Start, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Red Bull-owned TV channel to broadcast F1 in Austria

2021 F1 season

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Red Bull-owned television channel Servus TV has agreed a joint deal with long-standing F1 broadcaster ORF which will allow fans in Austria to watch all races live on free-to-air television.

Servus TV and ORF have agreed to share F1 broadcasting rights in a three-year deal beginning next year. As the 2021 F1 calendar has not yet been announced, the two are yet to confirm details of which races they will show, though both will carry Austria’s round of the world championship at the Red Bull Ring live.

“The co-operation with ORF makes sense economically and guarantees that Formula 1 fans have access to all races live on free TV,” said Servus TV director general Dr Ferdinand Wegscheider.

Red Bull purchased Servus TV in 2007. The channel already shows popular motorbike racing championships. “With Formula 1, Moto GP and the Superbike World Championship Servus TV will offer the best live motorsport program to viewers from 2021 onward,” added Wegscheider.

F1’s director of media rights Ian Holmes described the new arrangement, under which two free-to-air channels will share live race rights, as “unique”.

“F1’s loyal fans will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds with comprehensive live and delayed coverage shared between the two-leading free-to-air platforms in Austria,” he said. “I am sure Formula 1 will benefit from Servus TV’s extraordinary energy, style and enthusiasm which will perfectly complement ORF’s hugely popular, knowledgeable, and respected production.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Red Bull-owned TV channel to broadcast F1 in Austria”

  1. Interesting. ServusTV is also airs freely in Germany. Wonder what Sky is going to do about that. They might block Satellite access somehow but I doubt they can stop Southern Germany from receiving it via Antenna.

    1. ServusTV Austria doesn’t always show the same programme as ServusTV Germany, because it’s among those channels (at least ServusTV HD is) who are only available, if you pay the ORF-license fee (national TV).
      That’s about € 280,- per year.

      Their streaming service is also limited by region (Austria only).

      1. @srga91 Geoblock restrictions should be easy to bypass with a half-decent VPN

        1. @huhhii
          Yes, I am aware of that. I just wanted to point out that under normal circumstances (without a VPN) it isn’t available everywhere.

        2. @huhhii pretty much anything is easy enough to access for free with a VPN or just an ordinary web browser, if we’re going down that route then there’s no point in any of these deals being signed

        3. IMOLA2020andKyalami2021
          7th July 2020, 23:29

          You have to learn German to understand the commentary. I know a bit though.

  2. Dual deal, that could work rather well. NASCAR has done this for ages, FOX shows the first half of the season, NBC shows the second half. Reduces the cost of F1 TV rights and makes it more appealing for FTA channels. Furthermore, scheduling becomes easier (imagine one channel shows the Champions League, and wants to show F1 too. A deal giving them the second half of the season would give them the opportunity to put F1 with no schedule conflict, while, the 1st half is given to another broadcaster)

    1. transparency is a problem. 2 f1 teams, 2 GP and now tv rights. Great investment and support but too much power?

      1. RedBull has been slowly diversifying their brand
        Even though they sold 7.5 billion cans (haven’t confirmed but it’s around that number) last year, growth has been slow and public perception of energy drinks is starting to creep in.
        They own football teams (5) from USA to Germany, an ice hockey team, obviously motorsport teams and other events
        I think they are the type of privateer that F1 wishes there was more of since it fits into their brand

  3. @john-h
    It seems that your dish method is still alive. Servus TV is available on Astra 19.2.

    1. Thanks for thinking of me @tifoso1989.
      Had a quick look into it, will need a new box though the decrypt it, perhaps only available to Austrians I’m not sure.

      1. @john-h
        I’ve just checked found it already decrypted on the type of receiver that I currently use.

        1. @tifoso1989
          Are you sure that it’s Servus TV AUSTRIA (not GERMANY)?
          Their broadcasting programs differ a bit (especially when it comes to sports).
          MotoGP, for example, is only broadcasted on Servus TV Austria.

          1. @srga91
            It’s Servus TV Österreich and it is listed alongside the Austrian Channels list.

  4. That makes a lot of sense, since both channels are part of the national TV license fee in Austria.

    I wonder if they’ll use the same commentators on both channels (Alex Wurz & Ernst Hausleitner) or if ServusTV will bring in their own ones.

  5. The thought of Red Bull (the TV channel) broadcasting coverage of Red Bull (the F1 team) from the Red Bull ring makes me uneasy for some reason!

    1. Stephen Dennison
      8th July 2020, 5:50

      Sounds like someone needs a pick me up, can of Redbull?

      1. Don’t touch the stuff. Pee coloured chemical rubbish!

        When they ban energy drinks in the future because we have a whole generation suffering from heart palpitations then you’ll understand why!

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