After some delay, Formula 1 racing is finally getting its own streaming service. The motorsport organization announced that F1 TV will launch in May, ahead of the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, which runs May 11-13. For the time being, F1 will continue its closed beta run of the service for testing during the Chinese Grand Prix and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The season recently started in March in Australia.
F1 TV is the organization’s own over the top (OTT) subscription video platform, and was produced with the likes of NBC Playmaker, iStreamPlanet, CSG, and Ostmodern. The first two will act as systems integrators and video streaming partners. CSG will handle payment and subscriber identity and management, and Ostmodern will design and deliver the web and app product experience. Tata Communications will handle connecticity services and global distribution for F1 TV.
F1 TV will first be available on desktop, followed by mobile access with Apple, Android, and Amazon Fire. Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV users will have access by summer.
“The launch of the service marks F1’s biggest investment in its digital transformation to date,” the announcement reads.
Race fans will have two service options with different price points. At the top is F1 TV Pro, which features live races and all 20 driver cameras. Premium tier subscribers also get side-by-side live race viewing and more exclusive feeds. Viewers can also personzalize the way they watch a race, controlling what they want to see and when. All practice and qualifying races will be available for live viewing, along with press conferences and interviews. Later in the season, the FIA Formula 2 Championship, GP3 Series, and Porsche Supercup will be added to the service.
The second subscription option will cost less and won’t include live video broadcasts, though subscribers will get live race timing data and radio broadcasts, in addition to extended highlights. There will also be access to archived F1 video content.
F1 TV will be priced at $70-$150 annually, with monthly rates going for $8-$12, depending on the market.
“There is tremendous opportunity in the OTT space to provide F1’s avid fans with a unique F1 viewing experience across all devices,” Frank Arthofer, Director of Digtal and New Business, Formula 1, said. “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.”