Although streaming services have been a pretty normal thing for years now, F1 has rigidly stuck to its television deals, because Bernie Ecclestone.
But with Liberty Media taking over at the start of the year it seemed a good bet that it wouldn’t be long before the sport started getting a bit more up to date.
It’s spent some time analysing the best way to do things and has now announced that from next year, Formula 1 will have its own, dedicated streaming surface. Hallelujah!
Although the finer points of the streaming service haven’t been revealed yet, Liberty’s commercial director Sean Bratches said that giving fans a content-rich service was a virtual no-brainer.
He told Motorsport.com:
“We have an obligation to our fans, quite candidly, to ensure that they are able to access our content in any means that they want. And I think we would be derelict if we pursued a path for anything other than that.”
Although most of it is going to be an all-new service, Bratches said that he hopes to work with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in the future:
“Our objective is to create platforms in the direct to consumer arena that engage fans and leverage our assets – whether they are live races, whether they are archival, whether they are data. What we are trying to do is we are trying to create content that lives outside the grand prix weekends, which has been almost non-existent from digital or linear standpoint.
“Our objective is to engage with the Netflix of the world, the Amazons of the world, and create content that fans can consume, which is compelling and tells different stories about what is going on in F1.”
One of the most interesting words in there is ‘archival’. Does that mean old races are going to be available? Please say it means old races are going to be available!
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. The service probably won’t be available in countries where TV providers already have exclusive rights – such as in the UK, where Sky has a monopoly on F1 coverage until 2024.
That could change in the future though, and it doesn’t alter the fact that it’s damn good news. We can’t wait to hear exactly what they have in store!