Romanian free-to-air (FTA) TV network Antena 1 has announced that it will broadcast the Formula 1 (F1) motor racing series in the country on a multi-year deal.

Beginning with the upcoming 2024 season, Antena 1 will freely broadcast every race of each F1 season live through the end of 2026 both on its linear TV channel, and its OTT platform AntenaPLAY.

Antena 1’s coverage will begin with this weekend's (March 2) season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Through the deal, practice sessions and qualifying sessions, including the March 1 practice and qualifying sessions prior to the Bahrain GP, will be solely broadcast on the AntenaPLAY platform.

Romania has become one of the few European markets where F1 is entirely FTA. In most markets globally, pay-TV has been prioritized by the racing series while several major markets hybridize coverage between pay-TV providers, with FTA broadcasters only allotted certain races, potentially due to domestic hosting.

One prominent example is UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 continuing to sub-license the British Grand Prix and post-race highlights from pay-TV giant Sky.

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The 2024 F1 season will feature a record 24 races and will run from March 2 through to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on December 8.

One of the most prominent changes is the return of the Chinese Grand Prix to the calendar on April 21, with the country not having staged a race since 2019.

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in Italy also returns to the calendar, having been scheduled in 2023 but never ran due to flooding.

The teams participating in the series have also changed, with Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo exiting F1, and its partnered team Sauber instead running under the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber moniker.

That name, however, will change throughout the 2024 season, as Stake being a gambling company means its promotion is outlawed in several states that make up the F1 calendar.

In those territories, the word Stake, and all Stake branding, will be omitted from the team name, chassis, and presentation throughout the race weekend, with Kick, owned by Stake, taking prominence instead.