Formula 1 "could be set to team up with Netflix," according to GMM. Germany's Welt newspaper reported Liberty Media is "in talks with the internet company," with a deal that "has the potential to revolutionize how F1 is broadcast." F1 Managing Dir, Commercial Operations Sean Bratches said, "Liberty Media has been trying to expand the presence of Formula 1 in multimedia channels. We are talking to Netflix about a collaboration from 2018 onwards." German newspaper Bild quoted Bratches as saying, "The internet is of great importance to us. We are in the development phase." The reports said that a deal for live broadcast rights is "not initially likely, with Netflix expected to instead show other feature content, highlights and replays." McLaren F1 Exec Dir Zak Brown said, "We've seen a lot of activity this year. They (Liberty) are trying new things, really engaging with the fans" (GMM, 10/21). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported Bratches said that F1 had no choice but to pursue an "over the top" offering if it was "going to attract bigger future audiences." He said, "We have an obligation to our fans, quite candidly, to ensure that they are able to access our content in any means they want. We would be derelict if we pursued a path for anything other than that." Bratches is "looking at opportunities to work with global media companies to create more content that is suitable for them." He said, "We are trying to create content that lives outside the grand prix weekends, which has been almost non-existent from digital or linear standpoints" (AUTOSPORT, 10/21).
RADIO DEAL: Formula 1 and SiriusXM entered a multi-year agreement that makes SiriusXM the exclusive North American radio broadcaster of all F1 races. SiriusXM's exclusive coverage of the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, aired live on Sunday. The four remaining '17 F1 races will also air on SiriusXM. Starting with the '18 season, SiriusXM will air every GP on the calendar (F1).
New Zealand's Labour Party ruled "no-deal on the possibility of free-to-air All Blacks' tests" or other major national sporting events, according to Stacey Kirk of STUFF. NZ First leader Winston Peters earlier this year said that a law change to provide free-to-air rugby "would be the price of NZ First's support in forming a government," though it is one National is "believed to have also refused to bend on." Labour moved to "scotch any anticipation the policy might be written into the final agreement" following comments from NZ First sports and recreation spokesperson Clayton Mitchell that it was "still on the table." A spokesperson for Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern confirmed it was not in the agreement. NZ First hierarchy spoke to Mitchell about the interview he gave to Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch. However, most of the on-air discussion "actually centred on a private member's bill Mitchell had drawn in the last Parliamentary term." Both National and Labour voted against his Broadcasting Amendment Bill, which would have ensured rugby league, int'l rugby, netball and Olympic Games "can be watched by all New Zealanders" (STUFF, 10/22).
Eurosport agreed to a three-season deal to screen Formula E in Europe from '17-18. The broadcaster will hold exclusive and sub-licensing rights in all markets except the U.K. and Italy, where Eurosport holds non-exclusive rights, "with some rights being sub-licensed to free-to-air media partners" (THE DRUM, 10/20).
Sport1 US, the German pay-TV channel for fans of U.S. sports, left OTT platform Amazon Channels. The withdrawal took place "due to copyright reasons." A Sport1 spokesperson said, "The legal issue arose on short notice and wasn't foreseeable in this form." The channel remains available on all other platforms (BROADBAND TV NEWS, 10/20).
Spanish broadcaster Mediapro announced plans to grow its esports activities internationally -- starting in Portugal and then Latin America. Mediapro Group said that it is "exporting its Professional Video Games League (LVP) model to Portugal, Mexico and Argentina," with the first professional competitions to be organized in these markets "in the coming season" (DIGITAL TV EUROPE, 10/20).
The Olympique Lyonnais vs. Everton Europa League match, broadcast on W9 in France, drew an average audience of 1.57 million viewers. The number translated to a 7% market share, with a peak audience of 2 million. Pay-TV channel beIN Sports also broadcast the match, but did not announce its audience (L’ÉQUIPE, 10/20).