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F1 must keep balance between free-to-air and digital TV - Carey

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F1 must keep balance between free-to-air and digital TV - Carey
By:
Aug 16, 2017, 3:19 PM

Formula 1 boss Chase Carey admits that the organisation faces a major challenge as it plans the way races are viewed in the future.

Chase Carey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group, Luca Colajanni, Formula One Senior Communications Officer and Sean Bratches, Formula One Managing Director, Commercial Operations on the grid
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Fans cheer for Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Second place Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Third place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, on the podium
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, runs wide, as Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Chase Carey, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of the Formula One Group at a Carbon Champagne Media Reception
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70-H leads

Carey acknowledges that generating income from fans who are willing to pay for a premium service while also keeping sponsors happy by reaching the widest possible audience via free-to-air will be challenging.

F1 is planning to offer its own premium 'over the top' or OTT digital service, which promises to be very lucrative.

“In terms of the television arena that we deal with, I guess the way to describe it is that there are three or even four potential arenas that we are engaged with,” said Carey.

“Traditional free [to air], pay, digital and then our own probably more direct 'over the top' product. To some degree what you have is conflicting goals across them.

"Probably the economic premium paid gets higher as you go up the ladder, but the reach gets less.

“For us the goal is to maximise long-term growth, not to find a short-term pop. So I think we’re trying to balance what is the right mix of reach and direct economic value.

"Clearly there are impacts on other partners we have – for sponsors the fan engagement is obviously very important.

“So if you’re energising the sport I think we want to make sure we continue to position it for long-term growth that finds a balance between that reach and those economics as opposed to just where you can get the biggest buck?”

Digital transition won't be instant

Carey is adamant that digital is the future, although it will not be a fast transition: “It’s more and more heading to various forms of digital platforms.

"I don’t think it will happen as fast as some people think – because some habits die hard, and there is a value in volume and choice.

“I think on the programming side there’s still value in reach. I think directionally it’s going there, but it will take time.

"I think there’s no question that there will be a lot more ways that content will continue to be offered to consumers that I think will benefit consumers on both ends of that.”

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper