The announcement today that BSkyB have acquired Sky Italia and purchased a 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland poses some questions about Sky Sports F1 as a channel going forward under the creation of “Sky Europe”. Given that Sky Sports F1 exists in all three territories, one can imagine that resource will be shared in the future. It looks like, Sky are thinking the same way, under the guise of cost-cutting.
At today’s BSkyB earning presentation for Q3 2013/14, Andrew Griffith, their Chief Financial Officer, said “Firstly, [we expect to reduce cost in] production and commissioning. The enlarged group will be able to share programming, channel brands and creative across territories, as well as to be more effective in the production of live cross-border events. An example is Formula 1, where all three broadcasters each currently send their own separate production capability.”
I know that Formula 1 was given as an example above, however it is pretty fair to say that Sky are looking into the possibility of having centralised production for Formula 1. Assuming that Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia take a similar sized production team to BSkyB to the F1 races, then you would be slashing the Sky production team on-site by 60 percent.
If you’re going to have a centralised production team, does that mean we could well have a centralised on-air team as well? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it could be an interesting few months ahead as we head towards 2015 and beyond…