ESPN Star Sports sews up F1 rights

ESPN Star Sports will have “platform-neutral” rights to Formula One motor racing for five years across 24 Asian markets, following the renewal of the broadcaster’s deal with Formula One Management (FOM).

The deal means that ESPN Star Sports basically owns all audiovisual rights to the competition in the majority of the Asian region and can exploit the rights across whichever platforms it wants to offer services on.

With the introduction of races in India and South Korea in 2010 as well as this year’s maiden night race in Singapore in September, F1 is raising its profile in Asia. Markets covered by the deal are all those in ESPN Star Sports’ Asian footprint, including Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.

Rights are valid across multiple platforms in all the markets, including internet, mobile and radio as well as TV, a “first” for Formula One in Asia. Another first is that ESPN Star Sports will have terrestrial rights in a number of markets.

ESPN Star Sports will also be able to offer non-linear Formula One content such as on-demand offerings across all the markets covered.