An absolute TV era is coming to an end: At the end of this year’s season, RTL will no longer broadcast Formula 1 for the time being. For 30 years the races of Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Co. ran there on free TV.
Formula 1 and RTL are actually inextricably linked in Germany: Michael Schumacher was world champion seven times there (51), four times Sebastian Vettel (32) and once Nico Rosberg (34). It’s all over now. As the private broadcaster announced, the engagement ends after this season. Since 1991, RTL has shown the premier class of racing on free TV and has made the presenters and commentators Kai Ebel (55), Florian König (52), Heiko Waßer (62) and Christian Danner (62) cult stars.
In some cases, more than 10 million people in Germany tuned in to witness great successes such as the Schumacher title wins with Ferrari live on television. RTL boss Jörg Graf (53) noted in a statement that the market was partly overheated and that one would have left the economically justifiable framework if one had continued to secure the rights. They want to concentrate more on football now. This is the end of a real TV era.
The hottest candidate for sole broadcasting rights is the pay-TV channel Sky, which so far only shows the races in parallel with RTL. This could mean that the Formula 1 races could disappear completely from free TV starting next year, a development that has long been completed in other countries.
(dr / spot)