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Friday, June 8, 2012

Bernie Ecclestone is not usually daft

Bernie has been mouthing off again about how great Sky coverage has been and has said that the sport gets enough exposure on Sky to warrant the end of free-to-air GPs.

In the Guardian he's quoted as saying that of the 25 million households in the UK "Sky reaches over 10 million we don't get 10 million on the BBC normally about 6 or 7 million".

Isn't that a bit of a silly statement given that all of the 25 million households have BBC while less than the 10 million households with Sky have Sky Sports?  That's 6 or 7 million households that watch the race live on the BBC while Sky's figures, according to the Guardian article averages at about 1 million viewers.

Were Sky to get full control of the races this would represents a reduction in UK exposure for the sponsors of F1 cars and tracks of 83.4%.  If this were replicated in other countries it would lead to a commensurate reduction in car sponsorship figures, a demand from the tracks for a commensurate reduction in the cost of hosting races and, once the pay broadcasters have control, then we'd be looking at reduced broadcasting costs.

All in all the pay TV option is bad for the sport and might ultimately lead to its ruination.