F1 opens up exclusive digital rights with Movistar+ in extended TV deal

Movistar has held F1 broadcast rights in Spain since the 2014 season. Pablo Guillen/Action Plus via Getty Images

Formula One will provide Spanish broadcasters Movistar+ with exclusive digital rights to cover all F1 grands prix in an extended TV partnership that will run until 2020.

Movistar+ has held Spain's TV rights for F1 since 2014 and will continue to broadcast every practice, qualifying and race live for the next three years in its new deal. New digital rights have also been included, which could pave the way for short live video clips to be pushed out of Movistar's social and digital media channels.

Live F1 video content was not previously allowed to be broadcast on digital platforms outside of its TV channel, but new owners Liberty Media have expressed a desire to reach wider audiences on both social and digital media.

"Spain is one of the most important European markets for Formula One and, thanks to this partnership, the Spanish fans will be able to continue to enjoy the spectacle provided by the pinnacle of motorsport 24/7 on a dedicated channel, Movistar F1," Ian Holmes, Director of Media Rights in F1 said.

"We will be also help Movistar+ to produce exclusive content for its distribution across their digital and social media platforms, which will contribute to broaden the fan base and its engagement."

Alex Martinez Roig, Movistar+ Content Manager, added: "We are poised to build an ambitious project with Formula One, with one specific goal in mind -- broadening the Formula One fan base and meeting its wildest expectations. Most of the fans are tech savvy viewers and the online environment is the niche we want to explore and where we anticipate a major breakthrough."

The deal marks the fifth new TV broadcast agreement that has been sealed in 2017 under Liberty Media's governance, with Australia, France, Germany and the U.S all set to start new contracts in 2018.

It follows the news that F1 registered an increase in audience figures across both TV and digital platforms during the 2017 season, as well as becoming the fastest growing sport brand on social media platforms.