Fans will be able to watch previously unseen footage of races from the past 36 years on the new F1 TV streaming service.
While live race streaming will only be available in a limited number of regions via F1 TV Pro, F1 TV Access will make parts of FOM’s video archive available to most viewers worldwide.
“The goal is to have a handful of races, both on a full and highlight basis, available at launch,” said F1’s director of digital and new business Frank Arthofer. “Going back to 1981, so 36 years.”
“And a lot of that content has never been really seen or released, it’s been sitting in our production studio at Biggin Hill and we’re doing our best to make it available to fans. I personally think it’s a really great asset and something that, regardless of whether fans will pay for it, it will surprise and delight them once they sign up for the service.
“For context, this type of service typically take about 18 months to build,” Arthofer added. “We’ve done it in six which is quite a feat from the team who’s worked on it and we have a number of partners involved including Tata.”
Arthofer denied the new streaming service is intended to replace the traditional television broadcasting model.
Lucrative pay television deals have been a key source of income for Formula One. The upcoming launch of F1 TV Pro, which will allow fans in 40 markets to stream live coverage of races, which has been seen as a threat to those.
However Arthofer said it is “very much not the case” that the streaming service is intended to replace television broadcasts.
“We have 100 million or so viewers for an average race. I just said a percentage of 5 million would be the target from a subscriber base point of view in the near term in terms of addressable markets. Clearly I think there’s a role for both products.”
“This is what I would call the very ‘superfan’ product. But there will always be customer who free-to-air and cable TV is a great and cost-value proposition, very effective service. This isn’t about replacing that, it’s about delivering the really hardcore fans a better service than is currently available in the market.”
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