Network 10 to continue Formula 1 coverage in 2021
By Mat Coch
Monday 26th October, 2020 - 12:42pm
Free-to-air coverage of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship will be broadcast on Network 10 in 2021.
Question marks had arisen over the free-to-air broadcast partner for the sport on the back of Supercars’ new television deal with the Seven Network.
That deal sees Fox Sports cover every Supercars event live with selected rounds covered on free-to-air partner Seven, coupled with online and highlights packages.
As a consequence there were questions raised regarding the broadcast of the Australian Grand Prix event, and the broader F1 season, with suggestions it could switch networks for the coming year.
It’s now been confirmed by ViacomCBS, the owner of Network 10, that F1 will remain on the network for 2021.
“We all love our sport and in 2021, 10 is proud to be covering some of the biggest and best events on the Australian sporting calendar,” read a ViacomCBS media release.
“After a year without racing at the famous Albert Park circuit, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix will be back in 2021 with all its thrills and spills.
“The high stakes and even higher speeds of the MotoGP World Championship will return and 10 will again be home to all the glamour of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.”
While the statement highlighted the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Speedcafe.com has confirmed that the network will maintain the same level of coverage throughout 2021 as it did through 2020.
That will see it provide highlights of every event with the exception of the Australian Grand Prix, which will receive full live coverage.
Anti-siphoning laws mandate that both the Australian Formula 1 and MotoGP events must be shown on free-to-air television, along with others such as the Bathurst 1000.
Coverage of MotoGP is also unchanged, with all events set to air on Network 10 as they currently do.
It creates the unique scenario where the Australian GP event will be broadcast on a different FTA network to Supercars’ own partner.
Previously when Supercars’ broadcast partner has differed from that of Formula 1, races at the Grand Prix have been non-championship.
Formula 1 had also historically offered a trip hazard with it prohibiting the championship from running points-paying races, a situation which changed for the 2018 edition of the event.
Supercars boss Sean Seamer has stated that it would compete at Albert Park in a championship capacity.
“If we’re at the AGP we’ll be racing for points,” Seamer said last month when the Supercars TV deal was announced.
“I think if we’re racing, any race we do, needs to be part of the championship,” he explained.
“(Given) The cost of going racing, I don’t think we’ll be doing any exhibition races in the short to medium term.”
That was supported by Australian Grand Prix Corporation sources who confirmed to Speedcafe.com that it holds a contract for a championship event.
The 2021 Formula 1 calendar is yet to be announced, though Australia is poised to open the season in its ‘traditional’ date, most likely the March 18-21 weekend.