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Carey turns to Fox colleague for TV boost

NEWS STORY
17/11/2017

Chase Carey has looked to a former colleague at Fox as he seeks to upgrade F1's TV broadcasting.

"David Hill, who really built Fox Sports, is an adviser to help, as we go into the next year, launch some innovations and enhancements to the programming package to really bring something fresh to the marketplace," said Carey yesterday.

Hill, who began life with the Nine Network in Australia in the 1980s, subsequently helped Rupert Murdoch's launch Sky Television in the UK before being appointed president of the Fox Sports network in 1993. Over the following eight years, he gained a reputation for his numerous innovations.

Leaving Fox Sports to start his own production company Hilly Inc, which was backed by Fox, in June 2015 he was named co-producer of the 2016 Academy Awards.

While Hill was working his way up the Fox ladder, so too was Chase Carey, who was chief executive and chairman of Fox Television between 1994 and 2000 and went on to become executive vice-chairman of News Corp until June 2016.

"For nearly thirty years, David has defined excellence in sports television in the same way (former ABC Sports president) Roone Arledge did in the 1970's and 1980's," said Carey when Hill left the company in 2015. "David is a true leader, visionary and once-in-a-lifetime force of nature."

As F1 continues to haemorrhage TV viewers, over 200 million over the last decade, according to a report earlier this year in The Independent, Carey is hoping that Hill's recruitment to F1 will revitalise the sport's broadcasting.

"We do a professional job today," said Carey, "but I think too much of what we do is probably not that different than it was ten years ago, whether that's graphics, sound or camera angles.

"We need to make sure we continue to make sure our product has an innovation and an energy that excites and engages fans."

As reported in September, Hill is already hard at work on improving the sound of F1, the Australian the driving force behind the idea of placing microphones in the exhausts of the cars in a bid to bring back that certain sound that first attracted so many to the sport in the first place.

However, he is also charged with improving the on-screen graphics, giving fans all the data and information they can handle, amongst other things.

"As a consumer being in the United States, I would watch a Grand Prix and all of the metrics were in kilometres," said F1 commercial boss, Sean Bratches. "Next year we are going to put miles per hour in markets that adopt them and kilometres in markets that use them as a metric.

However, according to Bratches it isn't only race fans who will benefit from Hill's quest to improve the on-screen presentation.

According to Forbes, "around 15% of F1's $1.8 billion revenue last year was generated by advertising and sponsorship from a suite of 'Global Partners' including luxury watch maker Rolex and the Emirates airline. The most public aspect to these partnerships are the banners around the tracks which are usually made of vinyl but are sometimes painted onto walls. Some branding is on digital screens but they still only tend to show the logos of the Global Partners rather than local brands. That could be about to change".

"We are doing a lot of things in terms of direct feeds that are going to give the opportunity to sell localised trackside inventory on a virtual basis. So I think the sales proposition is getting better," said Bratches.

Virtual advertising involves banners at the track being digitally replaced to show a brand which is local to the region it is being broadcast in. Thus far, F1 has only experimented in this field, most notably by overlaying messages on to the track relating to drinking and driving.

"Any localization of the broadcast, no matter how small, could have a big impact in countries like the United States which has just one home Grand Prix with many of the others shown at inconvenient hours due to the time difference," claims Forbes.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Cobra Racer, 18/11/2017 13:23

"Wonder if Hill was responsible for that fiasco in Austin?"

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2. Posted by Editor, 18/11/2017 13:22

"@ mds167

Indeed, the briefest of Googles will reveal that one former employer incurred additional 'costs' a few years back… something to do with a subject very much in the headlines these days."

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3. Posted by mds167, 18/11/2017 12:29

"I'm sure the teams will be happy to see more of the share go to an 'advisor' salary. Bet he doesn't come cheap. Of course, he's already proved his worth suggesting microphones in the exhausts..."

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4. Posted by Ro, 18/11/2017 8:16

"@Chris Roper : I was being sarcastic, as if that extra function will make me want to watch a procession race !"

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5. Posted by Chris Roper, 18/11/2017 7:49

"@Ro
"I cant wait to see KPH and MPH...."

You won't, according to the article you will be getting one or the other depending on your geographic location.

I would prefer to see both, rather than have two separate regional broadcasts.
Regional broadcasts is the start of a slippery slope where coverage differences appear until you and I, in different regions, are watching entirely different broadcasts.

Not good in a Global society where Live Chat between fans during the event knows no borders.

We get the Sky coverage here in South Africa, but we use KMh, UK uses MPH, will South Africans receive the UK Feed from Sky in MPH?

"

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6. Posted by bfairey, 18/11/2017 1:54

"here in Canada we have SKY which is great."

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7. Posted by Ex F1 Official, 17/11/2017 18:54

"Anybody other than ESPN in the states.
Best coverage in years was NBCSN

There are no good analysts on ESPN ectc NASCAR folks.

On ESPN They will lose three viewers in this household"

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8. Posted by Ro, 17/11/2017 14:40

"Wow! I cant wait to see KPH and MPH....thats the best thing thats gonna happen to F1....."

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9. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 17/11/2017 14:23

"Well if Fox Sports coverage of the WEC over here (US) is anything to go by, we should all be worried by this move. Their coverage of WEC is abysmal - lots of commercial breaks - unannounced changes of coverage from their two channels to their App - for the last race in Shanghai, they cut away from the racing to show UFC post fight coverage - for 90 minutes. Not everyone can sit and watch live -both time differences, and the time involved (a 6, or 24 hour race) mean that many times the DVR is employed - too many time that turns out to be a waste, for the reasons cited already. As Max Noble has so eloquently explained, we non-Americans follow motorsport in a very different way to them. But, as with so many things, their perception that they are, in fact the whole world, means they take only their own interests into account."

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