RTL Retains Formula 1 Rights, Scores Europa League


Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has landed two new TV sports rights deals, including one for UEFA Europa League football.

Under an agreement between Formula One World Championship and RTL Television, the German broadcaster will air live coverage of all races in the motorsport group, exclusively on free-to-air television, for the next three years.

Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s also acquired broadcasting rights for Europa League matches for its channels RTL Television and Nitro. The broadcaster’s expanded football portfolio now includes European Championship soccer and World Cup qualifiers as well as various friendlies featuring the German national team between now and 2022 (RTL Television), 15 live Europa League games every season until 2021 (RTL Television and Nitro) and highlights of first and second division Bundesliga matches every Monday (100% Bundesliga, on Nitro).

Frank Hoffmann, the managing director of programs at RTL Television, said: “This is tremendous news for Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and especially for our viewers: we will be delivering great sport for everyone—and free of charge at that! Live sports coverage enables us to really showcase major events, providing stand-out programs for millions of viewers. In this way, Formula 1 and Europa League football will not only strengthen RTL’s overall program schedule, but also enhance the sports coverage offered by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland as a whole, since our men’s channel Nitro is also involved.”

Oliver Schablitzki, the head of Nitro, added: “The acquisition of the rights to UEFA Europa League football makes Nitro a key provider of top-class football on free-to-air TV. Our coverage of all German first and second division games, and soon also of attractive European club football, too will mean that Nitro’s football fans definitely get top value, without having to pay a penny for it.”