Are ITV unhappy with the income they generate from advertising sold during Formula One? An interview with their Sales MD Gary Digby in Media Week suggests they are. Digby was interviewed regarding ITV’s coverage of the football World Cup, which apparently failed to bring in enough advertisers to justify the Â£50m they spent on the broadcasting rights.
But he turned to Formula One for an example of a sport they may consider dropping if the money isn’t coming in:
When everyone sits there at the end of the process and we haven’t got any more money out of them…we wonder if it’s worth it. If we’re going to be in the same process again, we’re thinking ‘should we spend x amount, should we carry on with Formula 1 if advertisers don’t want those audiences?’
What’s more, he revealed how unlikely ITV are to drop any football coverage, as they have already agreed to broadcast the UEFA Cup and next two World Cups. Their current main sponsor Swiftcover only came on board from the fourth race of the season.
Of course it could just as easily be the case that they’re not planning to drop F1 and are limbering up to battle with Bernie Ecclestone on the value of their broadcasting contract.