Formula E, the all-electric motor racing series, has secured free-to-air coverage in Germany and Austria after striking a multi-year partnership ahead of the 2024 season.
Rights in Germany will be held by DF1, the newly launched commercial channel operated by DF1 Medien, which will air all 17 Formula E races and qualifying sessions live in what organizers have described as “Formula E’s largest FTA programming distribution in Germany” since the series began in 2014.
DF1 officially launched on January 1 as a replacement for ServusTV Deutschland, the Red Bull Media House-owned commercial channel, which was closed down at the end of 2023. The DF1 channel airs sports content previously held by ServusTV in the country.
ServusTV Motorsport, the dedicated motor racing channel on Deutsche Telekom’s pay-TV service, Magenta TV, and digital platform ServusTV and speedweek.com, will also feature Formula E races and qualifying sessions live in the country.
Rights in Austria to all 17 races, meanwhile, are held by ServusTV and will be showcased across its digital channels.
Aarti Dabas, chief media officer at Formula E, said: “This exciting new partnership with Red Bull Media House, ServusTV, and DF1 marks a significant milestone in bringing Formula E’s racing to Germany and Austria – a region with a deep-rooted passion for motorsport.”
“As we gear up for our most dynamic season yet, including a double-header race in Berlin, fans in these key markets will have access to more live race programming than ever before through free-to-air channels.”
Formula E has been in the market for a new FTA broadcaster in Germany after commercial network ProSiebenSat.1 decided to end its deal with the series in November citing decreased viewership.
On average, Formula E broadcasts in 2023 fell short of the previous year's average. The average number of viewers fell from 280,000 to 249,000 per race last season, with peak viewing figures dropping from 361,000 to 352,000.
In terms of total viewers for each E-Prix, the average fell from 729,000 to 709,000.
ProSiebenSat.1 secured FTA rights to Formula E from the 2021 season under a long-term deal but has now opted to terminate the contract despite agreeing an extension.
Germany is considered a priority market for Formula E, with Berlin the only city to have featured on the calendar in every season.
The new deal comes after L’Equipe, the French FTA digital terrestrial channel, struck a deal to retain rights to show 11 races and nine qualifying sessions live on its terrestrial channel, while the rest will be shown delayed.
It also comes soon after Formula E tied up a media rights deal with China Media Group, as well as a media rights renewal in Brazil with streaming solutions and digital production service LiveSports.
December also saw UK pay-TV heavyweight TNT Sports snap up live Formula E rights, and Bridgestone was unveiled as the sole tire supplier to the series from 2026.
Season 10 of the Formula E World Championship will begin on January 13, 2024, with the Mexico E-Prix and will take place in new venues across Italy, Japan, and China, before ending in London, UK, on July 21.