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F1 UK Coverage Thread 2018


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#501 pdac

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 17:20

This argument would hold more water if we hadn't just come out of almost a quarter of a century of live free-to-air coverage of the whole F1 season. Fact is we had a system that worked for everyone, commercial contracts on FTA stations guaranteed free access for the fans, huge global TV audiences which drove healthy commercial sponsorship deals for teams and drove high levels of interest to provide circuits with healthy ticket sales, it also provided a ton of cash for the commercial rights holders in exchange for very little outlay. It worked for everyone, this paywall nonsense only works for Liberty.

 

I repeat, I did not do the deal - Bernie did. He never had any time for fans who were not wiling to pa. He wanted money and he got it. He could have easily sold non-exclusive coverage and made a reasonable amount of money, but he wanted to maximise the income.

 

But who can blame him? That was his job - to maximise the income. If that meant ditching the long-term fans for ones that would stump up cash, he didn't mind. And this is what is happening now. They will lose me as a fan, they will lose others. But they will still make the money because others will stump up. Less fans is not a problem as long as those fans pay big.

 

You say that it worked for everyone. Perhaps so. But now (then think) it works better for them - and that's what counts. Remember that this is not the FIA or the teams - it's FOM. FOM are the commercial side of F1 - they will only be concerned about the fan base, viewers and grand prix attendances if it affects their revenue. But also remember that their revenue comes from hosting fees and TV contracts - not from bums on seats.

 

We're all pretty pissed off that the coverage has largely disappeared behind a paywall, but be thankful that you can get something for no extra cost It's not a step backwards for FOM, it's only a step backwards for F1 and the fans,



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#502 Clatter

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 17:51

I just don’t understand why we’re going backwards. F1 was one of the last major sports to go HD and now a few years later the ‘worlds most technologically advanced’ sport is only available in SD? Rubbish. There’s sports doing 50FPS, 4K streams these days and this is what F1 should be aiming for. The highlights should be ‘mere’ HD in comparison.

I don’t have a problem with watching content in SD if that was the best they had at the time (Those old 80s Le Mans reviews are fantastic) but to go back to 20th century picture quality in 2018 isn’t on.

At least Formula E has it right. All races in HD and available to watch on the best VOD service in the UK for weeks after the race is broadcast.

 


Get the facts right. Its not only available in SD. Its available in HD or UHD, but at a price.

#503 Sterzo

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 18:52

I repeat, I did not do the deal - Bernie did. He never had any time for fans who were not wiling to pa. He wanted money and he got it. He could have easily sold non-exclusive coverage and made a reasonable amount of money, but he wanted to maximise the income.

 

But who can blame him? That was his job - to maximise the income.

That was his job? What an odd perspective. Motor racing existed before Bernie Ecclestone. Nobody begged him to take on the "job." He manouevred to control it so he could exploit it financially. That's the root of the current mess.



#504 absinthedude

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 19:42

I don't think free coverage was ever demanded by tobacco companies. F1 was gradually becoming more popular in the 70s and various circuits and local broadcasters had begun live broadcasts. What Bernie did for 1982 was get all the broadcast contracts under one umbrella so that the BBC (or any other broadcast company) only had to strike one deal to get all the F1 races. That made Bernie even more rich than he was and for something like 20 years it worked for F1 too. 

 

Booze advertising is severely restricted in most markets including all over the EU, so the alcohol companies can certainly get their logos more exposure than if they stuck to traditional advertising on TV. 

 

I think the concern is not Channel 4 HD in 2019 but the future. The C4 deal thus far is only for 2019. Beyond that it might go to Sky's Pick channel which is not available in HD. Personally I doubt this will cause my death.



#505 pdac

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 21:09

That was his job? What an odd perspective. Motor racing existed before Bernie Ecclestone. Nobody begged him to take on the "job." He manouevred to control it so he could exploit it financially. That's the root of the current mess.

 

How he came to be in the job is irrelevant to the fact that, once in that job, his objective was to maximise profit (mainly for himself).



#506 Dalton007

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 21:43

How he came to be in the job is irrelevant to the fact that, once in that job, his objective was to maximise profit (mainly for himself).

 

He offered the teams to invest in the monetisation of the TV rights. They turned him down.

 

I don't see the problem with what Bernie did. He saw an opportunity to monetise it, too bad no one else in F1 shared that vision at that time. 



#507 crooky369

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Posted 14 December 2018 - 23:04


Get the facts right. Its not only available in SD. Its available in HD or UHD, but at a price.


Correct. I meant the FTA coverage on the possibility that the highlights do end up on the SD Pick TV channel. Next year is fine as we have Channel 4 HD but after that who knows.

I subscribed to Sky in the past when F1 first moved over to being split between Sky and BBC and to be honest it wasn’t worth the money. It was about £400 a year for 20 F1 races and being able to watch all sorts of racing on Motors and Le Mans on Eurosport. But beyond that I was still mostly watching things that would be on Freeview. Now Motors TV is online only and a Eurosport pass can be bought for Le Mans so I’d have even less reason to fork out all that money.

#508 F1 Mike

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Posted 15 December 2018 - 18:18

I got all 10 sky sports channels for £150 for the season which isn't too expensive considering the content across all of their channels

#509 Sterzo

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Posted 16 December 2018 - 23:12

He offered the teams to invest in the monetisation of the TV rights. They turned him down.

 

I don't see the problem with what Bernie did. He saw an opportunity to monetise it, too bad no one else in F1 shared that vision at that time. 

There's absolutely no problem if your favourite sport is making money.

Unfortunately some of us are motor racing enthusiasts instead, and can see the damage that's been done to our favourite sport.



#510 pdac

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Posted 17 December 2018 - 00:06

There's absolutely no problem if your favourite sport is making money.

Unfortunately some of us are motor racing enthusiasts instead, and can see the damage that's been done to our favourite sport.

 

I think for all senior people in FOM, the teams and even, I would say, the FIA too, their favourite sport IS making money.



#511 Darren1

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 10:33

F1 doesn't really care about less fans on TV, it's about income, followed by income, and finally income.  Where they should be worries it that a reduction in those watching on TV will impact circuit attendance.  

 

The circuits are already making losses with full houses, an impact on those wanting to attend will affect them further, leaving us with state sponsored empty tracks, or low value alternatives unable to cope with the financial requirements......



#512 Clatter

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 13:03

F1 doesn't really care about less fans on TV, it's about income, followed by income, and finally income. Where they should be worries it that a reduction in those watching on TV will impact circuit attendance.

The circuits are already making losses with full houses, an impact on those wanting to attend will affect them further, leaving us with state sponsored empty tracks, or low value alternatives unable to cope with the financial requirements......

They don't care how many attend the race as they get no income from that. The TV contacts are more lucrative and if the TV audience declines, then the contracts will be worth less.

#513 pdac

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 19:22

They don't care how many attend the race as they get no income from that. The TV contacts are more lucrative and if the TV audience declines, then the contracts will be worth less.

 

As long as one TV company thinks that their rivals might get hold of it, they will all bit very high - regardless of whether the audience is in decline.

 

They don't care about audiences because it's the TV companies that pay them. They don't care about the race attendance because they take the hosting fee, regardless.



#514 richardnunney

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 21:42

Sky supposedly paid £200m a year for exclusive coverage, and Channel 4 pay £25m for the 10 races and highlights, so say £10m-15m for highlights only. So why would Sky give up being the exclusive source of F1 (highlights on Pick), for a comparatively small amount?


Depends if it's linked to a joint F1 and champions league deal...

Edited by richardnunney, 21 December 2018 - 21:42.


#515 SonGoku

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 23:48

As long as one TV company thinks that their rivals might get hold of it, they will all bit very high - regardless of whether the audience is in decline.

 

They don't care about audiences because it's the TV companies that pay them. They don't care about the race attendance because they take the hosting fee, regardless.

 

What I don't understand is that also the drivers aren't worried about this. Max Verstappen's management isn't satisfied with his fame in the Netherlands they want to make him an international star even outside the motorsport bubble, well good luck with that if the ratings keep going down.

 

That's why it hurts F1 so much that guys like Alonso (already left), Kimi and Hamilton will leave the sport sooner than later, I just don't see the others getting the coverage to grow a huge following and keep the sport in the news.



#516 pdac

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 00:38

What I don't understand is that also the drivers aren't worried about this. Max Verstappen's management isn't satisfied with his fame in the Netherlands they want to make him an international star even outside the motorsport bubble, well good luck with that if the ratings keep going down.

 

That's why it hurts F1 so much that guys like Alonso (already left), Kimi and Hamilton will leave the sport sooner than later, I just don't see the others getting the coverage to grow a huge following and keep the sport in the news.

 

Even though the audiences are in decline, there's still an awful lot of people in the world that are still following F1. Max will be fine, it's the drives who appear in 10 or 15 years time that may not have the same levels of fame and fortune.



#517 Clatter

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 08:56

What I don't understand is that also the drivers aren't worried about this. Max Verstappen's management isn't satisfied with his fame in the Netherlands they want to make him an international star even outside the motorsport bubble, well good luck with that if the ratings keep going down.

That's why it hurts F1 so much that guys like Alonso (already left), Kimi and Hamilton will leave the sport sooner than later, I just don't see the others getting the coverage to grow a huge following and keep the sport in the news.

An awful lot of drivers have come and gone and somehow F1 has managed to survive. There are far bigger issues affecting the sport than that.

#518 johnmhinds

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 11:35

As long as one TV company thinks that their rivals might get hold of it, they will all bit very high - regardless of whether the audience is in decline.

 

They don't care about audiences because it's the TV companies that pay them. They don't care about the race attendance because they take the hosting fee, regardless.

FOM care about both of those things because that what creates the demand for the track side advertising, which makes up a big chunk of their revenue. And those TV companies and tracks won't keep paying their fees if nobody is watching.

 

 

What I don't understand is that also the drivers aren't worried about this. Max Verstappen's management isn't satisfied with his fame in the Netherlands they want to make him an international star even outside the motorsport bubble, well good luck with that if the ratings keep going down.

 

That's why it hurts F1 so much that guys like Alonso (already left), Kimi and Hamilton will leave the sport sooner than later, I just don't see the others getting the coverage to grow a huge following and keep the sport in the news.

 

Why are you attributing the normal driver turn over to the viewing figures of the sport?

 

That idea doesn't even begin to make any sense because F1 is still the most popular motorsport by a long way. If all a driver cared about was being in front of the most eyeballs then they'd want to be in F1.


Edited by johnmhinds, 22 December 2018 - 11:36.


#519 pdac

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 13:59

FOM care about both of those things because that what creates the demand for the track side advertising, which makes up a big chunk of their revenue. And those TV companies and tracks won't keep paying their fees if nobody is watching.

 

They will care if there are signs that income is reducing. But I doubt it's a real concern for them right now.


Edited by pdac, 22 December 2018 - 13:59.


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#520 SonGoku

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 16:56

They went for the fast money grab, but I wonder about the state of the sport in 10-20 years, I don't see it being very positive.



#521 Sterzo

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 22:50

They went for the fast money grab, but I wonder about the state of the sport in 10-20 years, I don't see it being very positive.

Agreed on both points. What we don't actually know is what approach Liberty will take to televising / streaming races in the long term. Most of what's currently happeneing was determined in pre-Liberty days.



#522 F1 Mike

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 18:12

Whilst the online offering is probably the future of subscription sports coverage, I can't see it being at a quality suitable for replacing traditional satellite TV for at least another 5 years

#523 Ali_G

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 03:28

Nothing, satellite tv, streaming, even a bloody YouTube channel will replace F1 being FTA on a terrestrial TV channel in the UK.

Cricket has already been mentioned. It’s audience has collapsed as has interest in the national team and sport in general. F1 is going the same way.

I think I mentioned it before, but look at the NFL. There are numerous matches on the BBC each year. For the last 2 seasons, they’ve also ensured that RedZone is on SkySports Mix on a Sunday night which is available with just a plain Sky sub.

They realise that viewership is key. It is more important than monetary income and is the life and blood of any sport. F1 in the UK will suffer a slow but inevitable death and that’s even if the bloody show was still worth watching.

#524 P123

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 11:10

FTA would be ideal, especially on the BBC, as they tend to go heavy on the promotion of the sports that they broadcast, such as the NFL. Even the transfer from BBC to C4 knocked a million or so off of the F1 viewership, and I'm sure ITV never did as well as the BBC in terms of viewers when it was the broadcaster. Bernie grabbed the cash, but at least those in charge now do see the importance of a presence online. A lot of sport is consumed now online, even just short highlights clips. A free presence there is just as important as FTA.

#525 pdac

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 14:03

FTA would be ideal, especially on the BBC, as they tend to go heavy on the promotion of the sports that they broadcast, such as the NFL. Even the transfer from BBC to C4 knocked a million or so off of the F1 viewership, and I'm sure ITV never did as well as the BBC in terms of viewers when it was the broadcaster. Bernie grabbed the cash, but at least those in charge now do see the importance of a presence online. A lot of sport is consumed now online, even just short highlights clips. A free presence there is just as important as FTA.

 

At the moment, (if they want to maintain and grow the viewing audience) I think it's important for F1 to be widely and freely available both from traditional broadcast TV and online. There is an established fan base, a lot of whom are people who are used to sitting in front of their TV to watch the coverage. Equally, though, it is clear that the potential new viewers will more likely be seeking a streaming service.

 

The important thing, though, is that quality coverage is available for free. The audience will not grow or even be maintained if there are costs. I'm sure the best way to build the audience and also increase revenue would be the two-tier system whereby the free coverage comes with somewhat annoying adverts (maybe live coverage, but 30-second avert breaks occurring during the coverage) and an alternative pay service that does not suffer in this way. The problem, of course, it that there's always the temptation to add a bit of advertising on to the 'premium' service and make the free service worse to the point that it fails to attract viewers anymore.



#526 Sterzo

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 14:29

The important thing, though, is that quality coverage is available for free.

Exactly. The distinction between streaming and TV is a bit of a red herring. Even an old fogey like me sometimes watches TV on a laptop or streaming on a TV or connects the two with an HDMI cable. The idea that the mythical "millenials" (translation = people) wouldn't work out how to watch F1 on their phone if the TV company chose to stream it is nonsense.



#527 Ali_G

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 22:45

FTA would be ideal, especially on the BBC, as they tend to go heavy on the promotion of the sports that they broadcast, such as the NFL. Even the transfer from BBC to C4 knocked a million or so off of the F1 viewership, and I'm sure ITV never did as well as the BBC in terms of viewers when it was the broadcaster. Bernie grabbed the cash, but at least those in charge now do see the importance of a presence online. A lot of sport is consumed now online, even just short highlights clips. A free presence there is just as important as FTA.


I hate talking about NFL but again they have got it right and FOM have it so wrong.

NFL offer all games live for an annual fee. In addition, the NFL allow all taped live footage to be uploaded onto YouTube and treated as fair usage. This means that YouTube is flooded with NFL clips. And what does this do?

#528 ExFlagMan

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Posted 27 December 2018 - 07:49

Lowers productivity in offices across the country the next day?