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Liberty pondering NFL Draft for off-season

NEWS STORY
05/05/2018

The very fact that F1 has sought to trademark the 'Shoey', gives you some idea of the direction the sport is heading under its new ownership.

While Bernie Ecclestone and CVC had a certain reputation, it is clear that Liberty Media is seeking to monetise as much as possible as it recoups its $8bn purchase.

With the season generally ending in mid-to-late November, and not resuming until mid-to-late March, other than the current eight days of testing, this means that there is no F1 for around four months... and no F1 means no money.

Consequently, it comes as no surprise to hear that Liberty is looking at various ways of monetising those four 'lost' months, including the increasingly popular NFL Draft.

"One of the ambitions we have is to figure out how we make this sport something that engages the fans twelve months a year," said Chase Carey at a promotional event.

"But it doesn't mean we will race," he continued, "our season is not going to go twelve month.

"One example would be the NFL, which is not playing right now but they just had the NFL Draft," he added. "That is a big event. They have created events that are interesting for fans even when they are not in the season.

"So I think for us, we would like to determine, how do we create more interesting things for fans, whether it is unique competition or unique events, or things that are around the sport that continue to build interest and enable fans to engage more?"

Putting aside the fact that those four 'lost' months give the various crews and drivers some much needed breathing space in the wake of a 21-race, ten month season, the fact is that behind the scenes teams are preparing for the season ahead, in terms of building their cars, passing the various crash tests, seeking out sponsors and much more and are unlikely to react well to being told that they must carry out further promotional work for the sport.

Furthermore, at a time F1 has yet to get the teams to agree on its plans for the 2021 engine formula, not to mention a budget cap and redistribution of the prize fund, one can only guess how they might react to being told who will drive for them, for under the NFL Draft this is what happens.

Though the Draft goes back to the 1930s, it is only in recent years that the event, which is essentially the league's most common source of player recruitment, has drawn huge TV audiences over the course of the three nights of coverage, with ESPN the main broadcaster.

Insisting that the basic calendar is fine 'as is', and that he neither wants to start the season earlier or end it later, Carey claims that any such events as a Draft should not detract from the sport's raison detre but merely add to fans entertainment and excitement… while also relieving them of their hard-earned.

"The 21 races that we have will always be the highest profile, but we think we can do other things that enable fans to connect with the sport," he said.

"We have a pretty full season, our season goes from March to the end of November so it is a long season, and we have to recognise that there is a lot of wear and tear on that season.

"But I would say we think it would be a good thing to find ways to engage fans in the sport. It may not be a competition on track, it may be other aspects of the sport, but there are some unique ideas for various forms of competition that we are engaged with and talking to various parties about."

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1. Posted by Newburn, 11/05/2018 20:13 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 11/05/2018 20:58)

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

Rating: Neutral (0)

2. Posted by Liam III, 10/05/2018 19:58 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 11/05/2018 20:58)

"I don't think they literally mean to have a draft. I think there are many behind the scene events or activities that could be put into a "season" for which the teams could agree on for these activities and broadcast them to the fans.
I would be in favor of some of these shadowy, secret activates be calendared and then broadcast in the off season to keep my mind in the general direction of F1 around January or so.

When a city hosts a Superbowl, the NFL shows up with a plethora of events for the entire family to enjoy. This could be a great weeklong event once per year to get some energy flowing.

Examples-? crash pod test day, official day teams can sign drivers or high profile team members, dyno days, new tire compounds, rules revisions, awards for previous years technical innovations, livery reveal (together not individually) etc. There are hundreds of ideas and events that could be put on a calendar and the tams could all show up and reveal their newest (fill in the blank). (ever been to a SEMA show or PRI?) Let me hear some ideas..."

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3. Posted by Uffen, 08/05/2018 13:48

"Marvelous idea, BrightonCorgi, but the F1 bosses would never allow it. Shame."

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4. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 08/05/2018 13:24

"How about do an F1 legends series or F1 cars from year (fill in the blank) at a few tracks during the off season? Would be neat to see how the current crop of drivers do in 30 year old grand prix cars at tracks that are not currently on the schedule."

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5. Posted by Canuck, 08/05/2018 12:52

"@imejl99 well done on breaking it down by Event of Interest. However lets look at some of the more glaring differences.
Firstly the NFL has the equivalent to F1 testing with pre-season games in August, with regular season starting in September for 17 weeks until end of December. Then we have a few playoff games and the big mother event the Super Bowl. so a much shorter season or more compressed. However it is played on American soil, not world wide. There is reduce logistics in moving equipment - a big difference between cars - spare parts - tools - control and communications centers etc and a few balls, pads and helmets. The actual actors in the sports are also very different, on one side light as possible - the other side as heavy as possible.
So please do not try to Americanize F1 to the point you want to add American Football like activities. I just is not worldly enough."

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6. Posted by imejl99, 07/05/2018 10:29 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 11/05/2018 20:58)

""NFL is mentioned, so: there are 10 F1 teams multiplied by 21 races (games) multiplied by 2 drivers (players), totaling 420 let`s call them "events of interest". F1 2017 revenue reportedly $1.3B gives little over $3M per EOI.
NFL has 32 teams multiplied by 16 games multiplied by 53 players, totaling 27136 EOI (without playoff). NFL 2017 revenue reportedly $14B gives app $0.5M per EOI.

We, fans, are rewarding you 6 times more than NFL fan per "Event Of Interest".
Mr. Shoey, it is not our fault you overpaid.""

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7. Posted by bfairey, 06/05/2018 11:20

"The question is I wonder what Liberty has offered for the INDY car series and also NASCAR then they would have all races covered?"

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8. Posted by Jezzer, 06/05/2018 7:52 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 11/05/2018 20:58)

"My parents always told me "if you cant say anything nice, don't say anything"........on this subject, thanks Mum, I'm not saying anything."

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9. Posted by Rhaycen, 06/05/2018 1:38

"I'm pretty sure that a NFL style draft would be against the European Laws on freedom of movement for workers.

But besides that, just remember... each time Liberty tells you, we are not trying to Americanize the sport. They are obviously lying to you. Just like they lied to my local county government when they conned them into spending 400 million USD on a baseball stadium that nobody wanted."

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10. Posted by Ro, 05/05/2018 20:37 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 11/05/2018 20:58)

"Can Media Liberty be done for bringing the sport into disrepute? What a bunch of clowns! F1 will become a joke. My word to Mr Carey : "Leave F1 alone""

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11. Posted by Cal, 05/05/2018 18:23

"As I have voiced in many other F1 circles, I always had concerns about Liberty Media running F1. With every passing day, those concerns are realised and some of the sceptics (or positive thinkers) are now understanding the basis of my fears!!!

At the end of the day, they are business heads, not petrol heads (with exception to the need to hold onto Ross Brawn).

They will continue to run things the way they see fit, the way everything else 'works' in the USA!!

Best Regards,
Cal :)"

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12. Posted by Uffen, 05/05/2018 17:56

"Complete nincompoopery. Allow F1 to rest, Liberty. Drop the American football ideas and stop with the additional street races. I had high hopes at first, but now Liberty is making me pine for Bernie. "

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13. Posted by Anthony, 05/05/2018 16:18

"It’s going from bad to worse... More street races and now this. Personally I’m going to make the most of the next year or so before Liberty wreck F1."

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14. Posted by Fambank, 05/05/2018 16:08

"I really dont want to be engaged 12 months a year. I want the teams to have a proper winter break, and I want to be able to wait in agony till the season starts again, and when it begins, it will only be better. "

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