In my own case, as I got to Farnborough early (16th) I emailed the screeners to let them know there were shots in the queue from the show (I did not ask for preferential treatment).
Given that Farnborough gets a lot of media attention (probably more than it deserves) I can understand that people might come to A.net expecting to see shots from the show, and it is in A.net's interest to deliver. Further since it is a trade show, it is hard to distinguish between what is and isn't important - the superb display of the SA
747 might make good pics, but isn't really newsworthy, whereas shots of a new GA
type might be.
Regarding sales - yes the event is media saturated, but shots from the "official" media are not always readily available to other companies/organisations. Also, some of the best shots are to be had outside "airshow hours" (eg. morning arrivals and evening departures) when the media aren't necessarily around. For example, on Wednesday after the show finished, Paul (Sukhoi) and I hung around and were treated to departure shots of almost the whole corporate park ... and we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
To date, Farnborough has been very kind to me for sales, mostly for corporate brochures and company reports - sometimes to manufacturers, but more often to the various component sub-contractors (who probably don't have ther own photographers in attendance).
Colin K. Work, Pixstel