The announcement of a deal between the Formula One group and Tata Communications some months ago has led to discussions about the possibilities of Formula 1 using direct delivery for its TV feeds over the internet.

The world's data transfer capabilities are increasing all the time. The global fibre optic network is now capable of shifting one terabit per second (one million million bytes) through hundreds of thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cable, creating spectacular new opportunities for the sport. 

There is still resistance to pay-per-view sport in some markets, notably in Europe, but increasingly people are accepting that they must pay for cable and satellite subscriptions to watch their favourite sports, although the cost of these can be prohibitive for some fans. This is largely because the cable or satellite company is taking the money and using the sport to attract new customers.

If a sport goes directly to the fans, there will be no middle man, and no need to exploit in the same way as is happening at the moment. Such a system would allow viewers to pay, for example, £5 for each race. At the moment F1's live audience is about 300 million around the world; not everyone will sign up to such a system but the potential is clearly there.