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F1 streaming service to cost 6 a month?

NEWS STORY
12/02/2018

A major weapon in Liberty Media's arsenal as it prepares to take Formula One forward is streaming, whereby all manner of content and data would be sent direct to the end user... or fans as Chase Carey, Ross Brawn, Sean Bratches and Co like to call them.

While existing TV broadcast deals, such as in the UK with Sky, may delay the introduction of F1's planned streaming service in some countries, in others the service is almost good to go.

Speaking to the German media recently, F1 commercial boss Bratches, defended the move to streaming, despite fears that it will increasingly make the sport only available to those willing (and able) to pay.

"The relaunch of our digital platform is planned," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

"Today it only costs us money," he continued. "Fans cannot download exclusive content. However, we will introduce a direct streaming offer to the fans both live content and non-live content.

"Fans will then get access to data directly from the cars," he revealed, before adding the all-important catch. "One will be freely available, while the other, for serious fans, is behind a pay barrier."

While Bernie Ecclestone believed that the TV deals were sacrosanct and therefore barely explored other means of delivering the sport, Bratches, with an eye on the success of casino online, believes that there is room for (paid) TV and an online alternative.

"Free TV means reach, but the money is in pay TV," he said. "Ideally, 25 to 30 per cent of the races should be on free TV and the rest behind a pay wall. It works in France and other countries, but there are countries where we should not move to this model yet."

Interestingly, while some of Morgan Stanley's recent analysis of the sport's future TV trends is open to question, the report did give some insight into the plans for streaming.

Streaming, is "not a near-term revenue driver but important long-term" claimed the bank, which forecasts that only 104,000 users will subscribe this year at an estimated monthly cost of 6 ($7.99) providing just 5.4m ($7.5m) of revenue.

Indeed, according to the report it will take seven years for the number of subscribers to top one million, the bank admitting "slower than expected adoption of the company's upcoming digital platform efforts could impact growth expectations".

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by PhoonPhan, 06/03/2018 21:10

"I think, therefore I am, sorry drifted off there. Before this avenue is developed as advertised the sport need to sort out the racing problems which should be exciting and sufficient to make people want to watch it.

I don't claim to know how to do that but Indycar generally has exciting races whichever type of circuit they race on and yes I do watch it!"

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2. Posted by ryanhellyer, 20/02/2018 14:08

"Why would anyone think anything negative of this??? I've been sick of having to hunt for decent streams for over a decade now. Things have been improving in the last couple of years, at least we're not having to watch Chinese language streams like around 2004, but it would be amazing to get high definition coverage finally."

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3. Posted by Spindoctor, 17/02/2018 8:35

"Without more detail it's hard to comment, but this looks like a glimmer of sanity, at least in terms of access to F1.
I'd prefer NOT to pay, but 6 pcm is reasonable, assuming the quality is at least as good as currently available. Buying direct from F1 cuts out thye middle man's profit, so potentially benefits both seller & buyer."

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4. Posted by TokyoAussie, 14/02/2018 3:40

"Just read my own post; doesn't add up.
Streaming is a monthly fee. A combined timing/streaming app would be in the ball park of $150 over the course of the season."

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5. Posted by TokyoAussie, 14/02/2018 3:38

"The timing app cost way more than $8 last year, so this must be an additional fee just for the streaming. In that case, it would almost need to be a separate app (OMG!). But then they may as well bundle it with the timing app, and now we are talking at least $50. This streaming service better have good commentators; I'm not listening if we end up with Joe Blow from Texas. Sorry, Texas."

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6. Posted by george, 14/02/2018 1:08

"F1 management is putting bandaid on a hemoraging sport. There is no more hope for this F1 sport. It is just a procession of cars, 2 laps at the start kind of interesting to watch on a lucky day. I keep saying, 20 cars is not enough, we need heavier engines, more exciting circuits, F1 is no longer the daredevil, sexy, exciting, top sports it used to be. It is now a computer game with pilots in the car out of habit. Every year we loose another 1 or 2 real drivers for another rich kid. I can't understand anyone, still wants to pay for this, be it for tv or tickets for a race. But I wish you the best. I will watch lawn bowl and curling, it is more exciting"

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7. Posted by VC10-1103, 12/02/2018 21:42

"Hannes, if we all pay into this pot to support these multi-million pound organisations and help them finance the building of their F1 car how can we be sure the pot will be split equally between ALL the teams?"

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8. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 12/02/2018 18:32

"Currently 6GBP is about 12NZD and my Sky Sport is 29NZD per month, for all sport (F1, Indy, MotoGP, F2, Supercars, NASCAR and games with balls). Which means that the F1 streaming is too expensive in comparison and most of all, I don't have time to go too deep into the F1 data and watch what I want to. For more analysis I go to Pitpass.com and some other sites post race and pre race in my own time when I get a chance.
Streaming will be fine for some and not for others. It does offer more choice. We have no free coverage live of most sports here including the Winter Olympics which taxpayers have pumped money into via competitor funding / grants. We have a state broadcaster too. If F1 has a strong competitor that is free to air F1 will have to go wide and not deep with coverage or the competitor will follow the money and go pay per view."

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9. Posted by klasseng, 12/02/2018 16:35

"@Rock Doc:
It's ALWAYS been about the money. Free TV is not really free, advertisers are paying, you pay with your eyeballs on the ads.

I'd be happy to pay $10/month to stream the races."

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10. Posted by Hannes, 12/02/2018 16:06

"Finally, welcome to 2018.

I see some people on here complaining that it's not free. Well, building an F1 car isn't free. By paying for this we can help fund the sport and we don't have to pay expensive cable bills. It's the best solution for everyone. "

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11. Posted by Freddy2k18, 12/02/2018 16:03

""live content"? what does that even mean?

Live races for 6 per month? Take my money now!!

However, if its only additional data/telemetry for 6 on top of the extortionate money I already pay Sky then forget it.

I'm already about ready to make the break and cancel Sky as it costs too much, for the level of entertainment F1 gives these days, and F1 is basically all I watch on Sky now.
"

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12. Posted by The edge, 12/02/2018 15:52

"You can bet they will charge more than 6 if it ever comes to The U.K. Everything always cost more in the U.K. "

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13. Posted by Rock Doc, 12/02/2018 13:32

"The only line you need to read is ... "Free TV means reach, but the money is in pay TV," ...

I think that just about says it all. They don't care about the fans it is all about the money, plain and simple. They've even changed the definition of a fan. You are only a fan if you are prepared to pay.

Sad sad times ahead."

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