Formula One has been facing some slack over the loss of viewership over the past few seasons but while people from inside the sport might have their biases whilst making an argument for or against that claim, someone from outside the sport could present a rather fresh perspective.
The Crystal Palace chairman, Steve Parish explained how the Premier League and F1 have taken different paths towards revenue sharing and how it has taken both these sports in completely opposite directions with respect to ‘fan fandom’.
While the Premier League has managed to become a globally followed league, the F1 is finding it tough to intrigue more fans into the sport.
Sky and BT sports are paying £4.46 billion for 3 seasons for domestic UK rights. For F1 the TV rights are down to £1.6 billion, close to 3 times less than that of the Premier League.
Parish believes that a lot of it has to do with how the revenue is shared between the teams, as the Premier League has incremental revenue sharing, whereas in F1 most of the revenue goes to the top F1 teams, thereby increasing their power and stature even further.
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This essentially takes out ‘competition’ from the league, thereby making the sport a little boring for the fans. The Premier League has grown leaps and bounds in the last decade or so because of its competitive nature, wherein on a given day, any side can beat any other side, making fans tune into matches week in and week out.
The F1 too will need to find a renewed revenue sharing model.
“It has to stay competitive. Nobody wants to watch someone destroy a club 7-0, it’s not intoxicating.
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“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.” Parish said.
OTT providers could help increase fan interaction in the years to come and with F1 Tv already launched, we could hope that more fans tune into F1 with the multiple camera angles and enhanced video coverage.
However, all said and done, if all teams aren’t given a fair chance to compete, the sport will lose its audience pretty soon.