Oct.2 - Apple has reportedly set its sights on a major Formula 1 deal.

Already, Apple TV has produced a new feature documentary about Lewis Hamilton, the seven time world champion whose own production company is now in collaboration with Apple Original Films for the new F1 movie starring Brad Pitt.

And now, Apple is being linked with a massive exclusive global television rights deal to control the live online coverage of Formula 1.

Business F1 magazine says the deal could be worth a staggering $2 billion per year, eventually replacing every F1 television broadcaster once those channels' current contracts expire.

The magazine recently quoted Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei as expressing concern about "television fragmentation", warning that even major players like ESPN - with a F1 rights deal until 2025 - is losing ground.

"ESPN, which has been a great asset and is our partner at Formula 1, has declined from 105 million households to 75 million households, or something like that," he said at a Goldman Sachs event.

"So how do you find that full reach and still get paid? In many cases, you can get an over-the-air provider who gives you full reach, and you can get a premium provider who gives you more revenue."

Formula 1 declined to comment.

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16 F1 Fan comments on “Apple Eyes $2 Billion F1 Takeover: Tech Giant Targets Exclusive Streaming Rights

  1. smokey

    If it happens, IMO it will mark the start of a downhill slide for F1. Have Apple considered the people that do not use Apple, who they will lose if they have exclusive rights?
    I, for one, use an iPhone. However, I won't be watching F1 races on a tiny 6 or 7 inch screen! Nor will I be blackmailed into buying an Apple tv, or subscribing to Apple tv. I think there will be many people with the same opinion.
    Let's hope for the good of F1's future that this is only propaganda from Apple or Liberty.

    • ReallyOldRacer

      Yep. Spot on. Big problem is Maffei comment re reach vs income. Guess which one Liberty will choose. Then Apple can wonder why they don't have the expected number of eyeballs, and Liberty can sell the whole mess to some 'more money than brains' investor.

    • Susan

      Liberty needs to think about this a liitle closer. The consensus amongst Americans is they are tired of spending more and more on streaming services, Apple just one being one of many. Going to the races is becoming extravagant, but having to pay to watch is a whole different problem. It could lead to fewer and fewer watching F1 and there goes the big money that Liberty is hoping for.

      • ReallyOldRacer

        Exactly, Susan. That's why Maffei will take the tech money and then off the company claiming like a $30B evaluation. The bigger fool theory ALWAYS works. IMO, of course.

    • Nobodysperfect

      O, no iF1... prices of everything will be 10x higher and all Puma shoes of the drivers will be replaced by New Balance...
      Global populatity will go down bigtime...
      Maybe Google can make an opensource version of it and save the day again...

  2. Kenneth J LaBry

    This is not a bad business move for Apple. They set the business model with iTunes and could do similar with F1 where the broadcast rights are owned by Apple who initially would sell rebroadcast rights to various media outlets much as SkySports does now with a long term transition to AppleTV which is a low cost streaming service providing a channel and show selection that I have found to be better than the others for a low monthly cost. Apple also has the resources to do this without skipping a beat. They have about 1000 times the resources of Liberty Media.

    • Susan

      Listening to iTunes on ear buds is not the same watching F1 on your tv. Huge difference and cost as well. You point about low monthly costs only applies to subscribing to Appletv. What about the other low costly subscription added on to that. I’m paying $208 for all the low monthly subscriptions.

      • smokey

        Wow, that is costly! $208 for low monthly subscription.
        Does that have advertising? I would refuse to pay that amount if there was advertising. I mean, why should you pay to watch advertising? What a rort! The streaming service charges the advertisers to get exposure, and then charge you for watching the advertising! What a rip-off!
        With free-to-air you don't mind advertising, because advertising pays for the service you get for free. Streaming services just take money from both parties.

  3. Toolwiz

    I am an American and have been watching F1 for nearly 50 years. There have been some trying times and now they have settled on cars that have nearly interchangeable parts throughout. I fast forward through many races while watching the leaderboard looking for changes, which there frequently aren’t.
    To sum it up, some years ago I could tell the cars apart by sight and sound. Apple TV will end it for me.

  4. rick

    It's all about the money none of them give a f### about F1 the sport we all love. Shame so called intelligent people can't see they are killing the sport!

  5. Lord Croker

    This all seems like a bit of deja Vu and sounds very much like the death knell to me. The popularity and the bringing in of a new audience has nothing to do with the TV provider as far as I can see but a hell of a lot to do with the soap opera produced by Netflix.

    Going by what happened here in the UK with Sky and how the coverage has evolved since I'd be surprised if this would go well for Apple. I'm no fan of any Apple offering but regardless of whoever was offering a shed load of money at this time I can see the Lord Hesketh quote about monetary fortunes and Formula 1 teams being easy to adjust and apply here.

  6. Blo

    Sadly what will be will be we have only one control to buy or not to buy.
    In the meantime take a look at nene royal on utube. Saw this girl while on holiday in Thailand and we were blown away, just 13! She will help to take your mind off f1.


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