EDITOR BLOG – Is Free to air really over and does ‘exclusive’ mean ‘exclusive’


Formula One fans are shocked by the announcement that Sky Sports has won exclusive rights to F1 from 2019. The deal has shocked the fans but why now and does it actually mean exclusive?

When Moto GP went exclusive

Like with Moto GP BT said it had exclusive rights to the championship but the highlights still air on ITV. Based on this it could still be some FTA coverage on some channel. But we will see I don’t think this will mean totally exclusive of all rights history tells us that it will be somewhere on FTA.

Berine needs to answer this question was Channel 4 trying to bid and were they blocked by Sky from a longer deal?

Channel 4 Future

Channel 4 hasn’t broadcast a live race yet and faces losing its rights to the sport after two episodes. My biggest question is where they blocked from a longer deal by Sky. I feel they must be quite let down by Ecclestone before broadcasting live.

I thought in December this was a good deal but in 2011 when the BBC / Sky deal was announced I feared this.

Free to air

David Coulthard wrote in December “My personal view is that if F1 allows itself to lose free-to-air television coverage in the UK, it will not only affect the popularity of the sport, and by extension the teams’ ability to raise money to compete, but it will also reduce its exposure to the next generations of engineers and mechanics.”

I fear for the future of the sport if this does happen this will sent the sport into disarray. It will be sorted

Brink of civil war?

The announcement came just hours after the drivers’ union said “Formula One is currently challenged by a difficult global economic environment, a swift change in fan and consumer behaviour and a decisive shift in the TV and media landscape,”

“This makes it fundamental that the sport’s leaders make smart and well-considered adjustments. We feel that some recent rule changes – on both the sporting and technical side, and including some business decisions – are disruptive, do not address the bigger issues our sport is facing and in some cases could jeopardise its future success.”

Would the drivers openly revolt now the UK is the next country to lose free to air rights?

Where next for F1 on British TV time will tell.


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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