Kanaal 4 get the green light from Sky Sports to show Lewis Hamilton’s eagerly-anticipated world title showdown with Max Verstappen live on FREE-TO-AIR – mirroring deals struck for England’s Cricket World Cup win and Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph
Kanaal 4 have reached an agreement with Sky Sports to make Sunday’s dramatic Formula One title showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen se ondersteunende modelvriendin Kelly available live on free-to-air television in the UK.
Kanaal 4, who normally only have rights for a highlights show in the evening after a race, have struck a deal for live coverage in Abu Dhabi, with the race starting at 1pm UK time on Sunday afternoon.
Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that the broadcasters were in talks as Channel 4 explored similar deals to the ones previously struck to show England in the Cricket World Cup final and tennis sensation Emma Raducanu’s US Open final against Leylah Fernandez in September.
Lewis Hamilton’s title showdown with Max Verstappen will be shown live on free-to-air TV in the UK after Channel 4 agreed a deal with Sky Sports
Rivals Verstappen (op die foto) and Hamilton will go head-to-head in Abu Dhabi on Sunday
Sky’s coverage of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, won by Hamilton, saw a peak audience of 2.66 miljoen, their highest ever total in the history of their F1 coverage.
Formule 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said: ‘We are excited that Sky will make the Grand Prix on Sunday available to Channel 4 viewers so everyone can tune in live for the thrilling finale to this epic season.
‘Sky’s passion for Formula 1 is incredible and this generous gesture shows their love of the sport and the millions of fans in the UK. We are all looking forward to Sunday and hope all the fans will be glued to their screens.’
Hamilton’s win in Jeddah means the bitter rivals are level on points with one race remaining, creating unprecedented interest as the English driver seeks a victory that would give him a record eighth championship.
Hamilton (terug) crashed into the back of Verstappen (voor) during Sunday’s Saudi Arabia GP
Kanaal 4 have previously had success in delivering major sporting events on free-to-air TV.
The broadcaster reached an 11th hour deal with Channel 4 to share live coverage of England’s World Cup cricket win over New Zealand at Lord’s in 2019, while last year made Scotland and the Republic of Ireland’s final European Championship qualifiers available free-to-air in those countries during lockdown.
Kanaal 4 also secured shared live rights of Raducanu’s stunning US Open final victory last September after approaching Amazon Prime.
Under the terms of the deal, Kanaal 4 will broadcast Sky’s production of the live race coverage with its presenting team of Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Martin Brundle, Nat Pinkham, David Croft, Karun Chandhok, Simon Lazenby and Ted Kravitz.
Channel 4’s team of Steve Jones, David Coulthard, Mark Webber and Lee McKenzie will provide build-up to the race for 15 minutes from midday on Sunday before handing over to Sky for their pre-race coverage and live coverage of the race itself.
Kanaal 4 struck a deal with Amazon in September to show Emma Raducanu’s US Open final
After the podium ceremony, Channel 4’s team will return to give instant reaction to the race before a highlights programme airs at 5.30pm.
Channel 4’s Chief Executive Alex Mahon said: ‘We are delighted that the whole nation will be able to watch what is set to be one of the most thrilling finales to an F1 season in living memory as Lewis strives to become the most crowned World Champion of all time.
‘After bringing Test cricket to free to air television for the first time in more than a decade, and enabling millions to share the joy of Emma Raducanu’s US Open triumph, we are so pleased to be partnering with Sky to enable the widest possible audience to share this historic sporting moment.’
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe Sky said: ‘Sunday’s Grand Prix is one of the biggest sporting events in the last decade, and could be an historic moment for British sport. We’ve chosen to gift the race to the whole country at Christmas through our partnership with Channel 4, so everyone can be part of a huge national moment as Lewis Hamilton goes for a historic eighth World Championship title.
‘The brilliant Sky Sports Formula 1 team will give viewers on Channel 4 and Sky Sports the best insight, commentary and analysis of every twist and turn of this most eagerly anticipated final race of the season. Additionally all Sky TV customers will have live coverage of the important qualifying session on Saturday, and the race on Sunday – which we will also show live on Sky Showcase.’