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W Series ramping up TV deals ahead of inaugural race weekend

NEWS STORY
30/04/2019

At a time Channel 4's F1 highlights show is recording a drastic loss of viewers since live coverage went behind the pay-wall that is Sky, the British broadcaster is hoping to attract race fans to W Series, the new international single-seater championship for women.

The series has signed a deal with Channel 4 to show high-definition live coverage of each of the six races in the calendar, the championship getting underway at Hockenheim this weekend.

As W Series points out, live motorsport coverage is currently rarely broadcast on UK terrestrial channels, thereby making this deal, which will include build-up, behind-the-scenes insights, qualifying, as well as full race coverage, a landmark partnership.

"We're thrilled to be bringing live coverage of W Series to terrestrial audiences," said Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Sport, Joe Blake-Turner. "Women have been under-represented in motorsport for far too long and who knows, this exciting format could be the first step towards producing a female Formula 1 champion in the not-too-distant future."

The team presenting the championship on Channel 4 includes Lee McKenzie, best known to motorsport fans for her role in Channel 4's coverage of F1, David Coulthard, the driving force behind the series and Ted Kravitz, who will be the series' pit-lane reporter, a role that he has perfected over numerous years in F1, and which has endeared him to fans around the globe.

"It's rare that a brand-new motorsport series comes along that captures the imagination and interest in the way that W Series has," said Kravitz. "I'm really looking forward to telling the stories of all these drivers and joining the W Series team of new and familiar faces."

"Having spent almost my entire life immersed in motor racing, first as a driver and then as a TV commentator and businessman, I'm now absolutely delighted to be playing a key role within W Series," added Coulthard, "not only as a member of the series' management but also now as part of the TV commentary team.

"I firmly believe that W Series is a radical but crucial innovation in motorsport," he continued, "and that it will result in the development of some very talented and successful female racing drivers, this year and in years to come.

"Undoubtedly, Channel 4 and Whisper Films will collaborate to put on a great show, and it's an excellent sign of the times that the only motor racing series that will be shown live on free-to-air TV on any of the UK's top four channels will be an all-female one."

However, an international series needs international coverage, and the series has already signed a deal with Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), the Nordic region's leading entertainment provider, to show high-definition live coverage of each of the six races, while leading sports marketing agency, Pitch International, has been appointed to sell the rights to broadcast the series around the world.

Pitch International, which will seek broadcast deals for the series in all markets outside the UK, already works with a range of elite sporting properties, including the World Rally Championship, the FA Cup and Guinness Six Nations Rugby.

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