SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
Netflix eyes F1 rights takeover
The CEO of Netflix has admitted the company may be interested in buying the rights to Formula 1.
The world's most popular over-the-top streaming platform produces the official F1 documentary Drive to Survive, while specials about Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and others have also been well received.
The next step, according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, is the actual F1 rights.
"With sports broadcasts, we have no control over the source," he told Der Spiegel.
"We do not own the Bundesliga, for example. They can make deals with whoever they want. But this kind of control would be a requirement so that we can make our customers a secure offer."
Formula 1's commercial rights are currently owned by Liberty Media, but there was recently speculation a Saudi Arabian group may be eyeing a takeover.
"A few years ago, the rights to Formula 1 were sold," Hastings said. "At that time we were not among the bidders. Today we would think about it."
Purists, however, have questioned the way Netflix covers Formula 1, likening it more to pure "entertainment" than a sincere covering of the facts.
Hastings does not exactly deny that.
"What Netflix does is entertainment, not journalism," he admits. "But we have certain standards and follow ethical principles."