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Bratches admits unease with Sky deal

NEWS STORY
21/06/2017

No sooner had FOM boss Chase Carey finished his criticism of the previous management of the sport, than Sean Bratches, who is charged with heading the commercial side of the business launched his own attack.

The American is particularly unhappy with the deal which sees Sky Sports get exclusive live coverage of F1 for five years beginning in 2019, a move which will end live free-to-air coverage in the UK and which will surely heavily impact viewing figures and revenue, not only in terms of broadcast rights but sponsors aware that in the UK their logos will be seen by fewer fans.

Bratches places blame for the deal, which he sees as short-sighted, squarely at the feet of the previous management and the sport's former owners.

"Free to air is critically important to us," Bratches told the FIA Sport conference in Geneva. "My vision as it relates to media rights is a hybrid of free to air and pay.

"Our plan is to balance the two but have a prominent, over the year, free-to-air voice," he continued. "That is important from a fan, sponsor and relevance standpoint. There is the cauldron full of cash on the pay side and on the other side of the scale you have brand and reach.

"My view is a 30/70 model of free-to-air to pay," he revealed, "where you have a number of grands prix to be on free to air and then we can play and toil with the pay side to generate revenue that we can reinvest back into the sport."

Asked if he might try to renegotiate the deal, he said: "That deal is an agreement that we inherited. They are done between adult parties at an arm’s length and my suspicion is that Sky is very happy and we are going to honour and respect the deals that were in place when we arrived."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 22/06/2017 22:58

"Unfortunately Premier League gets paid way too much."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by F1dsy, 22/06/2017 15:51

"It's about time that pay TV (SKY/Virgin - in UK) offered smaller, cheaper; sport specific packages, rather than having to pay for stuff that we are not interested in. I would certainly pay for an F1 only package at a proportionate price, that way I am paying for what I want and not a load of unrequired baggage."

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3. Posted by mds167, 22/06/2017 13:37

"Whilst I have friends here in the UK who enjoy F1 as part of their SKY subscriptions, including the extra programmes outside of the race coverage, I am extremely unlikely to take out a SKY subscription in order that I can watch F1. I can only hope that by 2019 affordable pay-per-view over the internet will be available, direct from Liberty Media?"

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4. Posted by bfairey, 22/06/2017 12:23

"In Ontario Canada we have SKY and its wonderful. "

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5. Posted by MarkF1, 22/06/2017 11:41

"I think the idea that AlphaSPookster suggested would get a lot of support. Its so annoying that all the top motor sports and motor cycle racing are spread out various platforms. The constant annual brain frying excerise of comparing prices and packages from different platforms is so tedious. The idea of having a separate stand alone subscription would be right up my street. "

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6. Posted by AlphaSpookster, 22/06/2017 10:37

"The way forward with this is to have a pay monthly subscription where you can watch everything on demand and even go back and watch races etc from the past. Sort of like how Netflix is and have it at a reasonable 9.99 a month. Pretty sure there would be no complaints at this and it can get around the agreement they have with SKY."

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7. Posted by edllorca, 22/06/2017 3:18 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 22/06/2017 7:46)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

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8. Posted by LukeP, 21/06/2017 22:46 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 22/06/2017 7:46)

"Sad to say, as I have watched F1 for quite a few years now (off and on, admittedly) that exclusive Sky coverage will stop me completely. Far too expensive a package to pay for, for what amounts to ~40 hours of "racing" (many of the races are not really contested after the 2nd corner). It will be interesting to see the number of people who actually buy a Sky contract just for F1. I hope some arrangement is reached with Channel 4 or someone so I can at least see highlights!"

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