Sky Sports gets F1 rights to US and Canada for seven more years

Sky Sports will be the TV home of Formula 1 in both the US and Canada after F1 announced yesterday that it has secured a new TV deal for 2021 and 2022. The TV rights deal runs from 2024 to 2028, it is understood, and the overall value of the F1 rights up to 2024 is $2.3bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sky’s exclusivity period with the American and Canadian rights is also extended to the conclusion of the 2020 season as it seeks to build on its relationship with F1.

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The announcement brings the American rights back under American ownership after American auto manufacturer Dodge withdrew its sponsorship of F1 after the end of the 2018 season. A deal was already in place for Sky to televise the new US season, which begins in March, but this was extended to include the two Americas territories.

The new deal also provides F1 with greater financial security for the next three years, allowing it to invest heavily in further revamping its product. It had been previously believed that the financial pressure on F1 was such that it would not be able to invest in the ground-breaking technologies of the future for another two or three years, but that does not appear to be the case after the sale of a large stake in the business to Liberty Media in 2016.

Liberty Media had been keen to turn the tide on the commercial failure of F1 in the US, which was once America’s largest source of Formula 1 spectators, signing its first significant sponsorship deal to represent Lowe’s Commercial for the North American season last year. It is understood to have taken an approximate 20% stake in F1 before selling on the majority.

“We are grateful for the extremely strong interest from F1’s key international broadcast partners,” said F1 managing director Sean Bratches, “and we are pleased that Sky continues to be their preferred partner. It is clear that the sport continues to prosper worldwide, and the breadth and depth of their enthusiasm for F1 will only continue to grow over the coming years. We look forward to working closely with our partners in Sky to grow the sport across the Americas.”

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