Football chief ridicules key element in F1, asks Liberty Media to take leaf out of EPL - Iforsports

Football chief ridicules key element in F1, asks Liberty Media to take leaf out of EPL

It is always a good idea to heart different view points from outside the sport on how they perceive Formula One. A bit of healthy debate never hurt anyone.

On Wednesday, Steve Parish, the chairman of Crystal Palace FC – an English Premier League football team – spoke about why the EPL must maintain its current distribution model of commercial revenues.

While talking about how the payment structure was right in the EPL, he used F1 as a case study of how a sport should not be run commercially.

Football fans will know that the EPL is in the middle of its richest-ever TV rights deal and a new round, for rights due to start in the 2019/20 season, was recently concluded with Sky and BT Sport paying £4.46 billion for three seasons for the domestic UK rights alone.

At £1.6 billion a season, that’s almost three times as much as the global TV rights yield annually in F1.

He argued that the payments being distributed in an equal manner had led to the league becoming so exciting as more teams had the opportunity to procure top talent from across the world.

He took the example of Crystal Palace, who he said had the ability to beat a Manchester United or an Arsenal on their day.

He said, “It has to stay competitive. Nobody wants to watch someone destroy a club 7-0, it’s not intoxicating.

“Take F1 for example. The big teams got all the power, demanded more and more money. And now there’s a spectacle where there’s one or two teams with a chance of winning a race, and people are switching off.

“If we make it less interesting…it is not in the long term benefit of the league.”

Although the total price for the rights has dropped for the next season, Parish said, “This deal is indicative of how good the last deal was. Nobody imagined we’d get another increase like last time. Maybe the league outfoxed the broadcasters last time, and maybe this time we got a bit of our own medicine.

“To be honest a lot of the OTT platforms – Netflix etc – are doing pretty well without sport! The hope is we’ll be in a different situation in three years’ time with those types of providers.

“The fees were probably over the top last time, and now we’re at the right amount of money, which is never a bad thing, and the international market could balance it out anyway.”

It was recently announced that F1 Live would be released and a variety of media brands have claimed that the overall response of the public is pretty positive.

Priced at around $8 per month, one can argue that for the given audience, it is likely to be affordable and Liberty Media should profit from this deal.

While fans in England have made it evident that they are unhappy about it not being available in the UK, F1’s head of digital has indicated that they are open to doing a deal for Sky to ‘upsell’ the OTT package as part of its offering.

Adversely, it could have an effect on the prices charged by Sky Sports.

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