Formula One Management’s (FOM) long-awaited over-the-top (OTT) internet streaming service is set to launch for the start of the European F1 season in May ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.
Announced in late February, the OTT service is developed to enhance fans around the world enjoy and engage with the Formula 1 season. Fans will be offered commercial free-streaming with live coverage of the Formula 1 World Championship and supporting categories such as the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 and Porsche Supercup Series.
Die-hard supporters will be able to customise their experience gaining access to all twenty onboard cameras with split-screen capabilities or the choice of the ‘world’ feed and a chosen onboard camera.
Press conferences, pre- and post-race interviews along with extended highlights of all sessions will also be available to streamers. The long-awaited access to a range of archival video content from the Formula 1 historical archive will be in addition to fans to view and enjoy famous races from over the years.
“F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans,” said Frank Arthofer, Director of Digital and New Business in Formula 1, during the initial announcement earlier in the year.
“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.
“Our objective with F1 TV is simple: provide these fans with the best available service to watch live Grands Prix and provide them with the best sports OTT customer experience in the world.
“Live streaming video is an exciting space changing almost daily. We are beginning on the journey to build a cornerstone of our digital transformation.”
The service will come in two price tiers. F1 TV Pro will offer all of the above plus more unique feeds no other viewing platform has access to. A low-cost alternative will also be available to fans called F1 TV Access, similar to the current F1 Access subscribers can hold now.
Pricing will be offered on an annual basis of $70-$150 depending on the package chosen, with monthly rates ranging from $8-12. The service will be priced according to market.
FOM’s service produced with the help of streaming service giants NBC Playmaker and iStreamPlanet will join Tata Communications (Formula 1’s official communications partner) in rolling out the service. More beta testing with a limited number of fans occurred for the recent Chinese and Azerbaijan Grands Prix.
F1 TV will initially launch on desktop with mobile and television platforms Apple, Android and Amazon following shortly after.
The OTT service will launch in four different languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and become available in over sixty countries at release such as parts of Europe, the USA and much of Latin America.
This launch purposely avoids being in conflict and competition with major broadcasters like SKY, who have multi-million-dollar deals for exclusively broadcasting in territories such as the UK, Italy, Australia and the USA.
Australian fans will be without the service for now as Foxtel simulcasts SKY’s service offering every session live with qualifying and the races ad-break free in HD.
“There is tremendous opportunity in the OTT space to provide F1’s avid fans with a unique F1 viewing experience across all devices,” added Arthofer ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix launch date announcement.
“With this launch, fans will find an easy to use streaming experience, rich with live and on-demand content available only on F1 TV, all at a great price.”
Below is a list of the markets F1 TV will release in at launch:
ARGENTINA, ANGUILLA, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, ARUBA, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN, BAHAMAS, BARBADOS, BELGIUM, BOSNIA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS, BULGARIA, CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS, CAYMAN ISLANDS, CHILE, COLOMBIA, COSTA RICA, CROATIA, CURAÇAO, DOMINICA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, FRANCE, GERMANY, GRENADA, GUADELOUPE, GUATEMALA, HAITI, HONDURAS, HUNGARY, JAMAICA, LUXEMBOURG, MARTINIQUE, MEXICO, MONACO, MONTSERRAT, NICARAGUA, PARAGUAY, PERU, POLAND, ROMANIA, SAINT BARTHÉLEMY, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS, SAINT LUCIA, SAINT MARTIN, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, SERBIA, SINT MAARTEN, SLOVENIA, SOUTH TYROL, SWITZERLAND, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, TURKEY, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, UKRAINE, UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS, URUGUAY, USA and VENEZUELA.
Image via Formula1.com and Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team