Live from Barcelona: F1 launches TV app for hardcore fans with Tata Communications

With a new over the top (OTT) service for dedicated fans of car racing, Formula 1 has announced a mobile TV app with Tata Communications, here at Mobile World Congress. Tata, the official connectivity provider to Formula 1, is powering the new F1 TV mobile app, which it claimed will transform how people are able to watch and engage with the sport.  Starting with the 2018 season, Formula 1 will use the app to deliver the action live from every race to fans directly, and expand its reach to new audiences. 

Formula 1 will use Tata Communications’ Ultra Live Video Delivery Network (VDN) to power its new mobile app. These VDN capabilities are underpinned by Tata Communications’ global superfast network, which minimises latency for video content and ensures an immersive, high quality entertainment experience for fans.

Through F1 TV fans will be able to experience the live race action in a more immersive and engaging way through 20 driver cameras. The wealth of video content will give fans the freedom to choose which part of the action they follow at any given moment on or off-track. Practice sessions and qualifiers will also be offered live, along with press conferences pre and post-race interviews.

A premium version of the app with all of these features, F1 TV Pro, will be available in close to two dozen markets at launch (including Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and much of Latin America). It will cost $70 to $120 per year, depending on market. A ‘light’ version, F1 TV Access, will be available in almost every country around the world. As teens in the US alone spend on average just 14% of their video time watching live TV [Trendera 2017], the app will allow Formula 1 to reach younger audiences more effectively.

“With the launch of F1 TV, we are beginning on the journey to build a cornerstone of our digital transformation,” said Frank Arthofer, director of digital and new business at Formula 1. “F1 TV subscription products are clearly and centrally aimed at our hardest core fans, and we are firm believers that while we are bringing a new audience to the sport, we must always remain focused on delivering products and experiences that serve the most avid F1 fans. Our objective with F1 TV is simple: provide these fans with the best available service to watch live Grand Prix and provide them with the best sports OTT customer experience in the world.  Our team and our partners are singularly focused on delivering on that vision: not just for launch but over the long term. Live streaming video is an exciting space changing almost daily.”    

“F1 is the first global sport to adopt such an ambitious mobile strategy – and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Mehul Kapadia, MD, Tata Communications’ F1 Business. “People don’t want to just passively watch TV anymore. A single global OTT video platform, with multiple live feeds and hundreds of hours of past highlights, gives fans the power to create their own unique, immersive motorsports experiences. It’s a way to keep existing audiences hooked and attract new fans to the world of F1 too. I expect other sports to follow Formula 1’s lead and re-imagine through mobile platforms how they bring the action from the stadium, pitch or track to millions of people worldwide.”

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