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Formula One fans have been clamouring for a streaming service for quite some time, enabling them to potentially cut the cord.
Now, F1 owners Liberty Media have reportedly confirmed that they’ll be launching a streaming service in 2018.
F1 commercial chief Sean Bratches told Autosport that live-streaming from races as well as extra offerings would be made available for the start of next season. These extra offerings include behind-the-scenes footage and “extra” data.
“We have an obligation to our fans, quite candidly, to ensure that they are able to access our content in any means they want,” Bratches was quoted as saying.
Don’t hold your breath if you’re in a market where the broadcaster has exclusive rights though.
Expect F1 streaming to be a thing next year, but only if it doesn’t clash with broadcasters in your market
“The live stream offerings will only be available in markets where it would not clash with pre-existing television deals that have guaranteed exclusivity,” Autosport reports. So that means South Africans probably won’t be receiving the goods, as Supersport still has exclusive rights for next year.
The commercial chief also confirmed that they were in talks with other streaming services about “content that lives outside the grand prix weekends”. So what does that mean?
“Our objective is to engage with the Netflix of the world… the Amazons, and create content that fans can consume, which is compelling and tells different stories about what is going on in F1.”
The news also comes a few weeks after US broadcaster NBC opted not to renew broadcasting rights for F1. In a press release explaining the decision, the network said it didn’t want to “enter into a new agreement in which the rights holder itself competes with us and our distribution partners”.