RTL quits as rival bidder offers F1 ’double’
"We will now focus on football as the number 1 sport on TV"
After 30 years in Formula 1, Germany’s free-to-air television broadcaster RTL is pulling out of the sport at the end of this year.
Bild newspaper believes the pay-TV broadcaster Sky will take over with a lucrative exclusive deal.
"If there are competitors in the game who are willing to offer double, you have to think about the exit scenario," RTL’s sports director Manfred Loppe said.
Managing director Jorg Graf added: "The competition for TV rights has changed, and in some cases the market has overheated.
"We will now focus on football as the number 1 sport on TV with our recently-acquired rights package with all our strength, passion and joy."
RTL’s well-known face of Formula 1, Kai Ebel, said when he heard the news: "I have to let it sink in first, but somehow it fits into this strange time with ghost races and Sebastian Vettel’s clouded sporting future."
Former driver and pundit Christian Danner added: "This is not a good day for Formula 1 in Germany."
Finally, Britain’s Sky says it is seeking compensation for not being able to broadcast live Formula 1 races throughout the corona crisis.
"The vast majority of conversations have reached a conclusion where the sport itself is able to continue to thrive and to have funding certainty over the short to medium term," Sky Sports’ managing director Rob Webster told the Financial Times.
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