Liberty Media Eyeing Formula 1 OTT Video Service23 Oct, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Formula 1 (F1) owner Liberty Media reportedly plans to launch an over-the-top live video platform featuring the famed auto racing series as early as next year.
While no formal announcement has been made, F1, which currently airs on Fox Sports, NBC Sports, and soon ESPN in the United States, is looking to expand access to consumers living outside broadcast areas. The organization also wants to produce content outside of racing.
“We have an obligation to our fans … to ensure that they are able to access our content in any means they want,” Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at F1, told Autosport.com. “We would be derelict if we pursued a path for anything other than that.”
Bratches, who spent 27 years as an executive at ESPN, joined F1 after it was acquired earlier this year by Liberty Media with former 21st Century Fox president Chase Carey named CEO.
With Disney-owned ESPN launching its first standalone branded OTT video platform in 2018, Bratches would appear to be borrowing the concept for F1 — including a branded app. The service would include live, archived and data-driven content.
"We are trying to create content that lives outside the grand prix weekends, which has been almost non-existent from digital or linear standpoints," he said.