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F1 on Sky Sports: The Survey

NEWS STORY
14/09/2011

Although we have the prospect of a House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport select committee investigation into the deal which sees Sky Sports take over F1 broadcasting from the start of next season, little else has been heard of the move in recent weeks.

Of course, there was the initial outrage from fans, the assurances that it was in their interests from the powers that be and the expression of delight from Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, that F1 would remain on the BBC, at least in part.

Martin Whitmarsh told us it was a good move, while Adam Parr admitted that he expects fans to dig even deeper into their pockets if the sport is to flourish.

However, now that things have calmed down, or at least been put on the back boiler, we want to know what you really think about the move which will see fans in the UK receive free-to-air coverage of only half the races next year.

In the past, be it domination by one particular driver, an unwelcome decision by the stewards, changes to the rules or simply general unhappiness with the sport, we have heard of fans threatening to turn their backs on Formula One.

However, as fans in the UK are asked to pay for something they have traditionally received for free could this move be enough to turn them away for good? After all, if Bernie Ecclestone is proved wrong and fans don't sign up, this will hit the sport in terms of the sponsors who might follow the fans' example.

With six months before that Sky Subscription will be needed, we want to be able to demonstrate to all concerned - Bernie Ecclestone, CVC, Sky Sport, the teams, the sponsors and the BBC - what you really think.

We have produced a basic three question survey, the results of which will be passed on to the relevant parties.

The survey will run for seven days and after that time the data collected will be published on the site and passed on to Bernie, CVC, Sky Sports and the rest of them.

Our experience is that many fans, despite their unhappiness at the situation, will simply bite the bullet and pay up. Then again, in these difficult times there are many who simply haven't got the available cash... and let's not forget, as Lib Dem MP Don Foster pointed out in his letter to BBC Director General Mark Thompson, while half the races will still be shown live on the BBC, fans cannot buy half a Sky package.

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