We've noticed plenty of sports leagues really fighting against the internet, and assuming it's a "problem" or a "challenge" that needs to be stopped, rather than a great tool that needs to be embraced. A prime example of this is the way the Premier League has gone on the attack
against online video, even as it refuses to offer many customers any other way to watch the matches. It looks like Formula 1 racing is taking a very different approach. Paul Rodriguez alerts us to an article about how Formula 1 is looking to really embrace the internet
and avoid the mistakes that others have made in the past. At first, I was a bit nervous, because the article mentions that Formula 1 wants to "follow the example of the music industry..." in embracing the internet (it's news to me that the music industry has actually embraced the internet), but further down in the article, it does appear that they realize what's really happening:
"It doesn't make sense to try to charge people for something that they will figure out how to get for free. F1 will be available on the internet and you need to be prepared for that. The challenge is not in deciding what you give away for free but in deciding what sort of value you're going to provide on top of that -- elements that people are actually willing to pay for."
Bingo. It's exactly what we've been saying about so many industries, but too many of them focus on the core content and assume it must be sold. Instead, Formula 1 seems to realize that the core content is going to be free, so you need to focus on providing additional scarce value on top of that which is worth paying for.