2009-04-14

Bernie Ecclestone, creating new industry.

Congratulations Bernie Ecclestone! By cleverly convincing yourself that Internet distribution is "out of your hands" a veritable cottage industry of streaming BBC's F1 coverage outside the UK has popped up.

While trying to research how various people get access to the BBC feed I stumbled across several companies that seem to make good money off of proxying the BBC F1 coverage. I can't imagine any of them do so legally, but boy are these people making money -- none of which you or any sponsor will ever see.

How grand of you to make this possible. I've heard people say that you didn't create this fabulous business opportunity on purpose, but I pay them no mind. Both you and I know that you aren't the sort of dimwitted fool who would shoot himself thorougly in the foot in business dealings.

You cheeky little fellow you.

You could so easily have provided global access to F1 streaming online at a reasonable price so people would have no reason to go elsewhere for their fix -- yet you graciously chose to provide this opportunity to the independent entrepreneurs of the world.

Bravo.

2 comments:

  1. It's exactly the same mistake The English Premier League are doing now. For any premier league game there are always several third party streams available. Some for free, some for a fee, all of them illegal. The Premier league has tried clamping down on them of courses, but they will never be able to shut them all down. Instead they should provide a legal alternative. It's rather depressing that the music, tv, and movie industry are all prepared to repeat each others mistakes.

    Look at the upcoming Wimbledon tennis tournament for how it should be done.

    When it comes to Formula 1, maybe the owners of the new breakaway league will be more sensible.

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  2. I guess what we are observing is the slow and painful learning experience of the media industry. Of which Bernie is a part whether he acknowledges it or not. (Bernie likes to define it as "not his problem", which I think is a sloppy and bad business decision on his part. Ever since the multi-angle fiasco years ago he seems averse to getting involved in anything having to do with how the TV coverage is handled).

    What is also tragic is that when FOM do get behind new initiatives they can never quite manage to keep their greed in check. For instance the iPhone app they released is not really that great and it is a bit too pricy.

    They do, however, seem to acknowledge that most dedicated F1 fans download the coverage though -- why else would they have made it possible to replay the data feed of past races? :-)

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