Sky, Channel 4 join forces for Formula 1

Sky and Channel 4 have struck a content partnership that will see the broadcasters sharing Formula 1 rights and select dramas.

The commercial deal, which is the first of its kind for Sky, will see July’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix airing live across both Channel 4 and Sky. C4 will also air Formula 1 highlights.

Meanwhile, the pay-TV operator will show all other races exclusively on its Sky Sports F1 channel.

As part of the deal, C4 will also air the first series of Tim Roth-fronted Sky original drama Tin Star, which will be available on catch-up on a weekly basis.

Elsewhere, box sets from C4 and its foreign-language drama strand Walter Presents will be released on Sky, Sky Go and Now TV, beginning with C4 drama No Offence, which will be launched in its entirety this week.

TBI understands that the initial discussion between C4 and Sky centered around Formula 1 rights, and then extended into drama. The deal runs until the end of 2019.

It is believed that Sky is open to similar deals with other channels, and that the agreement with Channel 4 could also open the door to co-productions between the two broadcasters.

The deal comes about as British broadcasters increasingly look for more ways to collaborate in order to stave off competition from FAANG companies.

Channel 4 chief exec Alex Mahon said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to establish such an exciting and innovative partnership with Sky which will ensure that the British Grand Prix and highlights of the 2019 Formula 1 Championship remain available on free-to-air television for UK viewers.”

Sky UK and ROI chief exec Stephen van Rooyen added: “Today’s partnership is the start of a new era of collaboration between Sky, Channel 4 and, we hope, other British broadcasters. Not only will this innovative partnership benefit viewers, watching via Sky or free-to-air, but it will further strengthen the ecosystem of UK broadcasters and British originated content.”

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