Sky Deutschland, the leading pay-television operator in Germany, has agreed to sub-license four live races from each of the 2021 and 2022 Formula 1 seasons to RTL, the prominent commercial broadcaster.
The following races this season will be available to watch free-to-air in Germany: the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Italy) on 18 April; the Spanish Grand Prix on 9 May; the Italian Grand Prix on 12 September; and the Brazilian Grand Prix on 7 November.
The agreement will also extend into next year, meaning eight races in total will be shown on RTL, and the deal includes news rights to the competition, so that RTL can produce bulletins using Formula 1 footage.
Reports first emerged of a sub-licensing deal between the two organisations last month.
RTL broadcast Formula 1 action to a German audience between 1991 and the end of the 2020 campaign when its contract expired.
Sky acquired exclusive rights to the series last June in a long-term deal, and pledged to show four races on a free-to-air channel.
However, it was assumed it would do so itself as opposed to selling them on to another network.
The arrangement between RTL and Sky is part of a wider collaboration between the two broadcasters, which will include further content-sharing and streaming.
It comes just weeks before the start of the 2021 Formula 1 campaign, in Bahrain on 28 March.
Sky’s deal for Formula 1 involves the broadcaster offering full live high-definition coverage of the races, without advertising breaks, and qualifying and practice sessions, facilitated by the launch of a dedicated 24/7 Formula 1 channel, a first for the German market.
In all, there will be 30 hours of action on each grand prix weekend and 800 hours of programming across the year, with F1 TV Pro, the sport’s premium OTT service, being offered to Sky subscribers as part of the offering.
RTL and Sky shared Formula 1 rights in Germany until 2017, but the pay-TV broadcaster did not show the 2018 season, returning in 2019 with a two-year deal.
There were reports early last year that RTL was keen on extending its deal beyond 2020, but this did not come to fruition,
Meanwhile, Formula 1 has entered into a multi-year partnership with Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG, with the two manufacturers to supply the official safety cars and official medical cars to the series.
The manufacturers, both of which support Formula 1 teams, will alternate with supply of vehicles at each race over the course of the partnership, marking the first time in 25 years that different companies share the role.
Mercedes-AMG has supplied both safety cars and medical cars since 1996, but this season will represent Aston Martin’s debut in these categories.
Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1’s president and chief executive, said: “Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG are iconic automotive brands, and we are proud of their place in our sport… Both the Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG cars are perfectly equipped to respond at a moment’s notice to ensure the safety of the drivers.”