Friday, 29 July 2011

The Spin Starts On The F1 Sky Move

Bad enough British fans get robbed of Formula 1 coverage unto Sky pay TV but now they have to listen to all the rubbish talk and positive spin being put out. It's hard to see how its not just about quick cash for the teams with a heavy price to pay in the longer term.

Brings back memories of how Ferrari tried to explain the Massa and Alonso team orders straight after the race last year. Treat the fans like idiots that will believe anything. Talking about the BBC/Sky sharing deal, Bernie Ecclestone; "It's good for Formula 1, for sure there are going to be a lot more people viewing, and a lot more opportunities for people to view, so from that point I'm very happy."

Basically everybody has BBC and a minority Sky in Britian, so how are there going to be a whole lot more viewers Bernie? and how is it good for the fans and potential new fans who have to pay £40 a month?

Also compare what Ecclestone is saying now about viewing figures to what he said in an interview with the officail Formula 1 website in as recently as May this year. Talking about Sky sports, Bernie: "They have been trying to buy the TV rights from us for a long time, but we won't because they are not free-to-air television broadcasters. They are a subscription service.

"Sky is doing an incredible job but if you look at their audience they are nowhere. With these figures it would be almost impossible for teams to find sponsors. That would be suicidal."

Back to today, Ecclestone: "They [BBC] may yet do the whole race deferred, we have to see." but later Bernie contradicts himself by saying "For those who can't watch Sky, they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time"

Ecclestone commenting on the Concorde Agreement which guaranteed that F1 stayed on free-to-air says "The Concorde finishes in 2012, After then there may not be one, we don't need one. We'll see. But I think this is all positive, and having spoken to the teams, they think it's positive too.

"We do have to do the best we can, and I'm interested in getting the maximum coverage because we have to invest in the future for the good of the teams and for Formula 1, I think in the end people will be more happy with this than they are at the moment."

Yes Bernie, everyone is really happy today! The team gets their quick cash and the fans get screwed. It is no surprise that Eric Boullier and Adam Parr are the most in favour of the move as their teams are two of the most struggling for raising funds.

Martin Whitmarsh seems to be coming out with really strange things saying  "Based on what I've heard there won't be a premium for watching Formula 1 on Sky" Really Martin so Sky is going to cost nothing now? At least in fairness to Whitmarsh he is one of the few who is genuinely taking on the fans views even if I see a small man behind him twisting his arm whispering rubbish in his ear..

Whitmarsh is also adamant the full race will be shown not highlights on BBC as the BBC and Sky have said and Bernie who told him this is not sure about. Martin "From what Bernie has said it's better than expected, The BBC will show every grand prix in full, half of them live and half of them deferred, so free-to-air is available to everyone."

You have to hand it to Bernie Ecclestone, what a genius. He has pocketed mega by taking half the races of mainstream TV but he has somehow convinced the teams that it will increase viewership figures! It is like there is some reasoning that people who have Sky don't have BBC in Britain. Will be interesting to see how easy it is for teams getting sponsorship when their viewing audience is drastically cut.

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