The owners of Formula 1 and TF1 announced on Wednesday in a joint statement that the French channel will broadcast four Grands Prix each season in clear after the 2018 season, as part of an agreement for three years.
This agreement concerns the GP of France who will be back next year, that of Monaco and two remaining races to be determined, the statement said.
Canal + has normally until 2020 the exclusive broadcasting rights to Formula 1 in France. This season, only the Monaco GP was broadcast in the clear, on the C8 channel, which belongs as Canal + Vivendi. The financial details of the agreement, including possible compensation received by Canal +, have no was specified in the statement.
It is close to the current model in the UK, where Sky pay TV has exclusive rights but where Channel 4 broadcasts in clear, ten races of the twenty of the 2017 season.
TF1 broadcast Formula 1 without interruption from 1992 to 2012 before losing the broadcast rights to the benefit of Canal +, which had agreed to sign a check for 29 million euros per year from 2013.
Production costs are estimated at about twenty million euros per season.
As in many other European countries, viewing figures of Formula 1 in France have logically declined from the golden age of the mid-1990s with the passage of the televised coverage being encrypted.
Now, the American owner of F1, the Liberty Media Group, is keen to make the best product purchased 4 billion end of 2016.
“I am delighted to see Formula 1 make its return on TF1, which will, in addition to existing distribution agreements already in France, contribute significantly to grow our sport in this market” , said, quoted in the release, Ian Holmes, who oversees the media rights to broadcast F1.
“Our entire group will be mobilized to ensure that F1 has a maximum exposure” , for his part stressed Gilles Pélisson, CEO of TF1.
“We are also pleased to offer this sport to the largest possible audience when France will be a new host to Grand Rate on legendary circuit of Le Castellet” , he added.