BBC picks up digital rights to live Formula E in 2019!

The BBC will show live Formula E action next season with every race to be featured live on the BBC Sport website, BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button.

In addition to the online and digital coverage, one ePrix will also be transmitted live on network television.

“The ABB FIA Formula E Championship will continue to be broadcast to the masses and across a variety of platforms in the UK," said Ali Russell, who is Formula E's media and business development director.

"It’s imperative that Formula E remained on a free-to-air network in such an important territory and key market for motorsport," he added. "What better place to showcase some of the best and most competitive racing than on the BBC?

"We’re fully-charged and ready for the new season on the streets of the most recognisable cities - and this year promises to be more intense and unpredictable than ever."

With the BBC having lost the rights to live Formula 1 and MotoGP action in recent years, the announcement marks a return of motor racing action to the public service broadcaster.

“It’s great news that live motorsport is returning to our screens at the BBC," said Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport. "I’ve no doubt the upcoming season will bring with it some exciting wheel-to-wheel moments and we can’t wait for it to begin."

There's currently no confirmation as to whether the BBC will produce its own live show to support the races, or whether the international TV feed will be screened on the website.

Previously, coverage in the UK has been provided on Channel 5 and its related digital channels, as well as the subscriber-based Eurosport network.

The news of Formula E's deal with the BBC comes less than two weeks after the series announced a pioneering new influencer-led show on YouTube in the UK.

Every race will be available live on the platform, with guest appearances and influencer involvement provided in a studio presentation hosted by popular YouTuber Laurence McKenna.

“We always try to push the boundaries of what’s possible at the ABB FIA Formula E Championship," explained Russell. "Not only developing innovations with the cars on track, but also with our experience and offering to fans trackside, at home and on the move.

Mahindra Racing's car livery for season 5 of Formula E

© Mahindra Racing

“Coming together with like-minded companies such as YouTube to provide new ways to watch electric racing is what separates Formula E from other sporting properties and rights-holders.

“Working in tandem with some of the biggest names and influencers allows us to grow our existing audience, which is primarily a younger and more digitally-engaged demographic. This partnership truly fits their needs and viewing habits."

“Seeing YouTube creators centre stage for such an important sporting event is an exciting moment for YouTube," said the platform's head of sport Tomos Grace. "We look forward to working with Formula E on this first-of-its-kind project over the coming months.”

The fifth season of the all-electric champion gets underway on December 15 in Saudi Arabia, with round 2 in Marrakesh on January 12.

Former Formula 1 drivers Felipe Massa, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein are among the new faces on the grid, all aiming to depose reigning champion Jean-Eric Verge - himself a former Toro Rosso driver.

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