F1 to return to FTA TV in France for 2018
13 September 2017 – Formula 1 will return to free-to-air television in France next year, with four races set to be broadcast live, including the French Grand Prix, and the remainder available as full highlights.
Formula 1 was broadcast on FTA channel TF1 until 2012, after which Pay TV station Canal+ acquired the rights, which this year the company extended through to 2020.
On Wednesday it was announced that Formula 1 chiefs have signed a three-year deal with TF1 to broadcast four races live on its free-to-air channel.
The Monaco and French Grands Prix, as well as two yet-to-be-determined races will be broadcast live, with the remaining 17 events to be shown as 'full highlights', after a deal was reached covering 2018 to 2020.
Formula 1 will be broadcast on TF1 Group's portfolio of channels, including weekly car shows 'Automoto' and 'Rendez-vous Sport'.
"This agreement marks the return of F1 to free-to-air on the TF1 TV channel, a long-standing partner of
the sport, and forms part of our strategy to broadcast top-notch international sporting events," said Gilles Pélisson, TF1's Chairman and CEO.
"The whole group will mobilise to ensure that Formula 1 gets the largest exposure.
"We will be very happy to offer the sport to our audience possible at a time when our country will once again play host to a Grand Prix race on the legendary Le Castellet circuit."
Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches explained earlier this year that the TV deal in the UK, which will see Sky Sports become the exclusive broadcaster from 2019 to 2025, is immutable.
The existing contract with Canal+, which runs through 2020, remains in place.
France will return to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2008 next year, at Paul Ricard, forming the first of a triple-header with Austria and Britain.