How should broadcasters evolve with changing demographics of F1 viewers

By Alok Patil, Co-founder & CTO

Formula 1 has always been at the pinnacle of motorsports, the fastest cars, the most flamboyant drivers, and the most die-hard fans. The sport in its 71-year-old history has seen many technologies being implemented, always at the forefront of the cutting edge. But in the Hybrid era of F1 (since 2013), one team has been dominating the sports with 7 consecutive championships, the fans started finding the sport repetitive and predictable at large, which over the years saw the avid fan following dwindling.

This presented a problem for the sport, due to the nature of motorsports, huge capital investment is required to sustain a Formula 1 team, which predominantly comes from sponsorships, but sponsorships started to dry out. Noticing this, the management at Formula 1, played a masterstroke, partnering with Netflix, for an all-access docu-series for the 2018 season. The first season of the series Drive to Survive premiered in 2019 on the global OTT platform.


Drive to Survive was a runaway success for the first season and subsequent seasons, chronicling never before seen behind the scene stories, emotions, and overall a new perspective towards Formula 1 and the people behind it. This served a dual purpose, firstly reigniting the interest from purist fans, who have been following the motorsport for ages and secondly, and more importantly, drive a new generation of fans to the sport; a younger audience, who earlier wound not have paid a second thought to  Formula 1, but are now intrigued and hooked to all the action that Formula 1 has to offer, both on and off the track.

For broadcasters and OTT platforms this presents a rather unique opportunity; a new age enthusiast, a digital-first fan. This new-age enthusiast is fervently consuming content across various digital platforms and is always looking for more. Hence it becomes imperative for the broadcaster to be able to win these audiences, engage with them, re-engage, and in-process open up new revenue streams across digital platforms.

The digital content race is all about being first, the first one to share a new piece of content, new footage, snippets and promos of the action, fast and across a varied setup medium. This is where Toch.ai comes into action, cutting edge AI-based cloud agnostic platforms that allow broadcasters, media distributors and OTTs to create short consumable content from LIVE broadcasts and share them across social channels with varying screen sizes, all in real-time. This gives Toch.ai partners the ability to increase engagement by up to 8.2x and increase viewership by 75%, also the ability to generate new monetization streams.