BBC end their Formula 1 television contract three years early

Channel 4 will show ten races live next year

f1, formula 1, bbc, channel 4

Picture by: Silvia Izquierdo / AP/Press Association Images

The BBC's decimation of their sporting portfolio continues after they announced this morning, that they have ended their contract with Formula 1 bosses to broadcast races three years early.

The contract was due to run until the end of the 2018 season. Channel 4 have picked up the deal and will broadcast ten live races per season from next year. Highlights of all the races will also be shown on the channel.

Having held the rights since 2009, the BBC split the coverage with Sky Sports since 2012, with the cable channel showing all the races live.

The loss of the F1 contract is part of the stations cost cutting measures in the sports department. They gave up the last year of their Open Championship coverage after losing the contract to Sky from 2017. Sky Sports will now start a year early and will have live coverage from Royal Troon.

Channel 4 will now broadcast Formula 1 races live for the first time in the Channel's history. They have announced that all races will run without ad breaks.

Lewis Hamilton will be looking to win his fourth championship next year. The first Grand Prix of the season takes place in Australia on March 20th.