Sky Deutschland will take over from RTL as Germany’s Formula 1 broadcaster from 2021 as part of an exclusive and more lucrative TV deal.

The agreement will see Germany have its first 24/7 channel dedicated to F1 after RTL’s broadcasting deal comes to an end at the end of 2020 after 30 years.

RTL’s decision to withdraw means Germany will lose full free-to-air coverage of the sport as it joins F1’s other two biggest European TV markets (Italy and the UK) in going behind a paywall.

However, Sky is committed to showing four races per season in the new contract that will also feature a 30-minute highlight show which will be shown on Sky Sport News HD.

Sky has also promised 30 live hours of racing action on grand prix weekends as well as 800 hours of programming throughout each season. 

"F1 and Sky have enjoyed a long-standing relationship, working well together to enhance the broadcast offering by providing comprehensive coverage of the sport for our passionate fan base,” said F1’s director of media rights Ian Holmes.

"I am delighted that our work together will continue to build and strengthen the impressive quality of Sky's programming, as well as their digital reach.”

The popularity of F1 has declined since its peak during the early 2000s when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari was the dominant force.

Germany’s interest switched to fellow world champions Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, though Vettel is now the only German driver left on the grid following Rosberg’s retirement in 2016 and Nico Hulkenberg’s departure from Renault at the end of last year.

 

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