Carey turns to Fox colleague for TV boost

17/11/2017
NEWS STORY

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.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 17/11/2017
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2020. All rights reserved.