Germany's RTL to pull the plug on F1 at the end of 2020

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German free-to-air broadcaster RTL will not renew its contract with F1 at the end of the season, departing the sport after a continuous 30-year involvement.

RTL Head of Sport, Manfred Loppe, revealed that financial considerations and a "changing competitive environment" were behind the broadcaster's exit.

"When you have competitors in the game who are prepared to offer double as much as you can then you are forced into a position of having to withdraw."

"We have broadcast Formula 1 for over three decades with great love and passion, as well as with a plucky readiness for innovation and investment.

"RTL will forever be associated with the most widely viewed, most emotional, unforgotten moments in the top motor racing series."

Formula 1's popularity has been inconsistent in Germany in the past few years, with fans' enthusiasm impacted by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel failing to deliver a world title and the country's race at Hockenheim falling several times off the calendar.

But viewers have also had two choices to follow Grand Prix racing in Germany as they could also rely on cable broadcaster Sky.

The managing director of RTL, Jörg Graf, added: "Competition for TV rights has changed and the market has in part overheated.

"As such it has extended beyond our ambitious, but at the same time economically justifiable, limits."

RTL's colorful team of anchors that includes Florian König, lead commentator Heiko Wasser and pit-lane reporter Kai Ebel will enter next month in Austria their final season of broadcasting in F1.

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