It’s no secret that ratings are down for NASCAR and that could be why Formula 1 recently announced plans to attract more U.S. fans with an innovative new product.
After spending the last year studying the sport, the owners of F1–Liberty Media–made it known they plan to launch an online streaming service and that it will create it in-house. This product will be used to live-stream races, as well as to create and distribute content that’s more tailored to a specific audience, which would be based on their geographical location, favorite drivers, and what type of measurement system is used in their country, according to Motorsport.com.
“Our objective is to create platforms in the direct-to-consumer arena that engage fans and leverage our assets – whether they are live races, archival [or] are data,” said Sean Bratches, who serves as F1’s commercial chief.
He added: “Our objective is to engage with the Netflix of the world, [with] the Amazons, and create content that fans can consume, which is compelling and tells different stories about what is going on in F1.”
F1’s plan to launch this new product reportedly factored into NBC’s decision not to renew its licensing deal. The network thought that battling with F1’s own promoter for viewership wasn’t in its best interest, according to Autosport.com.
F1 does not plan to release this product in areas where it already has exclusive television deals. This means the UK probably wouldn’t receive the service because of Sky’s multi-year contract.
Fans in the United States would benefit from this product specially since there are currently only four races on F1’s schedule that can be shown live to fans. Those four races are held in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Texas.
An online streaming service would give U.S. fans more access to Formula 1.
“We have an obligation to our fans, quite candidly, to ensure that they are able to access our content in any means they want,” said Bratches. “We would be derelict if we pursued a path for anything other than that.”
The current plan for F1’s online streaming service is for it to launch in 2018.