International subscription streaming service DAZN has secured exclusive rights in Spain for motor racing’s prestigious Formula 1 (F1) for the next three-year cycle.
The deal, covering the 2024 to 2026 seasons, will see DAZN continue to show all practice and qualifying sessions, F1 sprint events, and grands prix on its platform.
DAZN takes over as the rights-holder from telecoms giant Telefonica, which currently holds rights in Spain to F1 in a deal running from 2020 to 2023 that is understood to be worth €65 million ($70.97 million) annually.
DAZN does currently cover F1 in Spain already, however, as part of a carriage deal with Telefonica’s streaming service Movistar plus signed ahead of the 2021 season.
The agreement included DAZN’s own channels being made available to Telefonica on a non-exclusive basis, with the telecoms giant creating streaming packages to sell to third parties. DAZN also launched a dedicated linear channel on Movistar Plus, the pay-television operator owned by Telefonica.
Bosco Aranguren, managing director at DAZN Spain, has now said: “We are delighted to announce this important and strategic agreement for DAZN in Spain. Having the endorsement of top-tier partners such as Formula 1 strengthens our position in the market and helps us to continue building the destination of choice for all sports fans in our country.
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“The data shows that audiences and engagement with our premium multisport offering continue to grow and that encourages us to keep on working to deliver the best experience, with everything sports fans are looking for integrated into a single platform. For this reason, DAZN is also the perfect partner for sports rights holders, and we look forward to working with our partners to expand or renew our distribution agreements.”
Ian Holmes, F1’s director of media rights and content, added: “We are pleased to announce DAZN will continue to broadcast F1 for years to come. Their use of technology has enhanced the fan viewing experience and taken F1 coverage in Spain to another level.
“This is an exciting partnership that will only continue to grow from strength to strength. We look forward to expanding our relationship and taking a collective approach to further evolve our broadcast for fans in Spain and build on the positive momentum we are seeing in market.”
The rights deal comes after Telefonica was fined €5 million ($5.3 million) by Spain’s National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) for again failing to comply with the commitments it accepted for its acquisition of prominent pay-television operator Distribuidora de Television Digital (DTS) in 2015.
The CNMC said the telco voluntarily presented a series of commitments to be able to acquire DTS and preserve competition in the market.
However, the watchdog found that Telefonica violated this with its sublicensing deal with DAZN for rights to F1.
The CNMC’s investigation concluded that Telefonica violated multiple commitments, which included the exclusion of Formula 1 premium content from its wholesale offer and having marketed it exclusively in favor of DAZN.
Earlier this month, F1 extended with RTBF, the French-language public-service broadcaster in Belgium, until 2027.
Through the renewal, RTBF will continue to cover F1 action on its Tipik and La Une channels for the next four seasons, as well as on the Auvio digital platform.
Tipik and Auvio will cover all races, practice, and qualifying sessions, as well as sprint races, while select main races will also air on La Une.