Chan­nel 4 races to build For­mula 1 team

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

New UK ter­res­trial broad­caster has just weeks to assem­ble pre­sen­ters and pro­duc­tion staff ahead of 2016 F1 sea­son

Chan­nel 4 are faced with a race against time to put to­gether a For­mula 1 broad­cast­ing team for the start of the sea­son, af­ter tak­ing over the UK tele­vi­sion rights from the BBC.

The com­pany will ful­fil the re­main­ing three years of the BBC’s con­tract un­til the end of 2018, af­ter the cor­po­ra­tion de­cided to drop the sport be­cause of a $300m gap in their fi­nances. This fol­lows an in­crease in peo­ple watch­ing tele­vi­sion us­ing catch-up ser­vices, which don’t re­quire them to pay the li­cence fee.

Mir­ror­ing the pre­vi­ous con­tract with the BBC, Chan­nel 4 will broad­cast ten of the 21 races live in 2016, with the re­main­der pre­sented as high­lights shows. The iden­tity of the ten live races is yet to be con­firmed, but all will be shown with­out ad­vert breaks dur­ing the race ac­tion, as will the high­lights. Sky Sports will con­tinue to broad­cast all races live, as they did last year.

The switch was an­nounced on 21 De­cem­ber, giv­ing Chan­nel 4 less than three months in which to put to­gether a group to han­dle the pre­sent­ing, pro­duc­tion and tech­ni­cal side of broad­cast­ing For­mula 1. The BBC took a team of around 40 peo­ple to the live races.

David Coulthard, who has emerged as one of the stars of Bri­tish F1 broad­cast­ing, was the first

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