F1 in Amazon talks over future streaming deal

Tom Rawcliffe
F1 Camera PA

F1 Camera PA

Formula 1 are considering the possibility of streaming their races live online, with conversations ongoing with the likes of Amazon.

F1 is a sport watched by millions around the world, and so different broadcasters across the globe pay good money to be able to broadcast the sport live on their channels.

For the United Kingdom it is Sky Sports, for the United States it is ESPN, but the sport’s bosses are now looking into teaming up with online streaming platforms such as Amazon.

Ian Holmes, F1’s director of media rights, has revealed they are in contact with the likes of Facebook and YouTube, but more serious discussions are being had with Amazon over whether they would purchase the rights to show the actual races, or just look to become the host of the already existing F1 TV.

As quoted by RaceFans, he said: “On the Amazon front, we’re actually engaged with them in a couple of discussions at the moment, specific discussions and two types of discussions.

“One is, you might be familiar with Amazon Channels. So that would be an example where you’ve got Amazon Prime, which is where you see the films, the content they buy – quite a lot of tennis, depending on where you are – and that sits within their content offering. If you’re Prime subscriber, you get that content for free.

“They have a thing called Amazon Channels where they carry additional OTT (over-the-top) offerings – in some cases linear channels, in some cases OTT offerings.

“We are in discussions with them on both fronts. We’re talking to them about specifically acquiring our rights in the same way you would sell to any other media company. But we’re also talking to them about a channels arrangement, where we have got the opportunity of putting F1 TV into the market.”

Amazon Prime PA
Amazon Prime PA

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Existing deals do complicate matters though, as Holmes admits, with other broadcasters already having the rights to some of the things which Amazon are potentially interested in.

Apple are another company who could also potentially show an interest, but Netflix, who already have connections with Formula 1 with their popular behind-the-scenes ‘Drive to Survive’ series, will not be looking to broadcast live races any time soon.

Holmes added: “Netflix we talk to any way, different situation, they maintain their positioning that they will not be in the business of acquiring live sports rights. It would be nice if they did, but let’s see.”

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