Netflix Reportedly Enters Bidding for F1 Rights

'Formula 1: Drive to Survive' on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

As at least somewhat suspected, Netflix has entered into the bidding for broadcast rights to Formula 1-series auto racing, looking to unseat incumbent ESPN, TV rights for which end next season.

According to Business Insider, Netflix is bidding against the Disney-owned incumbent, as well as Comcast/NBCUniversal and Amazon.

Netflix has seen its sports docu series Formula 1: Drive to Survive punch the gas on audience for both the streaming platform and the racing series, the latter of which has enjoyed record-breaking attendance at events of late.

And acquiring the live sports rights would certainly vault Netflix into a place within the video business it's never been before.

But a successful bid won't be cheap. ESPN, which is currently paying $5 million a season, just put up a bid worth $70 million a campaign. However, F1's owner, Liberty Global, is said to be demanding around $100 million annually.

Speculation that Netflix would get into the, er, F1 race quickened in January, when the streaming company paid $225 million for an F1-themed feature film project with Brad Pitt set as the lead, and Top Gun: Maverick's Joe Kosinski set to direct. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!