- Channel 4 to be the exclusive free-to-air UK TV home of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in a new multi-year broadcast agreement
- More races live on free-to-air in the UK than any previous season
- Channel 4 coverage will be hosted by Vernon Kay, Nicki Shields, Dario Franchitti and Jack Nicholls
Formula E and Channel 4 today announced the broadcaster will become the UK’s exclusive free-to-air TV home of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in a multi-year broadcast agreement beginning this season.
UK-based fans of the only all-electric motorsport World Championship will have the opportunity to see more live races in Season 8 than in any previous season.
Every race in the Championship’s biggest-ever 16-race calendar will be aired live on Channel 4 and All4, or on Channel 4 Sport’s well established channel on YouTube.*
Race highlights will be broadcast on Channel 4 and All4 which will serve as the catch-up destination for all the action from the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
In addition, the new qualifying format featuring all 22 drivers in head-to-head knockout Duels competing for pole position will be available live before every E-Prix on the Channel 4 Sport YouTube channel.
Sponsored by Bristol Street Motors, Channel 4's uninterrupted race coverage will be presented by the established Formula E team of hosts Vernon Kay and Nicki Shields, expert analyst Dario Franchitti and commentator Jack Nicholls with local pundits joining around the world. It will be produced by FETV, a co-venture between motorsport production specialists Aurora and North One.
Season 8 begins with a double-header around the walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on 28 and 29 January. Racing continues through Season 8 in the centre of iconic world cities including Rome, Monaco, Berlin, London and New York and for the first time, Jakarta, Vancouver and Seoul. Most races in Asia and Europe will air live on Channel 4 and All4.
Round 1 will air live from Diriyah on the Channel 4 Sport YouTube channel from 16:30pm GMT on Friday, 28 January. Channel 4 and All4 will broadcast live coverage of Round 2 on Saturday, 29 January from 16:30pm GMT.
Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews said: “Formula E is a fantastically exciting sport and this deal is wonderful news for sports fans. We’re proud to be showcasing a sport with sustainability at its heart and one that plays such an important role in seeking to combat the climate crisis.”
Aarti Dabas, Chief Media Officer, Formula E, said: “We are delighted to build on our relationship with Channel 4 as the exclusive free-to-air home of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship here in the UK. The multi-year partnership with Channel 4 is great news for fans across the UK and for the continued growth of our sport. Last season saw more fans around the world tune into our live race programming than ever before. With Channel 4 established as the regular free-to-air home for Formula E in the UK, we look forward to better serving our passionate fanbase while attracting new fans to the excitement of all-electric street-racing.”
By the conclusion Season 7 (2020/21), the live television audience made up the majority of Formula E’s global TV viewership (62%) for the first time in the Championship’s history. The cumulative audience increased to 316m – a 32% year-on-year growth – driven by new distribution agreements with free-to-air (FTA) channels in key markets, which also lifted Season 7’s live audience above pre-pandemic levels.
This latest deal follows on from Channel 4’s announcement that it will ten live Super League matches each season for the next two years thanks to a partnership with Sky. It is the first time in the competition’s 26-year history that it will be shown on free to air terrestrial television.
Channel 4 has made a wide a range of high profile sports and events available free to air to UK audiences over the past 12 months. These have included: live coverage of Emma Raducanu’s stunning US Open victory; live British Lions rugby; live Test match cricket coverage of England’s tour in India; live coverage of the Ireland rugby union autumn internationals; and live in-depth coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games which attracted 20 million viewers.
Notes to Editors
Picture is of Channel 4 Formula E presenters Vernon Kay and Nicki Shields with Jaguar Formula E driver Sam Bird
* live broadcast schedule is provisional and subject to change.
About Formula E and the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
As the world’s only all-electric FIA World Championship and the only sport certified net zero carbon since inception, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship brings dramatic racing to the heart of some of the world’s most iconic cities providing an elite motorsport platform for the world’s leading automotive manufacturers to accelerate electric vehicle innovation.
The Formula E network of teams, manufacturers, partners, broadcasters, and host cities are united by a passion for the sport and belief in its potential to accelerate sustainable human progress and create a better future for people and planet.
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energises the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com
About Channel 4 Sport’s social media channels
Channel 4 Sport on YouTube is the well-established home to the broadcaster’s wide range of sport including the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, Rugby Super League, W Series, British & Irish Lions, international cricket and rugby union, Heineken Champions Cup, Formula One as well as documentaries and digital originals. In addition Channel 4 Sport is also available on Facebook and Twitter. Set up originally for horse racing in 2012, the channel became Channel 4 Sport YouTube four years ago.
About Channel 4’s sponsor of its Formula E coverage
The Vertu Motors Group operates a nationwide chain of over 150 franchised motor dealerships which offer sales, servicing, parts and bodyshop facilities for new and used cars and commercial vehicles. These dealerships fall under the trading names Bristol Street Motors, Macklin Motors and Vertu Motors.