February 13, 2018 / 5:33 PM / 6 days ago

Motor racing: ESPN to use Sky Sports for Formula One coverage

LONDON (Reuters) - ESPN will look to Sky Sports to provide its Formula One coverage in the United States this season, the broadcaster said on Tuesday.

Formula One announced last October that ESPN, majority owned by Walt Disney subsidiary ABC, would replace NBC as the sport’s U.S. broadcaster with all 21 races to be aired live on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC.

“We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team,” said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer for motorsports in a statement.

The agreement for ESPN to air the Sky Sports coverage was arranged by Liberty Media-owned Formula One, with the approval of both broadcasters, ESPN said.

It added that ESPN and Sky Sports production personnel would work together on the U.S. presentation, with Sky producing special segments to appear on various ESPN platforms to supplement the television coverage.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox is currently seeking to overcome regulatory concerns and buy the 61 percent of European pay TV group Sky that it does not already own.

Looming over that takeover is a $52.4 billion deal that would result in Disney buying Fox’s TV and film studios, its cable TV assets and international TV businesses including Sky.

The Formula One season starts in Australia on March 25.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis

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