Ten, Foxtel set to share F1 rights from 2016
Network Ten and Foxtel are poised to jointly hold the Australian television rights for the Formula 1 World Championship in a multi-year deal from 2016.
The yet-to-be-announced move will follow the existing MotoGP and new-for-2015 V8 Supercars co-broadcasting arrangements between the two networks.
Like MotoGP, the new F1 contract is expected to see each grand prix simulcast live on both stations, with qualifying and extended pre and post-race packages exclusive to the subscription service.
Bidding for the fresh F1 rights are believed to have also included strong interest from channels 7 and 9.
Foxtel already boasts the rights to leading Formula 1 support categories GP2 and GP3.
When approached by Speedcafe.com, both Ten and Foxtel refused to comment or speculate on the development of the next broadcast rights deal in association with Formula One Management.
Ten took over from founding Australian F1 broadcaster Channel 9 earlier last decade and has been openly keen to pursue an extension to the current contract which expires at the end of next year.
The network has previously announced a fresh edge to its 2015 coverage which will see ex-F1 driver Mark Webber co-anchor key V8 events and the Australian Grand Prix.
Among the events Webber will offer specialised commentary is Bathurst and Adelaide, two venues he has not attended since he was cutting his teeth in Formula Ford in the early to mid 1990’s.
The network has already guaranteed 41 weeks of motorsport coveraged from 4pm on Sundays next year.
A successful Ten-Fox F1 bid will finally pave the way for V8 Supercars Championship points to finally be awarded at Albert Park from 2016.
With Fox splurging on both V8 Supercars and Formula 1, continued coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series and the three NASCAR divisions is currently uncertain.
Deals with both IndyCar and NASCAR are understood to conclude at the end of this season, with no word on extensions forthcoming.
While Australian interest in IndyCar is expected to remain strong thanks to the ongoing presence of reigning champion Will Power and compatriot Ryan Briscoe, NASCAR is set to lose its only Australian driver, Marcos Ambrose, as he returns to V8 Supercars.
IndyCar and NASCAR were staples of Foxtel’s dedicated motorsports channel Speed over recent years, before the content was merged into an expanded Fox Sports line-up of channels earlier this month.