Young: Sky “need to do a better job” explaining different options to audience

Sky Sports’ Head of Formula 1 has admitted that the broadcaster needs to do a better job of explaining the different viewing options available to fans.

Scott Young, their Head of F1, was speaking in front of industry experts, including Motorsport Broadcasting, on stage at the Black Book Motorsport Forum event. In a session that also included broadcaster Steve Rider and Eurosport’s incoming Head of Motorsport Gernot Bauer, the three discussed the future of motor sport broadcasting.

Young was clear stakeholders need to do more to articulate the different options available to the viewing public.

“You can either subscribe to Sky and then upgrade to Sky Sports for a year, or you can go to Now TV, which is our streaming platform, and buy the race for a day,” Young said.

“Our app has our live feed, plus our race control channels, which has nine on-boards and some data feeds on it. Sky Go, if you are a customer, you can take it out to the pub and set it up the way you want to.”

“I think we need to do a better job of explaining that we are portable and that you don’t need to commit to us for a year to actually enjoy Formula 1.”

The statement comes off the back of an extensive pre-season marketing campaign from Sky, which saw them launch their ‘best ever’ F1 television offer encompassing the whole season.

Sky’s television offer received far more publicity than their Now TV season pass offer, which allowed F1 fans to watch all 21 races for a one-off payment of £195.00.

Young outlined that Sky have done “a lot of research” which shows that the average fan dips in and out of the F1 action each season, watching around a third of the races. “The audience, it taps out at about seven. So, after seven races pretty much you can repeat everything you do,” he added.

Sky “taking a deep dive look” at how people consume F1
One of the major topics of conversation throughout the session was how motor sport can entice younger people towards their offering, and Young noted that Sky are currently reviewing how audiences consume the sport.

“We know that we need to tap into a new and younger generation if we’re going to have a successful run of five and a half years,” Young said.

“We’ve got the youngest average age of 47 across all the sports channels. That means we should be focusing on a decade and a half under that, and how we target those people. We need to work with Formula 1 and others to make it happen.”

“A key part of F1’s strategy as well is to make sure there is a growth audience coming through, and what is it that they want to consume. We need to work out where the audience is coming from and what the audience wants.”

“Whether it’s long or short form programming I don’t think that’s necessarily to answer at the moment.”

Sky’s statistics, which Young quoted, show that 82 percent of their F1 audience watch the race from lights out to the podium, but Young ruled out tailoring their output to cover just the World Feed content, instead creating different content for different audiences.

“If the Grand Prix is 90 minutes, we want people to watch not only the 90 minutes, but the extraordinary effort that our amazing team puts into the pre and post-race packaging programming that goes around it. I think you need to make programming curated for a different audience, on an A.M. and F.M. level at the same time,” Young believes.

“After the 90-minute lead-up shows that we typically make, we hope that everybody understands the full picture from the lead up days.”

“They’ve heard from the stars and heroes of the sport and they understand that when the lights go out and Crofty picks up his famous line that there is knowledgeable they can possibly be across the depth of knowledge that they have, and that’s an art that every sports producer needs to be able to work on how you do that.”

“And that’s why we have a fairly deep roster of people, because each time that our talented hosts asks each one of the numerous people next to them what the answer is, they all know the answer, but it’s the way in which they interpret the question back that the audience picks up, is how they see this to be different.”


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8 thoughts on “Young: Sky “need to do a better job” explaining different options to audience

  1. Sky Go / Race Control is a waste of time as the information is massively out of sync. Getting the basics right would be a start.

  2. For me, the presenting team and the price put me off Sky. I watch the races on RTL and the highlights package on Channel 4, as I prefer the C4 teams’ lighter, less ‘old bloke’ coverage.

  3. 200 pounds for entire season . I tapped out this year. Long time fan since 1988.

    It’s not only sky that’s problem . It’s qually rules , engine penalty, tire rules, Drs, some of the tracks, general the entire sports need chance from wwe wrestling to a proper sport again.

  4. I agree David thousands are now unable to afford Sky and is of course reflected in viewing figures. As an aside is there anyone out there able to receive ‘FreeSports’ on Freeview channel 64.

  5. Totally agree Jon.

    I went for the Sky F1 “offer” and during the summer break I felt a bit ripped off by it all. Forking out £30 per month is a bit steep and Now TV offers no catch up unlike Sky Q. I’ve been watching old races (97, 98 and 99) and it shows how F1 is now a shadow of its former self. When they had durable tyres and refuelling and less complex aerodynamics there was plenty of close racing and overtakes and the strategy was entertaining. Some people say that refuelling offered the most boring races however that was when they made the cars qualify with the race fuel loads in the tank so of course teams could guess how long their competitors would run.

    The current hybrid engines are not really road relevant, Vettel expressed very well in Canada how we feel about the state of the rules and the 3 of each element rule for the engines plus restricted testing means that apart from aero changes the team cant do much to make up the difference to the other teams. (Unlike 97-2000 where Schumacher would be testing between races and developing the car with the team to come back stronger) Also Schumacher himself said that the Pirelli high deg tyres are difficult to drive with as you cant push and its not formula one and in my opinion they have done more to ruin this sport than any other change. They are getting a bit more durable now which is better but some Sky pundits still call for high deg bubble gum tyres for some reason as they think watching drivers coasting around to avoid the “cliff” is somehow entertaining.

    It seems that when Vettel won his last championship and said over the radio to (paraphrasing) enjoy it guys it wont last forever it was a bit prophetic about the state of this sport. When you need to put on a pot of coffee for a Grand Prix to stay awake (think France) but when Formula E is on you are on the edge of your seat something is very wrong.

    So what about highlights on C4? Im not a big social media user so I could wait until they are shown BUT it’s the flow of the race that gets spoiled. When we had ITV there were adverts so we missed some action but it was a visual cue and ran in real time. With the highlights it does seamless jumps which is a bit disorientating. Maybe if they did a bit of a swoosh cut with the lap number l it would be better as it would prompt you to recheck the order.

    At the end of the day when I am paying £30 a month for this and £8.99 for Netflix (which gives countless hours of entertainment) as a comparison it all comes down to value for money. So Sky Sports F1 got cancelled last Monday and Singapore will be my last race until we get F1 TV Pro (If ever). I’ll go watch the Formula E and some old F1 races for a bit of nostalgia. Sorry F1 you got greedy! You should have stayed free to air and fixed your sport before grabbing pay tv money.

    • Go to CD Keys website & get a 1 day (for race day) or 7 day Sky Sports Now TV pass both for about £5 just before the race weekend – far cheaper than Sky Sports

  6. Scott Young needs reminding that £195 isn’t a bargain, when the first 3 races were shown on Sky1, making them free. Paying monthly would save £50 over the bargain price, as I’d not want to be coughing up for the off season.

    I hope Sky have caught a cold over the huge sum they’ve paid FOM, Not that they will worry, as they’ll just make ordinary Sky users make up the difference.

  7. Don’t forget the F1 TV Access pass (£20/year with Google Play) & you can get 5 Live F1 commentary with Live telemetry data, driver tracker, sector times & pit stop info – I don’t get why this is not getting mentioned

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