The W Series women’s motor racing championship will continue to be broadcast by free-to-air network Channel 4, following the renewal of its media rights agreement.
All eight races will be covered by the broadcaster this year, starting at the Red Bull Ring, Austria, on 26 June, in partnership with Formula One.
As Channel 4 also provides coverage of Formula One, the renewal means motorsports fans will be able to watch both the male and female tournaments on the same platform.
“I am delighted that W Series’ founding broadcast partner, Channel 4, has reinforced its commitment to showcasing women’s sport and our talented racing drivers,” said Catherine Bond Muir, Chief Executive Officer of W Series.
“Live free-to-air motorsport coverage is rare, but our partnership with Channel 4 is a key part of W Series’ plan to create more visible role models to inspire girls and women to be a part of motorsport, whether that is on track, on screen or behind the scenes, and the expertise and insight provided by our brilliant commentary team will be instrumental to our efforts.”
David Coulthard, 13-time Formula One Grand Prix winner and W Series Advisory Board Chairman, added: “The interest in W Series’ inaugural season was remarkable and it will only increase this year when W Series races in partnership with Formula One.
“With the world watching, the pressure on the drivers will increase this season and I’m looking forward to being part of the commentary team which brings to life their inspirational stories and skills.”
In order to promote diversity and inclusion in the sport, the on-screen commentary team will consist of equal numbers of men and women, with Coulthard, Lee McKenzie and Ted Kravitz – who presented the inaugural season in 2019 – joined by Anna Woolhouse, Alex Jacques, Amy Reynolds, Billy Monger and Naomi Schiff, all of whom competed in the debut series.
Louisa Compton, Head of News, Current and Affairs and Sport at Channel 4, also commented: “W Series aligns brilliantly with Channel 4 – it’s exciting, bold and breaking down barriers. I’m sure viewers will relish the opportunity to watch this exciting season of top motorsport as it unfolds on Channel 4.”
Channel 4 has secured a range of sports broadcasting deals over the past year, recently acquiring the media rights to the British and Irish Lions rugby union tour against South Africa, whilst its coverage of England’s four-Test cricket series against India attracted nine million viewers.