Red Bull is keen to extent its Formula1 present beyond the track with an eye on the motor sport’s media rights.
Energy drink giant will face competition from public service broadcaster ORF in its battle to claim Formula 1 television rights for the territory of Austria from 2021.
ORF currently owns the rights to the series until the end of the 2020 season under a €10 million (US$ 10.8 million) per year agreement.
Red Bull is already heavily into the global sports series and operates two teams in Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri. The brand is eyeing the Formula One rights for its free-to-air (FTA) TV Channel Servus TV.
Servus TV recently drew its highest ever audience in Austria of 738,000 viewers when broadcasting Dominic Thiem’s defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final. It already broadcasts the Moto GP series in Austria and Germany.
On the other hand, ORF, which is planning to bid for the rights again from 2021, averaged 5,34,000 viewers during its live Formula 1 broadcasts in 2019, up from 5,15,000 in 2018.
When asked about the development, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz was not willing to divulge much about it.
“We are not a sports broadcaster. We have to think carefully about such an option. F1 rights are always interesting for a broadcaster, but we cannot say anything about them now,” Mateschitz told Speed Week. “We have to wait and see what ORF decides and what Sky does. It depends on the market situation, it must always be interesting,” he added.