Formula 1: The Winds of Change

Judge’s Chambers: Ruminations, the reading of tea leaves and an independent weighing of the evidence and subsequent comment

Housekeeping: Check out the Judicial board under the ‘About’ tab on the top menu. We have some very talented individuals now helping TJ13 deliver an ever increasing coverage of all things F1.

People are interested in F1 for different reasons, some for the glamour, the politics, technical issues, history, strategy, rules, innovation etc. TJ13 has set itself a challenging vision and goal to deliver something for everyone.

I believe by providing TJ13 readers with a diverse coverage of matters F1, we can all come to a fuller understanding of the varying dimensions and layers that create Formula 1. Further, fundamental to TJ13 is my passion to encouraging your involvement – even if for just 1 hour a week – then we together will build a community who will demand a hearing and command a greater advocacy for the sport we love.

An example of this would be my current project which involves the investigation of the financial models of baseball and American football to compare with the current F1 structure. With some assistance in the research I could write this article more quickly and begin on the next.

YouTube – The Judge13 TV Channel is coming soon. Anyone who enjoys surfing YouTube for F1 video content would be invaluable to our producer Craig who can then focus on cataloging.

Any one who has just 1 hour a week can help TJ13. Contact me on

An F1 Innovation’s demise

It was sad to hear this evening the demise of the flying lap. This was the baby of Peter Windsor who pushed the innovative internet F1 TV.

Shortly before the start of the 1986 season, Windsor was in an automobile accident when the car he was riding in with Frank Williams crashed on the way from the Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France to the Nice airport, causing Windsor minor injuries but leaving Williams, who was driving, paralysed.

Windsor started his journalism career at the now defunct monthly magazine, Competition Car. He was the motorsport editor for the British weekly magazine Autocar from the late 1970s until 1985, and was much-lauded for his Grand Prix reports.

In 1985 Peter became sponsorship manager at Williams F1. He then worked as general manager at Ferrari, only to return to Williams as team manager in 1991. Windsor has won five awards for his writing, and most of his early television work has taken place with networks of News Corporation.

From 1998 to 2000, Windsor was the on-location reporter for FSN’s  Formula 1 coverage. He then joined Sky Sports as a pit reporter on their F1 Digital+ package.

Whilst never seeming to find a permanent niche, I’m sure Peter will be back somehow and somewhere covering the sport he has dedicated his life to.

Winds of Change

This mornings theme is ‘the winds of change’ blowing through Formula 1.

At this time of year – between the tests and following the big car reveals – we all are scratching around looking for things to talk about. Invariably F1 finance gets its rightful platform and then by March the teams get busy trying to find one or two 10ths of a second and forget all about it until November. As Chairman of FOTA, Martin Whitmarsh today issues a rallying call to the other teams to unite and extract more cash from Mr. E and CVC.

Speaking not as team principle for the wealthy McLaren Group but on behalf of the smaller F1 competitors Martin says, “We’re in the world of advertising and you only have to see how advertising is worldwide. The rate card is down. We have taken some measures, but I think it’s going to be tough for some.”

I’ve heard this sentiment countless times before and wish people would stop uttering it as a truism. “Bernie’s done a fantastic job for F1”, and usually there is an inoffensive caveat bolted onto the end muttered behind the back of a hand. I have been saying for a while that there feels to be a shift in the prevailing wind direction and here’s another example of this. Whitmarsh actually says, “Bernie has done a fantastic job for the owners”, aha the tide is on the turn.

I was discussing F1 finances with an ex-team principle in Barcelona during testing last year. I asked him why the teams didn’t just breakaway from FOM/CVC and Ecclestone and do their own thing. A number of interesting points were made, one being that Bernie and FOM have bought the rights to practically every name you can think of that suggests premier single-seater racing. Further, some of the circuits have in their contracts clauses that restrain them from hosting a ‘premier global single seater world championship type race – cleverly worded over a score or 2 of pages.

The most important reason the ex-team boss explained to me was that many of the most senior F1 people have at one time or another have received a favour from Mr. E that has most significantly impacted their personal wealth. In other words a grudging loyalty based upon personal gratitude for riches untold.

Il Padrino’s lambasting of Ecclestone’s age, faculties and abilities was also a challenge to the throne of Lord Ecclestone. This was a new and personal level of conflict not seen in their fights over the years.

CVC themselves have announced to the world they have engaged an executive search agency to identify potential successors to F1’s glorious leader.

I heard a FOM representative talking recently about ‘when Bernie’s gone..’, change is indeed in the air. The fear of being overheard by the secret F1 police is diminishing as F1 people I speak to recognise they are no longer likely to be banished from the sport and cast into ‘outer darkness’ for speaking against our glorious leader.

Martin continues in this vein.  “We can criticise him but he’s doing a better job than we are. He’s keeping the money on behalf of his employers. That money whistles out of the sport and that’s deeply frustrating for some of us in the sport but that’s exactly what he should be trying to do”.

Mmm – interesting. Here’s the Judge’s summing up of the Whitmarsh statement.

Worthy action – plain evidence of nefarious activity – alleged crime – the necessary proof of actual damages ensuing – and actual injury suffered (even if this is via hearsay on behalf of ‘some of us’).

Guilty, cry the ‘Jury’.

Whitmarsh candidly admits, “If the teams aren’t cohesive enough to work together to secure a larger share of that, then they have to blame themselves” and he goes on to acknowledge, “The business environment is tough everywhere, not just in F1”.

If you look at the finances of the teams, then at least 5 or 6 are not ‘self sufficient under the current financial structure. Martin Whitmarsh elaborates, “Looking at F1, the acid test should be whether the team is sustainable without support from a shareholder, who are often also sponsors”.

“If the answer is ‘yes’, then the business is healthy. If not, then teams will still probably survive but not because they are self-sufficient but only because the owners keep them going. If their parent company switched off the tap, then they would not survive.”

F1 TV audience

Today FOM have released its annual broadcasting report and the TV viewing audience for 2012 and it shows a staggering 34% drop on the previous year. Mr. E commented, “A small handful of territories didn’t meet expectations in terms of reach, with the Chinese market suffering a decrease which could not be absorbed by a significant number of increases elsewhere”.

The figures measures the number of people who have watched more than 15 non-consecutive minutes of the sport throughout the season and as TJ13 reported yesterday, the UK live viewing audience had halved over the first 11 races of 2012 when compared to 2011.

Audiences also dropped in other new markets for F1. In Russia they fell by 12.8% ahead of the first Russian Grand Prix next year which will take place at Sochi’s $50bn Olympic Park. TV viewing figures even fell in the US, despite the return of its home race after a five-year hiatus. The US Grand Prix took place in Texas in November to great acclaim within the industry, but viewers of F1 in the US fell by 3% from 10 million to 9.7 million.

Despite having a second national driver become  a triple F1 World champion, TV audiences in Germany also fell by around 7%.

The decline in TV viewing is a trend which is being closely monitored by the F1 teams. Eric Boullier said, “We do monitor the new strategy to go to pay TV. It may increase the fan profile and ‘educated’ audience but we may have to review our sponsorship figures if the tendency becomes global.”

In 2009 the FOM reported global audience was 600m and even though this years TV broadcasting report for the first time does not include a global audience figure, it is believed to be just below the 500m mark.

Ecclestone credibility

This is another blow to the authority of Mr. E. The platitudes suggesting he has done well for F1 are beginning to wane and sound rather thin. TV revenue and track sponsorship bring in about 90% of the commercial revenues of F1. Tv viewing is on the decline and with Italy and France both adopting the SKY UK subscription TV model who knows how much further the viewing statistics will fall in 2013.

Then the other strand to Bernie’s master plan has been to drive new countries and hosts for F1 races. However, Korea is seen as a dead duck by most in F1 and the promises of an economic revolution to the region from FOM should they host a race are beginning to look a little threadbare.

India is the next card to possibly fall. Should the Indian GP see another decline in their attendance figures similar to last year (50% fall year on year) there will be 2 new circuits who are ghost town venues for F1.

This will strike at the FOM recruitment methodology of new F1 hosts who are persuaded by Ecclestone’s team of huge economic benefits that ensue from being a F1 hosting nation.

China, Belgium, Singapore and the Nurburgring have all negotiated reduced F1 hosting fees in the past 18 months. For me, Adam Parr is appearing more prophetic by the day when he called for a new Formula 1 financial model, suggesting that the present methodology had hit a high water mark and was heading in one direction only – DOWN.

47 responses to “Formula 1: The Winds of Change

  1. I enjoyed TFL, but watched it infrequently. Peter W is a eloquent speaker, but the format needed far better cueing. Against Peter’s genteel and metered voice, you need to pick up the pace of edits and continuity with – agh, adjectives like this never fit – more verve. I actually put that down to the fact that he’s writing his own scripts, and yet whilst they edit well for the written word, it takes someone else to sculpt them for broadcast. That’s not any insult to the man, just to my mind he had a glaring need for a script doctor, and a tighter format to better use his voice, which when he slows to think and react, is positively languid. I felt that many episodes could have been broadcast in half or less the format length. Something needed to be done about the afternoon tea atmosphere. I don’t mean by sexing things up or adding distracting gimmicks. I mean by cutting about 2/3rds the words. (believe me I know about this need!) and to be honest he needs a foil, someone to set him up, cue him in, and then Peter could just deliver his thinking. To my highly subjective view, he’s a anchor without the weight of delivery you want from a anchor.

    The recording of Peter’s voice is not flattering, it lets him trail off too much as his voice dips. That can be counteracted quite easily. Just listening to him speak opposite Karun Chandhok and his voice is so retreating, feint, it’s almost soporific. Close mike this guy, add some processing, level out his dynamics. Actually, he is close to the mike, but i wonder if the pickup pattern is wrong, or simply not EQ’d thoughtfully. I’d not want to make his voice falsely strident, but at least lift the mix level more distinctly. Hard to tell just from the ‘tube thing, but deeper voices come at a higher mix, and Peter’s voice seems simply to not be treated for the same live level.

    I don’t want to detract from what is good: the polite and thoughtful considerations, the fact Peter W is always thinking, even when running from script, but it could have been so much tighter. The link sections drag on, to my ears, long enough I get lost in the link, and disoriented by the time the next subject comes up. I find he glissandos right past what might be logical connecting thoughts, and the connecting tissue becomes itself the subject. I think his observations are lost in that style, and should be brought out for emphasis.

    Obviously this is just my personal opinion, and regardless it’s a pity to loose the show. I just think it needed to steal a few more ideas from mainstream broadcast to keep it punchy. Maybe that was simply never the idea, but I found it hard to be captivated because there was never any build to the serious moments and big discussions. Just listening to Peter W and Chandhok whilst I type this and Peter’s voice almost disappears. Then Karun’s tails a bit. Sometimes just technical things let down the presenter. The guy on the skype style headset calling in is the only consistent audio.

    • Sorry to say that I have only stumbled upon Peter Windsor on Speed TV online, but found him unwatchable. May be I was unlucky in my selection of video, but I thought he suffered badly from Jonathan Ross syndrome. (Is far too enamoured with the sound of his own voice to let the person being interviewed get more than a couple of syllables out, in answer to the extremely lengthy and detailed question, which usually includes two possible answers thus narrowing opportunity for a proper response.)

    • I never watched the show but listed to every TFL episode on podcast while running, and for that purpose the speed of the programme was about perfect. I do echo rpaco’s feelings though that PW should learn to accept that every now and then there is somebody that knows more than him… But credit to the man, he did invite very knowledgeable people to this show and I for one will really miss it.

      • Hi BDP!

        Listening is the best way to appreciate that show. Like BBC Radio 4 in the small hours, it’s not a complaint, Peter sends me to sleep. Consider that a compliment, because few voices are so nice to listen to. But he’s simply not being used correctly here. His range is sotto to diminuendo. There’s no actual rise or fall with emphasis. No pace changes. It seems as if he never reached a full stop. I did the same the other night, talking to my longest living friend, sent the poor man to sleep, because I was weary, and we had so much to catch up. Although the stories were in fact eventful, I was on a dirge of simply repeating well honed thoughts. The stories were all done. There was no element of surprise, because I was not thinking afresh, too tired. If you’re engaged with your speech, you are thinking afresh, even for old material, and that tells in the voice.

        F1 has very few voices, unless you’re polyglot (and in case anyone’s not noticed, TJ13’s writers are very informed by reportage in several languages, which is a perspective that could be emphasized) and I can only think off hand of the F1 Rejects crew, who are a brilliant laugh.

        But it is not sufficient to simply relay pub talk, to engage a audience.

        I agree with Rpaco, the Jonathan Ross problem.

        Because I basically talk for a living, I’ve been trapped by that often enough. Sheer vanity. The shock is when you realize people are listening to you for the sound of your voice, and not the message you wish to convey. Imagine a sultry actress’ voice – you love to hear it, but you want to hear it saying sweet nothings next to your pillow, not delivering you insight and news. My worst habit is effectively growling when I am tired and struggling for emphasis.

        I think this is a gap to fill.

  2. incidentally, if TJ13 is normal process, surely review is JR13? As in Judicial Review? Does that make us the Privy Counsel, dear Judge? And who is Clerk, and so on? Shall there be a Lord Justice? And who do our anonymous selves represent? Is there to be a Plebiscite as to future development, that we may abide by wider suggestion? A poll fort features might be a good thing.

    Surely we need a archivist and a scrivener or Recorder or these never happened if anyone asks meetings?

    (I mean, can we chat offline and you write a post asking what people like most, plus suggestions and invitations for suggestion.)

    Can RPoirot (AKA rpaco) be our Pooh-Bah, and who will sing “a wandering minstrel . . “?

    Sorry rpaco, you just know too many of those regs. How about a ditty on the absurdities you see? “Young man, despair”, or “The flowers that bloom in the spring”. What think you? There’s not yet been a good piece anywhere on how Bernie fannies the semantics to deliver what he wants, and I think he’s loosing that touch, now Max is gone, and that key ability to leverage often very subtle affordance from the FIA is his inevitable undoing.

    If I can suggest a setting, we have convened with Evil Under The Sun:

    which is by far my favorite filmed dramatization of all RPoirot’s works. The twist is rpaco unmasks himself as Miss Marple, naturally.

    What would be a good (modest) prize to offer up for the best essay idea, and then for the best essay on the best idea?

    What would get people thinking?

    Not saying you don’t think, but I mean joining up a few more thoughts and asking a few more questions.

    If mankyboy or Bart, or someone else can review some good books, unless they are absolutely rare out of print, I’ll offer up a copy, sent new, to anyone who can come up with a good article idea that TJ approves, in the following comments.

    What do you think?

    • I realize that leave what to reward who actually writes a interesting article following a suggestion, but I’d say good novel suggestions are the kind that will concentrate the minds who are already on the case. I’d be most happy bribing who can pull off really unusual article ideas as a new contributor. I see it this way, there’s a movement to consolidate the regular features, but once that moves ahead fully, let’s have the different, the unusual, what surprises. I love books, and if you have a idea, and can be influenced by the offer of interesting books you’ve not read or owned, then I’ll feel about right dangling them as a carrot. But different books, different reviews, and different ideas for articles. Something that appeals to the old , the young, the curious, the fanatic the jaundiced and the disinterested. Something to make the fact it’s all hijacked by pay per view . Sky . whoever not feel like every good bit of F1 is stolen away. Books you can loose yourself in, or that can turn your head and thinking. Which are they? Can you review one, with the same attention you would pay to the best race in your memory? If you can, in the spirit of getting us all informed, I’ll buy whatever you review, and put it up for a prize to who comes up with the next good essay or article idea for TJ13.

      Subject only to TJ13’s permission and approval, and allowing I am not skint at the time! (But I think I can manage, no reviews of original King James’ bible’s or 1st edition Byron’s allowed . . )

      • A most generous offer indeed. I think the small print reads as follows. Write a review on an F1 book, TJ13 will publish it – and when the next volunteer writes a review on a different book – JOJ will furnish the first writer with a copy of the second book reviewed – and so on with review 3-4-5 etc.

        Mucho Grazias Senior JOJ

          • You got that one right! I have a issue with photography books that cost hundreds and still use poor press process . .

            but other than that, small print sounds right. Must be a review you publish here.

            May I add, please, that it is original, and at least for a term, exclusive to here?

            The “evil idea” is that it means whoever reviews a book, will get a new one to read, so we all get something new to enjoy.

            Maybe if the first reviewer already has the second book, we can do a deal on something else, offering up the unneeded copy to someone new?

            It’s a kind o “pay it forward” deal, needs forward momentum and a bit of faith that someone will follow on. (I do realize two smart people could tag team to get themselves a library, but we might notice that and have to claim force majeure and pay them off!)

            Who will step up first?

    • In days of yore – methinks JOJ would be the shiny black shoe’d (adorned with giant silver buckle) – breeches and Adam Ant -esque jacket with a scroll…stood atop of the external steps up to the courtroom….OH YEA…OH YEA… 🙂

    • I am moved to comment that though my wife is a keen Agatha Christie fan of the many tv versions of the murder mysteries that seem to be permanently on ITV3 . I was put off years ago by the fact that Agatha cheats in her plots, she lays false trails, people are seen at a crime scene but later it’s someone else guilty, the false trails are never justified or explained.

      Also I had hoped that Peter Suchet would be Popski in a film version of his adventures in WW2 He is almost identical though now a little fat for the role.

      Colonel Vladiir Peniakov (Popski) is one of my heroes having been captivated by the book “Warriors on Wheels” when in my teens. My blog page on Popski seems to have disappeared but I commend people to visit and learn about PPA and their exploits.

      I read the regs and interpret them as best a can with no equipment I claim no special knowledge. It’s a bit annoying to see American terms in the regs for which there are perfectly good English equivalents.

  3. Quietly spoken, but fighting words from Martin whitmarsh.
    That f1 brings in under $1B compared to other – arguably less global – sports like the EPL or the NFL really does show that maybe Bernie isnt quite doing the best possible job.
    Is Adam parr going to be John galt?

  4. In my small contribution here about F1’s new structure being a killer, I contended that with the commercial side of the organisation not being reliant upon either attendance or viewing figures, the fall tv viewing and subsequently of ots (opportunities to see) would affect the value of sponsoring a team in F1. I expected this to make itself felt over the next 3 to four years.
    However Martin Whitmarsh’s recent outpourings have surprised me a little in that that the effect is being felt so soon. (Unless he is still bargaining)
    My original contention was that the set of contracts that Bernie has now in place with circuits and tv companies are devoid of any reference to the teams and take no account of their reliance upon sponsorship. I am amazed that the teams did not see that they have effectively been sidelined.

    From my early days of sales this is what I call a “smash and grab” deal. (You can sell anything to anyone once if you never have to see them again, grab the money and run) This last bundle of contracts was the enticement for the float, the crowning glory of Bernie’s F1 reign, his last hurrah! But the float was postponed, partly due to the market condition, but also, as normal with BE because nobody had a clue what they were really buying.
    The fact that CVC has dumped the majority of their holding should be worrying enough to any new investor. I see the new/now current, setup as unstable and likely to fall in on itself as teams withdraw or go bankrupt over the next few years. While the income is guaranteed from the sport, if the sport itself collapses you end with a hell of a mess.
    So I believe that this was to be Bernie’s goodbye, F1 floated off, CVC out, Bernie sailing into the sunset, with wife number 3, his magic papers having set him free from the prospect of prison. His major problem being how much could he spend before he dies. He recently said that Merc had more money than God, well of course God has none, so that was correct! His eventual death will keep many lawyers in very profitable employment for a good many years.

    • Agreed rpaco, have never fully understood how the F1 money model got away from viewing figures or bums on seats. However, I have the feeling this has been going on ever since the big sponsors started “investing” in the early seventies. It has taken this long to get to a potential crisis point.
      By the way how many other sports have such a disconnect from the fans?

      • The big money was and still is in some cases, from cigarette companies on FTA tv. Their exposure has been cut drastically but they still make contributions to Ferrari and McLaren’s budgets. The loss of FTA will eventually mean that other platforms are better value for advertisers.

  5. With regards to MW’s comments and your interest in American Football –

    the NFL owners work together along with the NFL governing body in what is called a COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT – where all of them negotiate with TV companies & sponsors, etc. – directly and in unity.

    The analogy in F1 would be the FIA & FOTA negotiating TV, sponsorship, race venue fees etc. directly – without the involvement of a ” middle man ” like Bernie aka FOM /CVC ….. hence more money for the FIA and the constructors.

    This would be a far more sustainable economic model.

    Judge – I’ve emailed you a more detailed synopsis of these comments.

    • TV audience figures – a global audience figure, it is believed to be just below the 500m mark for F1.

      The NFL probaly gets that in ONE week ….. !

        • An average of 16 games per week – plus about 30 overseas broadcasts of these games = a lot bigger potential audience than just the 300m in the USA.

          And remember – I made this comment on the basis that EACH game is treated a an indivual veiwing event.

          So if I, ( for example ) watched 5 different games, I would be counted as 5 for viewing figurs – not 1.

          So every week – even if you only account for the USA – there are potentially billions of viewers.

      • TV audience figures – a global audience figure, it is believed to be just below the 500m mark for F1. The NFL probaly gets that in ONE week ….. !

        Weekly viewership of all NFL games in the US, terrestrial and cable only, range from 70m -80m per week. f1 viewership in the UK is about the same average as NFL viewership is in the US, around 5% of the total population.

        • “Weekly viewership of all NFL games in the US, terrestrial and cable only, range from 70m -80m per week … ”

          As I have already stated – I consider that each individual NFL game is treated as a separate event in it’s own right ( just as each GP is ) – which is not how the figures you quote are derived.

  6. So the UK viewing figures have halved. Does this Bernie that pay tv is not the.answer for the sponsors and the fans. the sponsors. let’s face it. Spend the money to advertise Their product to recieve less of a return on advertising with less and less live action on free tv platforms.
    As for the viewers. Less viewers. Less exposure. Less ticket sales going through the gate at circuits.

    But hey. Bernie.doesn’t actually give a crap.about the fans.

    • There are 5 nationally televised games per week ( the rest being locally televised ) and these national games attract between 20 – 30 million per game. These are spread over 4 free to view brodcasters – ABC, NBC, Fox & ESPN – plus NFL Network ( which is pay TV ) shows ALL 16 games every week.

      I don’t have figures for local broadcasts or NFL Network or the overseas broadcasts.

      • “There are 5 nationally televised games per week”

        There are actually four. Nationally televised doesn’t include cable only games. ESPN / NFL Network can’t bid on the NFL package. They have side deals with the NFL

        “these national games attract between 20 – 30 million per game.”

        The actual number is 15m -17m viewers per game

        “4 free to view brodcasters – ABC, NBC, Fox & ESPN”

        ESPN isn’t a free to air broadcaster, it’s a cable only channel

        “I don’t have figures for local broadcasts or NFL Network or the overseas broadcasts.”

        There are no local broadcasts. On Sunday the first game is regional and the second game is national. Outside of Canada and Mexico NFL viewer ship is negligible.

        Trying to use the NFL model in f1 won’t work.

        • “4 free to view brodcasters – ABC, NBC, Fox & ESPN”

          I’ll add that ABC doesn’t show any NFL games. The three terrestrial networks that do are NBC, CBS and Fox.

          • DOH ! 🙁

            CavallinoRampante – you are correct – I was having ” brain fade ” ……

        • “ESPN isn’t a free to air broadcaster, it’s a cable only channel”

          I thought it was but wasn’t sure, as we get MNF free in UK

          “There are no local broadcasts. On Sunday the first game is regional and the second game is national”

          Then can you explain to me how I can watch games which aren’t Nationally televised ( which are usually the same as carried by SkySports ) then, if they aren’t locally broadcast ? * confused *

          And I don’t understand what is meant by “Regional” as opposed to “National” ?

          “The actual number is 15m -17m viewers per game”
          maybe …. maybe not …..

          “Trying to use the NFL model in f1 won’t work”

          It could work.

          The reason it won’t is coz the FIA are spineless – FOCA are a disparate shambles as well as being spineless – and Bernie has, as previously mentioned, contractually tied up broadcasters, track owners & promoters etc. to try and prevent any “breakaway” series.

          Too many individuals looking out for their own interests to the detriment of the sport as a whole, and too blinkered to see that this may untimately destroy the very interests they are trying to protect.

          • Interesting debate – I just posted a hypothetical brief Navana model of a premier racing series in an Alternative Universe – maybe we can pick the bones out of that 🙂

          • “as we get MNF free in UK”

            In NA ESPN is cable only channel. You pay to get ESPN.

            “Then can you explain to me how I can watch games which aren’t Nationally televised”

            On Sunday east coast time, CBS an FOX both show games at 1:00PM. The game you see is based on the region you live in. If you live in the NYC area you will get a game played in that area . If you live in Florida you will get game from played in that area. At 4:00PM there is one game shown, which alternates each week between CBS and FOX. This game is shown nationally. At 8:00PM NBC shows a game that is shown nationally. The NFL offers a package where you can through your cable or satellite provider purchase a package that allows you to watch any game you want but that is essentially pay for view and the numbers are very small

            “The actual number is 15m -17m viewers per game”
            maybe …. maybe not …..

            In the US TV viewership is based on ratings share, 1 point = about 1.1M viewers. NFL games typical draw around a 15 share or 15 X 1.1M = 16.5M viewers

            “Trying to use the NFL model in f1 won’t work”
            It could work.

            The NFL is a league of equals. F1 isn’t. Outside of the UK the team that makes F1 viable is Ferrari. F1 will change when Ferrari decide there is a need for a change.

          • “On Sunday east coast time, CBS an FOX both show games at 1:00PM. The game you see is based on the region you live in.”

            This surely implies that games ARE broadcast locally as I said ?

            And not just true for the 1:00 pm games but also the 4:00 pm games too ? Or have I been halucinating when I’ve watched 4:00 pm games that weren’t nationally broadcast ?

          • “In the US TV viewership is based on ratings share, 1 point = about 1.1M viewers. NFL games typical draw around a 15 share or 15 X 1.1M = 16.5M viewers”

            Can you please give a full and detailed expanation of exactly how this “ratings share” is calculated ?

            “… that is essentially pay for view and the numbers are very small” – what precisely are these numbers ? Since you are so definative in quoting other figures ?

            Oh – and what about online viewing figures – PC’s, tablets. smartphones, etc. ? What are the viewing figures for these ?

          • “The NFL is a league of equals. F1 isn’t. Outside of the UK the team that makes F1 viable is Ferrari. F1 will change when Ferrari decide there is a need for a change.”

            The NFL isn’t a league of equals. You can’t compare Jerry Jones or Dan Snider to the residents of Green Bay – can you ? Every NFL owner has varying degrees of financial power behind them – it’s the SYSTEM that controls this difference, to give a level playing field to all.

            I’m sorry CavallinoRampante – but if you think that Ferrari makes F1 viable – I think you are living in some fantasy land.

            F1 can easily survive without Ferrari. No one is going to pay to watch 22 Ferrari’s race each other at every GP. But loads of people will still pay to watch 20 other cars from 10 different manufacturers, without a Ferrari on the grid, race each other = FACT.

            And if it’s true what you say that F1 depends totally upon what Ferrari want – then maybe the sooner F1 is shot of them, the better ?

            Funnily enough – I always thought it was the ” garagistas” that made F1 viable ?

            After all – they’ve only won 47 championships ……

          • Oh, crikey, this is a love – in, eh, boys? 🙂

            Just want to break up the repartee by saying I watch some NFL. I am still very unsure as to what I’m watching, but I enjoy the game atmosphere. The sheer quantity of it is another kind of entertainment: you’d have to be hard core to follow properly, and so casual viewing means you’re always surprised, always behind, and the commentary no matter how dull is going to tell you things that fill the gaps. In this case quantity is good. Any given day there’s a game. In comparison F1 may be too many races already, but it’s pretty pedestrian viewing. I’m still adjusting to my mates following the soccer, and how frequent are the fixtures, end of season.

            Definitely on ESPN, and definitely am paying for it. Sky throw in a untold number of “entertainment” channels to make you feel more/less stupid . . . reason for this is I like baseball. Our sissy version, rounders or whatever was my thing at school, and the sneakiness of stealing base was a childish delight, and still is. Hardly matters who I am watching, I just can imagine some of the play thinking, and enjoy that.

            (Think there is some NFL on free channels, but not the multiple ESPN feeds required to follow NFL seriously)

            I tell you what I want to know, though: how Ferrari got themselves to be so untouchable? Okay, I don’t really think they are, but this is twice in one morning I am thinking about Godwin’s Law. . .

            Would a truly commercially minded sport manager / owner call Maranello’s bluff some more? Has Bernie latched on to their name as much as they in return use their privileges? I’d really not want F1 without Ferrari. But the more they claim they are inseparable, synonymous with F1, et oters to parrot that, the all glowing red heart or whatever, the more I think they hurt the greater whole, and themselves. Just how much of the Tifosi romance was the fact that so many fans today grew up in the Ferrari wilderness years? The dream of the underdog, a stylish, petulant, classy, underdog, the near successes they had, the talent they had and so often squandered . . definitely that is emotional stuff. I felt that, even when Our Noige was really my hero. But now I think they are squandering their accumulated political capital. I’ve heard it argued that Ferrari, in Enzo, wasted too much by (pun genuinely not intended) fiat. Now who else rules the roost, politically? Bernie got some nice touches of help from Enzo, in times past. Is it simply a private romance that we are all subjected to?

            If you really praise the red team as much as Bernie’s constant adulation permits or insists, then as they become a corporate fixture, as they play each and every new game back of the paddock, they loose something of themselves, and diminish the sport. But they have a collaborator. They have to be believed to make thei special status arguments. If they’re going to carry on, unchanged, I think we need Wanker Williams more than a Adam Parr, we need a team who can shake it all up. This is a part of why I do want regulations relaxed, or at the very least a FIA who are less interested in how things are interpreted. Balestre may have been a arse, but just because he was aloof to so much of the detail, I think that contributed to the possibilities people discovered in the regulations, and much innovation, and so many changes of success.

            Because it was my first sight of F1, I inadvertently idolize the late 70s. Yet we have some contemporary similarities: sky high energy prices, big geopolitical tensions, banks going bust everywhere, inflation (unofficial but very real), and social unrest pervasive in otherwise peaceful countries.

            I think we’re in for very interesting times. I think there’ll be a absolute rout in F1. But I also think good ideas will survive.

            On a last note for now, I think it disingenuous to seriously try to compare F1 to NFL, because there’s no way of calculating the vast cultural mass of American football, from college on up. It’s a amazingly varied game, and that’s why it has so many checks and balances. Even Premier League soccer is a hard comparison, but top flight soccer is also in a rarefied atmosphere, by comparison. Bundesliga is by far a more natural equivalent of organic team support. Watching other sports is little but a palette cleanser for me, though I won’t rule out I may get hooked one day. But I can absolutely never believe F1 has the following these other sports we discuss have, and never the loyalties and families surrounding the game. At least not now. Maybe we can change that, make F1 more sociable. But that does come down to the fact maybe no-one can love a event beholden so much to authority.

    • And on that note, FOM TV are very careful about what crowd shots they show. I was at Monza last year and on the exit of Parabolica onto start/finish straight were 2 huge stands, each capable of holding several thousand people. They were just metal banks of steps and the price was an additional 200 euros on top of GA price.


      Barcelona stadium section which includes the corner after the back straight, the complex, the chicane and final bend – is a huge bowl area, maybe 50-60 seats. Half full.

      Spa and Silverstone were the only 2 with full grandstands and capacity crowds to my knowledge – Austin was nearly full and Brazil and Japan were about 90% full. Now Kamui is gone, who knows this year.

      Some people say circuits charging too much, maybe so, but the demand price line is not linear – and bizarrely there are F1 venues better off half full with high ticket prices than trying to sell every seat/place for a capacity crowd

        • maybe, maybe not

          Francois Dumontier on the Thursday before the event told the Montreal Gazzette “I can’t remember the last time we didn’t sell out. It’s been that long. Depending on the weather, and the hype generated on Thursday and during Friday’s practice, we can sell more tickets this weekend.

          “I’d like to think we’d sell everything, but I don’t think we will.”

          Nothing official I can find since.

        • Further in the case of Montreal 2012 F1 GP attendance vs the people

          “While the event was not sold out for the first time in a decade, it was close to it, with more than 100,000 in attendance at the facility that holds 115,000.”

          Sounds about 86-87% – ish

          Whilst I may not be omniscient in every last detail of F1, I am however The Judge; and if the evidence is available it will be presented to the jury 😉

      • How much of this is bureaucratic style management, though? I mean you set a target, number of theoretical tickets times imaginary hoped for price, don’t get close to it, not even try, blame Bernie?

        After all, your masters bought into the numbers when they signed the deal with Mr. E. . .

        I don’t know how it is for each venue specifically, but with all the local government shenanigans that are usually involved, I am not imagining business minded brains, but people who are political appointees or politically protected.

        Blaming Bernie is a all too easy excuse, right now.

        The there’s the problem of how to discount tickets. If you discount the top price, you’ve only so far to go before you upset who paid full rate for economy. That’s one reason why airlines upgrade people rather than sell cheap biz or 1st class by default.

        Tip of the iceberg, I’ll wager.

        What we have is a deeply effed up system, and I know this risks Godwin’s Law invocation, but when I studied other dictatorial systems, quite a bit pops into my head as relevant, in terms of cultural denial.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.