After some initial delays, Formula One’s own direct-to-consumer OTT service F1 TV launched for the Spanish grand prix during the 2018 Formula One season.
The service has two subscription levels; F1 TV Pro, which includes live race broadcasts, alternative camera angles and allows subscribers to personalise their viewing experience; and F1 TV Access, which features live radio broadcasts and live race-data, but not live television coverage.
The service is aimed at hard core Formula One fans, who under the previous regime often felt under-served. It is therefore not designed to replace Formula One’s media rights agreements.
However, in certain territories, including the UK, Italy and Spain, F1 TV Pro is not available as the broadcasters who agree to the F1 TV launch in their territory lose some exclusivity. In the case of Italy and Spain the potential of the OTT platform undoubtedly acted as a bargaining chip for Formula One in its negotiations with its pay-television broadcast partners.
On the other hand, in Germany, where Formula One was unable to agree a deal with Sky Deutschland, the service effectively replaces Sky as Formula One’s pay-television partner.