Formula 1® goes free-to-air with MBC Group in the MENA region

The FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2019™ marked a new era for Formula 1® in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, as it became the first ever race to be broadcasted live on MBC Group’s channels. The five-year deal, which kicked off in Australia saw the pinnacle of motorsport return to free-to-air TV in the region, for the first time live on MBC ACTION & MBC PERSIA.

MBC Group, the largest and leading media company in the Middle East and North Africa, will now hold exclusive rights to air all 21 Grands Prix™ this season. The group which includes 18 leading free-to-air channels, has partnered with F1® to build its sporting portfolio and integrate F1 across its programing schedule to build its overall sporting offering.

As part of the agreement MBC Group will have considerable on site presence and will broadcast live from each round of the championship, bringing the latest news and exclusive analytical coverage direct from the MBC studio and the track, introducing a number of guest commentators – demonstrating its commitment to broadcast more F1 content than ever before. The new agreement also ensures F1 has considerable visibility for fans in a key region and together with MBC Group can ensure that the sport continues to grow during the multi-year agreement.

Ian Holmes, Director of Media Rights, Formula 1, said:

“We are delighted to have concluded this agreement and very much look forward to working with MBC Group and exploring the many different opportunities, where they are in a unique position to help grow F1 throughout the region. MBC Group is the largest, most established and respected media conglomerate in the MENA region. It offers a multitude of different channels, digital and social media platforms throughout a territory with a population of over 400m people including a significant young and engaged demographic and races in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi the region represents a strategically important growth area for F1.”

Sam Barnett, MBC Group CEO, said:

“The FIA Formula One World Championship is the most prestigious and popular year-long motorsport event par excellence. MBC Action is thrilled to broadcast it Free-To-Air to millions of fans in Saudi and across MENA, after having been encrypted and subscription-based, for years. This falls in line with MBC Group’s long-established commitment to offer the best premium content of all genres, Free-To-Air, to audiences across MENA, with the region’s vibrant youth mind”.






About Formula 1®

Formula 1® racing began in 1950 and is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition, as well as the world’s most popular annual sporting series. The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to December and spans 21 races in 21 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1® and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™. Formula 1® is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, FWONA, FWONK) attributed to the Formula One Group tracking stock. The F1 logo, F1 FORMULA 1 logo, FORMULA 1, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, PADDOCK CLUB and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. All rights reserved.


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About MBC Group:

MBC Group (Middle East Broadcasting Center) is the largest and leading media company in the Middle East & North Africa region that enriches people’s lives through information, interaction and entertainment.

includes 18 leading TV channels: MBC1 (general family entertainment); MBC2 & MBC MAX (24-hour western movies); MBC3 (children’s edutainment with a mix of both local productions and western acquisitions); MBC4 (entertainment for young families with a female-focus); MBC ACTION (an indigenous adrenaline-packed channel targeting young males with local and homegrown productions); MBC Variety (Western films and general entertainment with uninterrupted broadcasting); MBC Drama (24/7 Arabic drama) & MBC+ Drama (a joint pay-TV channel between MBC and OSN); MBC PERSIA (general family entertainment dubbed and subtitled in Farsi); Al Arabiya (24-hour Arabic language News channel); Al Hadath (an extension of Al Arabiya News Channel with a specific focus on developing stories in the Arab world and beyond); Wanasah (24-hour Arabic music channel); MBC MASR & MBC MASR2 (general family entertainment geared towards the Egyptian family); MBC BOLLYWOOD (delivering the freshest in Bollywood content geared towards the region via an Arabized interface); MBC USA (on “Dish Network” in the US); MBC Studios (producing the region’s most compelling premium content for cinema, television and on-demand platforms; and MBC IRAQ (a premium channel aimed at the entire Iraqi family).

MBC Group also includes two FM radio stations: MBC FM (Gulf music) and Panorama FM (contemporary Arabic hit music). Furthermore, The Group includes online platforms:,, (the first free VOD and catch-up portal in the Arab world) and, among others.

For further information, please contact:

Sasha Gemayel


Group PR Manager

Direct: +97143909816

E-mail: [email protected]