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Sunday, July 14, 2024

China Telecom In Pole Position for Formula 1 Digital Rights

  • China Telecom is in advanced talks for digital Formula 1 rights.
  • China had the most unique F1 viewers of any country in 2021.
Formula-1
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Netflix isn’t the only company looking to Formula 1 to make a move in live sports broadcasting. 

China Telecom is closing in on local digital rights for Formula 1, per SportBusiness. Should a deal be finalized, it would represent a significant expansion for the telecommunications giant, which hasn’t been a major player in sports broadcasting.

  • Last year, 70.8 million people in China watched at least one F1 race.
  • That figure was the highest among all countries and represented a 13% year-over-year increase.
  • Globally, F1 had 445 million unique viewers in 2021. 

China Telecom was spun off onto the Hong Kong stock exchange by state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation in 2002. It had 121 million subscribers on its Internet Protocol television platform at the end of last year, along with 372.4 million mobile subscribers and 170 million broadband users.

It has a market capitalization of $50.3 billion.

State of the States

F1’s growth in the U.S. has spurred American companies to more than double their presence through sponsorships and partnerships, according to Williams Racing’s commercial director James Bower, who said that U.S. companies have increased from 45 to 108 since 2015.

“Formula 1 is undeniably the most data-driven sport on the planet, so we’re seeing this huge influx of tech companies, particularly from North America,” said Bower.

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