcasts, we are making four selected races available to an audience of millions on free-to-air TV.”
RTL’s streaming service TVNow will now be available as part of the Sky Q platform, the wider collaboration which paved the way for the sub-licencing of the Formula 1 rights.
“Offering attractive content in close interaction with our high-reach channels and TV Now is at the core of our strategy,” says Bernd Reichart, CEO of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland.
“The partnership with Sky enables us to further accelerate the growth of TV Now. With Sky Q, Sky offers a great entertainment platform for TV and streaming.
“At the same time, through the partnership, we continue to present attractive live sports for an audience of millions on free-to-air TV. As a ‘main streamer’, we are forging partnerships like this to further drive our digital agenda.”