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Volume 25 No. 107
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F1 CEO Carey Says Circuit's Digital Efforts Have Room To Improve

Carey said the OTT service rolled out by F1 has been beset by some glitches
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

F1 CEO & Exec Chair Chase Carey acknowledged that the racing circuit’s digital efforts have been "less spectacular than the sport’s technologically advanced vehicles," according to Dawn Chmielewski of DEADLINE.com. Speaking at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Carey said the OTT service rolled out by Liberty Media-controlled F1 has been beset by "more glitches than we hoped for." A relaunch of F1's mobile app has also been "met with snafus." Chmielewski noted in general, the road to a digital future has been "rocky." It was enough to prompt Carey to call '18 the "beta year" for digital forays. He said that F1 will need to "stabilize the platform and define the experience before marketing it to fans" (DEADLINE.com, 10/9).

MISSING OUT: AUTOWEEK's Christian Sylt cited sources close to NBC as saying that the net had agreed to pay $40M to continue broadcasting F1 for seven years, beginning in '18, but "put the brakes on the offer when the sport announced its plan to stream races online." NBCSN began carrying F1 in '13 and initially signed a "four-year contract." A source said, "At the beginning of the fourth year we began having conversations about a five-year extension which would have seen a significant uptick in the fees we were paying." Sylt noted NBC was paying $4M annually to broadcast F1. The source said, "We had basically come to a handshake on this deal." The source added that the deal "stalled when F1 was sold by the private equity firm CVC to Liberty Media" in September '16. NBCSN extended for one year on "similar terms to its original contract." The source said, "The long and short of it is that we still commenced conversations with Chase and [F1 Managing Dir of Commercial Operations Sean Bratches], and they basically wanted the same deal that we had put on the table but they also wanted to be able to create their own app which they would run at the same time that we were on the air." Sylt noted ESPN, which began broadcasting F1 this season, is "not paying F1 an annual fee," so not only has it lost the $40M from NBC, but it also has "not recouped it from its replacement" (AUTOWEEK.com, 10/9).