Bernie Ecclestone has just put pen to paper to ink a new deal with Tata Communications. The agreement will see Tata Communications carry impressive titles on behalf of Formula One Management: Technology Supplier of Formula 1™ with category exclusive rights as Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1™ and Official Web Hosting and Content Delivery Network of Formula1.com.
Vinod Kumar, Managing Director and CEO of Tata Communications, pictured above with Ecclestone said, “Formula 1 requires fast and secure connectivity, because even a split second of downtime can have huge repercussions for its business, brand and reputation.
“This delivery is at the heart of our organisation and working with one of the world’s most highly technical and innovative organisations is an exciting opportunity for Tata Communications. The collaboration leverages our technology leadership and vision for emerging markets and represents a tremendous opportunity for growth and innovation for both companies.”
The Tata Global Network of underground cables is the largest in the world and access to that network for F1 opens up seemingly limitless opportunities for both traditional television and online coverage.
James Allen has excitedly described the arrangement as “The deal that changes F1 forever.” In his blog Allen states, “This long-term deal with Tata Communications, providing fixed line connectivity, opens the door for endless possibilities, way beyond what satellites can do, including broadcasting F1 on the internet, for interactivity between audience and the broadcaster at the circuit.”
In practical terms we can soon expect F1 races, qualifying and practice sessions to be officially broadcast over the internet. It clearly represents a new revenue stream for the sport that, perhaps, it should already be a world leader in.
How much will you be prepared to pay?