F1 Live OTT platform to feature 24 live streams – “Pretty Insane”
Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Mar 2018   |  10:49 pm GMT  |  205 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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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.


I wished this had existed for the longest after seeing MotoGP, WWE, etc… with similar offerings. F1 being the sport I followed most/ hardcore it was logical to purchase if it was available. The reasons being that in the US you watch 2hours of commercials with 2 minutes of F1 interruptions. I would normally watch the NBCSN $#!t coverage of non stop commercials then find a way to watch the SKY coverage to fill in the blanks, get different interviews/ answers from drivers, team principles etc… So to have a service where I can skip the advertisement and just watch the streams/ race coverage would be ideal. I believe having commercial free premium and possibly a free to air with commercials would be a way to get new fans and offer premium service to hardcore fans/ people who get into it and no longer want the commercials. I think if they can provide race coverage, interviews, behind the scene stuff, old races/ seasons up scaled to HD it would be worth the cost. I would have been in for this but I am less enamored with F1 than ever and refuse to contribute to a sport that gives hopes and promises and never delivers constantly keeping you hooked with hopes that things will change with the next regulations to only repeat the same cycle. I am done with F1 after the engine change I stopped going to Montreal annually a 6 hour drive from NYC. I wanted to go to Spa, Suzuka, Monaco at some point too but guess that is now out. My gf still wants to go to Montreal because the atmosphere that exist not just in the circuit but in the city buzzing cause of F1. I think this is a unique strength of F1 to be a global sport and allowing fans to experience the race, culture, travel all in one. But when it is diluted from a live symphony orchestra playing to a vacuum being played over the speakers I find the ROI is no longer there. Now we have the FIANegligenceBar aka halo and continual weight gain, loss of glamour, fake eco friendly message killing the drivers from all out sprint racing/ management racing I am done. Sure we hope Lewis v Max v Vettel is an epic battle all season but we saw in Mexico that last all but two corners or it will get real good only for an engine to fail.

Even Adrian is less enamored with F1.

“Mercedes is superior in every way in this engine formula,” Newey told Auto Motor und Sport. “Power, consumption, driveability, energy recovery.

“You can’t make up for that with a better car.”

And he said Liberty’s budget cap plans will be no fix.

“That’s socialism. And in real life, it’s only ever worked in theory,” said the Briton.

Newey said a better approach would be to ban wind tunnels and limit CFD simulation, which would mean teams need less people.

And he thinks the older, louder V8 and V10 engines of the past were actually more ‘green’ than today’s hybrids.

“In 1998, our McLaren weighed 580kg, with 45 kilos of ballast on board. Today we’re at 733kg with virtually no ballast.

“We could save a lot of fuel if we weren’t so heavy, but that would only be possible with the other engines,” Newey said.

So yeah I think its great if they can execute it correctly and offer 4K UHD HDR quality and surround sound and the ability to watch live or delayed at your convenience. I wanted this in the past when I would be racing on the weekends and at the track either Saturday or Sunday and would watch the live timing on the app in between sessions in the pits. So to be able to watch it as you can would have been nice. Its also good to be able to watch the junior categories to follow the future world champions. GP2 was broadcast before F1 and I was not getting up at 3:30 AM to watch that then watch F1 after, so watching it when you can is ideal so a good step.


“Mercedes is superior in every way in this engine formula,” Newey told Auto Motor und Sport. “Power, consumption, driveability, energy recovery.

“You can’t make up for that with a better car.”

As a matter of fact, Mercedes also had a top of the line car when it came to aerodynamics and chassis. Sure Newey is backing his team, but at the same time he’s not being honest about Mercedes’ qualities.

“In 1998, our McLaren weighed 580kg, with 45 kilos of ballast on board. Today we’re at 733kg with virtually no ballast.

“We could save a lot of fuel if we weren’t so heavy, but that would only be possible with the other engines,” Newey said.

This is a loaded statement. As a matter of fact, the overall weight did not only increase thanks to the engine, but also thanks to better crash protection. In 2013, just before the 2014 Turbo revolution, the minimum weight was already at 642 kg, that’s already 62 kilos more than the 540 kg weight limit from 1988 that was still on in 1998, IIRC (lifted to 600 kg in 2004).

And the best of the best in normally aspirated engines in F1 from the 90s up to 2013, used more fuel than today’s engines, despite the lower weight of the car. And also weight distribution has been fixed since 2013, so there is less possibility to play with ballast anyway. Teams use less ballast, because with a lower weight limit this high and a fixed weigth distribution, it is more beneficial to build the car more sturdy and more adaptable. We’ve seen Mercedes putting a gear box into an outer case, instead of attaching the suspension directly, making the gearbox more stable, at the expense of extra weight. It is a direct result of having enough weight to play with.

But yes, I do think that since F1 has introduced a minimum weight for the driver (and his seat), we should lower the minimum weight of the cars again, so teams can find an advantage in lowering the weight of their car – and we will be able to see that, no doubt.


I pay $35 a month for all my “tv” channels, through Youtube TV, which includes most sports channels including espn. I will try OTT though, since my mom his wired with multiple displays in the same room. Im excited for the 24 streams 🙂


I wonder if you will be able to choose your language? I am an expat in Mexico but i sure do not want Spanish commentary.


probably they will have comentary from latin american streaming, like Canal F1 latin america


I’m in w/OTT – without reservations and lots of curiosity . Here in the USA we had decent, free-to-air coverage w/NBCSN, and I enjoyed the broadcast team, especially Will Buxton and Steve Matchett. I have no idea what kind of product ESPN will deliver. For me, OTT is a no-brainer.


Ratings are falling all over the world so to combat this for a new way of revenue.

It’s a great idea to make more monies and stop unwanted streams that pop up on social media.

My question is * Why watch a sport when you already know what the outcome is?*

I understand that Liberty are trying to modernize in F1 in the modern era but the soul is slowly being squashed under the wheel of a dumpster. The end is nigh.

Love live the king.


having all of the in-car cameras is good and all but i really hope they also keep providing the onboard mix that we have been getting for a number of years now (the one that has the rev counter included) as i would prefer to just stick that on my tablet alongside the tv & leave it for an fom director to direct for me (like the world feed).

that is how i have been watching f1 for the past 9 years & i would like to continue that.

having all the in-cars and no mix would be like giving us access to all of the trackside cameras yet not giving us a world feed and making us do it our-self. i’m sure some would love that but i’d rather have a dedicated directed feed i don’t have to worry about directing myself.


They’re going to have a general race feed. The stuff about choosing the view from specific cars is an option, nobody’s gonna make you use it.


In France we had kind of similar system almost 20 years ago from 1997 to 2002.

I may give a try even if I love hearing Jacques Villeneuve live comments: do we know who will comment ?

We know that Liberty wants to kill Bernie Memories but James I would be curious to know how much money F1 forks from TV networks: if everybody goes on OTT at renewal times deals will be way cheaper than today, and F1 revenue would drop.

So it seems modern but will it be worth it for F1 overall ?


TV revenues around $650 – 700km annually – just over 1/3 of the total take


I’ll be unscribing from the UK. I’ll just pay £5 a month for VPN as well


Like all new things the devil is in the detail and these are some of the details that I’ve wondered about.

The FAQ’s on my ISP website say that SD streams need 3Mbps, HD streams need 5Mbps and UHD needs 25Mbps.

It also notes that these are minimums and in reality you should double them to allow margins to prevent stuttering.

Of the countries on the initial list how many offer those sort of speeds?

By offer I mean real speeds to the computer not marketing puff ‘up to’ speeds.

What proportion of the consumers in those countries connected to the internet already have those sort of connections?

A cost of £12 per month doesn’t sound too bad but if you have to upgrade your broadband package then there is a significant extra recurring cost.

What about IPS’s who have useage caps?

It would be really annoying to get part way through a GP and run into bandwidth throttling due to useage limits.

Or not be able to watch a GP because you’ve already used your limit.

There are going to be 24 channels of content with no real detail of what will be on each channel.

Assuming one channel like the current TV broadcast and another with live timing that leaves the rest for ‘other’.

What will ‘other’ consist of? Some in-car, pit stops, crowd-shots, ferris wheel cam maybe.

What will the channels carry in the way of sound and commentary?

I assume the main channel will have the prime commentary but what about the others.

Perhaps the in-car could carry the car sound and complete and un-edited driver/team communications.

Will there be any commentary on other channels?

How many channels can I watch at once?

Will I be limited to a single channel at a time or can I run a split screen showing multiple channels?

If I have a gaming computer multi-monitor setup could I run multiple windows in each screen with a different channel in each, bandwidth permitting.

If I have a subscription how many devices can I use it on simultaneously?

Can I and my wife watch one stream on the TV in the lounge whilst the children are watching different streams in their bedrooms?

What DRM scheme will the stream be infected with?

My systems are all Linux based and current offerings for F1 won’t run unless I install a piece of deprecated Micosoft software which I won’t do.

What is going to be on the 20 channels in the ‘dead’ time between race weekends?

Will it revert to a TV style model with each channel showing scheduled programming?

Perhaps there will be some +1, +2 type delayed start channels.

Or maybe they will really embrace the internet and turn the channels into a You Tube style offering where you can choose whatever you like from their back-library.

So, questions, questions, questions but it’s all rather moot for me though as I live in the UK where F1 is disappearing from view next season and by the time this becomes available here I may well have lost interest in F1.

Tornillo Amarillo

I found already here more articles about marketing and investigating demand trends to the fans than F1 analysis.


I live in France and can’t wait for OTT to arrive. I may test the waters with a month’s trial at first but it sounds as though it’s going to be a breath of fresh air at a reasonable price. Let’s hope they do get it out in time for Australia and that it doesn’t suffer from too many teething problems! Will I be able to cope with 24 streams to choose from?


I also live in France, unfortunately in the sticks a 2Mb connection is deemed sufficient for our local mayor and Orange (France Telecom), but it certainly is not sufficient for HDTV.

I also want an informed commentary in British English, not some American drivel. I will wait to understand what the exact OTT offering is.

I do not really want to place myself as the director trying to decide which of the 24 streams I should watching . I just want to be entertained, intellectually, nothing more.


#waleran. I too live in .France and watch C4 when live and German RTL for the rest. As my German is almost zero I listen to BBC radio commentary ( slight time lag but acceptable for free)


Absolutely Yes will buy the stream signal for USA. Onboard views of different cars Makes this a No brainer.


The subscription rate cannot be the same for all countries. I expect lower rate for Malaysia fans because our income level is not like USA and the ‘smallness’ of our currency. Yes I will consider.


i live in a country which has a gross domestic product 3 to 4 times lower than malaysia and a minimum wage twice lower… 8-12 dollars is cheap enough…


@ Kenneth….any chance you will change your sig? This is not me.


I’m in Malaysia too and hope this service comes our way soon. Dealing with 24 channels may be a bit of a challenge! But as said above by others, I’ll definitively give it a try.

Pricing will likely be a function of location, just like I think Netflix is cheaper in Malaysia than it is in Europe.


Let us be very clear, in the UK we do not want OTT bundled with Sky, we want it INSTEAD of Sky.

The Sky coverage in the UK averages well less than 500k viewers. They have to pay for a tv licence, then for a Sky base package then on top for Sky Sports and now the proposal to add a fourth cost layer is stretching credibility too far.

Liberty surely must realise that by adhering to the Sky contract they will loose 80% of their UK viewers. F1 is renowned for tearing up contracts.

What news of the counter bid for Sky? Fox/Disney and co were outbid recently and its all gone very quiet.


You can get a Sky Sports week pass for £10.99 without the need for a base Sky package. You still need a TV licence though, because it’s live TV.


You might be better off with a Sky F1 pass. 9 months viewing of their F1 channel for £150.


Like I have said many times there are ways around this If you live in the UK.

Star Trek Discovery was even pirated by people who bought the box and paid. The whole thing was screwed up. I know Sky has the digital rights too for now.

Check the forums.


Not to mention Sky neutral coverage 😀

Idi Amin was more neutral…… :0


I just wonder where new fans will come from, if things move from televised events to OTT. There won’t be any exposure anymore to the sport, other than to existing F1 fans.


Um it’s on ESPN in the US. Less than 2 weeks.


The new fans will come, word of mouth because this will be damn near a video game where you get to be your own producer and no one else has done this. I am in for sure, day 1!


To all those willing to subscribe to Liberty’s F1 service without knowing / seeing what you’ll get on screen or technically – I have swampland in Florida and a bridge in New York for sale………


How much is the bridge? I might have some swampland in Florida coming my way soon and I need some way to get over it


as far as i know.. youll get the regular streaming with different language, regular streaming without comments, onboards and other stuff i dont remember


I’ll take the swamp land but no bridge. That Florida swamp land can be drained. I used to live there so I know.


I’m not convinced that this is really for the benefit of the fans. I would like to know what this new, rather large, revenue stream will fund. How about plowing into supporting mid and lower tier teams to be more competitive? Be careful. If it’s too good, no one will go to the track anymore.


Living in U.S. I will absolutely sign up for the OTT service. It’s a bargain compared to other sport subscriptions if it even hallways lives up to the promises.

Just wondering when it will start…and hoping that technically they’re ready for millions of people to all sign up at once.


I live in Australia. I’ll buy in. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oh, thats right, I can’t. . . . Thanks for that.


I’m in the UK, I’ll buy it. Haven’t they heard of VPNs?


Its a little more complicated than that Hipster.


Not really.


It can get complicated if your VPN works for a while and then your stream gets blocked after a few weeks.


What a brilliant idea.

24 ways to fill up my 5 inch screen on my phone for a small monthly outlay.

I guess I can throw away my 50 inch TV now.

Either make it available globally, or give us back our free to air.


No get an old gaming system and run it through your 50″ too. If it’s a smart TV it doesn’t matter.


As a hard-core fan who is tired of watching the terrible feed we get at times including ill-timed commercial breaks or back markers who are racing for 12th place, I am very much looking forward to OTT. The cost is not a factor in my decision.


24 hour live streams may sound “amazing” but most of it will be constant repetition, with much of it derived from the drivers’ twitter stream. Hardly worth $8 per month.


I think you may have misunderstood…


It’s not 24 hour live streams (what, are you expecting to watch Lewis Hamilton take a bath – it’s not Big Brother!) but 24 camera stream options of watching a live race. I’m sure they’ll be additional content outside of the race for you to watch on repeat as well.


Bath time with Lewis could just save Liberty!!


It’s not one 24hr livestream; it’s 24 separate livestreams coming in simultaneously.


In Australia I have to pay $125 per month to watch formula 1+ around 1000 for 2 tickets. Per year it costs me over $2,000. I love Formula 1 but I am certain actual viewing audience has fallen since it was moved to pay TV. Last year I went to Australian, Malaysian (last ever) and Shanghai. Ps stands in Shanghai are awesome. You can see the whole circuit.


I pay $80/month and get standard package, entertainment pack, entertainment + pack, multiroom (IQ2) receivers and Sport. You want to give them a ring and negotiate a little mate. Getting rid of the Adults Channels will save you $30/m


I’m not sure why your paying $125 p/m?

Foxtel charge me $65 in HD… I totally agree with you on declining viewers.

So many friends of mine are losing interest because $55/65 per month is an outrageous cost for casual fans.


Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t it cost just $55 per month bare mininum or $65 with HD pack? I am paying for foxtel too and I have other packages as well as sports pack and i pay much less than 125 per month…


Are you sure you are talking same currency here or are you two mixing up USD with AUD?


I’m desperately waiting to hear whether or not this is available in the Netherlands, because I’ll pay up in a flash!

I’ve heard people complain about Sky, but in my opinion nothing is quite as vulgar and banal as the Ziggo Sports F1 commentary and show that we’re forced to swallow in these flat lands.

Andreas Myrberg

I live in Germany. We have commercials…and terrible commentators.
I will buy it


But it’s still free to air live coverage, and i’d happily take commercials and bad commentary if it meant an end to the UK Sky deal.


I live in Slovenia, where F1 is going free to air on a commercial channel. But I’ll still buy F1 TV, really just to try it


Does it have a commentary team and an anchor with pundits, reaction & analysis, etc? Or will it just be like the global feed, except I get to play director?


As I understand it, there will be commentary with, in the US for example, the free-to-air commentary from the SKY team on ESPN, while the OTT feed will have a different set of commentators.


If so that sounds good. The commentary really isn’t worth much.


Same answer as before: $0 until F1 returns to its original, minimalist purity bereft of any ideologies that compromise its aesthetic (visual and aural) as well as sporting appeal.

In the meantime I will satisfy myself by watching reruns of old F1 races from the v10, v8 and even 80s turbo eras.


Maybe half thep people who post on this forum seem happy to pay but this is a biased sample of serious fans. Taking casual viewers in general the take up will be a lot less certainly outside the USA anyway. Will the numbers stack up for Liberty? I suspect not but I have been known to be wrong.


dont overlook South Africa

Ángel Álvarez

Yeah! In Mexico commenters are terrible!!! I hate them so much!!! and the company which’s got the rights for this year (Fox Sports Latinoamérica) Is a disaster logistically. I’ve already missed most of the practice sessions because their service is really bad. I’m so looking forward to seeing what F1 TV has to offer.


I actually saw an F1 race here in the US but it had Spanish commentators. I don’t speak that much Spanish but they seem to get more excited about the racing.

I dunno how good they actually were but seemed better than ours here in the US. I think all of it comes from the UK as the camera shots were the exact same.


All of the camera feeds come from F1 itself. F1 controls that.

The nation-specific broadcast crews all share the same feed.

* Not sure, but the feed for the Japan race might be via a Japanese network. It was that way for quite some time, dunno if that has changed.


I doubt there’s anyone who doesn’t think this is a step forward. However the proposal, as I understand it, is pretty unjust.

Global pricing. Does a Big Mac cost the same in USD around the world? Of course not. The reason is obvious and penalises those fans living in countries with weaker currencies and cheaper cost of living. There is no great difficulty supporting geo-charging and robust geo-blocking. Netflix and Amazon manage it. If you don’t feel strongly about this, then I suspect you have never lived in such a country.

Local Digital Rights: The service is unavailable in countries where those rights are already exclusively contacted. Unfortunately those rights have often been gobbled up at discount by the local pay TV service as a defensive measure to protect their STB premium subscription business. They have no interest in providing a good online F1 service, and don’t. Service standards built into contracts could have avoided this. It’s not a new thing, I suspect blind eyes have been turned.

I notice the article features a Malayan flag. Don’t know why, unless it was also with the above-mentioned in mind!


The US dollar is a pretty weak currency. The nasty hidden tax for sure.


Yes but these contracts have been signed and will be running for a few more years, I think it’s just a matter of having to honor these.


I’m rather surprised that the original contracts with Sky that included digital rights didn’t include a caveat that should the original content owner make available digital broadcast product that there would be a responsibity to make them available to the general public or else forfeit those rights. Not very good contractual liabilities when selling a product that ATT didn’t exist but could in the future.


Bernie didn’t care about that.


The only relevant question for me is: is it really going to launch in time for Australia ?


They’ve already said it won’t and that wasn’t the aim as far as I remember.


Eligible countries being the operative word.

Sadly where Sky has it’s claws embedded it’s not going to happen. Something to do with honour amongst media leeches . You would have to either get a weekend pass or pay for the full Sky Sports package. Which I will never do. I intend not to give a penny to Sky. It’s never going to happen.

Liberty are shooting themselves in the foot by not offering it in the UK or Italy or wherever the Pay per view bad boys are.

I would contemplate tapping in on F1’s very own viewing channel from time to time. But will not give a penny to Murdoch. Yes I know that Sky maybe sold off to some other company. But that hasn’t happened. I don’t think it will happen. More chance of Murdoch buying rest of Sky. So therfore sadly I will only watching F1 once a year…but thats the day I’ll be watching it for real at Silverstone and not on a per per view or Sky free to view channel for that hime race.

Rather give my money to the race circuit than Sky.

I’m happy Liberty has begun creating its own broadcast base but it needs to expand into UK and Italy and those places where Bernie pocketed deals with Murdoch.


I believe Liberty would if they could. The Sky stuff was done before Liberty took over and those contracts don’t last forever.

In the mean time it is possible to get around it.


I suspect (haven’t tried) that if you use a web proxy you’ll be able to pretend you’re in another country and get the OTT access. I have no idea on legality. I once used a US web proxy to pretend I was in the USA in order to open a page from a state’s Department of Transportation website, when the webpage wouldn’t open with my request coming straight from the UK.


Yeah but then there is the issue of payment. There are ways around that too and I have no idea of the legality.

There are plenty of fire TV boxes already cracked for sale on eBay.


I tried to stream it from India using US credentials, it didn’t work. I used a VPN service (personal and work), none worked. I think they’re now able to detect source of origin even if connecting through a proxy/vpn


How can try to stream something that hasn’t been launched?


Sorry, meant to say “tried streaming the Super Bowl last month …”


BK, I’ve seen a few adverts on Sky along the lines of ‘if you only watch F1 only pay for F1’.

Is that new for this year? Not sure about the cost.


I know a couple of long term Sky subs, they don’t pay for movies or sports, but get F1.

Way back when HD channels were first airing, typical Sky blag, they asked for £10pm more on top of their subscription for the HD channels. More and more eventually came online so they get SkyF1HD in this as well as EurosportHDs but all the sky sports and BTsports channels are blocked. Their SD F1 channel is also blocked!

Then again, I know three others who looked into F1 subscriptions since the full championship was stupidly ditched mid-contract by the BBC. They didn’t bother because it was too much for a few races that were becoming too predictable. They would have had to get the sports package and are not into English leagues football and funding the Sky football pundits…

This OTT platform really should be a worldwide release if they want it to work well…


Here’s a question for people that I haven’t seen explicitly listed anywhere.

Will the $8 or $12/month deal allow you to watch the races and streams at a later time? Waking up really early in the morning to watch the races isn’t something I can do due to a work schedule. Typically I’ve watched them in the evenings on Sunday night. Can you watch it later on, as if it was live, even though it’s not?


Yes, of course.


For 2 races a month, $8 is definitely worth it IMO. I know people will compare it to Netflix and think its too expensive but live programming has never been cheap.


There is a lower priced option which allows ONLY delayed viewing.


. . . . . but still not available in Australia, or Asia, or Africa, or . . . .


Me thinks you will be able to stream it at a later time. I compare it to my NFL Gamepass. This allows me to watch while games either love or I it’s entirety without commercials two hours after the game has finished.


It’s not the answer to your question but here in NL (Ziggo pay tv has the rights) you have the option to watch live on the telly or you can watch delayed / later via the website or app. Given that we’re in 2018 today I would say this is pretty standard and if they don’t offer it like that it would be pretty sad. Especially now they moved the starts to 15:10 local time I fear I won’t be able to watch all the races live anymore.


Yes, you’ll be able to re-watch all streams as if it were live. It was covered when announced.


If that’s the case, I don’t mind $8/mo for this service at all.


Means nothing to the thousands of fans in South Africa. We have one broadcaster that broadcasts F1 here and they are ripping us off to the point where most just dont watch F1 anymore


Well, it depends on what else you want to watch. That same subscription now gives you IndyCar and NASCAR, the LeMans 24 hours, rugby, cricket and the EPL. If you have an interest in several of those, then DSTV might not be such a bad deal, depending on the price of buying all those as separate streams.

But I would like to see the option available here, and I get the feeling that ultimately this is how everything will be. No TV channels as we know them, just lots and lots of streams that you can subscribe to. But it will take a while for current contracts to run out.


Totally agree. We need this in Africa!


Yes Angola as well please.

Interesting to note so many different people under so many different nationalities uniting under the same complaint: commentators!

In Angola we have a Mozambican duo and a Portuguese guy that understand zero!

We also use DSTV here which I can’t complain, it broadcasts all practice, quali and race sessions in full mode with minor comercials (no breaks though) and since last year with Sky team commentators (thank you Martin and David!)

I pay around 45 Euros and get all the European Leagues plus Rugby, Cricket and Moto GP and F1.

But I would highly value an app like Moto GP one.

Also for the 8 to 11 usd a month they could include back catalogue, I would definitely pay more to have fully F1 historical seasons. UFC app did this and it’s a great feauture!


Wait until the deal runs out and until then get a cheap VPN service 🙂


Will a cheap VPN be able to carry all those UHD streams?


this is absolutely brilliant! except I live in Australia so will have to wait until the payTV deal finishes before I can access. no I do not have and do not want payTV bundled with other sports I am not interested in. paying for just F1 for me sounds great.


Speaking as a bit of a dinosaur who’s just happy to watch on a conventional TV with as little effort as possible i think its great that liberty are trying something new to enhance the viewing experience for the more tech savvy, and hopefully encouraging new younger fans to tune in. I just hope they remember that if the content is a turd you can view it as many times as you want, however you want, its still a turd. The way we view is important, to their business model. But the content is more important. Give us a close racing Liberty, give us overtaking, pitstops and a close fought championship on decent tracks, give us excitement, unpredictability and a true competition and millions of people around the world will tune in whether it be 24 streams, HD, SD or on the radio. If the content remains as predictable as it has been these last few years the new viewers that can be gained through all the new digital media, who don’t have the emotional investment with the sport as some of us old timers do, will surely leave as quickly as they came.


Would not hesitate to buy it… if only it was coming to Canada!


Of course, I live in that Formula 1 desert called Australia , where , despite actually having our own GP AND a driver on the grid ( in a competitive machine), we get bupkiss when it comes to media and marketing and OTT coverage !!!! So this sucks. Good for everyone in the lucky countries though ….


It’s gonna be everywhere. It’s just that Liberty has to wait for all of Bernie’s TV deals to expire.

Until then, they’re bound by the existing Bernie-contract. The best they can do is to try to work a deal with the rights-holder.


Move on Rob, think about a country you would like and go for it.


Does anyone know what the streams will be? Would love it if it was possible to get Sky F1 stream internationally.


I am going to be all over this like a fat kid with a bowl of M&Ms


James, what happens to the channels that bought the rights for cable? do they get a share in this new venture? or its a pure hit job by Liberty? though I applaud this step. Every major sport has started launching their own streaming service/channel to cut the middle men out, to increase the profit share.


Existing contracts are being honored. When they expire, any new deals will include OTT availability. It’s just a matter of when the existing Bernie-contract expires. This varies by nation.


I would sign up for the package in a heartbeat if it were available in New Zealand. Sadly, we are stuck overpaying for Sky which is hugely unpopular here. Hopefully the future will allow us direct access to this package..


Likewise. Although what I’d like to hear is whether there will be delayed coverage as well as all the live stuff. With so many races on at ~midnight Sunday NZ time, the ability to watch a full replay OTT on Monday morning/evening would be ideal.


Thanks James… question is do you know when its expected to go-live?

I’m a brit that lives in the US btw… so this will be perfect as coverage here is quite poor.


swapping cars.

In another change drivers will also be required to use two different power modes during each race. The higher-power mode will “result in a performance gain of approximately one second per lap Formula E will also scrap the point for fastest lap and award a point instead to the most efficient driver as determined by a “new energy management parameter.”

@Seebee Is this where we are headed ?


Hi James

Any word on the OTT service for Australia or is it the same as the UK?


About time this is made available. In Australia it’s either the spotty coverage or pay TV which I refuse to pay for. I’ll jump at this.


What about Straya ?


Enjoy reaping what your boy Rupert sowed!


Rupert is an American citizen!!!


Really highlights how nice it can be without Bernie


What’s all this about my friend Joe Ott?


I will almost certainly subscribe unless the precise details are disappointing. My preference would be for them to take the Sky F1 feed as I find that the best coverage. The ability to watch every session live, commercial free AND to be able to play it again later would be an absolute no brainer for me. I live in the US where the coverage by Speed and lastely NBC has been, shall we say, less than stellar.


Streaming takes a little skill to record. HDMI prevents this but yeah it can be done. Then again does the deal allow you to stream old stuff anytime?


It certainly will allow on-demand streaming for all past races in the current season. We don’t know what they’re gonna do about past seasons.


As part of the deal, Liberty got Bernie’s video vault. There’s all kinds of 1950’s-to-now footage in there. He wouldn’t let anybody show it unless they paid thru the nose, and nobody was willing to. So, it’s like a secret stash.

I bet there’s gonna be an optional ($$) plan that let’s you watch all that stuff on demand. “Hmmm, I think I’d like to watch the 1966 Monaco race now…”


It’s only 1981 to now actually

They don’t own pre 1981..


Assuming a basic level of function (and spoiler-free access option like MotoGP’s offering), I’ll definitely subscribe to F1’s OTT service. I don’t really care about having access to 24 different feeds, though. I’m sure I’ll flip through them for the novelty, but ultimately, I want to watch a race, not direct a broadcast.

Unless I’ve misinterpreted the various reports, it seems like it won’t be ready for the first races of the season. That doesn’t really reflect well on Liberty, but if it’s good and works, everyone will forget the delay in the long run.


I would get it Just for motoGP since I can’t get that now. One problem is that I’m 1/4 mile from high speed internet and to make things worse it’s a very cheap fiber connection.

I would have to do it now by wireless and increase my data to unlimited and put up with glitches. I like where I live. You don’t find too many places like it but if I had a $50 a month fiber line then direcTV would be gone and I would get everything across the net.

Right now F1 is going to be on ESPN so I’m good.


No Thanks, I am a long time fan, 50+years, with the halo, unable to tell who is driving, I will not be paying anymore $. Note to sponsors, fewer viewers, equals smaller platform for merchandising.


You know they should paint the halo or part of it the same as the driver helmets. Bottas already has that. For Hamilton they could go gold.

Better yet put a camera looking in or out. A rotating camera would let us see plenty.


Sounds like a great package, would definitely buy it if I could.

Sadly, I’d have to shell out $40 a month for Foxtel in Australia for just 1 feed.

Don’t get me wrong, sky do a great job. But it seems unjust, it’s too expensive. Been an F1 anorak for 22 years now, this is the first year where I’m likely to switch off because paying $480 a year, or about $23 per race, is a rip off. Knowing that some races like Russia, Abu Dhabi or Barcelona are likely to be snooze fests really adds to the insult, F1 is just not exciting anymore.

This feeling of ripoff is especially amplified now knowing that some people will get to watch up to 3 races per month for $8 on OTT.

I can’t stand greedy TV deals. The whole arrangement makes me very sad and makes me feel marginalised because of where I live.


Unless this is available in my country the care factor is close to 0%.


Any ideas when this kicks off? This technophobe has 12 days to get sorted!


Struggling to get excited about it if i cant access it until 2025.


Oh, I’ve just realised FOM viewers are also a commodity, with our details being sold onto, what’s the term – “chosen partners who will make you offers in regular spam mails and text messages”.



Yep use another name and then filter those to delete.


The drivers need to be very careful before they sign any contracts that entitle them to a ‘revenue share’ from ‘rich content’. Before they know it, they’ll have signed their life and digital image rights away to FOM for a pittance, and FOM will be following their every move throughout race weekends.

As for us viewers, how long will it be before we’re swamped in adverts, like every other American broadcaster? I don’t want to pay anything if I have to watch yet more coverage of trackside adverts from specially positioned cameras. And as for cameras in the pits – the less said the better. Hopefully we’ll get a better idea of what the future holds during the first race in 2 weeks time.


As someone who has never liked or subscribed to a pay TV service I actually think I would consider using this service at $8 per month.

Although it would be interesting to find out more detail about possible presenters, commentators and supporting content other than the race weekend itself and the production values of said content.

Unfortunately, I’m in the UK so, it isn’t an option for me! 🙁


Must be some kind of work around it… any ideas??


“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.”

What does that mean exactly? 24 live streams is small beer compared to the scale at which live streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch and others operate at. So is there something more to it?

What do you think of the F1 OTT platform

Don’t know yet. Are there more details available? Questions I have:

1. What platforms are they targeting? Will it be an application only or are they targeting browsers as well?

2. Which codecs will they be using?

3. Are they targeting 8-bit colour only or 10-bit as well?

4. What resolutions will be offered?

5. Will different pricing tiers be offered? SD at the lowest tier and UHD at the highest tier.

6. Will they make the technical details of the live stream easily accessible to the user as it’s playing back so you can make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for.

7. What latency are they aiming for?

8. What type of DRM will they mandate? And will the different types of DRM available on different platforms affect the video quality they offer per platform?

9. What’s their long term codec strategy? Do they plan to switch to AV1 to take advantage of its better compression and features like S-frames?


They’re not gonna tell you all that. The NFL and MLB have been successfully offering OTT services for years, and they don’t tell you squat on the tech side. They offer it, either you buy it or you don’t. There’s nobody to address your questions to, but if you find someone, they won’t answer. Get used to it.


They’re not gonna tell you all that.

Why not? YouTube does. Netflix does. Twitch does. If F1 wants to be serious about their streaming then they will as well.


This is exactly what I want to know. Tell us the resolution, video codec and audio codec! Is it too much to hope for DD5.1?


Google it.


Blah blah blah. “I know stuff about video! I like to show off and whine at the same time”

Spare a thought for those handicapped and unable to get OTT, who cares about 8bit or 10bit, ANY bit would be acceptable.

Some perspective please.

Torchwood Mobile

Hey, Niall.

This isn’t going to be free!

People being asked to spend money, should be able to ask questions without you throwing your toys out of the pram.


who cares about 8bit or 10bit

I care, that’s why I asked. Makes sense when you think about it.


I think they are all important questions for a streaming service. All are answered by the likes of Youtube, Netflix, and amazon etc.

I’d love a 4k 10bit stream, but I can’t see it happening. Even a 1080p stream would be better than the NowTV 720p experience.

There are a lot of technologists in the F1 viewership, so I can see a few of us asking these questions.


I don’t care how goddamn amazing OTT is!!! Offer it in Canada!! Why won’t liberty take my money!! Back to Grenada I go. 😭


So, when can I actually sign up? The fact that it’s not already available is a little disconcerting. You’d figure they’d be testing out their platform with pre-season content of some kind by now. Cutting it a bit close.


I’m not in an eligible country and I’ll buy it. Yay for VPNs and DNS spoofing.

F1 management have caught up on the 21st century a *lot* since Bernie was dumped, but they’re still very much stuck in the last century with the old media companies if they think region locking will make them any fans.


You know with all of this talk of going back to v10s why not Just come up with something else? Gas Turbine, Steam, who knows but one thing is for sure time stops for no one.


My understanding on the region locking is that their hands are tied by the multi-year contracts awarded by Bernie at the end of his reign.
As stated in the article contracts signed by the subscription providers included digital content rights in the broadcasters region. As such Liberty won’t legally be able to offer their OTT service in those regions without breaking those contracts.


Exactly Bernie did this and digital rights get more valuable by the day.


“Pretty Insane” is a pretty bold way to describe viewing features.

I sure as hell hope the actual racing is “pretty insane”, otherwise, what’s the point in having an insane amount of viewing features.

Let’s take the top 5 most insane moments from the 2017 F1 season, and compare them to the top 5 most insane moments from the 2017 MotoGP season.

…..the level of insanity isn’t even comparable. Either MotoGP is beyond off the charts insane, or F1 really ain’t all that insane anymore.


@ Twitch6…There is more insanity in one MotogP that in an entire season of F1.


Baku was pretty insane! Poor Max, Ocon-Perez, Vettel road rage, red flag, poor Massa, Ricciardo double pass, headrest malfunction, KMag & Stroll running high up, Bottas coming from a lap down to then chasing down Stroll, only nipping him at the line! A pretty insane race.


Yeah I wish I could get MotoGP.


I will buy it but…..I will only “rely”on it if the commentary is excellent. Selective pictures of different drivers are only interesting if the story line beneath each of them is particularly pointed and directed at possibly explaining the prospects of various outcomes or targeted results. Focused action for the sake of only action is of limited value , in my humble opinion…and, they are mandating an up front subscription fee for this special access, after all.


In the US & a 100% buy in. Our legal offerings to this point have been pitiful and most fans I know swap pirated Sky coverage. I just wonder how ESPN will feel as it seems they were duped into paying for the contract before this alternative was announced.


ESPN didn’t get suckered. The OTT option was part of the contract they signed. Nobody was duped.


I got hammered on twitter the other day for suggesting Bob Varsha and Leigh Diffey were dreadful. I watch on Sky which has, in my view, awesome coverage because I can’t stomach the NBC constant ads.. People like Martin Brundle, Johnny Herbert, Damon Hill and Paul DiResta have actually raced F1 cars and know what they are talking about.


Seeing as we really have no other option in the US for a watchable (read: not constantly interrupted by adverts) live race feed, I’m super excited for this platform. I’d like to know who they’re using to develop it, and the technical details of the platform (what CDN, stream quality, etc). Really hopeful that they have historical races available as well.

All in all, good on them for diving head-on into digital distribution. I figured it would take them at least another season to get moving on this.


Absolutely. I’ll subscribe on day one. Really excited for F1 TV!


As much of the world uses DSL for internet access – it will be a substantial challenge to provide one stream to a consumer in 1080p that doesn’t have macro-blocks, freeze, drop frames or at some gets degraded to 360p. And Liberty thinks that providing 25 camera options will be flawless. SKY in the meantime will be broadcasting in 4K…………


I would be delighted if I could pay FOM directly to watch F1.

Sky haven’t had a penny off me and that just will not change


Same here!

Top Bombing!


I moved from England to Canada and would certainly subscribe depending on where the commentary comes from. North American commentary is brutal… ‘and here comes the red car into the pits’.


Huh? We get the Sky F1 feed in Canada, on TSN.


Its bad but may get better with ESPN but I’m not betting on it.


I live in Canada too, and I find the pro English bias of the commentators very irritating (although not as irritating as the ad breaks, admittedly…). Can we get a nation-neutral commentary?

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