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SBD Global/November 16, 2012/Media

Sky Sports' Boss To Speak To Ecclestone About Broadcasting F1 In 3D

Sky Sports Managing Dir Barney Francis "wants to introduce 3D to F1 and will have talks" with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone at the end of the season, according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. If the proposal receives the OK, it "could be just the start." Sky's ambitions "could go as far as providing the television coverage of F1, not only for its own subscribers but for the rest of the world, taking over from Ecclestone’s television organisation," which transmits the pictures seen around the world. Francis said, "Would we take it on and do it? We would challenge ourselves to do any sports production. We are well tuned, we have good individuals at the top and farther down the chain. It is a hypothetical question and would need FOM (Formula One Management, Ecclestone’s F1 business) to suggest they don’t want to do it any longer." F1 in 3D "is a no-brainer for Francis and Sky, but Ecclestone’s television company does not have the facilities," as it just started broadcasting in high definition last season. Francis: "We would love to do it -- 3D would look sensational for Formula One,” Francis said. “It will be on the agenda for the conversation we have at the end of the season with FOM." However, more than a year ago, Francis "caused uproar by moving to win the rights for Sky Sports to broadcast all 20 grand prix of this season live." The "howls of anguish came from living rooms around Britain" when fans discovered that the only full F1 coverage would be on subscription TV for the first time. Now the "outrage has subsided to be replaced with acceptance." Francis said, "We know two things: demographically, it is a younger set on Sky than the BBC. We also know that in households where viewers have a choice -- Sky and the BBC -- and we are simulcasting, we are getting 58% of that audience" (LONDON TIMES, 11/15).
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