SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
RTL flags new TV deal for Germany
German free-to-air broadcaster RTL is considering extending its F1 television deal yet again.
Last year, after a period of uncertainty, German fans breathed a sigh of relief when RTL confirmed a new deal with Bernie Eccleston had been reached.
RTL had been re-considering its deal for financial reasons, amid dwindling spectator interest in Germany.
Now, as the contractual issue arises again, RTL's sports chief Manfred Loppe told Sport Bild: "Our interest (in F1) is very much there.
"Formula one is currently in a consolidation phase. So far this year we are at an average of 4.3 million viewers, which is about 100,000 more than in 2015," he added.
"And I'm optimistic that it keeps going upwards," said Loppe.
He said he thinks the close title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg is the reason for the upswing.
"The race for the world championship is more exciting than it has been for a long time," said Loppe, "and next year with the rule changes it could be even more close.
"On top of that, Mick Schumacher may soon be in F1," he enthused.