NOVEMBER 23, 2002
Ecclestone confirms the end of pay-per-view
As we predicted would happen earlier this week Bernie Ecclestone has now confirmed that his pay-per-view TV service is to end. Ecclestone will now concentrate on building up the traditional free-to-air television business and there are rumours in German of a big new deal being negotiated between the various TV channels which are bidding for the right to screen F1 races in Germany, where the sport is hugely popular thanks to the exploits of the Schumacher Brothers and the involvement of Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
It remains to be seen whether Ecclestone can coax as much money from the terrestrial broadcasters as he has been able to do from the pay-per-view and terrestrial stations combined but the good news is that the F1 TV show is going to dramatically improve as a result of the news and so the sliding TV viewer numbers should begin to grow again, particularly if there is a little more competition to Ferrari in 2003.