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UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed the ten Formula 1 Grands Prix it will broadcast live in 2016, which will include the 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix on July 10th.
Channel 4 took over the UK free-to-air rights from the BBC as the Corporation withdrew from its contract as part of its cost-cutting drive. Sky Sports will continue to show all 21 races as the UK’s pay-TV licensee.
As part of a new three-year deal from 2016-2018 with Formula One World Championship Limited, announced in December 201, Channel 4 will broadcast live coverage of ten Grands Prix, including practice sessions and qualifying over each season. Channel 4 will broadcast comprehensive highlights of all 21 races, including those broadcast by Sky Sports.
Channel 4 coverage will begin over the weekend of March 18th-20th with build up to, and comprehensive highlights coverage of the 2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix weekend. Channel 4’s first live race will be the 2016 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, broadcast over the weekend of 1st-3rd April.
Following a picks process with Sky Sports, the full list of races broadcast live by Channel 4 is:
(Provisional Grand Prix start times – which are subject to confirmation – are indicated in brackets.)
Bahrain– 1st-3rdApril (4.00pm)
Spain– 13th-15th May (1.00pm)
Europe (Azerbaijan) – 17th-19th June (TBC)
Britain– 8th-10th July (1.00pm)
Hungary– 22nd-24th July (1.00pm)
Belgium– 26th-28th August (1.00pm)
Italy– 2nd-4th September (1.00pm)
Malaysia– 30th September-2nd October (8.00am)
Mexico – 28th-30th October (7.00pm)
Abu Dhabi– 25th-27th November (1.00pm)
All of the live coverage and highlights will be broadcast free-to-air and in high definition.
Stephen Lyle, Channel 4 Head of F1 said: “We are delighted to announce the full line up of races we will be showing live across 2016. The British Grand Prix is a huge highlight of the sporting calendar and we’re looking forward to covering all the action live from Silverstone this summer.”
This follows the news announced earlier in January that Whisper Films will produce coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship and that 13 times Grand Prix winner David Coulthard will be bringing his extensive knowledge in Formula 1, as well as his considerable contacts in the sport, to Channel 4’s coverage.
The full presenting and commentary team will be announced in due course.
In confirming that it would be covering all 21 races live, Sky Sports F1 noted that it would be the only place to watch live coverage of the F1 season opener as Lewis Hamilton begins his quest for a fourth World Championship at the 2016 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Sky Sports Head of F1, Martin Turner, said: “This season offers everything. More races, more stories and more drama and only on Sky Sports F1 can viewers enjoy the complete story live. All eyes will again be on Lewis Hamilton while Mercedes and Ferrari will go head to head for the Constructors title. Our award-winning coverage will be there from the opening grid to the final chequered flag on our dedicated F1 channel and across our digital platforms.”
Commentary this season will come from Martin Brundle and David Croft, with expert analysis by Damon Hill, Anthony Davidson and Johnny Herbert. Presenter Simon Lazenby will be fronting the coverage alongside reporter Ted Kravitz. There will be a host of programming, features and archive footage throughout the year.
In addition to watching every session of qualifying, practice and race in the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, viewers can enjoy live coverage of F1 feeder series GP2 and GP3. Race weekends will be supported by weekly episodes of the F1 Show and rolling coverage on Sky Sports News HQ, and across digital and social platforms skysports.com/formula1 and @skysportsf1.