F1 Live OTT platform to feature 24 live streams – “Pretty Insane”
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Mar 2018   |  10:49 pm GMT  |  206 comments

More details have emerged about the new F1 Live OTT platform, as outlined by F1’s head of marketing Ellie Norman, who describes the boldness of the project as ‘pretty insane’.

Typing the words ‘F1’s head of marketing’ still feels slightly strange, seeing as for decades it was the only global Tier 1 sport that did not even have a marketing department, let alone a head.

Bernie Ecclestone used to rely on manufacturers, race promoters and sponsors to market the sport of Formula 1 for him. This kept the overheads down on the F1 Management side, while Ecclestone gleefully whipped up regular media attention by lobbing in regular hand grenades, which the newspapers gratefully jumped on.

Now it’s all rather different, although the infrastructure to make the new F1 Live OTT platform was all put in place by Ecclestone. He just chose not to use it for that, as he was all about protecting the rights of his broadcast partners.

Norman was previously at cable TV supplier Virgin Media and believes that the nature of the modern consumer who has a passion point is “… that passion tends to overrule the rational side of things; it is not uncommon if you have a pay TV bundle that you will have one or two of the top subscriptions. I think that with consumer behaviour and the desire to buy things you love, consumers are making that choice. If you are interested you will pay.”

That is the calculation; that of the potential audience for F1, identified at 500 million sports fans around the world, even if 1% of them paid their $8 a month for the OTT service, that would yield $40m a month, or almost half a billion dollars a year.

There is also the opportunity to upsell the packages in future; a Lewis Hamilton fan in Delhi could access more rich content about Hamilton and he could take a revenue share. There is also great value to F1 and its partners from the data that would be gathered about the consumers.

But for now it’s all about going direct to the fans and to make the fans’ access to F1 as frictionless as possible.

“Everyone is offering fans more direct access, we are incredibly fortunate with the access that we have through our sport,” Norman (above) said in an interview with digital media title The Drum. “We are going direct to the fan so we are then able to give them the best experience possible,” she told The Drum. There is nowhere else out there with 24 livestreams coming into the app and that is pretty insane – I don’t think that has been done before.”

“It is a very strategic sport and for that hardcore fan, they really understand the excitement but the strategic elements, having the ability to personalise how you watch it and being able to select favourite drivers and view that side by side, these are all elements where we can better serve our fans.”

The F1 OTT service will be rolled out in about two dozen countries, including USA, France, Germany and some Latin American markets – those where F1 has not ceded the digital rights to TV broadcast partners. That is the case in UK and Italy where Sky has the rights. F1 is talking to Sky about bundling the OTT rights.

Formula E is trying an experiment, streaming its final races of the season on Twitter to fans in Japan.

FE CEO Alejandro Agag told Autosport: “We want to use it as a bit of an experiment, see how it goes there.

“We are definitely exploring new ways of broadcasting, of getting the races to the fans.

“It’s a priority for us now, and not only for us – you’ve seen Formula 1 announce a new OTT platform, which is something brilliant.

“All of us, we need to make an effort to really adapt to the new technologies.

“FE has been a leader in that since the beginning and this is another example.”

* Elsewhere in the industry, social networks are getting more entrenched in live sport in the USA; the US soccer series Major League Soccer has announced a streaming deal with Twitter. The social network will show at least 24 live matches per season, with the games to be made available in the US via the @MLS and @UnivisionSports Twitter handles. And Major League Baseball has done a streaming deal with Facebook.

None of the tech or social media giants came in so far in the bidding round for the English Premier League. F1 is supposed to announce a behind the scenes documentary series with Netflix, but this has yet to be confirmed.

What do you think of the F1 OTT platform and if you live in an eligible country, will you buy it? Leave your comments below

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Will you be able to watch full race replays on this service – like if you are 30 mins late for the start or have a family to entertain and can only get to the TV in the evening. THIS is where the value is for me. I want the FULL experience but I want it WHEN I want it.


Two days away from the first session in Australia and no word on when this will be available.


Is there a way to know if there is any ides on when this F1 TV will be available to MALTA.

If you know to whom I can address such question please let me know.



or anywhere? FP1 is only a few days away.


don’t get carried away, there will be a lot of restrictions regarding this service in the UK , Sky have a tight contract , they will make sure no other service provider hampers their revenue. it’s exclusive for a reason


Ferrari always does this. They’re probably the 3rd fastest on the grid behind Merc and RB!


I am in Australia and would jump straight on to this if available. I pay for NFL gamepass every year and am happy to for what i get from it.

Bring it on.


Just can’t wait for Liberty F1 TV to become available in the UK. What idiot ever allowed SKY exclusive access to bundle F1 with everything but the kitchen sink. SKY just continues to do damage to every sport to which it has exclusive access. Liberty better hope there is still an audience to sell to in the UK!


Yes I’ll use this service for sure. Before I would find live streams through free providers. These however were always hit or miss and unreliable. $8 a month is way cheaper than cable and it’s the only broadcast that I want to watch anyway. 10 months and $80 for the whole season. That’s less than most cable packages monthly subscription. Plus the interface will be intuitive and enhance viewing. When there is ‘nothing happening’ in the race, you can meander around and see about all the different feeds. I can’t wait to try this. Average $4 per race! That’s cheaper than one beer at most sports bars.


Does anyone know if this service is going to happen for the first race?


Doesn’t look like it. I’ve signed up for announcements and have only heard crickets.


Live in the U.S. where a premium cable subscription is needed to see races, so I’ll purchase this on a race by race basis, only purchasing at tracks where passing can happen. Why pay money to watch the Monaco parade?


Monaco is less about overtaking, it is a 110 minutes survival competition for zen like concentration and ninja reflexes.


Which is perfectly fine. Actually it’s great because it’s different from all the other races perhaps bar Singapore.


They still don’t know if it will be available in Belgium. Why announce as definite in the 1st March press release and then backtrack in the FAQ? Colour me unimpressed.


Out of curiosity, will the live race feed channel have the British Sky F1 team and commentators or will we be offered a choice on whose commentary we can have with the OTT service?


I live in France, and I am very interested in F1 OOT, but where do we subscribe? Its not long now and a deafaning silence, doesnt make me sure about their ability to provide a real programme, a la sky.


Also in the US, this year, the Football League (England) has signed a deal with an OTT service where the Championship and League One matches are only available on BAMTech, an OTT service started by Major League Baseball but has acquired Disney (ESPN) and the National Hockey League as partners. ESPN could make the F1 OTT service part of BAMTech if they wanted as is The Championship. (The BAMTech deal also included the League Cup on ESPN television.)

If FTA TV is dead, then why does the NFL have a television contract that relies primarily on FTA television, with rules that tell the 30 television markets with NFL get their home team on FTA each week and guarantees three FTA games each week nationally?


Time to admit that Free To Air TV is dead, buried and cremated, killed by technology and the demands of the audience. The ability to skim through advertising stabbed it through the very heart of where the revenue comes from. Then competition from PayTV, that promised full race coverage uninterrupted, with zero ad breaks, cut off its head. With the final nail in the coffin being interactive streaming services, that promise a fully customised/personalised viewing experience.

FTA TV isn’t coming back, there’ll be no resurrection, it’s done and dusted.


Evidently I live in a country that will feature OTT – but you’d never know it. This is for the hardcore fans, right? Well, we’re a week out from the start of the GP weekend and theres nothing on the official F1 website. I’m an F1 app user, so they have my email address, yet no offer? I get, literally, carpet bombed with offers on my professional and personal email for stuff I don’t want. All day. Every day. And the one thing I do want, I have to look for and chase IT down! I come to 2 possible conclusions… 1) Either these guys are not as good at marketing as I am (hope I’m wrong) or 2) It ain’t ready, and the early user experiences are going to suck. Good luck…


Or the third option Dave,

These guys are very good at Marketing but nothing materialises in the real world…

Like you I am registered for years, but not a single message or advertisements has been sent out to their faithful and registered fan base. It was btw same registry used a couple of years back for the live stream service that Bernie also used to earn extra money from us dedicated fans.


Same here. Wonder if they’ll actually roll it out in time for Australia.


I can’t wait for the day we start seeing actual improvements to F1, rather than Liberty marketing bods telling us how great they are and how brilliant they’ve made it.


Is Portugal included?

If yes of course I will be interested


All I want to know is how do I get it?


I’m an English F1 fan currently living in Adelaide and paying for Foxtel to view races legally.

I’d definitely pay $8 a month to get the OTT service. I’d pay more if it was guaranteed that I would be able to get the UK Sky coverage in full (the commentary and analysis by Martin Brundle is central to this) and can stream all content on demand, like Netflix.

Foxtel often has a huge delay in uploading the content after a race if you can find it at all. Also the after race analysis is often missing when viewed later. It means that I don’t feel I get the best value out of the package as the races are often at times that I just can’t be awake for.


Mate everything you’ve said is absolutely correct remember last year when they cut the podium presentation to go to the start of the MotoGP.

They don’t care best way to fix them is cancel the movies and use yes movies or solar movies they advertised it through the federal court by trying to block them but it works.

But we do need them to get the amazing coverage of Sky Sports with Martin and the boys.

And I so hate the on demand catch up afterwards not being the full live coverage they already recorded it give it to me on demand that’s what I want.


i live in one of the countries and i’m definitively buying it


I think Liberty and almost all streaming services overestimate the quality level of the internet in the USA. I live in the country in the midwest. My area has ONE DSL provider. Nobody else. When all the children are home from school for the summer and doing nothing but watching videos and playing games on the web, our service slows to a crawl. It takes minutes to bring up a page or load a picture. I can’t imagine trying to watch video of a race in that environment. We have complained to the DSL provider but they just shrug and say that area doesn’t make enough money for them to improve the service (plus they know we can’t go elsewhere). It might be great to offer customers all this and charge for it but they aren’t taking into account the wildly uneven (and underfunded) delivery systems of the internet here in America.


Vote for a platform that wants to invest in rural infrastructure. The current administration could care less. Whenever I visit my parents, I can’t even get or send a text and they are only 15 miles from a major city.


To all the masterminds of crafty vpn to fool the the seemingly slackjawed owners of product. You will have to pay with a card or bank details and supply your exact address on planet earth.

IF you have a bankrobber relative hiding on the cosa del crime maybe you can get them to get a bank acct and card.

Warning may alert interpol to their hideout location


Ever heard of paypal?



I believe the contemporary expression for these circumstances is, [blockquote]Meh.[/blockquote]


Meanwhile, it’s less than two weeks until the start of the season and specific details, pricing and a way to sign up still isn’t available. Cutting it kinda close. If the service offers a way for me to watch the sessions whenever I want (ie: timeshifted instead of live) I’ll sign up for sure (so long as the service doesn’t also give away the results when you log in like the NBCSN app did here in the States).


From F1 website “Formula 1, the pinnacle of motor sport, is set to launch early in the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season F1 TV…”

Early in the season, not start of the season.


Ahhhhh… that’s new I believe. I don’t recall seeing that when news first broke and I visited the site.


Thanks for pointing this out, I thought I was the only one who noticed this. They must assume we are all able to commit $96+ a year to F1 without planning. Either that or these are future plans and the initial offerings will be a nondescript live broadcast.

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