Before we get too in depth with this weeks blog I will commence with a wide and overarching statement and say I agree with Commercial TV rights for any given live sport, so I am not anti Foxtel, Optus or Telstra.
Last week Formula 1 rolled it's new TV subscription service aptly named F1 TV. I have come to the conclusion that I should look into this service. It comes in at $99.00 per year which I thought was ok and was going to foot the bill as Channel 10 are no longer allowed or did not see the value in telecasting F1 live with the exception of Melbourne GP (all races will be summed in in a 1 hour highlights package on the following Monday at 10.30pm). However as it turns out the F1TV Live service is not available in Australia “We have commercial agreements in place that restrict broadcasting in certain territories. We will expand the availability to other countries as time goes on, however there are no guarantees that your country will be included.”
The only service available in Australia is the F1 TV Access Subscription for $42.00 per year which gives you full race replays from the previous season - yes you read correctly the previous year. This is not even in the fine print and I have to be honest almost misleading. Below it clearly states F1 TV Access "Full replays and highlights from every F1 session" *The asterick means it is not applicable to Australia.
It actually took 4 emails to F1 TV Access to extract out of them what the $42.00 would entitle me to in Australia - "In Australia, you get access to the F1 TV archive (replays from the last season). Rights restrictions mean we can’t offer F1 TV in every country. But we’re always working hard to add more countries each season, so check the F1 TV Content Schedule for updates available at f1tv.formula1.com/en/content-schedule" Out of interest Botswana has the same struggle as Australia.
So in closing Foxtel is the only service where you can watch not only the entire race live but the entire race full stop. Clearly Foxtel have negotiated their position but how long do you think this will be the case in Australia? Would the potential loss revenue from F1TV subscriptions from Australia in future years out weigh Foxtels F1 exclusivity deal?
I am not suggesting F1 should forego it's pre-existing commercial rights but if you are choosing to go OTT you surely need to offer all corners of the Globe something more than a replay that is 12 months out of date?