F1 TV: Formula 1 Streaming Service Announced
Custom broadcasts, archive footage access, and mobile access? Someone's been listening.
It has been known since October that Formula 1 will be streamed online in 2018 and beyond. Details on the service, however, were vague. Pricing, international availability, and miscellaneous features remained unknowns capable of repelling potential viewers, who would otherwise have no choice but to watch from networks like SkySports and its partner ESPN. As of Tuesday, details regarding the streaming service, to be named F1 TV, were announced, dispelling most uncertainties about the service.
Streaming packages will be one of two tiers, which include Access and Pro. The price for Access is lower than Pro, and its features are thus limited. Live timing screens, radio commentary, a serving of highlight reels from every session of the Grand Prix weekend, and historic archive video streaming complete the Access package.
Pro gives viewers the ability to watch every practice, qualifying, and race session part of a Grand Prix weekend, support series like F2 and Porsche Supercup included. F1 itself can be watched from any (even multiple) of the twenty drivers' points of view, or any of the other camera angles, some exclusive to the F1 TV Pro platform. Pricing will vary between $8-$12 per month, with annual rates to be determined.
Both tiers of service will be available in English, French, German, and Spanish, and will launch in countries across Europe and North America. The United States, Mexico, some of Latin America, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Hungary have been named as launch audiences. The service will be computer-only at first, but in time, mobile apps will follow, and Apple, Amazon, and Android services will adopt the service.
While some competing global motorsports, such as the World Rally Championship and MotoGP have their own streaming services, access across platforms is limited by the relatively small sizes of their respective fanbases.
“With the launch of F1 TV, we are beginning on the journey to build a cornerstone of our digital transformation," said Liberty Media's Frank Arthofer. "F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans, and we are firm believers that while we are bringing a new audience to the sport, we must always remain focused on delivering products and experiences that serve the most avid F1 fans."
Does this make you as excited as it makes the likes of myself and Caleb Jacobs? Head on over to our 2018 F1 spotters' guide and inform yourself on who's driving what this year. Those of you more familiar with F1 may instead enjoy my recap of everything important that happened in F1 over the winter.