Manzana would study expanding its presence in the field of live broadcasting of sporting events, and with nothing less than the Formula 1. According to the magazine Business F1those from Cupertino would be willing to pay a multi-million dollar amount to buy the global rights to the top category of world motor sport.
In its October edition, the aforementioned media affirms that Tim Cook’s team has become serious and that they aspire to make an offer that the Formula 1 promoters cannot refuse. Specifically, it mentions an agreement that could be valued at up to 2 billion dollars per year.
Formula One Group, the group of Liberty Media companies that organizes the competition and is in charge of exploiting the commercial rights, would currently raise half of what Apple would supposedly pay. In any case, there are several aspects that would lead one to take the potential offer with a pinch of salt.
First of all, Today there is no single holder of the broadcasting rights for Formula 1 worldwide.. The situation varies greatly depending on each country or region, not only in terms of the offer of TV channels or streaming platforms that offer it, but also due to the duration of the contracts in force.
Just as in Spain the races are seen through DAZN, in Latin America they are available on Fox Sports/ESPN and Star+, or through F1 TV, just to mention a couple of practical examples. Regarding current agreements, there are cases in which they end this year, while in others they extend until 2025, 2026 or 2029.
Formula 1 could be Apple’s next big bet on sporting events
If Apple really wants to grab the global rights to stream Formula 1 races on Apple TV+, it may have to wait quite a while before getting it. Business F1 mentions that the apple firm would be willing to do a tiered offer depending on how much exclusivity you can get.
Those from Cupertino could begin the process by controlling 25% of the global broadcast rights, gradually increasing their presence until reaching 100% after 5 years. This would give Formula 1 promoters time to finalize current contracts with the rest of the others. broadcasters.
It is also indicated that Apple could demand that its agreement with Formula 1 be for no less than 7 years and in exchange for a fixed sum of money. In any case, it is not clear if this would apply only after reaching absolute exclusivity, or if it would correspond to a scenario in which the company only manages a part of the international rights through Apple TV+.
Looking to repeat the craze over the MLS Season Pass?
For now, neither Apple nor Formula 1 have come out to confirm or deny the possible rapprochement between the parties. If those from Cupertino managed to retain the exclusivity to broadcast the most important category in world motor sport, it would be a real bomb. Of course, there would be several other issues to be clarified beyond the broadcast of the races, such as what would happen with the production of additional related content.
It is impossible not to think what the future could be for Drive to Survive, the hit Netflix original series that has been crucial in boosting the popularity of F1 among young people. In addition, Apple is already collaborating with Formula 1 on this front, with the production of a film starring Brad Pitt and which included the filming of some on-track scenes during this year’s Silverstone Grand Prix. Could it be a harbinger of what is to come?
If Tim Cook’s people move forward with this apparent plan, They will surely seek to repeat the success achieved with the MLS Season Pass. Today Apple has the global rights to broadcast first division soccer games in the United States, after signing a 10-year agreement valued at $250 million per season. A business that initially did not attract much attention, but that exploded thanks to the arrival of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami.
Will Formula 1 be Apple’s next big challenge? If it comes to fruition, it would mean a phenomenal leap for the aspirations of those from Cupertino thanks to Apple TV+. Especially if we consider that the company’s foray into live sporting events began in 2022 in a rather austere way, with MLB baseball.