Cut price Formula One deal for Sky

Sky Deutschland has extended its deal with Formula One Management for an extra year of broadcast rights.

German pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland, which was considering dropping Formula One in favour of more profitable rights at the end of last season, will now air all 20 races in the 2012 season.

It will be the 17th consecutive year that the channel, in its various incarnations, will have broadcast Formula One.

German sports industry website sponsors.de speculates that the value of the rights will have come down significantly in order for Sky to sign the renewal.

The network was thought to be paying around €30 million a year from 2008 to 2010, but is now believed to be paying around €20 million for the rights.

Free-to-air German broadcaster RTL has a Formula One broadcast contract until 2015 for which it pays, according to sponsors.de, some €70 million per season.

“We are very excited that Formula One will continue on Sky in 2012," said Sky Deutschland's chief officer for sport Carsten Schmidt. "The agreement is great news for all Sky customers and the many motorsport fans in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Only Sky viewers can experience Formula One in True HD from multiple perspectives, without commercial breaks and with a new production concept.”

Sky Deutschland, which is 49 per cent owned by News Corp, recently surpassed three million viewers for the first time. The company is looking for a €300 million investment by September.

Source: SportsPro