Channel 4 has awarded the production contract for its coverage of the FIA Formula One World Championship to independent sports production company ‘Whisper Films’.
The contract was awarded after a competitive tender process with production companies with Formula 1 credentials. The tender process was led by Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport, and Stephen Lyle – who has been promoted to the new role of Head of F1 – to a short timescale in order to meet the start of the season on March 20th.
Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of TV Events and Sport said: “Whisper Films outlined an extremely impressive and exciting vision for their F1 coverage, with outstanding on and off screen talent as an integral part of their pitch.”
Channel 4 – the new terrestrial television home of Formula 1 from 2016-2018 – will broadcast ten live F1 races, practice and qualifying sessions each season as well as comprehensive highlights of all 21 Grands Prix and qualifying sessions.
Whisper Films was set up in 2010 by former BBC Sport F1 producer Sunil Patel, former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard and BT Sport and former BBC F1 presenter, Jake Humphrey. Channel 4 took a minority stake in the production company in 2015 as part of its Indie Growth Fund.
13-times Grands Prix winner David Coulthard is also announced as the first signing of the on-screen presenting team. He will bring his extensive knowledge from 15 seasons racing in Formula 1, as well as his considerable contacts in the sport, to Channel 4’s coverage.
“This is an exciting time for the sport and an exciting time for Whisper Films,” said David Coulthard
“The F1 World has been incredibly impressed with what Whisper has delivered over the last five years and Channel 4’s decision is testament to that. I’m looking forward to being part of an exciting new era for Formula One, with Whisper Films and our proven level of creativity and innovation very much at the heart of that.”
The full presenting and commentary team will be announced in due course.