Formula 1 has announced a standalone streaming service, which is launching in time for the 2018 season’s curtain-raising Grand Prix in Australia.
The new F1 TV service, announced at MWC 2018, will allow fans of the world’s pre-eminent motorsport to follow the action from their favourite driver’s perspective.
Available from April, the subscription-based platform will put viewers in the director’s chair, giving them access to cameras atop all 20 drivers’ cars.
Viewers will even be able to choose multiple streams to watch in split-screen, Formula 1 says, giving them far more control over proceedings than traditional TV broadcasts.
For example, you could watch the main feed of the race within the larger portion of the screen and have a boxout featuring the stats and on-car camera feed of your favourite driver.
“You can go head-to-head with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel as they battle for second place – and actually go side-by-side and look at the view from each of their cars,” Frank Arthofer, Formula 1’s head of digital said (via Reuters).
No UK launch at present
Unfortunately, Brits will not have access to the service because of the existing accords with Channel 4 and Sky TV in the UK.
Out of the gate, F1 TV will be available in two-dozen countries including Mexico, France, Germany, the United States, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary and Austria. Feeds will be available in English, French, Spanish and German.
There will be tiered access to the service, with the premium F1 TV Pro subscription costing about $100 a year (about £72), or $8-12 per month, depending on the market.
A more affordable F1 TV Access platform will offer live stats, radio commentary, race highlights and access to archive video content. This service, it seems, will be accessible in more countries, with F1 touting “near global” availability.
The service arrives following Liberty Media’s takeover of F1 in 2017.
Lower angles, greater realism
Brits who feel like they’re missing out on F1 TV will be glad to know the subscription service arrives alongside a wider overhaul of how the sport is broadcast on television.
“We will totally revitalise the way F1 is produced,” F1’s sport’s commercial boss Sean Bratches told Motorsport.com.
“We are going to close the apertures, focus intently on the racing, and lower the [positioning of the] cameras – because the lower the camera, the higher the realism of the speed.
“We will also have 25 spotters around each grand prix to call back to race control and tell them where overtaking is about to take place.
“From a graphics stand point, we’ll have a brand-new package – putting them in a local language and also putting MPH in countries that use MPH. We are doing a lot to amplify the experience.”
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