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Formula 1 unveils launch plan for OTT TV service

Formula 1 is to officially launch its planned OTT TV service in May in time for the Spanish Grand Prix.

The service will run in a closed beta version to small group of fans ahead of the Spanish competition. The closed group will test the service during the upcoming Formula 1 2018 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix and Formula 1 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Formula 1 says that the launch of the service marks its biggest investment in its digital transformation to date.

F1 TV will be available in two different versions. A premium option, F1 TV Pro, will feature live races and all 20 driver-cameras, as well as side-by-side live race viewing and additional exclusive feeds.

Subscribers will be able to personalise the way they watch a Grand Prix, the content they view and how and when they access it.  All of practice, qualifying and races will be offered live, along with press conferences and pre- and post-race interviews.

Later in the season, the main support series FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series and Porsche Supercup will be added to the service.

The service will initially be available on computers, with apps for Apple, Android and Amazon Fire mobile phones and tablets to follow. Versions for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Apple TV will be available by the summer.

F1 TV will be available from US$70-US$150 (€57-€122) annually, with monthly rates varying between US$8-US$12. Pricing will be different in different markets.

The non-premium version of the service, F1 TV Access, will rovide live race timing data and radio broadcasts, as well as extended highlights of each session from the race weekend. It will also provide archive footage.

NBC Sports’ Playmaker Media, and iStreamPlanet will act as systems integrator and video streaming partner. CSG will deliver identity management, payment processing and business analysis. Ostmodern will design and deliver the web and app product experience. CDN and connectivity services to distribute the F1 TV content globally will be supplied by Tata Communications

Frank Arthofer, director of digital and new business, Formula 1, said: “There is tremendous opportunity in the OTT space to provide F1’s avid fans with a unique F1 viewing experience across all devices.  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.”