Netflix would ‘think about’ F1 buyout to stream races

Netflix would consider a bid to take over the running of Formula 1 if it was available, to ensure it had the control needed to justify broadcasting races live.

With streaming services getting more involved in bidding against traditional television channels for live sporting rights, there has been speculation that F1’s broadcast plans could shift in the long term.

Amazon has shown recent deals to stream exclusive football and tennis can work in attracting interest beyond movies and series, and F1 would be a logical sport to further drive up viewers.

But while Netflix has enjoyed great success with its ‘F1 Drive to Survive’ series, the company is more cautious about areas of broadcast that move away from its traditional core.

In particular, it is sceptical about wanting to broadcast news or live sports because there is no guarantee that the end product will be good enough. It wants full control over any content it produces.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Der Spiegel, Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings said: “News is by its nature political, and it varies greatly from country to country.

“It is difficult to produce news as a globally operating company without making enemies. It's much easier for others who only cater to a regional market. Besides, we make entertainment and not journalism, which should have certain standards and follow ethical guidelines. We also keep our hands off live sport.”

Hastings said that the only way Netflix would consider getting behind the live broadcast of sport would be if it owned the entire platform, like Liberty Media does with F1 at the moment.

And in an intriguing comment, he suggested that if F1 did come up for sale again, then Netflix would seriously consider a bid.

“With sports broadcasts we have no control over the source,” he said. “We don't own the Bundesliga, which can make deals with whomever it wants. But this kind of control would be a prerequisite for us to be able to offer our customers a secure deal.

“A few years ago, the [commercial] rights to Formula 1 were sold. At that time we were not among the bidders, today we would think about it.”

But while international streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon have been linked with global F1 deals because of their reach, the nature of broadcast contracts makes such a worldwide contract very difficult to realise.

Speaking earlier this year, F1’s director of media rights Ian Holmes said he expected future broadcast contracts to remain on a region-by-region basis.

“Amazon as a business, and it’s same with Apple, Netflix, they are worldwide, but they don't buy worldwide rights,” Homes told Motorsport.com. “So they might have a series available in one country but not another.”

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1
Previous article

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

Next article

Bottas would accept team orders to support Hamilton’s title bid

Bottas would accept team orders to support Hamilton’s title bid
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021