Bernie Ecclestone has agreed to race formula one into the digital age.
Early this week, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali urged the F1 chief executive to embrace the internet, as the “young generation” does not want “to see an entire race for one and a half hours”. A report by the Bloomberg news agency said the official F1 website is only the 39th most popular among rival sports, worryingly outpaced by the likes of Egyptian soccer and American entertainment wrestling.
The report said chief executive Ecclestone has until now resisted embracing the internet to protect the huge revenue stream of exclusive television rights. Now, Bloomberg reports that F1’s media strategy will get a modern facelift as quickly as June of this year.
The report said the sport will have a new website and ‘app’ that offers subscription-only video options, improving on the current three minute race highlights edit put to music. “We’re planning a new app; it’s a decent-size project,” Ecclestone confirmed. “It’s something that we are working to get right.” The 83-year-old warned, however, that television will continue to be the “mainstay” of F1 coverage. And he said fans will be charged for the new ‘app’. “We don’t do things for free,” said Briton Ecclestone.