As per the latest scoop in Business F1 magazine, the tech giant’s proposed investment is estimated to be around $2 billion annually, which could grant Apple exclusivity over Formula 1 broadcasts.
This bid, if accepted, would significantly surpass the current revenue garnered by Formula 1 from its global TV rights, essentially doubling its existing earnings. Fueling Apple’s ambition is the commendable success of its MLS Season Pass. Prospective subscribers could expect the Apple F1 pass to be integrated within the Apple TV app ecosystem, alongside the current MLS offering and Apple TV+ content, providing a cohesive streaming experience.
However, the transition won’t be immediate. Several existing contracts between Formula 1 and broadcasters worldwide would temporarily obstruct Apple from gaining global dominance.
Still, Apple appears to have a phased approach in mind. The magazine speculates that the company may consent to a contract allowing the progressive inclusion of more territories as and when the rights in those regions become accessible.
For perspective, Apple’s potential acquisition of Formula 1 streaming rights in the US, currently with ESPN, might only materialize post-2025. The envisioned duration for this proposed contract is seven years, with Apple achieving global streaming rights approximately halfway through, aligning with the expiry of F1’s prevailing media agreements by 2029.
Apple’s fervor for Formula 1 isn’t novel. The company’s entertainment division, Apple TV+, is actively invested in producing a high-profile F1-themed film starring Brad Pitt, in addition to a documentary shedding light on the illustrious career of racing legend, Lewis Hamilton. Production activities for the said movie were underway at Silverstone earlier this year, only to face an interim halt due to an ongoing actors’ strike.
While the chatter around Apple’s potential acquisition of Formula 1 streaming rights is gaining traction, it remains one of the many speculated partnerships the company is said to be exploring. Over time, Apple has been linked with potential deals across prominent sports leagues like the NBA, NFL Sunday Ticket, and the English Premier League.
As of now, its confirmed ventures in the sports streaming domain include MLS Season Pass and MLB Friday Night Baseball.