Saturday, July 30, 2011

The BBC/Sky deal

To borrow a phrase used by Jonathan Miller, television is a device for transporting the mind. Each year, the BBC voraciously consumes a revenue of £3.5 billion, derived from the licence fee in the UK, and transforms this into patterns of electromagnetic radiation. These patterns possess an information content which enables the viewer to see places and events without actually being there.

Sadly, £3.5 billion per annum is not, it seems, sufficient to embrace the £40 million required to maintain exclusive rights to the broadcast of Formula 1 in the UK. The BBC, of course, has other priorities, such as maintaining the eclectic, high-brow, intellectual content of their youth-oriented channel, BBC3.

The Formula 1 teams seem to have received the news in a remarkably phlegmatic fashion. They'll receieve an additional £1 million per annum, and they are perhaps anticipating that when Sky touches Formula 1, it will boost the sport in the manner that football was financially boosted with the inception of The Premiership.

Formula 1 fans in the UK already pay a £145 BBC licence fee, and will now be required to pay at least £500 per annum for a Sky Sports subscription. So it's bad news for the fans in a financial sense, but potentially good news for those who work in Formula 1, or wish to work in Formula 1.

I wonder, however, if the teams will run the gauntlet of another FOTA fans' forum in the UK...


johnh said...

'SUPER Sunday F1.' Oh the humanity. What's really sad is that ch4 might have had a chance had the BBC not got into bed with Murdoch. In the paraphrased words of Frank Drebin: "won't be the same... can't go back."

Nick Caulfield said...

I'm not inclined to pay Murdoch, who I have disliked strongly for years) either by buying his papers or his TV but to be honest it'll make little difference to me at the moment. Since my kids are 7 and 4, we try to use the weekend for family days out as much as we can and I catch up with the F1 on the internet later in the day, and download the radio 5 "Chequered Flag" podcast (usually to hear in the car on a Monday)