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Sean Bratches eyes pay-TV future for F1

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New F1 boss Sean Bratches says the sport will continue on the path of switching more coverage to pay TV platforms.

In the German media, for instance, it is reported that fevered contract talks are currently taking place between Bratches, who is the sport’s new commercial chief in the post-Bernie Ecclestone era, and German broadcasters RTL and Sky.

Currently, RTL provides free to air coverage of the races alongside Sky’s pay service, but Bratches admitted that the balance could soon shift in the direction of pay platforms.

“We are in talks with all the important and potential partners,” Bratches told Germany’s Auto Bild.

The report said Bratches envisions a shift in Germany from its current model to something more like Britain, where all the races are on Sky while mainly highlights are broadcast free to air by Channel 4.

“I see a mix of free and pay TV in all markets,” Bratches confirmed.

“This is important for fans and sponsors. On the one hand, there is the money, and on the other, the reach and the possibility to strengthen the brand.

“I imagine a model where the highlight races are free to air. With the rest of the grands prix, we can earn money that we can invest back into the sport,” he added.

However, Bratches said he is not certain the British model would necessarily work for Germany.

“Every market is different,” he insisted.

“In Germany, pay TV is only 7 per cent, while in the US it is more than 80pc.

“We will take into account the characteristics and dynamics of each market. Free TV is important to us,” Bratches added.

And another plan, he hinted, is for a website on which historic races can be accessed for a fee.

Bratches said: “With a digital platform, we also want to attract the young fans.”

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