Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey Acknowledges OTT “Glitches” In “Beta Year” For Digital Initiatives

Associated Press

Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey acknowledged the racing circuit’s digital efforts have been less spectacular than the sport’s technologically advanced vehicles.

The OTT service rolled out by Liberty Media-controlled F1 has been beset by “more glitches than we hoped for,” Carey conceded during an appearance at Vanity Fair‘s New Establishment Summit.

A relaunch of the racing outfit’s mobile app has also met with snafus. In general, the road to a digital future has been rocky enough to prompt Carey to call 2018 the “beta year” for digital forays. He said Formula 1 will need to stabilize the platform and define the experience before marketing it to fans.

“For us, it is early days,” Carey said. “We have an incredibly passionate group of fans. They can’t get enough. They want much more than they’re getting from the traditional broadcast experience.”

During his talk, Carey touted the value of live events in breaking through the clutter of the modern media landscape. Unique events like live sports, he predicted, will appreciate in value as other forms of entertainment become commodities. That’s why Carey is focused on creating singular events around the globe, with related activities buttressing the race itself.

“We’ve got to make them true spectacles,” Carey said.

The longtime former News Corp. and DirecTV executive was named CEO of the Formula One Group in 2017. Since joining the company, he’s worked to address two main problems — its business model and the competitiveness of its teams.

He’s attempting to popularize the sport beyond the circuits in Europe, seeking to make inroads into the United States and China. He’s attempting to attract new fans to the sport by bringing fresh energy to the television broadcasts, creating more events at the track and engaging fans on digital platforms.

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