In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the media-rights landscape of motorsport.
Further detail on the deals covered in this interactive data report is available with our Rights Tracker tool – click here for more information.
Global motorsport worth $1.7bn in 2018
Motorsport has the sixth-most valuable media rights worldwide, according to the 2018 SportBusiness Consulting Global Report. The sport’s media rights were worth $1.7bn (€1.5bn) in 2018, accounting for 3.4 per cent of the global market. A steady compound annual growth rate of 6.3 per cent since 2014, according to the same report, maintained motorsport’s position in the upper echelon of global sport.
The sport comprises several major properties such as Formula One, Nascar, World Rally Championship, FIM MotoGP, IndyCar, FIA Formula E and FIM MotoCross.
Nascar is motorsport’s most valuable property on the back of two domestic US deals signed with Fox and NBC worth a combined $820m per year, from 2015 to 2024.
Formula One in focus
F1 has the widest global appeal within motorsports. Rights-holder Formula One Management agreed deals in 2018 in several key markets including France, Germany, Italy and Spain worth a combined $270m. F1’s value will be boosted in 2019 by agreements in the Netherlands, the Nordics, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and the UK.
The property’s most lucrative media-rights market is the UK. Pay-television broadcaster Sky has an exclusive six-year deal with Formula One Management, from 2019 to 2024. This represents a 157-per-cent increase per year that FOM earned in the UK market from 2016 to 2018. In that cycle, commercial broadcaster Channel 4 held rights to half of the grands prix each year. Sky’s package guaranteed them coverage of all races: non-exclusive rights to the same races as Channel 4, and exclusive rights to the remaining races.
In Italy, pay television broadcaster Sky Italia acquired exclusive rights from 2018 to 2020. Sky will show 17 of the 21 races exclusively on its dedicated pay-television channel. Four races will be shown live on its TV8 free-to-air channel, including the Italian grand prix at Monza.
This is an increase in value of about seven per cent on the previous five-year cycle, from 2013 to 2017. Sky held for rights to all races. Rai were able to broadcast nine live races each year, as well as delayed and highlights coverage of all other races.
Dubai-based free-to-air broadcaster MBC has acquired F1 in Mena, in a deal that runs for five seasons from 2019 to 2023.
MBC took over F1 rights in Mena from Qatar’s beIN Media Group, which had held the rights from 2014 after acquiring them from the agency MP & Silva. The latter’s appetite to retain the rights for a further cycle was constrained by the ongoing piracy of its content by the Saudi-based pirate channel beoutQ.
In addition to its global broadcast deals, F1 launched in 2018 its subscription services F1 TV Access and F1 TV Pro, which are currently available in 111 and 67 countries, respectively. F1 must negotiate the freedom to launch its OTT service in each media-rights deal it agrees, as broadcasters which agree to the F1 TV launch in their territory lose some exclusivity.
F1 TV Pro, the premium subscription, features live races and more camera feeds than a traditional broadcast. Subscribers can personalise the content they view. All practice and qualifying sessions are available, as well as press conferences and pre- and post-race interviews.
F1 TV Access, the second tier, provides live race-timing data and radio broadcasts, as well as extended highlights. It also includes access to archive video content.
Major motor racing broadcasters
World Rally Championship
WRC Promoter, which manages World Ralley Championship’s commercial rights, has agreed a host of new international deals beginning in 2019.
Notably, OTT streaming service DAZN has agreed a four-year deal for WRC rights across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Spain, from 2019 to 2022.
The new deal was jointly-marketed with the Pitch International agency.
In Finland, public-service broadcaster YLE has agreed a non-exclusive deal with WRC Promoter for an initial two years, 2019 and 2020, with an option to extend for a further two. It is extremely likely that the deal will be extended until 2022.
The value of MotoGP rights is highest in Spain. DAZN acquired exclusive pay-television rights to the MotoGP World Championship in a four-year deal, from 2019 to 2022.
The deal also includes rights to Moto2, Moto3, MotoE and the World Superbike Championship. The fee is an increase of about ten per cent on MotoGP’s previous four-year deal, with telco Telefónica, from 2015 to 2018.
DAZN since sublicensed in Spain the Valencia and Argentinian grands prix in 2019. Commercial broadcaster Mediaset acquired rights to the two races. Catalan public-service broadcaster TV3 acquired free-to-air rights in Catalunya only. DAZN will also show both races.
In the second-most valuable new deal, pay television broadcaster Sky fought off competition from DAZN to continue to host MotoGP in Italy. Its new three-year deal will run from 2019 to 2021.