Site logo

Survey 'confirms' Sky deal to hit F1 viewing figures

NEWS STORY
22/09/2011

According to a Pitpass reader survey, F1 viewing figures in the UK will be badly hit when Sky Sports takes over coverage in 2012.

Admittedly not the most scientific of surveys, the underlining message however is clear, those fans in the UK used to getting their F1 coverage for free have little intention of paying for it.

Be it the fact that half the races will remain free to air on the BBC, the ongoing financial crisis, a refusal to give money to Rupert Murdoch's media empire or a general lack of unhappiness with the sport, thousands of fans have made their intention clear.

Sadly, apathy - the British disease - means the response, in terms of numbers, was not quite what we expected. Whereas, on mainland Europe people take to the streets and man the barricades, the British prefer to moan and wait in the hope that things might get better. They invariably don't.

Nonetheless, almost six thousand readers did respond, and if what they're telling us is a foretaste of what is going to happen next year, Bernie Ecclestone, CVC and all those involved will need to think long and hard about the damage this deal could do to the sport.

Asked if they have an existing subscription with Sky Sports, 4,997 (85.9%) of those who responded said no, while 823 (14.1%) said yes.

Of those who responded, 5,679 (97.6%) said they currently watch F1 'free-to-air'.

When asked whether they will purchase Sky Sports in order to watch F1, 5,429 (93.3%) said no.

Quite how the Sky Sports deal will work is not yet known. In 2002, at a time ITV was broadcasting F1 'free to air', albeit with ad breaks, Sky Sports offered a stand alone package that meant fans didn't have to buy the full Sky Sports pack. Initially, the deal, which included the full 'Bernie-Vision' package including all practice sessions, saw fans asked to pay 12 a race but this was subsequently reduced and eventually the introduction of a 50 season ticket. However, take-up was so poor Sky Sports dropped F1 after just one season. Until now.

We repeat, such surveys are not an exact science. However, they should serve as a stark warning to the powers that be. While many fans will probably bite the bullet and pay up, what happens to the casual fan, where are the new fans coming from?

The cost of Sky Sports to commercial outlets such as pubs is frightening, and F1 has a long, long way to go before Ferrari red pulls in the punters to the same extent as the red-devils, Manchester United, same as McLaren and Red Bull are nowhere near to achieving the pulling power of Manchester City and Chelsea.

5,820 Pitpass readers have sent out the warning that a short-sighted deal could lead to long-term problems for the sport.

With virtually no rule changes, or indeed, top level driver changes, for 2012, the new season could be pretty much like 2011, with Sebastian Vettel sweeping all before him. Even less incentive for British fans to dig deep into increasingly empty pockets.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms