Digital coverage for terrestrial TV?

Digital television coverage of Formula One could be offered to terrestrial stations in an effort to stop the decline in viewers. Digital is currently only available as pay-per-view but terrestrial broadcasters are complaining about the poor...

Digital television coverage of Formula One could be offered to terrestrial stations in an effort to stop the decline in viewers. Digital is currently only available as pay-per-view but terrestrial broadcasters are complaining about the poor quality of the coverage that they currently have compared to digital. This may make them reluctant to invest more finances in future contracts.

Bernie Ecclestone has tabled a suggestion that terrestrial networks could be given free access to the digital feed from next year. Some aspects of the digital coverage would still be reserved for pay-per-view subscribers but terrestrial customers could benefit from better quality of sound and picture as well as different camera angles and more interviews.

The amount of terrestrial viewers has dropped by 10% this year and the decline could affect not only broadcasters but also team sponsors who use the sport as a marketing platform.

Ecclestone holds a share in SLEC, the trust that owns the commercial rights to Formula One, and could seal an agreement to make the digital access deal happen. But he needs the agreement of the teams, who were approached about it recently.

The teams rely heavily on income from broadcasting rights but they face a dilemma: the income from pay-per-view tv has been promised as a major new earner and making the coverage free to terrestrial tv could damage potential income.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone