December 19, 2017 / 10:19 PM / 5 months ago

F1 stays free-to-air in Germany with new RTL deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One will remain on free-to-air television in Germany, one of its major markets, after agreeing a contract extension with broadcaster RTL until at least 2020.

Formula One - F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 24, 2017. Mercedes' Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain gets in his car during the first practice. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Formula One said in a statement on Tuesday that the new three-year agreement included coverage of all free practice sessions, qualifying and the race.

The German Grand Prix, a home race for reigning world champions Mercedes as well as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, is back on the calendar at Hockenheim in 2018 after being absent in 2017.

“The extension of the agreement...will guarantee that our fans in Germany will continue to watch Grands Prix on free TV,” said Formula One’s media rights director Ian Holmes.

“The agreement is part of our strategy that aims to increase and strengthen television coverage on a worldwide basis, whilst tailoring it to the characteristics of each TV market.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis

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