Formula One delays start of TV streaming service

FILE PHOTO: Reporters are silhouetted by a screen showing a F1 logo during a news conference to announce a Formula One race in Mexico City July 23, 2014. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One has pushed back the start of a new television streaming service which it had hoped to launch in Australia this weekend.

A spokesman said the OTT product would be tested over the season-opening weekend in Melbourne with an aim to start delivery as soon as possible after that.

"We will do an intense stress test this weekend, with people connecting from all over the world to test functionalities," he said.

The product was announced during testing in Barcelona last month with Formula One saying fans would be able to watch races in a different way, including from their favorite driver's perspective.

F1 TV will give access to cameras mounted on the cars of the 20 drivers as well as the traditional broadcast feed, with viewers able to split the screens of their mobile device or smart TV.

That would allow viewers to watch the action from two cars as their drivers battled for position.

Formula One, controlled by U.S.-based Liberty Media since January last year, had planned to offer the service initially in some 43 countries with new or renegotiated television deals.

They include most of Latin America, France, Germany, the United States, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Austria.

Monthly charges for the premium version will be in a range from $8-$12, with an annual deal around $100, with prices varying by market.

Frank Arthofer, Formula One's head of digital, told reporters earlier this month that the revenue possibilities were significant with an estimated 500 million Formula One fans worldwide.

"If even conservatively one percent of that customer base is a super-avid hard-core fan, that's a five million addressable audience to sell this product to, who would be potentially willing to pay the incremental fee," he said.

Arthofer added, however, that the immediate pressure was to deliver a "stable, technical experience" for fans and the immediate rollout would be desktop only.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Jon Boyle)

People also read these

Flawless Worley wins women's giant slalom gold

Feb 16, 2017

US-ALPINE-WORLD-WOMEN:Flawless Worley wins women's giant slalom gold

Biathlon: Russians sing anthem alone as...

Feb 19, 2017

US-BIATHLON-WORLD-ANTHEM:Biathlon: Russians sing anthem alone as organizers play wrong tune

Trump wigs in big demand during Carnival season...

Feb 20, 2017

So many people want to be Donald Trump this Carnival season in Austria that some costume shops have...

Tennis: Carreno Busta downs Norwegian teen to...

Feb 26, 2017

US-TENNIS-MEN-RIO:Tennis: Carreno Busta downs Norwegian teen to reach Rio final

Austria's foreign minister suggests halving...

Mar 1, 2017

US-EUROPE-AUSTRIA:Austria's foreign minister suggests halving number of EU commissioners

Sign up now!