Australian commercial broadcaster Network Ten has extended its long-term partnership of more than a decade with Formula One Management to broadcast the FIA Formula One World Championship until the end of the 2019 season.
The new deal incorporates the final year of Network Ten’s existing agreement in 2015, making the new broadcast deal five years, which is says is “great news” for Australian motorsport viewers and cements Network Ten as the home of big event motorsport.
Network Ten will be the official broadcaster of the Australian round of the FIA Formula One World Championship for the next five years. The practice sessions, qualifying sessions 1, 2 and 3, and the race – all held at Melbourne’s Albert Park – will be broadcast live, with minimum guaranteed coverage of 25 hours across three days in each year of the deal.
Adding to that, recently retired Formula 1 racer Mark Webber will commentate the race in 2015 and 2016, taking the Australian Grand Prix to a new level.
Network Ten’s iconic motorsport panel programme RPM will also showcase Formula 1 qualifying and practice highlights in every episode on race weekends. RPM, broadcast on Sunday afternoons, will present Formula 1 content, including all the significant action from practice and qualifying, along with all the key interviews.
Network Ten has also struck a partnership with Fox Sports, sub-licensing it the rights to show all Formula 1 practice, qualifying and races live across the duration of the deal.
A significant motorsport partnership is now cemented between Network Ten and Fox Sports through the most extensive motorsport broadcast arrangement in history, combining the three key Australian motorsport properties: Formula 1, V8 Supercars and MotoGP.
Network Ten will broadcast 10 Formula 1 races in 2015 in simulcast with Fox Sports. Fox Sports will also show another 10 Formula 1 races, with Network Ten broadcasting a 60-minute highlights programme of each of those races on ONE at 9.30pm on the Monday night following the event.
The extended deal guarantees that the key Formula 1 races will be available live on Network Ten for the next five years. It also means Australians will be able to see more Formula 1 across multiple platforms, a move that will increase the sport’s presence and popularity.
Chief Executive Officer of the Formula One group, Bernie Ecclestone, said: “I am very happy to continue working with Network Ten and also with Fox Sports and am confident that their coverage will work out extremely well.”
Network Ten will also feature pre-race and post-race Formula 1 shows on all its international race coverages. Hosted by Network Ten’s Matt White and expert commentator Alan Jones, the pre-race show will provide a detailed review and expert analysis from qualifying, as well as a comprehensive preview of the race.
A thorough post-race review and analysis will also be provided at the end of races that are broadcast on Network Ten.
Every Formula 1 race that Network Ten broadcasts, including the pre-race and post-race shows, will continue to be available via live streaming at www.tenplay.com.au.
Network Ten Chief Executive Officer, Hamish McLennan, said: “Formula 1 is one of the great global sports and we are delighted to be able to extend Network Ten’s long and successful relationship with Formula One Management. We are also delighted to bring Fox Sports on board as our partner. The new deal is a great step forward for Formula 1 in Australia and will ensure bigger and better coverage for motorsport fans. Many Australians love motorsport and we are proud to be able to bring Formula 1 to them. Formula 1 is a very important part of our strategy of giving Australians premium sport, live and free. The Australian round of the FIA Formula One Championship is one of the most-watched sporting events on Australian television each year and we’re delighted that it is on Network Ten.”
Network Ten Head of Sport, David Barham, said: “We are pleased to extend our broadcast deal with Formula One Management to ensure that Australian motorsport fans can watch the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix live on Ten for the next five years. Our coverage of Formula 1 is world class. This new deal further demonstrates the network’s commitment to premium motorsport and our strategy of bringing big, live television events to Australians.”
Fox Sports Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Delany, said: “Fox Sports is enormously proud of the partnership with Network Ten across the three motor sport categories in MotoGP, V8 Supercars and now F1. This new partnership means Fox Sports will broadcast Formula 1 how it is meant to be, with every race, every qualifying and every practice live and in High Definition, making sure our subscribers won’t miss a second of the action. We couldn’t be more thrilled that we can now give motorsport fans exactly what they want to live and breathe their passion, adding to an already incredible year of sport on Fox Sports.”