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Formula 1 to launch OTT TV service

Formula 1 is to launch a new OTT TV service, marking its biggest investment in digital media to date.

The new service, F1 TV, will launch “early” in the current F1A Formula 1 World Championship season, providing advertising-free live streams of each race with multi-language commentary.

The service will provide exclusive access to all 20 driver on-board cameras throughout every race session. According to Formula 1, the premium version of the service, F1 TV Pro, will have unique feeds not available on any other platform with the capability of “multi-level personalisation”.

In addition to the main race, all practice sessions and qualifying races will  be offered live, along with press conferences and pre and post-race interviews. Subscribers will be able to watch live races of the main support series, the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series and Porsche Supercup, among others.

The service will be available in English, French, German and Spanish during the current season. It will be available in “nearly two dozen” markets including Germany, France, the US, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and much of Latin America.

F1 TV will initially be available via the web, with mobile apps and TV apps due to be launched on Amazon, Apple and Android devices.

The service comes in two variants – F1 TV Pro an dF1 TV Access. F1 TV Pro, which will include full functionality, which will be available for between US$8 and US$12 a month, depending on the market.

F1 TV Access, a less expensive non-live version of the service, will provide live race timing data and radio commentary, as well as extended highlights of each session from the race weekend.

F1 TV Access will also enable access to archive video content. The Access service will be available in most global market from launch.

Formula 1 has tapped Tata Communications to provide CDN and connectivity services for the new offering.

“With the launch of F1 TV, we are beginning on the journey to build a cornerstone of our digital transformation. F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans, and 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,” said Frank Arthofer, director of digital and new business, Formula 1.

“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. Our team and our partners are singularly focused on delivering on that vision: not just for launch but over the long-term. Live streaming video is an exciting space changing almost daily.”

Mehul Kapadia, managing director, Tata Communications’ F1 Business, said: “F1 is the first global sport to adopt such an ambitious mobile strategy – and we’re excited to be part of it. A single global OTT video platform, with multiple live feeds and hundreds of hours of past highlights, gives fans the power to create their own unique, immersive motorsports experiences. It’s a way to keep existing audiences hooked and attract new fans to the world of F1 too.”