Formula One has extended its broadcast rights agreement with Australian pay-TV company Foxtel in a multi-year deal that kicks in for the 2023 season.
According to the Australian Financial Review, the expanded contract will last for three years and is worth between AUS$40 million (US$29.9 million) and AUS$45 million (US$33.6 million) annually.
As well as live coverage of every race via the telecommunication giant’s platforms, the partnership includes integration of the series’ F1 TV over-the-top (OTT) platform into Foxtel set top boxes at no extra cost to subscribers. The agreement marks the first time that Formula One’s streaming product has been included in a broadcast partnership.
More conventional viewing will be offered via both Fox Sports and the Kayo streaming platform, with coverage to be provided in 4K Ultra HD. As per national siphoning laws, the Australian Grand Prix, which has been absent from the past two seasons due to the pandemic, will be broadcast free-to-air (FTA). ViacomCBS-owned commercial channel Network Ten has aired the country’s home Grand Prix since 2003 when it was the main series broadcaster.
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Formula One’s popularity in Australia is enjoying a period of strong interest, with average audiences on Foxtel seeing a 31 per cent year-over-year (YoY) increase last season. Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo’s win at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix for McLaren – his first race victory since 2018 – generated an average audience of 467,000 viewers for Foxtel.
The extension with Formula One ensures that the broadcaster retains one of the pillars of its motorsport portfolio, with MotoGP and Supercars making up ‘the big three’ for the Australian market.
“This new partnership with Formula One takes our coverage to the next level for fans and together with Supercars and MotoGP, confirms Foxtel and Kayo as the home of the very best in Australian and international motorsport,” said Patrick Delany, chief executive of Foxtel Group.
“Australian fans are embracing F1 like never before with F1 delivering the fastest audience growth of any sport across Foxtel and Kayo.
“Kayo, in particular, has absolutely supercharged audience growth with younger audiences and each Grand Prix now regularly sees in excess of 200,000 fans streaming on Kayo.”
Ian Holmes, Formula One’s director of media rights and content creation, added: “Fans are becoming increasingly engaged with F1 and such audience growth, in particular among younger fans, shows that the appetite for Formula One in Australia is huge.
“This is not just a testament to the thrilling nature of Formula One as a sport, but also a result of the Foxtel Group’s efforts in delivering that excitement to viewers.”
Elsewhere, Idle Hour has been named as the official vodka partner for the next three Australian Grand Prix. The brand’s various product lines will be available at bars around Melbourne’s Albert Park from the upcoming 2022 event.