Sunday, 31 July 2011

F1, the BBC and Sky.

It's been in discussion for a few weeks now. The F1 viewing figures are at a ten-year high so why wouldn't they want a slice of the pie? Sky cash in a lot on things which have been done well by other channels and then just shove tonnes of money towards it to outbid the others. It's a form of financial bullying. It's like Chelsea and Man City in the Premier League; they have the funding to just offer extortionate amount of money to the teams and the players with wages in insane excess. Sky just bitch slapped the BBC in the face with their wads of cash then took their cash cow.

Now, I'll either have to miss half the season next year or shell out £30 a month just to catch up on the other races. At least the race'll be ad-free but the only problem I have with that is the build-up will be advertisement central. I can see Sky turning into American TV and adding sponsored replays and random pop-ups like the world's worst website. The screen will be cluttered.

There's no denying that Sky do great coverage of other sports. In fact, they make Soccer Saturday entertaining and before you know it, you've wasted four or five hours away watching the word "GOAL" come up three times a minute. I don't know who they'll hire to do the coverage though because the BBC have the best presenters and commentators. Jake Humphrey is a great host who's knowledgeable and very likeable; Martin Brundle is a great commentator who does very entertaining and informative features and grid walks and so on. The BBC dedicate themselves to HD coverage with their features, interviews and their professional explanations to ease you into the sport. I started watching in 2009 and thanks to their coverage, they've taught me all the necessary information and more. I feel like a mechanical engineer now.

Another annoying thing about this is that, come September, I'll have to pay for my TV license but I don't watch the BBC. In fact, I don't watch anything on the BBC really and I don't listen to the BBC radio stations and the only thing I really do is browse their sport and news websites. I'll be paying £145 to read one article every month. It hardly seems worth it, especially on top of that £30 a month for Sky Sports which I might have to pay for myself. That's £360 a year on top of £145 which means £505 a year just to watch the F1 and to read something every once in a while. Bargain...

It seems that Bernie Eccleston has gotten greedy. I've always liked him and his honesty but he honestly can't believe that having the F1 on Sky will get more viewers. Everyone has the BBC and Sky Sports is a monthly luxury which less people do have. So, for Bernie to say that more people will watch it on Sky means he thinks Sky has more customers than a terrestrial channel? No, because people I know that don't watch the F1 have watched some races this year (the Canadian GP mostly) and enjoyed it. Why? Because it was on the BBC. The BBC brought in a lot more viewers because it goes out to everyone who owns a TV. The BBC has brought the F1 back to dizzying heights and brought it to record highs after the monstrosity that was the ITV coverage. In fact, the BBC made me interested in watching the F1 because I had no real interest before hand.

I'm going to make a point to boycott Sky and I hope others join me in it. Every time the BBC show a race, I'll purposefully watch that instead but they'll still have my money if I sign up for Sky Sports again. Another possibility is that I wait for the extended highlights by the BBC of the Sky Sports race. That's not as fun though. I'll have to also avoid social networking sites and my brother. It doesn't feel worth it. Boycott Sky may not be the best idea but if we banded together to rally behind the brilliant HD and terrestrial coverage of the BBC, we might make a difference. It's just getting greedy now.