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Formula One boss discusses sport’s ‘conflicting’ TV goals

Liberty Media has identified four types of broadcast options available

Formula One boss Chase Carey has again spoken about the sport’s media coverage options and that they have “conflicting goals”.

Liberty Media, the owners of Formula One, want to expand the sport’s digital reach as well as expanding the previous owner’s TV rights deals which were focussed on generating as much revenue as possible.

Back in June, Carey revealed the company is considering launching its own OTT platform. It has also signed a global deal with Snapchat.

Carey said Liberty Media has identified four types of broadcast options available to it, but juggling the demands of those ideas will be a challenge. “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,” he said.

“Traditional free, 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.”

Carey said Formula One’s aim is to make sure it achieves growth over a long period, rather than looking for the quickest way to improve viewing figures immediately.

He added: “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. For us the goal is to maximise long-term growth, not to find a short-term pop.

“If you’re energising the sport we want to make sure we continue to position it for long-term growth that finds a balance between that reach as opposed to just where you can get the biggest buck.”

Carey went on to play down any suggestions of traditional broadcast television losing its relevance too quickly. “It’s more and more heading to various forms of digital platforms (but) I don’t think it will happen as fast as some people think,” he said.

“On the programming side there’s still value in reach. It’s going there (digital), but it will take time. There’s no question that there will be a lot more ways that content will continue to be offered to consumers.”