The global audience for F1 2012 is down


Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
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It's true folks. The global TV audience fell in 2012 and the source for this information is none other than Mr B Ecclestone.

It would seem that the move to sky cost F1 viewing figures in the UK some 4 million.

Strangely, viewing figures also fell in the US despite the fact they had a GP again.

I wonder how this season will fair?
I expect it will be lower again due to more and more countries moving to PPV.
As I understand it, France is now PPV, along with a few other countries - possibly Italy?
What that nice Mr Ecclestone is interested in is money coming into his coffers. He must be getting at least as much from PPV or he wouldn't be doing it, so sod the sponsors and the fans who won't pay him directly.

In the long term loss of audience is just not sustainable.
It works with boxing but boxing also doesn't have too much sponsorship to worry about almost all of the money comes from TV. Same goes for UFC and WWE. And Death Match and Death Race in the movie Death Race.
It's a tough situation, PPV works for many sports. Here in the States the NFL is set up like F1 in the UK, most games are PPV and there are select games on local stations. However, a key difference between the NFL and F1 is the audience accessibility. NFL fans are able to get a lot of behind the scenes information and insight. As we have seen over the years, F1 continues to see its self as the best thing going and that people will do anything to view it (there are lots who will). The sport continues to run off of this assumed appeal and sees itself as a privilege that others will do anything to be a part of.

I loved the days when we could watch each and every race on the Beeb. Unfortunately the world has changed. I think Bernie has done some great things for this sport and we should be thankful for all of the positives. However, I do think it is time for a change. We need someone in charge that is not in it to line their own pockets with gold, instead we need someone who wants to further the sport and bring it back to the glory of old. CAT called it, we could be in a cycle that will lead to the downfall of our sport.
I think accessibility in general is a problem with F1. It's fast becoming more a show than a sport.
My father used to wander through the pits in the 50's and pop in to chat with Moss, Fangio etc. He wasn't rich or famous but he was greeted with warmth, they didn't mind if he was in the pits because it wasn't such a money-driven suspicious set up as it is now. Imagine trying to get anywhere near any team's garage nowadays! They've built physical barriers between the teams and the fans (I'm not just talking safety) & have only increased the distance with the PPV. Never mind the casual viewer even the most ardent fan can't follow the sport if they haven't got the income to pay for the privilege. If you ask my family & friends I'm rahter enthusiastic about F1 but even my interest wanes when you only get half a story.
I think the fact that the same driver and team have won three titles in a row contributes to the drop in viewership. Colin Chapman once said that it was alright to win two titles in a row, but if you win three you will be hated by everyone.

I have also come to the conclusion that the season is far too long and the number of races too great. The greater the number of races, the less value each has.
Bernie's looking at 22 races soon aswell.

Even if someone did takeover, Bernie's probably got it covered and got water tight contracts.

How he manages to get those involved in F1 to agree to terms with him, I don't know. It's ridiculous.

But who's to say whoever takes over is going to do a better job?
The agreement thing is simple Slyboogy, he just dangles a couple of VIP Padock club passes under their noses. Lets not forget that 99% of the recent deals Bernie has done have been with Governments or Regional development organisations. They get blinded by the glitz and glamour and then realise too late that the locals aren't that bothered (Korea) or can't get to the track (Turkey).

I agree that the thing has reached saturation point. 22 would be far too many. I think there comes a point where even the teams couldn't sustain that level of commitment. These guys have families as well.
The team principals have already made it clear that 20 is the upper limit and what is currently in the Concorde agreement.
Ah, but technically there is no Concorde agreement as the last one expired on the 31/12/12 and a new one hasn't been signed yet.
I have long said that as Mr Ecclestone gets closer to retirement, he cares less and less about the survival of F1, although that's just my opinion. But I don't suppose that he will do anything to change the situation.
Lots of folk just can't commit to a long term monthly outgoing just to watch F1, especially when it's to watch one team dominating all others.
So let's hope that this year that bit won't be the case. Otherwise those of us who are currently paying to watch Sky might throw in the towel as well.
Westy Re: NFL it is similar but the main difference is that the games that end up on local television are the ones that everybody wants to watch. This is because the stations are the ones wanting to maximize money by showing the games, along with the league. The stations will then show the games that will attract the most viewers, obviously, to make a profit. This means that everybody gets to see the local team (unless they don't sell out), as well as all of the good matchups.
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