Dubai-based media group MBC has agreed a five-season deal for broadcast rights to the Formula One motor-racing championship in the Middle East and North Africa.
MBC’s deal was signed in time for the start of the 2019 season, with the Australian Grand Prix at the weekend, and will run until the end of the 2023 campaign.
MBC will broadcast F1 via its MBC Action channel, covering races, qualifying and practice sessions.
The deal returns F1 to free-to-air television in the Mena region, with pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports having held the rights in recent years.
BeIN Sports Mena last month said it would not renew its deal for F1 rights, making it clear that it will henceforth only partner with rights-holders that take a hard line against beoutQ, the Saudi-based channel pirating beIN content.