Sky and Channel 4 have extended their long-standing partnership ensuring motorsport fans across the UK will continue to enjoy free-to-air Formula 1 coverage through to 2026.
Highlights of all Formula 1 qualifying, sprint and Grand Prix races will be available on Channel 4 whilst Sky will continue to show exclusive live coverage of all practice laps, qualifying, sprint and Grand Prix races throughout the next three years
Thanks to the deal, racing fans across the UK will be able to watch live action from the British Grand Prix as well as all practice and qualifying laps in the build-up to the British GP race day. Across both Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4, last year’s coverage of the British GP reached a combined audience of 7.4m
This latest extension brings this Formula 1 rights sharing partnership to eight years between two of Britain’s biggest broadcasters and ensures one of the most popular days in the British sporting calendar is made available for everyone to enjoy.
In addition, last year was the most watched Formula 1 season ever on Sky Sports with total viewing up 47% since its exclusive deal with Formula 1 in 2019. Sky Sports F1 continues to attract younger audiences than before with 28% of viewing from under 35s, up from 20% the previous year.
Channel 4’s Chief Executive Alex Mahon said: “We’re thrilled to have struck another Formula 1 deal with Sky and are delighted to once again bring UK audiences Formula 1 for free. The partnership between Channel 4 and Sky benefits the British public and allows everyone to get into the sport, brings in new fans and ensures Formula 1 gets much wider reach and prominence with British audiences. Just like British fans I love that unique Formula 1 combination of engineering technology, personal humanity, glittering glamour and unbelievable race tension.”
Stephen van Rooyen, CEO Sky UK & Ireland said: “Together with Channel 4 we’ve shared some of the most iconic moments in sporting history and our relationship is as strong as ever. The length and nature of this deal shows Sky’s deep commitment to help increase the reach of Formula 1 and continue to support one of the most exhilarating, and fastest growing sports in the world.”
Engaging new audiences for all sports is at the heart of the continued collaboration with both Sky and Channel 4 leveraging their digital platforms to achieve extraordinary reach.
Channel 4 is the UK’s biggest free streaming service and becoming one of the largest social media brands for young people in the UK. It is the UK’s youngest-profiling BVOD service, with 85% of the UK’s 16–34-year-olds registered with a Channel 4 streaming account. In 2023 (YTD) Channel 4 has generated 3.3bn global views, launched seven TikTok channels which has so far generated 465m global views across TikTok. Channel 4.0 its youth-focused YouTube channel has had more than 42m views since launching last October with 75% of views made by 13-24 year olds.
Sky Sports currently has over 91m subscribers/followers across its social channels and has amassed 1.5 billion YouTube views across all its channels which has grown from three to 14 in seven years. For sports fans on the go, the Sky Sports app receives more than 3.5m monthly unique users with over 35m visitors to SkySports.com.
Sky and Channel 4 have developed a strong partnership over many years which has benefitted UK sports fans, enabling them to enjoy free to air coverage as a result of the two broadcasters working closely together. Other deals have included live coverage of England’s wins in both the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022 and ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019, the 2021 Formula 1 season finale which saw Max Verstappen snatch the championship from Lewis Hamilton in the most dramatic of circumstances, and live coverage of the Super League.
Notes to editors:
About Channel 4
Channel 4 exists to create change through entertainment. Publicly owned yet commercially funded, Channel 4 generates significant and sustainable cultural, economic and social impact across the UK – at no cost to the taxpayer.
The broadcaster’s distinctive remit is set by Parliament, and it has a role to represent unheard voices, challenge with purpose and reinvent entertainment. For over 40 years, it has been a British success story, engaging generation after generation of young people.
Through a unique publisher-broadcaster model, Channel 4 commissions its content from the UK independent production sector. Working with around 300 creative companies every year, Channel 4 makes a major contribution to the local, regional and national economy, creating and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses across the country.
In 2020, Channel 4 launched its Future4 strategy to become a digital-first public service media company and to continue to deliver significant impact for UK audiences and investment into the UK creative economy.
Across its bases in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Glasgow, Channel 4 is turbocharging its efforts to find, nurture and develop talent across the UK. Through its training and development initiative 4Skills, Channel 4 is opening up opportunities in broadcasting, with a particular focus on disadvantaged young people, and addressing skills gaps across the Nations and Regions.
Channel 4 has the UK’s biggest free streaming service plus 11 television channels including: Channel 4, E4, E4 Extra, More4, Film4, 4Seven and The Box Plus Network. Through Film4 Productions, Channel 4 also invests in British filmmakers to huge critical acclaim, producing 37 Oscar wins and 88 BAFTA wins in its history.