Unlike previous years Star Sports will not be broadcasting or live-streaming Formula 1 races for the foreseeable future. F1 fans will have to subscribe to the F1 TV Pro to watch the races and other events of the Grand Prix. The news came as a massive shock to Indian fans as Formula One was picking up in the country based on the success of Netflix docuseries ‘Drive to Survive’ and the ease to watch races on Star Sports and Hotstar. But now F1 fans will have to purchase a subscription for F1 TV Pro, which is available in two different options.
The Monthly subscription will cost INR 399 while the annual plan will cost INR 2999 for the entire season. F1 TV Pro will be providing special camera angles, 20 driver’s onboard camera footage, team radio channels, and other race analyses. Apart from F1, fans can also watch other races from F2, F3 and the Porsche Supercup series.
When asked about the decision to launch F1 TV Pro, an F1 official stated that the broadcasters in India didn’t value the rights the way they did and hence this step was taken. The F1 official further stated that India’s strong mobile market also was a big reason to release F1 TV Pro.
F1 official said, “India is a connected market, it’s a sophisticated market, it’s a very strong mobile market. In terms of familiarity with digital rights content being through non-traditional channels and platforms, that exists in India, so that was attractive to us.”
“We also obviously talked to Star and one or two other more traditional platforms and we felt that they didn’t value our rights in the way that we did. We may seek to do a more sort of traditional linear type deal in due course, but we’re very comfortable and confident with F1 TV. There are a lot of very knowledgeable and passionate fans in India.”
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