Formula One broadcasters requesting F1 TV Pro integration, says digital rights lead

Adam Crothers says broadcasters recognise value of series’ OTT service to their digital ecosystem.

Formula One broadcasters requesting F1 TV Pro integration, says digital rights lead

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  • Crothers says OTT product is “effectively placing a bet” on pay-TV broadcasters contracting
  • F1 TV Pro’s hardcore fan focus designed to make conversations with networks easier

Formula One's broadcast partners are now asking about how to integrate the F1 TV Pro over-the-top (OTT) streaming service into their ecosystem, according to Adam Crothers, the series’ head of digital media rights.

Speaking at SportsPro's latest Insider Series event, Crothers said that talks with the series broadcast partners around introducing its F1 TV Pro product in their territories are “not easy conversations”. Crothers described Formula One as effectively placing a bet that the pay-TV broadcast business will face “some contraction in the next couple of years” and that the series’ OTT strategy is designed to protect its interests going forward.

Crothers sees the F1 TV Pro audience as different to the more casual sports pay-TV subscriber and being more directly monetisable to Formula One. He says the conversations with broadcasters are now about how they can integrate F1 TV Pro into their own products.

Crothers said: "Fox Telecom in Australia, Channel 9 with Stan, [Foxtel’s] Kayo - they're all pivoting into that business, ESPN with ESPN+.

"What we're finding is these discussions, which is really interesting, they're saying 'how can we work with you on a creative bundle? How can we integrate F1 TV – or potentially NBA League Pass with the NBA – into our ecosystem'.”

Crothers said Formula One recognises the challenge of integrating F1 TV Pro in other territories, listing the series’ five largest markets in Europe: the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

"It very much differs market to market," he added. "Out of those five big territories we have in Europe - the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany - F1 TV is only available in one of those territories, France. We know it is not a straightforward conversation. Some broadcasters may see headroom they can use F1 TV to help them build into, others just say thanks but no thanks.

"We think really hard about that content offering and how we deliver that content. That's why we felt re-engineering the product made sense and make that conversation with the broadcaster a little bit easier.

“We’re saying ‘we’re hopefully not taking food off your table, withing the viewership ecosystem it’s additive’. That’s yet to be seen, we haven’t seen much validation of that yet.”

Watch the latest SportsPro Insider Series event in full here.