This is it….the annual Australian Grand Prix race day is back here for another year over at Albert Park in Melbourne, with current champion Max Verstappen on pole position for Red Bull-RBPT ahead of Mercedes’ pair of George Russell (2nd) & Lewis Hamilton (3rd). Plus, we have our young talented Aussie at McLaren-Mercedes in Oscar Piastri, who will be starting second last (19th of 20th) after being given a reprimand during the first round of qualifying yesterday afternoon.
Since the weather is nice & bright on what should be a great afternoon of racing, this is the first of the new five-year media rights deals here with Fox Sports & Kayo staying on as the main rights holder while Network 10 continues to retain the Australian FTA package as required by anti-siphoning law. Yes, it could’ve been Seven who shares most of Fox/Kayo’s Motorsport coverage with Supercars & Bathurst 12 Hour. However, it’s understandable from Ten to air just the full Australian event live & hand over the overseas highlights races to Kayo Freebies from now on, where putting them out on a late Monday night isn’t worth it at all.
We will be seeing a similar arrangement between 10 & Fox for the MotoGP when these bikes will stop by at Phillip Island for the Australian leg in late October like it was last year after 10 no longer has the International races live via 10 Bold.
It would’ve been nice though to see Seven air the Australian event live on the main channel instead of Ten & air the rest as one-hour highlights on a Monday evening at 6pm via 7mate like Sky Sport does to their Free TV channel Prime over in NZ, so these die-hard Motorsport fans can keep up to date with the sport at a comfortable viewing time while gaining more new fans here at the same time thanks to Netflix’s Drive to Survive documentary series.
We will wait and see how this new Formula 1 TV arrangement goes in Australia before the next rights renewal cycle comes out for 2028-2032; it will be interesting for sure with Nine/Stan competing with Foxtel & maybe Ten through their paid Paramount + streaming platform.
For now, Fox/Kayo will take the Sky Sports feed as always while Ten will have own commentary today like it was over the last few years, with 1996 World Champion Damon Hill joining Richard Craill & Tom Clarkson since Mark Webber is focusing on his Channel 4 commitments for their UK audience & also looking after Piastri as his manager.
So enjoy the race everyone and make sure you go to Foxtel/Kayo Sports (subscription required for Live races) & Kayo Freebies (Highlights only) if you wish to follow the sport regularly throughout the season.