ESPN, Sky Sports and Formula 1 are joining forces to bring Sky Sports’ presentation of the championship to the US.
Television audiences in the US will be able to watch the Sky Sports coverage as ESPN and ABC air all 21 races in the championship under a multi-year linear and digital partnership between ESPN and Formula 1. Announced in October 2017, the agreement brings Formula 1 back to its original US television home as the first Formula 1 race ever aired in the US was on ABC in 1962.
“We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team,” said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer, motorsports. “Their coverage of F1 is second to none and we look forward to bringing their expertise and authenticity to our audiences.”
Scott Young, Head of Formula 1 at Sky Sports, added: “We are delighted to be working with ESPN and ABC, and with this partnership extend Sky Sports F1’s award-winning coverage overseas. Each season we look to find new ways to improve the broadcast and entertain our viewers and this year will be no different.”
ESPN and Sky Sports production personnel will work together on the US. presentation, with Sky Sports producing special segments that will appear on various ESPN platforms to supplement the television coverage.
The deal is likely the most cost-effective option for ESPN which will be spared the expense of building a team of dedicated commentators and setting the necessary logistics.
A pending deal which will likely see Disney acquire 21st Century Fox, who own respectively ESPN and Sky, may have also played a role in bringing together the two broadcasters.
All races will air live in the United States on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. All in more than 125 hours of Formula 1 programming, including all practice sessions, qualifying and races, will air live and in replay across ESPN platforms in 2018.
More details regarding ESPN’s Formula 1 content plans will be announced in the coming weeks.