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Sky ends long-running F1 association in Germany

Commercial broadcaster RTL is poised to serve as the exclusive rights-holder of Formula One in Germany after pay-television broadcaster Sky confirmed it would not extend its long-running deal.

Sky has broadcast F1 in Germany since 1996, but has stated it has not been able to reach a new deal that meets its requirements. “We have not been persuaded to just keep doing this,” Sky chief executive Carsten Schmidt said, according to the Motorsport-Magazin website.

It was first reported in TV Sports Markets that Sky would not extend its pay-television coverage from 2018 onward.

RTL extended its Formula One rights deal last month. RTL’s new contract will run across the three seasons spanning 2018 to 2020 and the deal came after speculation that Formula One may seek to replicate its strategy in other key European markets of securing coverage weighted towards pay-television.

RTL and Sky extended their F1 rights in Germany for two years, from 2016 to 2017, under a deal struck in August 2015.

RTL’s new contract includes exclusive free-to-air rights for the entire race weekends. RTL first started broadcasting F1 from 1984 to 1988. Following a hiatus in coverage, RTL has covered the sport continuously since 1991.

Pan-European sports broadcaster Eurosport and DAZN, the OTT service operated by digital sports media company Perform, have previously been linked to roles as secondary rights partners for F1 under the new cycle.