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More bad news for SKY F1? (05:15)
More bad news for SKY F1?
The news broke yesterday that BT sport had bought the rights to broadcast all Champions League and Europa League matches from 2015 onwards which at best, will be a dent to the pride of BSkyB sports broadcasting. What this has to do with F1 I hear you ask? Allow me to explain.
With the emergence of a genuine rival to Sky Sport’s crown as the UK’s most complete sports broadcaster there will be undoubtedly be ripple effects. Having lost their main football rights, ITV will now be forced to concentrate their efforts onto other sports. They already host the British Touring Cars Championship, so perhaps focussing on other forms of motor racing could be an option. The only slight drawback to this plan being that it would mean advertising during races again.
Then there is the BBC, who have lost part of the rights to Moto GP (to BT Sport). If (and probably when) Suzi Perry is forced out of the host role it would give the opportunity for a complete revamp of the show they deliver. The offer of F1 being ‘free to air’ again on terrestrial TV would certainly attract many back to the screens of the beeb.
Then there is BT Sport who have clearly shown they have the budget to compete with BSkyB, given the £897 million deal for European football (3 times what ITV and SKY were paying), what’s to say they would not want to venture into F1 broadcasting if it could be lucrative. It would also see NASCAR and F1 broadcast from the same station. The dream of Jake Humphrey coming back to F1 screens could even happen…
Ultimately, there would be no loyalty shown by CVC, who would happily grant the rights to whoever sends the biggest cheque in the post. If there are more losses of sports broadcasting rights, it will make the sports package Sky offers less attractive, meaning the F1 channel is in effect more expensive and harder to justify paying for.
If the SKYF1 channel continues to suffer the poor viewing figures we have seen then it could be a very difficult justification to those in charge to keep the F1 rights. Unless Sky can start to record Formula One themselves, and not take on the world feed, it seems there could be bleak times ahead.
The figures given by BARB (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board) show BT Sport 2 having 963,000 viewers from the week 21st – 27th October. Sky F1 had 1,729,000 during the same week. Whilst this may seem relatively good, when we consider it was the Championship deciding round at the Indian GP, they are not quite so impressive.
What do you think TJ13 readers? Where would you prefer to see the F1 broadcasting rights heading to?