Formula 1 is ready for delivering content to viewers directly over the internet following a test conducted in 2016.
With cable cutting – the act of cancelling multichannel subscription services in favor of online viewing – becoming widespread, especially in the US, Formula 1 is considering an OTT (‘Over the Top’) broadcasting scheme which would enable viewing races over the internet.
A full-scale test was conducted with Tata Communications at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix validated the technology conclusively.
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“One of the challenges that OTT has faced in the past is that what you see on your television versus what you see on your iPad or phone would not be synced up,” Tata’s managing director of F1 business, Mehul Kapadia told Autosport.
“That was the one big technology challenge that we have worked on solving, and demonstrating that we can do it.
“This was something we ran at the Singapore race and I would say the technology is now there to do it.”
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With broadcasters worldwide still locked in rights deals with FOM, it’s unlikely OTT will be introduced anytime soon. But the concept is right up Liberty Media’s alley, and F1’s new owners will likely prepare the sport for a full digital shift in the coming years.
“It is a commercial challenge about whether sports franchises want to directly reach to consumers and then not have the scale that comes to them from broadcasters,” admits Tata’s Kapadia.
“Whether you are watching football, F1 or cricket, the entertainment value is coming from being immersive and closer to the sport,” he added.
“We are looking at a 360-degree digital transformation that is going to happen, and all of it catering for fans.”
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