Formula 1 has announced a major TV deal in China ahead of the 2018 season with state broadcaster CCTV acquiring rights to over 100 hours of live coverage.
A return to free-to-air coverage throughout the whole season is a major breakthrough for Liberty, who have long identified the Chinese market as the one with the most potential to grow.
“China is a key market for Formula 1 where we have an ambitious plan to significantly grow the fan base and deepen engagement with our sport,” said Yath Gangakumaran, Formula 1’s Director of Strategy.
“Increasing the reach of F1 through this agreement with CCTV is a crucial component of the plan.
“Alongside this, to engage more on-the-ground, we will launch F1’s first ever multi-day fan festival, taking place in Shanghai ahead of the15th edition of the Chinese Grand Prix.
“And in the coming months, there shall be more announcements related to the China growth strategy.”
The 'multi-year' deal comes after reports earlier this year that CCTV would have to share 2018 rights with pay-television broadcaster Great Sports and online streaming platform Tencent.