Germany’s free-to-air Formula 1 broadcaster RTL has confirmed that it will not renew its contract when its current deal comes to a close at the end of 2020.
RTL has shown Formula 1 grands prix since 1991 and has been the country’s free-to-air broadcaster ever since, with Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg winning titles during that period.
But the sport’s popularity has waned in the country in recent years, with its grand prix dropping from the 2020 calendar and Vettel – the sole representative left – now facing an uncertain future in the wake of his impending Ferrari exit.
Formula 1 is also available in Germany on subscription service Sky Sport.
RTL agreed a three-year contract covering 2018-20 but on Sunday confirmed that it will not continue into 2021, having placed an emphasis on football, agreeing new deals to show international football, the UEFA Europe League and the newly-formed UEFA Conference League.
“The competition for TV rights has changed,” said RTL’s Managing Director Jorg Graf.
“We are now going with all our strength and passion to focus on football as the number one TV sport.”
Manfred Loppe, RTL’s Head of Sports, added: “We have transferred Formula 1 over three decades with great love and passion, as well as a courageous willingness to innovate and invest.
“The greatest-reaching and most emotional, unforgettable moments of the premier class in racing remain forever connected to RTL.”