Just to throw it out there what are the realistic chances of Sky sub-licensing the highlights rights to Channel 4 or another broadcaster? (Similar to what's set to happen with the Olympics.)
Sky's got Pick as its free-to-air outlet, so it wouldn't make sense to sub-licence if they could use their own channel, and boost their own ad-revenue and use the coverage to plug the pay TV elements of coverage.
In the case of the Olympics, sub-licensing allowed Discovery to fulfil its legal obligations due to the event being on the protected list of sports rights.
Wonder if 'Crown Jewels' on a non-PSB Lite (i.e. not covering the UK to the same degree as the PSB muxes) FTA Freeview chanel are 'good enough'. Suspect these days they are. Also likely to be SD only.
Pick is on COM5 I think - so not available to as wide a population as BBC/ITV/C4/Five main channels (or the BBC/ITV/C4 HD channels *)
(*) Exclusing BBC Four/CBeebies HD and BBC News HD which are on COM7.
F1 is not a listed event (not even the British GP) so the listing rules (which, I think, do still officially class the 'main five' channels as the only acceptable ones for broadcast, but this hasn't really been tested properly) aren't relevant here. It'll just be what Sky have committed to with FOM when it comes to FTA coverage. Given how BT have used the FTA content in their UEFA contract (hiding it away and doing absolutely no promotion of the FTA matches), there's a precedent for committing very little to the FTA side of the deal, depending on what the rights holders demand.
Ah - I though the British GP was a 'Crown Jewel'. If it's not then there's no real issue with it being on Pick. (For some reason I thought the British GP was a crown jewel)
James Allen, in a very in-depth analysis of the new deal, has stated that Sky are obliged to offer their FTA coverage to a channel that at least 90% of the population can access. I don't know, though, whether that's him getting crossed wires and is mistakenly quoting the listing rules (which don't apply in this case) or if he has genuine knowledge as to what the deal says. The rest of the article has very good information from somebody who knew what was going on, so it is entirely possible that it's the latter, although I expect it to be the former...
Always take these figures with a pinch of salt but if C4 were willing to pay 60% more for the terrestrial rights than the BBC were it stinks even more that they've been locked out of a potential bid for future rights before they've even really begun.
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..
Had a good chat with a good source 150m + actually
F1 doesn't have a "grassroots" to sustain in the same way cricket does either - it's a sport participated in solely by those twenty odd drivers. Nor, outside of Italy's tifosi perhaps, does it have an ardent fandom who will travel to races (and it's a very expensive sport to attend - I would imagine the vast majority of attendees, who don't have a direct connection with one of the teams, only attend one Grand Prix per season).
Its not football or rugby or cricket. This is a sport whose only presence for most of its fans is on television. Remove it and it's out of sight, out of mind.