In the latest interactive monthly data report, SportBusiness Media analyses the Formula 1 media-rights landscape.
Further detail on the deals covered in this interactive data report is available with our Rights Tracker tool – click here for more information.
According to the 2020 SportBusiness Consulting Global Report, Formula 1’s media rights are the fifteenth-most valuable of any sports property in the world, worth about $627m (€532m) in 2020. This accounts for 1.4 per cent of the total global sports-rights market. The value of these rights in 2020 were significantly affected by Covid-19, with race cancellations and rescheduling resulting in significant rebates to international broadcasters.
Formula 1 is the second-most valuable motorsport property globally, marginally topped by Nascar. It accounts for about 40 per cent of the total motorsport value.
2020 was the last season in several high-value contracts, with the series entering into 2021 with new deals in place in the major markets of Germany, Italy and Spain. The future of the value of the sports’ rights is likely to recover from 2020 and grow, with Formula 1 securing an uplift from two out of three of these markets from 2021. The SportBusiness Global Media Report estimates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 7.7 per cent from 2016 to 2023.
Formula 1 media-rights deals are agreed by Formula One Management (FOM), the commercial arm of Formula 1 motor racing.
The main European markets
In 2021, there will be a new Formula 1 media-rights deal commencing in four out of five of its most valuable European markets.
In Germany, the value of Formula 1 rights will be more than double the 2020 value (before Covid-19 rebates). Pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland acquired exclusive rights from 2021 to 2024. FOM previously agreed two separate deals with Sky and RTL. The latter held free-to-air rights in a three-year deal, from 2018 to 2020. The former held pay-television rights in a two-year deal, covering 2019 and 2020. Sky has since sublicensed four races to commercial broadcaster RTL for the 2021 and 2022 seasons to be shown free-to-air.
In Italy, the uplift was more modest, with pay-television Sky Italia agreeing a deal, covering 2021 and 2022, which extended its rights deal for a further two years. The broadcaster held rights from 2018 to 2020. Sky is also expected to continue sublicensing free-to-air live rights to the Italian Grand Prix to Rai, the state broadcaster. Rai held those rights from 2018 to 2020.
In Spain, telco Telefónica renewed its rights from 2021 to 2023, a ﬂat fee on its per-season fee in its previous deal from 2018 to 2020. In January 2021, streaming service DAZN and Telefónica agreed to a carriage agreement which involves DAZN exclusively sublicensing Formula 1 rights from Telefónica, between 2021 and 2023. DAZN will launch a dedicated linear channel entitled DAZN F1 on the telco’s Movistar+ platform.
In France, pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus activated an option to extend its Formula 1 rights agreement by two years, covering 2021 and 2022. Canal Plus will continue to pay the same amount it paid in its previous deal from 2018 to 2020.
Click on each market icon to filter historical media-rights value information.
The 2021 season
The 2021 season will also see new media-rights agreements in other valuable territories such as Austria, Brazil, Turkey and Russia.
In Austria, commercial broadcaster Servus TV agreed to a three-year deal until 2023. The broadcaster’s outlay is a 50-per-cent increase on the amount paid by public-service broadcaster ORF, in a four-year deal from 2017 to 2020. Servus has signed a sublicensing agreement with ORF that will allow the latter to broadcast up to half of each season’s races for the duration of Servus’ deal.
In Brazil, Formula 1 decided to change strategy by agreeing to a two-year deal with commercial broadcaster Bandeirantes, to build exposure after the collapse of an earlier agreement with investment vehicle Rio Motorsports. The deal with Rio Motorsports, set to run for five years from 2021 to 2025, was cancelled in November 2020, just six weeks after being announced. The company claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic brought on unanticipated complications, affecting the calendar, causing it to struggle with distribution and negotiating deals. Until then, Formula 1 had had a long-running partnership in Brazil with media group Globo – the most recent deal ran from 2014 to 2020.
Click on the map to visualise the 2021 Formula 1 broadcaster(s) and media-rights value information.
In 2018, Formula 1 launched its OTT streaming platform: F1 TV. F1 TV has two subscription offerings: F1 TV Pro and F1 TV Access.
F1 TV Pro, the premium subscription, features live races and more camera feeds than on a traditional broadcast. All practice and qualifying sessions are also 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.
At its launch, F1 TV Pro was available in about 100 countries, while F1 TV Access was available on a near-global basis.
When Formula 1 launched its OTT offering, FOM had to start to negotiate the freedom to launch its OTT service in each media-rights deal it agreed, as broadcasters which agree to the F1 TV launch in their territory – especially the Pro subscription – lose exclusivity.
As of the start of 2021, F1 TV Pro is available in 118 territories and will be launched for the first time in new territories including Brazil, Russia, Czech Republic and Slovakia, following on from launching in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa ahead of the 2020 season. The platform’s launch was delayed in key markets such as Spain and Italy after renewals with pay-television broadcasters were agreed, while in Germany, it will only be available to Sky Sports customers, enhancing the broadcaster’s exclusivity over Formula 1 races.
In March 2021, Ian Holmes, Formula 1’s director of media rights, revealed that the motorsport series was in discussions with e-commerce giant Amazon over a possible carriage deal for its F1 TV over-the-top streaming service, with talks also ongoing regarding specific rights acquisitions.