Currently, at the moment, Sky appear to operate with the following social media guidelines:
For those of you who follow @SkySportsF1 or @SkyF1Insider on Twitter, you will notice that they rarely tweet during their shows (F1 sessions aside), that includes The F1 Show and the feeder series’ GP2 and GP3. Hence, at the moment we have a situation where they do not live tweet throughout their shows, meaning that there is little incentive for fans to tweet throughout their shows. I define ‘live tweeting’ as tweeting whilst the show is on air, the reason I say that is last week @SkyF1Insider tweeted behind the scenes videos last Friday, but they were before the show went to air, and all of those videos would not have made any significant difference as to who does or does not watch the show. As thus, there is no demand for other people to watch the show, in turn making no difference to the viewership. This cycle will rinse and repeat on a weekly basis, with no change on the horizon. No one really benefits, meaning that in the case of The F1 Show the viewership remains below 100,000 viewers.
I know someone is going to say “why did you not mention this last season?”. Quite simply because last year was Sky’s first season, and as thus they may have been coy on going in heavy on the interactivity because of the negativity towards the deal with BBC, so I can see why they did not do much on that side of things in 2012. But now in the second year of the deal, there is no reason why social media cannot play a bigger part in The F1 Show. Yes, they have introduced Your View, where viewers can e-mail their clips into the show. It is an improvement, but we are in 2013. Social media is the thing where instant communication is paramount. When you compare it to Jake Humphrey in 2011 looking on his phone scrolling down the tweets and selecting a few, Sky are light years behind where this is concerned. In my view, they should have the e-mail and live tweets, emphasis on the tweeting, it appears to me that even in year two Sky are ‘shying away’ from social media and live interaction on a weekly basis.
The diagram above should be more like this:
Viewers tweeting in live can then have their thoughts discussed on the show, as well as the Twitter account discussing other users thoughts, the benefit of this would drive interaction instantly, resulting in more demand off viewers, and the end result is that viewers who would not normally tune in would be more inclined to tune in as a result. As well as this, dedicated @SkyF1Show, @SkyGP2 and @SkyGP3 accounts would be created to live tweet throughout shows, with @SkySportsF1 being used as their main hub. I think having @SkyGP2 and @SkyGP3 would help advertising their coverage where those two series’ are concerned as I have covered before on this blog, the only problem with that though is that as Sky take the GP2 and GP3 World Feed commentary with Will Buxton, I doubt they could mention those Twitter pages on air though. I’m surprised @SkyF1Show has not been created by them, though.
Am I right? I don’t know. But there must be a reason why Sky has individual accounts for @SoccerAM, @FantasyFC and other football related shows. I do think that The F1 Show at the moment is still not drawing in the viewers it should be, unless 70,000 to 80,000 viewers really is the roof. Whilst timeslot is definitely an issue, the amount of live interaction leaves a lot of potential left on the table.