In a surprising move, Formula One and Speed will be going their separate ways after this season, ending a 17-year relationship.
Fox Sports Media Group, which owns Speed, confirmed that the partnership will end after this season and that the network was outbid for the US broadcast rights for F1. Though there’s no official announcement yet on F1’s new partnership with NBC, sources familiar with the negotiations have confirmed that NBC Sports will be the new home for Formula One starting in 2013.
Speed has been a partner with F1 since 1996, the first full season that was ever on air in the US. The television network moved to live coverage a year later and continued to expand its coverage for the world’s most popular form of motorsports. NBC Sports currently broadcasts the majority of the IndyCar Series.
“Speed has been the U.S. voice of F1 since the mid ’90s, and it is a passion for many people at the network,” a Fox Sports statement said. “Fox Sports Media Group made what we believed to be a fiscally responsible bid based on the sport’s current viewership levels, but F1 has elected to go in another direction. We wish them well.”