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Carey baffled by promoters' criticism

NEWS STORY
05/02/2019

F1 boss Chase Carey admits to being baffled by last week's criticism from the 16 race bosses that comprise the Formula One Promoters Association.

In the brief statement, issued last Monday following their meeting in London, the promoters criticised the increasing move to Pay-TV, a lack of clarity on new initiatives and a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation and unease at the alternative business models being offered to prospective venues such as the revenue sharing deal made to those behind the proposed Miami event.

While he understands that there will always be issues that someone is unhappy about, Carey is keen to play down last week's statement.

"I think, realistically, if you get 21 in a room you are bound to find a couple who have something to complain about," he tells ESPN. "In all honestly, I thought the meeting was incredibly positive. I thought there was tremendous support from the vast majority and they have a great appreciation for what we are doing.

"The fact that a few of them (16 of 21 a few? - Ed) wanted to find something to complain about, that's life," he continues. "It's not going to change what we are doing, and by a large majority the promoters have been supportive and are excited about what we are doing.

"They believe the sport, for them and in general, is in a much better place than it was a few years ago," he insists, "and is going in the right direction, and we have got a list of places we can't accommodate that we would like to add to the sport.

"It's part of life, you are going to find a bunch of people who have something to complain about and are going to make noise," he says. "We will go forward and do what we are doing, which I think we feel good about.

"I addressed all three," he says of the concerns raised in the FOPA statement, "but realistically no-one brought any of them up, they just put it out in a press release, which was a little strange."

Referring to the claim that there has been "a lack of clarity on new initiatives and a lack of engagement with promoters on their implementation", he said: "I thought that was the strangest, because they put it out the night before (a planned meeting with the F1 bosses on Tuesday), so we already had a day set up to talk about initiatives and they... well, only a couple of guys, put out a press release saying we need to talk about initiatives. That was the strangest part."

Referring to the fears concerning the move to Pay-TV, a move that will hit finally the UK this year, he said: "We certainly value reach and in many places we have expanded the coverage on broadcast television. There is no doubt that the sports world has been moving for a long time towards pay vehicles, if you look at football in Europe it is almost uniquely pay-platform based, and clearly digital is becoming a big force.

"In reality reach has been redefined," he continues, "and if you want to reach a millennial today, you are not reaching them through a TV screen on a wall, you are reaching them through a device they are holding in their hand. The whole world of TV and video is in a state of change and we want to figure out ways of dealing with the broadcast world, the pay world, the digital world and it's all part of what we are figuring out and reach is important."

As for new venues, Vietnam being added to the roster at a time a number of races, most notably the British Grand Prix, remain in doubt, he said: "We are not pursuing new venues at the expense of existing (races). The reality is we've renewed (contracts), since we took control about two years ago, and the only race we haven't renewed is Malaysia, which was a mutual decision, so that's the reality. That being said, we want long-term partnerships and I think it's important to provide a freshness and a new energy to it.

"Vietnam is a new race and is going to be a great race, so I think it's exciting for the fans and the reception we have had around the world is excitement for it," he insists, though th4 share price in F1 actually dropped in the aftermath of the event's announcement. "We want to be in some markets we are not in where there are some opportunities for it, and there are some that we are in but we are not there in the way we think we can be in. So in the U.S. we are clearly in Texas but we think there is an opportunity to be bigger there.

"I think we certainly value our existing partners and most of those relationships are long term and I expect most of them to continue. But I think it is important that where there is an opportunity to add something special, we can add a new race."

Asked about the five events - Silverstone, Monza, Barcelona, Hockenheim and Mexico City - whose contracts end this year, he refused to comment.

"As I've said in the past, we will talk about them when they are done," he said. "This sport seems to like to talk... talk first and act second. I think these are complicated deals and we are engaged in each of them and we will see where we go. There are issues we have got to wrestle around and we do have others that are being aggressive about wanting to be a part of the calendar and we don't have that many slots.

"But I'm not going to get into details, at this point those are private discussions between us and promoters, and Silverstone chose to make it public a couple of years ago, but we have continued to deal with it as a private discussion, with them and our other partners."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/02/2019 17:17

"TokyoAussie uses the key phrase: 'peak F1 greed'. Bernie & Co. Squeezed it until the pips squeaked, then cunningly departed flogging Liberty the desiccated husk of a former great Sport.
Putting aside my lifelong love of F1, in purely commercial terms (and this is ALL about money), Liberty were conned into buying dead horse which no amount of flogging will revive.

Formula One can be reanimated, but it would take a wholly different approach to do it. Less greed, more partnership with Teams & Promoters would be a good starting-point. This would be a long-term project something Vulture Capitalists who fund these things don't care for. It would be tough, but that's why the likes of Carey & Co. get paid the money."

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

2. Posted by B-Dub, 06/02/2019 19:37

"BAFFLED would be the number one adjective to describe Chase Carey regarding anything to do with Formula One."

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3. Posted by TokyoAussie, 06/02/2019 3:33

"I have, at the same time, some sympathy and no sympathy for Carey. As much as he talks things up, CVC had already reached peak F1 greed, or just about as close as they could get. There's little or nothing that could be done to increase revenue, and shareholders don't like falling revenue for very long. But the way he is managing the "business" doesn't sound promising from anybody's perspective either."

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4. Posted by jagger, 06/02/2019 2:30

"nothing worse than self declared experts, like Mr Carey and surrounded, by mediocre directors, with of course the exception here and there. But PR, communication, sales are as bad as the operational management. Baffling when he says " a few " complain. 16 out of 21 and some of the other 5 already pulling out. It will be a hard awakening one day for Mr Carey. "

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5. Posted by Tony Soprano, 05/02/2019 22:32

"Sounds like Donald Trump talking. "I'm the best and we're doing great things, better than ever, better than the last administration." NOT!"

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6. Posted by Rock Doc, 05/02/2019 18:22

"May be with his head stuck in the ground the cars don't sound so bad."

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7. Posted by FQITW, 05/02/2019 17:22

"“and we have got a list of places we can't accommodate that we would like to add to the sport.”

Who is he trying to kid?
If he had any new GPs we would know about it in a flash.

Its this dumbed down patronising BS this guy spouts as if we are all so stupid it doesn’t really matter what he says to us as long as he says something.
"

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8. Posted by Ro, 05/02/2019 17:00

"From someone who thinks he is doing a grand job, he is surely talking himself out of a job. He has absolutely no clue. And I thought Bernie was a fool to dismiss anyone who didnt agree with him, this guy takes it to a new level. How long before the shareholders realise that he is costing them money (and a lot of it) ? "

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9. Posted by GarH, 05/02/2019 16:36

"How could race promoters deal with a waffler who believes you can watch a F1 race on a phone?

A year ago LM were telling the world that F1 races would become events held over several days, a week even. Now Brawn, Carey, etc are talking about cutting practice to 15 minutes on a Saturday morning, to increase the unpredictability of the races. Don't worry about the track owners losing Friday's income. Has that been discussed with promoters?

As for making deals behind closed doors, that's exactly how F1 has been run for decades. Nothing new there, despite claims that F1 would be more open in future.

Football may be PPV across Europe, but I could pay Sky 20 a month and watch 10 or 15 matches a month all year round, for the same price, I'd be watching 20 F1 races over 8 months. Oh, and the premier footy teams all receive equal money - 100m, plus their gate income. No one is skimming money off the top of their income.
"

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10. Posted by Malbec, 05/02/2019 16:29

"Oh dear what planet is Chase Carey on, me thinks not this one! I am glad I am not a shareholder, circuit owner, promoter or team owner because I fear choppy waters ahead. "

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