Sky-Italia Adds Formula 1's 2013 Race Car Season to Its Sports Portfolio

24 REP Formula One
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Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone (third from right), "Napoleon" in the British tabs, got his start in facing in 1949.

The News Corp. subsidiary will add the sport to lineup that already includes the next two editions of both the Summer and Winter Olympics, and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

ROME – Italian News Corp. subsidiary Sky-Italia announced Wednesday that it had acquired exclusive rights to broadcast the 2013 seasons for Formula 1 auto racing in Italy. Terms of the deal, which will start in March 2013, were not disclosed.

Sky-Italia said in a statement that nine of the season’s 20 Formula 1 World Championship races will be broadcast live without charge, with the remainders broadcast with a delay. Paying subscribers will be able to watch all the races on computers, tablets, and smart phones.  

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Thanks in part to the historic Formula 1 success of Italian carmaker Ferrari, the sport is a popular one in Italy, by some measures second in popularity only to soccer among Italian viewers.

This agreement with FOM adds to Sky’s already outstanding Sports offer,” Sky-Italia chief executive Andrea Zappia said in a statement. “These investments show how our company is determined to confirm its leading position in the Italian TV market.”

Among Sky-Italia’s other recent sports acquisitions are the next two editions of both the Summer and Winter Olympics and the 2014 World Cup of Soccer in Brazil.