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Free-to-air F1 in new Sky/C4 partnership

Sky has joined forces with Channel 4 in a new content partnership, that will offer free-to-air F1 and more.

The first of its kind commercial deal will mean that highlights of Formula 1 and live coverage of the Formula 1 2019 British Grand Prix will be shown on Channel 4, with Series 1 of the popular Sky original production Tin Star - previously shown on Sky Atlantic - also coming to Channel 4 later this year.

Sky Sports F1 will also carry the British Grand Prix live, plus all other races live on an exclusive basis from the 2019 season.

As part of the deal, selected Channel 4 and Walter Presents drama series will be released on the Sky and Now TV platforms in one go, allowing customers to binge on all episodes. The first full box set, available from tomorrow, will be the third series of the award-winning Channel 4 drama, No Offence.

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive Officer of Channel 4, 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.”

Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer of Sky UK & ROI, said,
“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.”

It's a major change in strategy: until now Sky has chosen to show its own productions on its Freeview channel Pick (channel 11), with Pick frequently showing ex-Sky pay TV programmes at least a year or two later for free-to-air viewers.