After the hit of Drive to Survive, Netflix has reportedly noted its interest in streaming Formula One races live on the streaming service. But is that something that the fans actually want? I turn the question to you, Jalopnik readers.
Because of the prevalence of Netflix, my initial reaction was hell yeah. I’d be stoked to turn on a streaming service I already pay for to watch motorsport, which is the only reason I even pay for a television package. Logistically, I imagine it would also be a hell of a lot easier to distribute race footage to Netflix’s large international audience than having to negotiate country-specific TV deals. Okay. Not bad.
And then I started to think about it more. Sure, F1 could score a Netflix deal... but anyone who watches more than one race series is bound to get tied up in logistics. In this theoretical world where every race series moves to a streaming service, they’d still probably all end up on different ones. IndyCar is already exclusively streaming some of its sessions on Peacock, NBC’s specific streaming service. NASCAR would likely end up with a Peacock/ESPN deal that mimics its current TV split. Who knows what other series would end up on Hulu, or on some other obscure service. Or, in a very unique form of hell, all racing series would end up streaming on their own streaming services, something akin to F1 TV.
That... is kind of a disaster. It’s annoying as hell to have to pay for the expanded TV package that gets me the channels I need to watch a popular series like F1 and something more obscure like Formula E, but it would be even more frustrating to pay $10 a month for 12 different streaming services just to have access to motorsport.
In my dream world, we’d end up with a motorsport-only service, something that streams F1 and IndyCar and NASCAR and weird European stock car racing and American dirt track racing, but that is very much only a dream. There’s no way in hell you could achieve a massive international agreement between all the parties involved.
So, I turn it out to you, Jalopnik readers: Would you rather your race cars be aired on a streaming service or on television?