Bell Media Extends Formula 1 Rights Deal to 2019
TORONTO—Bell Media has extended its exclusive rights deal for Formula 1 auto racing in Canada through to 2019.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but will see Formula 1 World Championship races continue on TSN, which has aired the prestigious race car series since 1992, and RDS, the French language sports channel that has aired Formula 1 since 1994.
"We are very pleased to have renewed our long-standing partnership with RDS and TSN, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to bring Formula 1 racing to fans across Canada,” said Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One group, in a statement.
This week Bell Media also unveiled a new, expanded partnership with the United States Golf Association for Canadian coverage of the U.S. Open championship event.
The renewed rights deals ensure content to push down the expanding TSN pipeline as the Canadian sports network gets set to launch three new channels in the fall, to get to five in all.
TSN's five channels will still have access to around 1,000 hours of programming annually from U.S. ESPN channel.
But parent Bell Media was dealt a blow earlier this year when rival Rogers Media swooped in to pay $4.9 billion for the exclusive Canadian rights to NHL hockey games.
The NHL deal heralds more popular hockey programming for Rogers' expanding Sportsnet 24-hour cable sport properties, and a void for TSN and RDS to continue filling with alternative sporting events and content.
TSN and RDS will have some regional NHL games to air, but most of the hockey action will be seen on the rival Sportnet channels.