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ESPN hooks up with Sky Sports for US F1 coverage

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Formula 1 fans in the US will rely on Sky Sports' British team of experts for coverage of the F1 World Championship this year.

Both ESPN and ABC will air all 21 races under a multi-year linear and digital partnership between ESPN an Formula 1. Historically, ABC was the first American channel to broadcast an F1 race back in 1962.

The deal is likely the most cost-effective option for ESPN which will be spared the expense of building a team of dedicated commentators and setting the necessary logistics.

A pending deal in the media space which will likely see Disney acquire 21st Century Fox, who own respectively ESPN and Sky, may have also played a role in bringing together the two broadcasters.

It remains to be seen however if ESPN would have been better inspired to cater to its US audience with its own team of specialists to boost the sport's ratings and appeal in America, a big priority according to F1's commercial rights holder Liberty Media.

"We are excited to work with the Sky Sports team," said Kate Jackson, ESPN coordinating producer, motorsports.

"Their coverage of F1 is second to none and we look forward to bringing their expertise and authenticity to our audiences.

Scott Young, Head of Formula 1 at Sky Sports, added "We are delighted to be working with ESPN and ABC, and with this partnership extend Sky Sports F1’s award-winning coverage overseas.

"Each season we look to find new ways to improve the broadcast and entertain our viewers and this year will be no different."

Sky Sports team of experts includes former F1 drivers Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Johnny Herbert, Paul di Resta and Anthony Davidson.

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