Netflix would ‘think about’ F1 buyout to stream races

Netflix would consider a bid to take over the running of Formula 1 if it was available, to ensure it had the control needed to justify broadcasting races live.

With streaming services getting more involved in bidding against traditional television channels for live sporting rights, there has been speculation that F1’s broadcast plans could shift in the long term.

Amazon has shown recent deals to stream exclusive football and tennis can work in attracting interest beyond movies and series, and F1 would be a logical sport to further drive up viewers.

But while Netflix has enjoyed great success with its ‘F1 Drive to Survive’ series, the company is more cautious about areas of broadcast that move away from its traditional core.

In particular, it is sceptical about wanting to broadcast news or live sports because there is no guarantee that the end product will be good enough. It wants full control over any content it produces.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Der Spiegel, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings said: “News is by its nature political, and it varies greatly from country to country.

“It is difficult to produce news as a globally operating company without making enemies. It's much easier for others who only cater to a regional market. Besides, we make entertainment and not journalism, which should have certain standards and follow ethical guidelines. We also keep our hands off live sport.”

Hastings said that the only way Netflix would consider getting behind the live broadcast of sport would be if it owned the entire platform, like Liberty Media does with F1 at the moment.

And in an intriguing comment, he suggested that if F1 did come up for sale again, then Netflix would seriously consider a bid.

“With sports broadcasts we have no control over the source,” he said. “We don't own the Bundesliga, which can make deals with whomever it wants. But this kind of control would be a prerequisite for us to be able to offer our customers a secure deal.

“A few years ago, the [commercial] rights to Formula 1 were sold. At that time we were not among the bidders, today we would think about it.”

But while international streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have been linked with global F1 deals because of their reach, the nature of broadcast contracts makes such a worldwide contract very difficult to realise.

Speaking earlier this year, F1’s director of media rights Ian Holmes said he expected future broadcast contracts to remain on a region-by-region basis.

“Amazon as a business, and it’s same with Apple, Netflix, they are worldwide, but they don't buy worldwide rights,” Homes told Motorsport.com. “So they might have a series available in one country but not another.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1
Previous article

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

Next article

Bottas would accept team orders to support Hamilton’s title bid

Bottas would accept team orders to support Hamilton’s title bid
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022