According to a report from the Financial Times, Formula One is in active talks with Amazon to bring racing to the retail giants’ streaming service.
Paving Digital In-Roads
Despite its flair of international sophistication, Formula One is a U.S.-owned operation. Formula One was acquired by Denver-based Liberty Media for $8 billion in 2017.
Formula One makes one-third of its revenue from lucrative broadcast television deals. The bedrock broadcast deal for the company remains its $250-million-per-year deal with Comcast-owned UK network Sky, which runs through 2024. Streaming companies have.
According to the report, F1 is now working to attract a younger audience who is more accustomed to streaming.
For Amazon, the deal is right in the wheelhouse, but has been among the most aggressive of the internet giants in bidding for live sports rights around the world.
- The company has secured rights to stream National Football League matches in the US, is among the broadcasters of the English Premier League in the UK, and earlier this month said it wanted to secure deals to screen big cricket matches in India.
Make or Brake
Despite the built-in social distancing of a single-seater race car, the pandemic has been devastating for F1.
The group incurred operating losses of $363m in the first nine months of the year, because of lower fees from race promoters and a hit to corporate hospitality without fans in attendance.
Liberty Media was forced to inject $1.4bn of cash into F1 in April, furloughed half its workforce and agreed salary cuts with executives to weather the pandemic.
The Takeaway: The digital future is here. Can Formula One keep up?