Netflix would 'think about' buying F1 if it were for sale

Netflix's Reed Hastings says the US streaming giant would consider making a bid for F1 if the sport... The post Netflix would 'think about' buying F1 if it were for sale appeared first on F1i.com.

Netflix would 'think about' buying F1 if it were for sale

Netflix's Reed Hastings says the US streaming giant would consider making a bid for F1 if the sport came up for sale, to take control over live broadcasting of races.

In the wake of its $8 billion takeover of Formula 1 in 2017, Liberty Media launched a year later its own over-the-top platform, F1 TV, that streams races live and enhances the fans' viewer experience of Grand Prix racing.

However, the sport's commercial rights holder still derives the majority of its revenue from traditional TV broadcasters, with F1 TV restricted in certain geographical markets such as the UK where broadcasting rights are held exclusively by Sky Sports.

While a selection of live sports is available on streaming service Amazon Prime Video, Netflix has so far shied away from competing with live TV or live coverage of sport events, despite its massive subscription audience.

"We make entertainment and not journalism, which should have certain standards and follow ethical guidelines," Hastings told Germany's Der Spiegel. "We also keep our hands off live sport.

"With sports broadcasts we have no control over the source. 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."

With total control over content and production a precondition for Netflix to delve into the world of live sports or entertainment, Hastings interestingly suggested that if Formula 1 came up for sale, his company could make a bid, perhaps enticed by the resounding success of its annual 'Drive to Survive' docu-series on F1.

"A few years back, the Formula 1 rights were sold," he said. "At that time, we were not among the bidders, but today we would definitely consider that now."

  • Read also: Ralf delivers his verdict on Schumacher documentary

Earlier this year, Formula 1 revealed that it was in regular contact with Amazon over a potential TV rights deal, with the sport already enjoying a productive partnership with Amazon Web Services.

"We’re talking to them about specifically acquiring our rights, in the same way you would sell to any other media company," commented at the time Ian Holmes, F1's director of media rights.

"But we’re also talking to them about a channels arrangement where we have got the opportunity of putting F1 TV into the market."

Rumors recently emerged that a consortium in Saudi Arabia is mulling a bid for Formula 1. But if Liberty Media is seriously considering off-loading its F1 asset, Netflix and Amazon could join the fray and lead a bidding war for motorsport's prime jewel.

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Source : F1 i More   

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Alonso: Only 'chaotic race' will put us on the podium

Fernando Alonso believes that only a "chaotic" race or the elements will allow the Alpine team to snatch... The post Alonso: Only 'chaotic race' will put us on the podium appeared first on F1i.com.

Alonso: Only 'chaotic race' will put us on the podium

Fernando Alonso believes that only a "chaotic" race or the elements will allow the Alpine team to snatch a podium in Sochi this weekend.

Despite Esteban Ocon's shock win in Hungary, due in large part to favourable circumstances, Alpine currently sits fifth in F1's Constructors' standings, or third among the sport's top midfield teams behind McLaren and Ferrari.

Alonso's best performance year-to-date with Alpine is a fourth-place finish, also achieved in Hungary. But on merit, the Spaniard reckons that a top-six or top-seven is the maximum he can currently hope for.

"I think we are the fifth or sixth-quickest team out there," said the two-time world champion ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

"So, for us to get the podium, we really need a very chaotic race. Without that I think by good performance, top six top seven is the maximum position. We did achieve that in few races this year, I’m happy with the consistency.

"You need to be super lucky to get one podium. I was not so far. I don’t expect to be in the remaining races.

"If it comes, obviously we will welcome it, but I think we need to work on realistic expectations."

Formula 1 teams were greeted by inclement weather on Thursday in Sochi, and the forecast looks bleak for this weekend, with heavy rain showers predicted for Saturday that could extend into race day.

"I think that Monza was one of the worst [circuits] for us, that sort of layout and characteristics of our package," added Alonso.

"So, here it should be a step better, you never know because you need to feel comfortable with the car, the setup has to be in the window.

"Straight away on Friday, the weather looks a little bit unknown at the moment or even quite wet on Saturday so it will be important to have a clean Friday, because maybe that’s the only dry running you get.

"You never know but we have more confidence here to Monza for sure."

  • Read also: Alonso wouldn't go up against Verstappen at Red Bull

While adverse weather could throw a spanner in the works of the top teams and allow a team such as Alpine to produce another upset, Alonso recalled that visibility amid a heavy downpour is notoriously bad at Sochi.

"The visibility was bad," he said. "I think it’s a very flat track, You know there are no elevation changes here so the water stands quite a lot on track. I remember Turn 1 being quite difficult, which is not a corner normally, but it was a real corner in the wet.

"So for Sunday, fingers crossed that it’s not too wet or not raining too much because the visibility will be really bad and we don’t want to see anything like Spa for sure."

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Source : F1 i More   

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