Tag Archives: viewers

F.O.F.A. (Formula One Fans Association)

June 23, 2009

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Source: http://timesonline.typepad.com/formula_one/2009/03/who-is-formula.html

Here’s an interesting idea, from GaryM on the Times Online Blog, which I haven’t seen repeated elsewhere. He argues that with all the furor about governance issues and how Formula One actually belongs to the fans, not the FIA, FOTA or the teams, why is there not a Formula One Fans Association (FOFA)?

Indeed, following Gary’s suggestion, if motor-racing truly wishes to take the views of fans into account, then there needs to be a mechanism where this can occur. This already occurs at a media level, and fans can post threads and discuss the latest news on broadcasters websites or on blogs like this, however will these really be taken in account when policy is being made? The cynic in me says that F1 is viewed at times by the governing body more as merchandise consumed by spectators and any surveys or view-finding by officials smacks of tokenism. Instead, what is needed is a partnership model where fans can actively engage in dialogue and have an impact on the running of the sport. I am not by any means suggesting that fans should be signatories to the Concorde Agreement, however there should be a mechanism that their views can be represented to the decision-makers at all levels of the sport. See for example the findings of the recent Global Audience Survey from FOTA: http://www.teamsassociation.org/sites/default/files/press_release/FOTA%20Press%20Release%20-%205%20Mar%202009.pdf

Football has official, and unofficial, fan associations and every major club has forums available for fans to engage with, challenge and help form opinions, where are these for F1 or motor racing?

As a number of posts have shown over the last couple of days, following F1 in person in both an expensive and dangerous pursuit! Isn’t it time that fans were received recognition for this (and I don’t mean simply with a branded credit card!)

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Pirate broadcasts (yo-ho-ho!)

March 11, 2009

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/7902769.stm

see also the following 2006 legal article by Stephen Sampson: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB3-4KTPS50-B&_user=2631370&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000058272&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=2631370&md5=46c0328ceb95405e9e04e92d2ed0b241


Premier League lawyer, Oliver Weingarten, told the BBC last month that the most popular sites that stream illegal live football attract up to a quarter of a million viewers for a single game!


However, while the Premier League, and a number of other rights holders from other sports, plan to target the sites showing these games rather than the viewers (and have taken legal action already against five of these sites), many of the more popular sites are based abroad. This raises a number of International Intellectual Property issues and given the current controversy about music sites such as Pirate Bay, potentially reduces the chances of a successful conviction.


While Weingarten suggests that such legal action is necessary to protect the atmosphere at stadiums, and ensure that clubs have enough gate / catering receipts to continue their operations and pay their players salaries,  in a credit crunch, such an argument may carry little weight with fans. Indeed, a quick search of the internet and bulletin boards reveals a number of links advertising free streaming (If the IT dept of Staffordshire University is reading this, I didn’t click on any of them, honest!!!)  Maybe what is therefore needed is a re-evaluation of the industry much like Itunes revolutionised music and pre-empted a debate on music licensing, we need a similar debate over access to sports events? Anybody fancy starting such a debate below?

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