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Fans will judge BBC/Sky deal will be good for F1 2012 – Virgin Racing

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Aug.05 – The Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon thinks that F1 fans will decide, Formula 1 UK new broadcasting deal will be good for 2012 F1.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) declared July; divide F1 telecasting from 2012, in an agreement that means only half the races will be broadcast live and on free-to-air TV next year in Britain. Fans who wish to watch all races live will have to adopt Sky’s pay-to-view model.

“I think we are yet to see quite a lot of the detail and the detail is important,” Lowdon told Autosport. “I read in the Sky report that they are planning a fabulous experience for the fans and you have to welcome that kind of thing.

“But I think they also said that’s good news for the fans, and I think, with the greatest respect that is up to the fans to determine. We wouldn’t say whether is great for the fans. We have to wait for the fans to respond on that, and I’m sure they will in this day and age. From the point of view of the commercial model there are potential mismatches between a broadcasting that maximises viewers and one that maximises revenue.

“Obviously that kind of thing needs to be addressed, but I’m sure it hasn’t escaped those who are in involved. What’s really important is to see what the fans think.”

Virgin Racing CEO Graeme Lowdon also recommended that teams like his, with a big addiction on backing income, may find it hard to secure new deals if the F1 viewership decreases as a result of the contract.

“We are yet to see what it will actually mean, but the vast majority of our revenue – some 90 per cent of our revenue – comes from sponsors and partners, and they are very interested in ensuring that the fans enjoy the sport and are watching in maximum numbers. So it’s really quite clear. Other teams don’t have that kind of split, but everything develops in Formula 1 and I think it’s pretty key to listen to what the fans want to see. We really have to see how it pans out.”


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