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ORF to continue broadcasting Formula One in Austria

Austrian public-service broadcaster ORF has agreed a three-season extension to its rights deal for the Formula One motor racing championship.

The new contract will run across the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Formula One seasons and reportedly comes at a significantly reduced cost to ORF.

ORF’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the current 2016 campaign and it had maintained that a new contract must represent good value.

Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung said ORF paid well over €15m ($16.8m) for its F1 rights in 2015, but this is now set to reduce to around €10m per season under the new contract.

ORF director general Alexander Wrabetz confirmed the rights extension to Austrian news agency APA, but did not comment on the precise financial details. He said: “The price of the rights is in line with our reasonable expectations, and Formula One played a part to understand the changing (market) conditions.”

ORF has broadcast F1 in Austria since the 1960s. The country stages an annual grand prix on the Formula One calendar at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.