In what could be a monumental shift in the motorsport broadcasting landscape, tech giant Apple is reportedly eyeing up the global television rights to Formula One. If realised, it could herald a new era in the way fans around the world experience the thrill of F1 racing.
Sources in the latest issue of Business F1 magazine suggest that Apple’s intentions aren’t just casual. The company is “serious” about launching a “blockbuster” bid to secure the prestigious broadcasting rights.
The proposed deal, estimated to be worth a staggering $2 billion (£1.64 billion) a year, would significantly outstrip – and potentially double – Formula One’s current income from its TV rights.
Digging deeper into the intricacies of this potential deal, Apple is said to be considering a “sliding scale” approach to exclusivity. The vision is to start with 25% exclusivity and gradually increase it to a full 100% over a five-year period. This phased approach would coincide with the expiry of existing contracts, ensuring a seamless transition.
So what’s motivating Apple to dive deep into F1 broadcasting? A look at the recent success of its partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) in the US provides some answers. The resounding success of the venture may be acting as a catalyst, prompting Apple to consider replicating this triumph with the glamorous world of F1.
Sports takeover: Apples’ motivation
What’s more, F1’s global appeal hasn’t waned. The soaring popularity of Netflix’s documentary series Drive to Survive underlines the sport’s mass appeal and showcases its gripping behind-the-scenes drama. With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that Apple is considering a deeper involvement in the sport.
But F1 isn’t the only jewel Apple is rumoured to be eyeing. According to reports, the tech mammoth is also considering broadcasting matches from the English Premier League. If true, it would seem that Apple is gearing up to curate a comprehensive live sports package, adding a new dimension to its entertainment portfolio.
While the mere idea of Apple entering the arena will send shockwaves through the broadcasting community, established players such as Sky Sports and Viaplay will undoubtedly be on high alert. If Apple’s ambitions come to fruition, it could very well mean that these traditional broadcasters find themselves competing with, or even being replaced by, Apple’s deep pockets and global reach.
It’s not all roses, however. There has been speculation that Max Verstappen’s dominance may be diminishing fan interest in F1. But Apple’s proposed investment suggests a bullish outlook for the sport’s future, suggesting they believe the essence and excitement of F1 remains intact.
Business F1 magazine sought insights from Ian Holmes, Formula One’s director of media rights. Perhaps in an indication of the sensitivity and magnitude of such discussions, Holmes chose to reserve his comments for a later date.
While the Apple-Formula 1 deal remains in the realm of speculation, its potential impact is enormous. If it comes to fruition, it could redefine the way millions of fans consume the spectacle of Formula 1 and usher in a new era of sports broadcasting.
MORE F1 NEWS: F1 driver tipped for big money to be face of Audi
Lando Norris, the prodigious talent from McLaren, is making waves in the world of Formula 1. With four podiums to his name this season alone, his on-track prowess is undeniable. However, recent speculation suggests that his skills could soon be harnessed by another giant of the motoring world – Audi.
Sky’s Craig Slater recently stirred the pot of the Formula One rumour mill by suggesting that Lando Norris could be…READ MORE ON THIS STORY