The ABC television network and cable channel ESPN have confirmed that they will join forces with Sky Sports to bring the Formula One World Championship to American viewers in 2018, a move that's bound to boost the quality and length of F1 coverage in the United States.
America's TV coverage of the pinnacle of motorsports, Formula 1, has always been subpar compared to other parts of the world, even during the golden days of the Speed Channel and the latter days of NBC Sports. When NBC made it clear that it was not interested in renewing its TV rights with F1's new owner, Liberty Media, the future of the broadcasting of the sport on American shores was in question. Thankfully, our fears can now be put to rest.
Sky Sports will provide ESPN and ABC its comprehensive Grand Prix coverage for all 21 races of the 2018 season, which includes a first-class commentary team made up of former F1 drivers and personalities such as Damon Hill, Martin Brundle, Anthony Davidson, Paul di Resta, and Johny Herbert. In addition, the Sky Sports F1 team will be present at all F1 races throughout the globe, something that ESPN, ABC, and even NBC could only dream of doing.
"We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team," said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer, motorsports. "Their coverage of F1 is second to none and we look forward to bringing their expertise and authenticity to our audiences."