F1 plans to introduce own ‘over the top’ digital service to watch F1


Start of the Canadian Grand Prix 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Formula 1 Boss Chase Carey is keen to find a way to keep everyone happy when it comes to being able to watch and enjoy the sport, with the American believing that a happy compromise between those that are willing to pay for the privilege and guaranteeing enough airtime for sponsors by providing free-to-air access, is needed.

Carey confirmed that F1 currently have plans in the pipeline to introduce their own “OTT – Over the Top” premium digital service alongside the other media options, with the potential to expand F1’s reach their main goal.

“In terms of the television arena that we deal with, I guess the way to describe it is that there are three or even four potential arenas that we are engaged with.

“Traditional free [to air], pay, digital and then our own probably more direct ‘over the top’ product. To some degree what you have is conflicting goals across them.

“Probably the economic premium paid gets higher as you go up the ladder, but the reach gets less.

“For us the goal is to maximise long-term growth, not to find a short-term pop. So I think we’re trying to balance what is the right mix of reach and direct economic value.

“Clearly there are impacts on other partners we have – for sponsors the fan engagement is obviously very important.

“So if you’re energising the sport I think we want to make sure we continue to position it for long-term growth that finds a balance between that reach and those economics as opposed to just where you can get the biggest buck?”

Since Liberty Media‘s takeover of the sport in January, the new management team have been focusing on revolutionising the fan experience, and this idea is just another way of bringing F1 closer to the public, and making it more accessible to the masses. But although Carey is a strong advocate of the digital platform for maximising growth and business potential and strongly believes it is the way forward, he also pointed out that it will not be a quick and easy switch to accommodate.

“It’s more and more heading to various forms of digital platforms.

“I don’t think it will happen as fast as some people think – because some habits die hard, and there is a value in volume and choice.

“I think on the programming side there’s still value in reach. I think directionally it’s going there, but it will take time.

“I think there’s no question that there will be a lot more ways that content will continue to be offered to consumers that I think will benefit consumers on both ends of that.”