F1 agrees one-race deal with YouTube for Eifel Grand Prix

Formula One has agreed a deal with YouTube that will allow the Google-owned platform to live stream the Eifel Grand Prix in Germany for free in seven countries in Europe.

This will be the first time YouTube streams a live F1 race. The deal also includes the practice sessions, qualifying, race previews, and highlights over the course of the race weekend, starting October 9.

YouTube will stream the Eifel Grand Prix on the official Formula 1 YouTube channel in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Adam Crothers, head of digital media rights at F1 said: “As we continue to diversify our media distribution strategy and expand our digital offering, it is imperative that we engage fans who consume mediums differently and YouTube offers us the platform to achieve that.”

Under owners Liberty Media, F1 has used YouTube to build engagement with fans. In 2015, when Liberty took over, F1 did not have a YouTube channel and limited what teams and drivers could post on social media.

Frank Arthofer, the series’ global head of digital media and licensing recently told SportBusiness: “The fundamental objective of our digital media business is to build audiences”.

F1’s recently-concluded Virtual Grand Prix series attracted 30 million views across linear and digital platforms, including 21.8 million viewers on digital platforms alone. The latter encompasssed the official F1 YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels, as well as Weibo and Huya in China.

Tomos Grace, head of sport at YouTube EMEA said of the new deal: “YouTube helps sport reach the fans of tomorrow – 70% of Formula 1’s YouTube audience is under the age of 35.

F1 TV Pro, the property’s premium OTT package, is available in each country covered by the YouTube deal.

Linear broadcasters in each market include: telco Telenet (Belgium); public-service broadcaster RTBF (Belgium); pay-television broadcaster Ziggo (Netherlands); pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland (Germany and Switzerland); commercial broadcaster RTL (Germany); public-service broadcaster SRG (Switzerland); and the Nordic Entertainment Group (Denmark, Norway and Sweden).

Last year, F1 signed a one-race deal to show every session from the Mexico Grand Prix on Amazon-owned online streaming platform Twitch. That deal covered Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.