Massive news broke yesterday with Formula 1 launching ‘F1 TV’ – Here’s everything you need to know

Formula 1 has announced it will be launching its own ad-free digital video streaming service in time for the opening race of the season in Melbourne at the end of March.

The service will feature two packages; an entry level option called ‘F1 Access’ which will be available globally and will be priced at around $2-3 per month. This will feature race replays, archive footage and some additional extras such as data and live audio streaming.

The second option will be a premium service called ‘F1 Pro’, priced at around $8-12 per month and will be limited to around 40 countries at launch. This will feature all of the features of the ‘F1 Access’ package, plus for the first time ever, live F1 races available without a cable subscription or free-to-air TV.

The premium package will be available in four languages (English, French, German, and Spanish) and will include 24 feeds, including the world feed, 20 onboard cameras available on a live basis, a data feed and other two channels that are yet to be revealed.

Frank Arthofer, F1’s director of digital, addressed questions from the F1 press in Barcelona, and stressed that Liberty Media’s goal is to enhance the experience for both casual and hardcore F1 fans.

“It’s pretty groundbreaking from a sports perspective, because for the first time ever, one individual sport will be stream 24 different feeds live from the same event,” he said.

“The really big points for us are, firstly, to deliver a great experience to the fans and to enhance the way that our fans experience Formula 1.

“Secondly, the core demographics for this product are as following: firstly, it’s fans who don’t have cable but who are F1 fans in a market where it’s available on a pay TV basis.

“The second is the super hardcore fans, and by our estimates we have around 500m F1 fans around the world, about 5% of the world population, which is quite a bignumber.

Arthofer confirmed that the service will launch on desktop first to ensure they are able to provide a ‘stable technical’ experience before expanding the platform further.

“When we launch in Australia, we’ll launch on desktop only to make sure we get that right. Then we’ll move thereafter to launching on mobile apps, and then onto connected TV devices,” he said.

With Sky holding the exclusive UK live rights until 2024, Arthofer confirmed that they will be using the Sky commentary team for its English language service, and will be working with all their existing partners rather than trying to compete with them.

“We’re very open to working with our partners to see if there’s a path to upselling this product to our broadcast partners’ customer base,” he explained.

“The more time people spend with F1, the better it is for all stakeholders in F1. We have conversations on a regular basis about other sports and the value they’ve seen of putting live clips during a race on social media platforms, which actually drives TV audiences instead of taking away from them.

“From our perspective it gives fans the chance to engage more deeply with the sport, and that’s a win for everyone involved.”