We tried to focus this week’d edition of the Scrutineering Bay on the on track action in Hungary. We really did. But, after Friday’s announcement over TV rights, we could only ask one question, and one question only;
“Will you be paying to watch F1 on Sky?”
This week’s writers to put their opinions across are myself, Craig Normansell, Adam Millenueve and returning to the Bay after a few months absence, Graham Moggipaldi;
The simple answer to this one is ‘No’, but to be honest, that is more to do with me being rather skint at the moment than any deep seated principles. I will need to see the full details of what the BBC coverage is going to be, which ten races they will be covering, how many will get delayed full coverage and how many will get extended highlights only. If they are going to be showing all twenty races in full, with half of them delayed, then I think I can live with that, since I end up watching a lot of the races delayed anyway as a result of family commitments.
I like the BBC coverage – I like the absence of adverts – and I can’t see myself enjoying the Sky coverage enough to make it worth paying extra for (anyway, I thought that was what the advertising revenue was for…) However, I must say that this is the only time I have even felt tempted to pay for TV.
Straight away Graham gets into the money issue. Are fans going to pay the cash needed when everyone is struggling?
Up next is Adam;
It’s massively annoying that, after only 2 seasons, the BBC are to effectively lose F1 to Sky. Yes, half the races will still be live, but I doubt Sky will offer a subscription for only half races – it’ll be all or nothing. So, I’m now going to be investing in Sky TV for 2012 – would of course rather not, but not watching F1 live just isn’t an option. I doubt I’m alone in saying that, as much I don’t want to, I will end up paying for Sky next year (and of course that’s what they want to hear!)
The flip side is that, it may not be all that bad – Sky’s coverage of footy, cricket, rugby and golf is second-to-none, according to fans of those sports and with their financial backing, the 2012 F1 coverage could be mind-blowingly good, with multiple cameras/feeds on different channels and all sorts of analysis – if true, the £50 per month fee would feel a little better. If I switch my internet provider to Sky as well, then the difference may not be so great either.
Of course, looking at the big picture, with less people able to watch F1 at home, there’s greater need for more Badger GP LIVE bashes! It’s not all bad at all!
Not all bad from Adam there. Sky can offer other things in the monthly fee other than F1, like broadband and more channels. Not that I’m championing them or anything.
And with that, it’s my turn;
No. I will not, hands down, pay for Sky to watch F1. I was a Sky customer, had a contract with them and then cancelled it the Tuesday before the announcement. I was, and probably still am, extremely gutted.
I was lucky to afford the monthly fee for the sports channels for over 2 years, but thanks to a few signal issues and rubbish customer service, I got rid of it. And then Bernie jumps into bed with Murdoch and I’m forced to reconsider. But it’s not for me – I’ve been bitten by Sky and I’m not giving them anymore of my hard earned cash.
So, where does that leave me? Luckily, I had already got some thoughts down here. I’m going to save a lot of money and 10 races a year will still be live for me, and I think that’s the beauty of the deal. Instead of it all going to Sky in 2014, or even earlier, the BBC will still air half the season up until 2018.
That’s a massive deal for them, and for the fans; it gives us the luxury of not paying to Sky, and still seeing live F1. Let’s not forget that.
That’s only a few opinions from some of Badger’s writers. Will you be paying for F1 next season? Let us know!