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No Formula 1 on RTL: Sky is looking for a new partner

Formula 1 will no longer be broadcast on RTL on free TV in the 2023 season. This was confirmed by the Cologne private broadcaster of the Bild newspaper. But there are still opportunities for racing fans who don't want to take out a Sky subscription.

The joint history of RTL and Formula 1 seems to be coming to an end in 2023. The station has not broadcast all races since 2021. At that time, Sky had secured the exclusive rights, with most of the Grand Prix broadcasts migrating to pay TV.

However, in order to attract new customers and generate additional income, Sky decided at the time to sublicense part of the broadcasting rights. This means that RTL was still allowed to show four races live on free TV in 2021 and 2022.

Football instead of Formula 1

Sky was apparently aiming for a similar solution for 2023 as well. But according to the Bild newspaper, the cancellation from Cologne followed: "We have decided not to broadcast individual Formula 1 races in 2023," the newspaper quoted an RTL spokesman as saying. "We are concentrating on football and our newly acquired NFL rights on free TV."

According to information from the RTL picture, the sum called up was too high in the end. If the price had been right, there would have been an interest in broadcasting more than the usual four races per season. But now, for the first time since 1991, RTL will not be showing a single Grand Prix of the season live on free TV.

ProSieben/Sat.1 first candidate

If you are absolutely not ready to take out a Sky subscription for the Formula 1 broadcasts, there is still a chance for you. Allegedly, the pay-TV broadcaster has also offered sub-licensing of the rights to other candidates. The station group ProSieben/Sat.1 should have the best chances here.

With Formula E and the DTM, the program already has two racing series. Formula 1 as the icing on the cake would make the association with its Ran Motorsport programs the first port of call for all racing fans. And after the loss of the NFL football rights, those responsible would certainly not find it inconvenient to have a new driving force in the sports sector.

Comeback of ARD and ZDF?

Broadcasts on public television would also be conceivable, but are not likely. Formula 1 would certainly reach the largest audience here, but in recent years those responsible for ARD and ZDF have repeatedly expressed skepticism about the future and the acceptance of racing with combustion engines.

It is doubtful whether the broadcast bosses want to bring a debate about the political correctness of the premier class in times of climate change with the purchase of the F1 rights. In addition, the public-law institutions tend to plan long-term with rights budgets. A last-minute purchase for this year would therefore be a surprise.


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