Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches says the Sky's TV deal to broadcast the sport in the UK exclusively live between 2019 and 2024 is "immutable" after being inherited from the previous administration.

F1 is currently shared between Sky Sports and Channel 4 in the UK, with the latter showing half of the season's races live and the rest via highlights free-to-air. Sky Sports, a subscription service, shows the entire season live.

Sky Sports announced last year that it had gained exclusive rights to show the entire season from 2019 to 2024 with no scope for live races to be shown on free-to-air TV.

Following Liberty Media's takeover of the sport in January, new commercial chief Bratches has been working on reviewing upcoming TV deals, and is keen to strike a balance between subscription and FTA broadcast agreements.

"As the individual charged with managing the brand, my vision as it relates to media rights is a hybrid of free-to-air and pay," Bratches said.

"Our plan from a strategic standpoint is to balance the two but to have a prominent free-to-air voice, and I think that's important from a fan standpoint. I think that's important from a sponsor's stand-point and a relevancy standpoint in any given market around the world.

"There's this cauldron full of cash on the pay side, and then on the other side of the scale, you have brand and reach. So my view is a kind of 30/70 model where you have a number of grands prix, particularly those that are important to the relative marketplace, to be on free-to-air."

However, this will not be possible between Channel 4 and Sky between 2019, with Bratches saying that the deal is set in stone after being agreed by the sport's previous bosses.

"That deal is immutable. I'm referring to the things that are in my control," Bratches said.

"At the end of this grand prix season you have China, United States, France, Italy, Spain and Germany coming up and we're working with our partners in each region with the goal that I articulated.

"These deals are done between two adult parties at an arms length distance. So my suspicion is that Sky is very happy with that deal and we're going to honour and respect the deals that were in place when we arrived."

While Sky will be the only channel to show F1 races live in the UK from 2019 to 2014, there is scope for highlights packages besides it that may be available FTA channels.



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