Whisper Films will produce Channel 4’s coverage of Formula One.
The independent sports production company, which is co-owned by former Formula One driver David Coulthard and TV presenter Jake Humphrey, pipped North One Television to the £30 million contract.
Channel 4 replaced the BBC as Formula One’s free-to-air rights holder in the UK last month, securing a three-year deal to show ten live Grand Prix each year, as well as highlight shows. The season gets underway on 20 March in Australia.
“Whisper Films has an unrivalled production team with over 20 years’ experience in Formula One and unique contacts throughout the sport,” said Sunil Patel, co-owner and managing director at Whisper, who will executive produce the coverage.
“C4 and Bernie Ecclestone have both talked about a new approach and we believe we are ideally placed to deliver this.”
Whisper has reportedly brought in multiple members of the BBC production team, including programme editor Mark Wilkin. David Coulthard, a co-presenter for the BBC, will resume his on-screen role.
The decision to award the contract to Whisper has been called into question after Channel 4 bought a stake in the company in August.
A C4 spokesman, however, stated that the broadcaster has “strict protocols” surrounding its contract award processes.
He said, “We don’t offer commissioning guarantees, and there is no pressure on commissioners to award them business.”