Channel 4 to mull over Formula 1 options from 2019

Channel 4 will take stock of Sky's announcement regarding its exclusive new Formula 1 deal before deciding whether to pursue a highlights option from 2019

Channel 4 to mull over Formula 1 options from 2019

The satellite broadcaster dropped a bombshell on F1 fans in the United Kingdom by announcing on Wednesday it had signed a six-year contract with Formula One Management to screen all races live and exclusive from 2019.

The only race excluded from the deal is the British Grand Prix, which will still be shown free to air, either via Sky through one of its FTA channels or a terrestrial broadcaster such as the BBC, ITV or C4.

All F1 races will still be available on a free-to-air basis via highlights.

Asked by Autosport whether C4 would wish to continue as a highlights-only provider from 2019, the channel's head of F1 Stephen Lyle said: "It's a bit early for that because we've only just picked up the news.

"As far as I'm concerned the news that broke yesterday doesn't affect our contract we have at the moment, so nothing has really changed on that score in terms of how we are approaching it.

"We'll obviously look at it and then look at what to do from 2019 onwards."

As to whether C4 was aware of Sky's announcement, Lyle added: "As you can imagine we've been concentrating on delivering F1 for this season, and the next two seasons.

"It's been a job to get it altogether that quickly, so that is where our heads have been at.

"At the moment all I'm doing is concentrating on what we have. We've Bahrain coming up, and what we'll be doing for that programme and the coming season."

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