In the shadows of diminishing global audiences Formula One is being dragged into the modern era by its new owners Liberty Media with the ultimate example of that being their F1 TV app launching for the 2018 season.
For many years fans of F1 have been able to access live timing, live track maps and commentary via a paid subscription in-app on Android and iOS. The thing is in 2018 (and arguably 2015, ’16 and ’17) fans want a lot more than live timing data.
In 2018 F1 TV will make available a live feed of the race plus in-car cameras across the field.
All 20 on-board cameras throughout the race, all through the season – SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
The problem is this new breed of content is going head to head with an old-school set of TV rights around the world.
Markets listed for launch are places like Germany, France, Mexico, Latin America but certainly no mention of Australia.
That’s because our rights were sold comprehensively to the Ten Network who have since sub-licenced them to Fox Sports. Those rights would include streaming, which is why you can stream the F1 on the Foxtel Now service.
So, no F1 TV for us, and there’s no guarantee that even in the next rights package Foxtel (or Ten) would forego those streaming rights.
For my mind, I’d like to see Foxtel sit down with F1 and negotiate a login package for Foxtel Subscribers – sure it wouldn’t be popular to put this paid content behind the additional paywall of a Fox Sports subscription – but for Fox Sports subscribers the option of even more content might just mean money in the bank for both F1 and Fox Sports.
Time will tell.
Until then, we’ll have to dream of all the features others are getting.