Friday, 15 July 2011

Whitmarsh Talks TV & The Murdochs

Martin Whitmarsh believes the Murdochs will bounce back but also says their pay per view business formula isn't right for Formula 1. Speaking on Formula1.com Whitmarsh states "Well, there are a number of issues with News Corp. There is a lot of concern over pay per view, which has been historically the Sky model and that is probably not suitable for Formula One.

"Yes, they’ve got a lot of challenges at the moment in the UK, but nevertheless we all know that News International and News Corp will be alive and powerful in the media in 12 months’ time.

"It’s a dynamic time. But News Corp is a 20 billion or whatever turnover news corporation, so I am sure they will remain a big player. But I don’t think that Formula One needs to rush into their arms. I think we should be open-minded looking at what is in the best interests of the sport in the long term."

The McLaren team principal also spoke of the challenge of embracing different media outlets particularly for the younger generation of which Whitmarsh says "they don’t just watch television - they probably have the TV on, then they have probably something different running on their iPad or on their phone or laptop.

"We grew up with television and for a moment thought that email was cool - but kids don’t email anymore. They are definitely on a much more advanced level than that. The power of these new media outlets is enormous."

Further more on making data available Whitmarsh says "Formula One is a world sport and it is data-rich, and in this digital arena we can populate this digital environment with much more data and information than tennis, soccer or any other sport, so I think it is a huge opportunity that we have.

"Sure there will still be people watching terrestrial television, but for the generation below us that’s not good enough any more. They want more information and they want to interact.

"They want to have communities going - and that’s the challenge: to find ways to monetize this as Bernie has done with television. He made sure that the revenues for the sport were very high. You can’t hold new developments back, so we need to bring in expertise that probably doesn’t exist in Formula One today."
   

 
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