US company Amazon is in “regular contact” with Formula 1 over a potential TV rights deal.
Former CEO Chase Carey confirmed to the Financial times in December that F1 was involved in “active” discussions for broadcasting of the sport to be streamed by the internet titan.
The two parties already have an existing partnership which can regularly be seen on F1 broadcasts, AWS (Amazon Web Services) insights.
Amazon have been bolstering the range of sports being streamed on their digital platform, Prime Video. This includes football, tennis and rugby.
F1 launched their own streaming service in 2018: F1 TV. The streaming service provides over-the-top coverage of races to currently 85 countries.
F1 director of media rights Ian Holmes reiterated that talks were still ongoing for Amazon to broadcast the sport – and also making F1 TV available on the platform.
“We’re actually engaged in them on a couple of discussions at the moment, two types of specific discussions,” Holmes told Autosport.
“You might be familiar with a thing called Amazon Channels. That would be an example where you’ve got Amazon Prime, which is where you see the content they buy, such as quite a lot of tennis, depending on where you are.
“It sits within their content, channels where they carry additional OTT offerings – in some cases linear channels, in some cases OTT offerings. We are in discussions with them on both fronts.
“We’re talking to them about specifically acquiring our rights, in the same way you would sell to any other media company. But we’re also talking to them about a channels arrangement where we have got the opportunity of putting F1 TV into the market.”
Although Sky Sports and Channel Four currently share the broadcasting rights for F1 in the UK, Homles has not ruled out that F1 TV Pro could be shown on Amazon, alongside traditional television deals. This is currently the situation in Brazil for this season.
“Could you do a deal where on the one hand they acquire your rights, we carve out F1 TV and F1 TV is carried on channels? Maybe,” said Holmes.
“They’re no different from any other pay TV offering, in the sense that if they’re acquiring the rights, they may want exclusivity.
“But in some markets, they’re not acquiring the rights, and some of the markets we’re talking to them about channels, and we already have a deal in place with another party, so we couldn’t do the rights side.
“The answer is we’re talking to them, we talk to them generally, and we’re talking to them specifically on a couple of examples.”
F1’s own docuseries, Drive to Survive – which is streamed on rival platform Netflix – is due to be released on March 19.
Image Credit: ESPN, AWS
Sources: Autosport, Financial Times
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