The thoughts of Chris Gurton on motorsport, his photography, his work and his life in general. The thoughts, views and opinion's expressed in this blog are those of Chris Gurton and not necessarily those of any publication that he contributes to.

Fans Suffer At The Hands Of Greed

I’ve been really busy over the last two or three weeks so unfortunately my blog has been a little bit neglected. I’m sorry if you have been waiting with baited breath for my latest instalment and ramblings but fear not, here it is.

The one topic of conversation recently in the world of motorsport is of course the recent Formula One TV rights. I know I’m a little bit late on this but it has been annoying me greatly. Sky TV now have the rights to show all the races next season live whilst the BBC are allowed to show half of the races live whist the other half will be shown in the evening. Whether these evening shows will be extended highlights or full re-run remains to be seen.

The BBC Provide Great F1 Coverage for Fans

There are a number of issues that really annoy me regarding this deal. Firstly, I don’t have Sky TV. I am not going to pay £45 a month to get it with the sports channels either. Money is tight as it is for a number of people and I am no doubt not the only one who doesn’t have sky and will not be getting it either, so will be missing out. Secondly, It is extremely hard to avoid hearing race results so having to wait, for an evening showing of the race without hearing the race result will be difficult. Particularly if you use facebook and twitter like myself. Thirdly, the BBC coverage is very good and provides the fans with everything. I have read a number of articles from Sky about F1 and they show how little people within the company know about the sport. Lewis Hamilton 2007 champion? I don’t think so. Then they begin to make comparisons between F1 drivers and Footballers. We know Sky are very good with their Football coverage but that is a totally different sport. I don’t want to hear talk about football when watching motorsport. Fourthly, I hate advert breaks and I hate them in the middle of a race. I want to see all the action and not risk missing any whilst some Idiots dance around a bank telling me how great they are with people’s money. Finally, and most importantly, it is taking the sport away from the masses. The real fans who will be missing out.

Bernie's Not Interested In the Fans Opinion

We all know how expensive it is to see a Formula One race at the circuit so it is only fair that people who genuinely have a passion for it to have easy access to it. Once again Bernie Ecclestone has shown how greedy he is by striking up a deal to make himself even more money. Perhaps he wouldn’t need to if he didn’t splash out on multi-million pound mansions for his two work shy daughters. The sport is becoming very elitist and we see this by the people who walk the grids before each race and are invited into the garages. Hundreds of celebrities adorn VIP access lanyards and flounce about despite not having the faintest idea about KERS, Downforce, Option and Prime or Oversteer. Genuine fans would love a chance to be able to get the experience these celebrities get and now the likes of you and me are being robbed of the chance of even seeing the races live on TV.

Colin Kolles, the boss at Hispania Racing Team told the media what a great deal it was and how Bernie has once again shown how great he is at providing the best for everyone. He even said that it will be better for fans as they would rather watch the race in the evening than get up in the early hours to watch. Don’t tell me what I want you idiot. I do want to get up early and watch the race live. I don’t want to wait until Sunday evening and argue with my other half because she wants to watch Strictly X-Factor or Antiques File on the other Channel. It is not better for the fans at all. What you mean to say Mr Kolles is that it’s better for you because the deal will mean an extra £1m for your cowboy outfit.  Think of the rolls of gaffer tape that will buy to hold your crappy cars together. Bernie has been very crafty. The shared TV rights gets around the Concorde Agreement with the teams whilst still lining the deep pockets of his very short tousers. He has thought of what is best for him and not the fans.

Hispania are keen for the extra cash and keen to tell fans what they want. Photo © Pete Mainey (PSM Motorsport Images)

Clearly the long term future has not been given much thought to. Viewer numbers will drop, advertisers won’t pay as much, fan support will be lost and it will only have a detrimental effect on the sport. Not just at the top in F1, but right the way through to grass roots level. Yes there are many motorsport fans who love other racing series too and will continue to support them. But to encourage new fans you need exposure. Show them what motorsport is about, draw them in, excite them. How are you going to encourage people into motorsport when the coverage of it is taken away?

I know the deal won’t be torn up and it pains me to think it will be in place until at least 2018. It is a sorry state of affairs and no doubt many World Rally Fans will agree as they have experienced a TV coverage shambles. We have all seen the disgraceful scenes of Rioting throughout Cities in England in the past few days as people destroy communities in greed fuelled frenzies. Take a long hard look at that Mr Ecclestone because this is what you are doing. Destroying Formula One because of your own greed.

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