Today in the European High Court the decision was made that it was not illegal for a pub to decode Premier League football matches using a Greek Satellite. It will be interesting to see the knock on effect of all of this as if it stands in the British high court you will still be able to watch F1 on foreign free to air channels legally in the UK. Its an interesting turn around and a real headache for sports rights as some sports are more popular than others region to region and are priced accordingly.
Furthermore F1 might agree to take a cheaper rights deal to make the sport free to air in a new market it is entering (such as there is a team, driver or race from that country) whereas in more established markets it may charge for content or are not too bothered about an expansion of the fan base as it is quite large.
For football it does still mean you would have to pay to subscribe to a sports channel and is likely to see leagues move to pan-european rights. However as F1 is shown free to air in most countries you could watch the race with commentary from your radio for the price of a Hotbird satellite!
BBC have a announced this morning that from next year they will only be showing 1/2 the races live with Sky Sports showing the whole season. Bernie has stated that is “wasn’t his decision” and obviously all the rumours about the BBC trying to reduce the cost of broadcasting the sport.
The BBC will show the British Grand Prix, Monaco and the season finale along with the qualifying sessions from the races they broadcast. Radio 5 live and sports extra will still be broadcasting all sessions all season long.There will also be extended highlights of the races that the BBC aren’t broadcasting live.
Theres been no word from Sky on how it will broadcast, RE adverts etc. The new qualifying format suits advertising very well but how they will deal with the race is unsure. It also raises an interesting point of races putting pressure on the BBC to broadcast their shiney tilke drome over another.
Furthermore the revised 2012 calendar details have emerged with Australia openening the season and more back to back races (Abu Dhabi / Bahrain , US / Brazil, Australia/Malaysia) and no Turkey meaning as expected there will be 20 races next year. Losing Turkey is a shame because its a great track (best of the modern Tilke tracks) but attendances were beyond poor.