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F1 to trial Twitch streaming with Mexican Grand Prix

Motorsports organisation Formula 1 has announced that it will trial streaming on Twitch with the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix.

Available in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, every session of this weekend’s Grand Prix will be available for live and for free on the Amazon-owned streamer.

The deal struck between Amazon and F1 is only limited to one race, and it will see a variety of gaming elements integrated into the broadcast. As opposed to the regular broadcast team, the sessions will be co-streamed by groups of in-market personalities, such as German gaming personality PietSmiet who will provide German commentary in Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Other gaming elements being integrated into the stream include a data extension that will allow users to predict drivers’ performance across the race’s ten-minute segments with the predictions forming something of a leaderboard.

Frank Arthofer, director of digital and licensing at Formula 1, said: “Twitch has incredible reach, a unique creative spin on sports media coverage and an engaged digital audience; they are a perfect partner for us to be working with on this project.”

Farhan Ahmed, strategic partnerships manager at Twitch, said: “Millions of people tune in to Twitch every day to watch live content and form communities around their shared interests. We’re thrilled to partner with Formula One to bring exciting motor racing content to our community in a way that’s unique, shared, and interactive.”

The announcement is the latest move from Twitch to move away from its core identity as the de facto gaming streaming platform and follows the introduction of ‘Watch Parties’ – a feature that allows personalities on the platform to stream select content from Amazon Prime Video.

Still, game streaming is hugely important and will likely be the core for Twitch for some time.

The latest example of gaming’s huge viewership draw was Fortnite’s two-day black hole event that saw the entire game effectively be turned off over the course of a weekend in order to start ‘Chapter 2’ of the popular esport title.

When gamers attempted to play the game, they were simply presented with a video of a black hole, and millions took to viewing the event.

On Twitch, more than 1.7 million people weatched either the official Fortnite stream or streams from personalities on the site. Despite no actual gameplay being shown, this was the platform’s peak concurrent record on a single game category, according to the game’s developer Epic.

Twitter saw 50.7 million minutes watched with 42.8 million views and a peak of 1.4 million concurrent viewers, while YouTube saw 4.3 million concurrent viewers across all channels.