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Jon6,359 posts since 11 Apr 2005
Central (West) Midlands Today
It would have been a better use of the licence payers money to allow Channel 4 a crack at getting the whole thing rather than subsidising Sky piloting a new subscription based approach. Which history has told would lead to the end of free to air coverage.


Had the Beeb given it up totally, I can't imagine Sky would have sat idly by and just watched it pass smoothly onto C4. They'd been eyeing it up for ages, because it offered so much value for them - loads of content, big ABC1 audience, watched by many people who watch no other sport - and had the Beeb dropped it completely there'd have been more chance of it all going to Sky. Regardless of whether C4 wanted to show it or not.

Yeah, you're one of those who'll defend BBC decision making whatever.


Although probably not allowed I'd have even supported the BBC part funding Channel 4's bid in order for the licence fee payer to be best served.
Hatton Cross2,139 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Further to this, when the original BBC/Sky deal was announced, I'm sure someone said that Sky had always wanted F1, but due to long term FTA deals, and the now abandoned PPV Digital F1+ venture, they couldn't get the rights.
ITV "Occasionally it gives us something good, but for the most part, it is pathetic and puerile". Lord Taylor, House Of Commons, 1959.
rdd2,555 posts since 21 Jun 2001
It was always supposed that the sponsors that bankroll F1 would never allow the sport to go exclusively to pay-TV - or at least, that was the prevailing view up to the early 2010s. Whether it was ever really true or not I don't know, but this deal would seemingly conclusively disprove it. It may be that the joint BBC-Sky deal was an exercise from FOM's POV in seeing how the sponsors would react.
Cando1,244 posts since 8 Mar 2012
London London
This has been inevitable since the day BT arrived on the scene. With the average Premier League game costing 7m, a property like F1 was never going to remain FTA in the long term. It also mirrors what has happened in a number of markets already.
I'd be surprised if Sky are paying less than 100m a year for the new contract.
cityprod1,250 posts since 3 Oct 2005
Westcountry Spotlight
The sad thing is this is going to further ghettoise sports coverage on TV, with live coverage of a Champions League game never breaking the million mark on ratings, compared to what they used to get on ITV. The same is already happening with F1, live coverage on Sky Sports is only getting a few hundred thousand viewers, compared to what BBC used to get ratings wise for live coverage. I don't think this is going to help the sport, and nor do I think that reinforcing the Sky Sports dominant position on sports coverage is helpful to other sports, or even to Sky Sports themselves.
Hatton Cross2,139 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today

I'd be surprised if Sky are paying less than 100m a year for the new contract.

Maybe by 2024, but not just yet.
I also wonder if Sky Sports F1 may even become a premium add on channel to the sports package to help pay for it. Once it becomes the only place to see live F1, Sky can do what they want..
ITV "Occasionally it gives us something good, but for the most part, it is pathetic and puerile". Lord Taylor, House Of Commons, 1959.
Interceptor613 posts since 20 Oct 2014

I'd be surprised if Sky are paying less than 100m a year for the new contract.

Maybe by 2024, but not just yet.
I also wonder if Sky Sports F1 may even become a premium add on channel to the sports package to help pay for it. Once it becomes the only place to see live F1, Sky can do what they want..

They'll still have to compete on some level with the illegal streams though.
cityprod1,250 posts since 3 Oct 2005
Westcountry Spotlight
People always mention ratings but if we're talking purely about Sky or BT's position, surely it's the subscription numbers that are more important, regardless of whether it's good for the sport


Absolutely, but that position isn't going to help the sport. Is Rugby League any higher up the scale of national sports since the Super League came in and was exclusive to Sky? No, it's still behind Soccer, Rugby Union, Cricket and Horse Racing for that matter. Is F1 gonna actually significantly raise or improve their public profile by being exclusive on Sky? I seriously doubt it, and for the sports themselves, money isn't the only issue. The profile the sport has with the public, is very important too.
rdd2,555 posts since 21 Jun 2001

I'd be surprised if Sky are paying less than 100m a year for the new contract.

Maybe by 2024, but not just yet.
I also wonder if Sky Sports F1 may even become a premium add on channel to the sports package to help pay for it. Once it becomes the only place to see live F1, Sky can do what they want..


Surely that becomes the point where F1 becomes a sport solely for the hardcore fan. At least with this way it might still get some casual viewership from those who have subscribed for other sports.
VMPhil7,036 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
People always mention ratings but if we're talking purely about Sky or BT's position, surely it's the subscription numbers that are more important, regardless of whether it's good for the sport


Absolutely, but that position isn't going to help the sport. Is Rugby League any higher up the scale of national sports since the Super League came in and was exclusive to Sky? No, it's still behind Soccer, Rugby Union, Cricket and Horse Racing for that matter. Is F1 gonna actually significantly raise or improve their public profile by being exclusive on Sky? I seriously doubt it, and for the sports themselves, money isn't the only issue. The profile the sport has with the public, is very important too.

That's what I was trying to say - I completely agree that in terms of visibility and the general public, being exclusively on Sky is a hindrance. But people bring up ratings as though Sky/BT care about them, they're more interested in how many people are willing to pay to watch the sport (which they, of course, do so in the first place mainly because of the prior exposure on free to air TV)