British TV deal imminent

Formula E Spark-Renault track test 1

A deal to broadcast television coverage of Formula E races in the UK will be announced within two weeks, Alejandro Agag has revealed in an interview with F1 journalist James Allen.

Agag, the sport’s organiser, also confirmed that the Spark-Renault racing car is now testing with full scale batteries. Shakedown began last year, but the car had been running an 8kWh battery pack, a quarter of the size of the race pack. Allen notes that each driver may use a sprint car and an endurance car, something that Current E reported in September last year. 

Fox was announced as a worldwide broadcaster in August 2013, with TV rights in almost 90 countries, while in Japan the sport will be free to watch thanks to a deal struck with TV Asahi last November. Promoter FEH also has plans to stream the races live over the internet. Image courtesy of FEH.

The team behind the FIA’s newest world series is growing fast – 45 employees at the moment, with another 30 joining in the next four weeks, mainly on the operations side and marketing.

The planning around the two-car concept has recently developed a twist, with drivers having cars with two different profiles; an energy car and an attack car and so there is a level of strategy involved in when you deploy which car.

They plan to simulate two complete race weekends at Donington in July and August, to iron out any glitches and operational problems in what is a brand new racing series, from scrutineering to chequered flag fall.

jaonf1.com

 

Update

A senior source at BT Sport told Current E today: “We haven’t bought Formula E.”

That the UK television broadcast deal is to be announced in just two weeks suggests that, if BT hasn’t already put pen to paper, someone else has. That narrows the field of likely contenders to three: BBC, ITV or Sky. 

While promoter Alejandro Agag has previously stated that he would like Formula E to be free to air, a senior BBC sports presenter told Current E today that the BBC hasn’t acquired the rights.

The Telegraph newspaper reported in December that Agag was in talks with BT Sport and BSkyB. If BT is indeed out of the equation, UK television coverage of Formula E may be just a one horse race.

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