Netflix loses out on lucrative Formula 1 deal

ESPN's deal to broadcast Formula 1 in the United States was extended by three years.

Formula 1 is certainly experiencing somewhat of a ‘boom’ in the United States, making it no surprise that streaming platform Netflix attempted to get the broadcasting rights for Formula 1 across the Atlantic.

Netflix and Formula 1 have enjoyed great success over recent years following the ‘Drive to Survive’ series which started on the platform in 2019, which can be pinpointed as one of the main reasons why the sport has grown so rapidly in the States.

In 2019, just one race occurred in the USA, with that having been the traditional United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

Fast forward to 2023 and three races will be taking place across the nation, with events in Miami, Texas, and Las Vegas.

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The rights for F1 in the United States have been held by ESPN since 2018 and were awarded with an extension of their current deal by a further three years, despite interest from Netflix, according to Wall Street Journal.

This comes as a blow to the streaming service who have extended ‘Drive to Survive’ for another two years, with it reportedly being one of the platform’s best performing series.

It isn’t just Netflix who are trying to acquire broadcasting rights in sports, with streaming competitor Amazon Prime having become a regular home of Premier League football, tennis and the NFL.

Netflix are also reportedly looking into gaining the broadcasting rights in the UK and France for tennis’ ATP and WTA competitions, for which take place throughout the year.

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It is no surprise that Netflix are eager to increase their partnership with Formula 1 given the sport’s rapid growth over the last few years, with viewership having gone up by 60-percent in the UK alone since 2019.

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The UK’s F1 broadcaster, Sky Sports, has welcomed 4.3 million new viewers this season alone, with 1.7 million of them being women.

With the championship continuing to grow across the globe exponentially, these figures are only likely to increase, especially as more fans are forced to turn to watching the sport on TV rather than at the circuit itself.

Increased ticket prices at a number of venues has raised the question if the championship is forgetting about the ‘average’ F1 fan, with some packages for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, for example, having been priced at $100,000.