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Volume 26 No. 225
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F1 Rights Move From NBC To ESPN In New Multiyear Rights Deal

F1 will move from NBC Sports to ESPN next year as part of a multiyear rights deal that is expected to be announced later today. Neither side would comment on financials, but ESPN is not believed to be paying a rights fee for the programming and will rely on a world feed to carry the races. The circuit's OTT rights are not part of this deal, as F1 will retain control over those rights -- a position that proved to be a sticking point with NBC, which had carried races on NBCSN since '13. F1 also pushed for a shorter deal length. The circuit, which is trying to build itself up under new ownership, did not want its U.S. rights to be tied down in any kind of long-term deal, sources said.

ESPN committed to televise all 21 races live next year -- 16 on ESPN2, three on ESPN and two on ABC. ABC will re-air the May 27 Monaco Grand Prix in the timeslot following the Indianapolis 500. ESPN has committed to carry all practice sessions, qualifying and races live and in replay on one of its platforms next year.

“We had the ability on Sunday mornings on ESPN2 to slide the races right into the schedule,” ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling Burke Magnus said. “The design here is to lean heavily into the sport once again. It’s been a few years. We want to make it a big deal again.”

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