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Looking forward to a rare break

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Jake Humphrey | 10:52 UK time, Monday, 1 August 2011

In Budapest

There are some questions that you hardly ever hear when working in and around the Formula 1 circus and "are you having a holiday?" is certainly one of them.

Such is the constant nature of a season: the relentless march of race followed by race means the concept of a holiday tends to be alien to all F1 personnel from March to November.

However, that doesn't apply today. As I write this blog, I'm sitting waiting for the plane to fly us home, and the various F1 team members, still wearing their kit, are discussing what they will do to fill the gap between now and the next race, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa at the end of August.

Well, I have my break already mapped out as I've a very important job to do. My awesome little brother Tom is getting married this month so I have Best Man duties to perform.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the F1 bubble and lose perspective of what is really important in life. Particularly this weekend, when at times it has seemed like the whole world revolves around the BBC and Formula 1.

It was certainly all we talked about among ourselves. Well, now that the race is over I can press the reset button and remind myself that family and occasions like 'Nipper's' wedding is actually the 'real world' and it helps put things into perspective.

Next weekend is the stag do but I can't write anything about it here in case he reads it. I'll need my speech written the weekend after, and then it's a family barbeque seven days after that.

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When I got married, the speech went on for 40 minutes and I'm sure I'll be under strict instructions not to go on too much this time!

I'll also find space for a break, and apart from that it's time to recharge the batteries - and boy do I need it, especially after this weekend.

So, let's talk about the news about the UK TV rights which emerged over the weekend.

Having a broad understanding of television, the state the wider industry is in, and the challenges facing my own employer is essential for me. It helps me do my job better, understand how various decisions are taken, and plan for the future.

Against that backdrop I had a sense that there was a very real threat that F1 was going to be lost from the BBC for good after this year and I knew that various conversations were taking place at a much higher level than I am privy to.

I, like many of you, had seen the headlines over the past month and I suspected that we would get some news sooner rather than later. However, contrary to popular belief I didn't have the inside track on what was happening and on Thursday evening I went for dinner and then bed thinking it was set to be just like any other race weekend.

I then woke up at 7am as my phone was ringing - Ben Gallop the BBC F1 boss had flown to Budapest, was in the lobby of the hotel and had news on the TV deal.

The next few hours went by in something of a haze. There was some understandable sadness and confusion as the news sunk in that things were changing. I think my breakfast consisted of one mouthful of coffee.

I honestly believe there is only one way to do this job and it is to give 100% at all times. Since 2009 we have constantly looked to change, evolve and improve our coverage every week and I'm really proud of the job we've done.

Despite the jet lag, hours spent in airports and cramped journeys across the globe (the flip-side to the 'glamour' of F1!), every member of the production team on camera and behind the scenes feel so blessed and lucky to do this job - and our only aim has been to produce the best output for the audience. That has always been the mantra: keeping you guys and your entertainment at the centre of our decisions.

My highlights so far include: interviewing Max Mosley in 2009 as a breakaway threat loomed, when he ended up calling Flavio Briatore a "loony"; bringing you as close as possible to the sport when we were in the garage as Jenson Button won the world title; and our Bafta-winning show from Abu Dhabi last year, when we saw Sebastian Vettel crowned the youngest ever champion.

I can honestly say I have never worked with a more talented or dedicated team. From free practice early on a Friday to the F1 Forum that often finishes two hours after the race, we try to get you to the heart of the drama.

I love standing next to Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard in the paddock - and thank you for inviting us into your living rooms every weekend. I know how special it is to be in this position, and you have made it such a pleasure with your feedback and loyalty.

Now, please don't take the above as me saying those days are over! It's just inevitable that after the news of the weekend, and the messages of support we've received, I can't help but reflect on what we've done since March 2009 and how we've gone about doing it.

Trust me that we will be working even harder to make the end of this year a resounding success on the BBC and looking to be stronger, better and more professional than ever.

There's no disguising that from next year it will be different. I know it is frustrating for you to not yet know the finer detail - and as soon as we have it worked out, you will be the first to know.

From the presenting team to the races we cover live, to the transmission times of the highlights shows and how we make those a success too. You will again be central to how the BBC make those decisions.

And after 2011 please be assured of this: the BBC will endeavour to make the overall F1 offering as enthralling and compelling as possible. We never take our work for granted and we will be always be driven by that desire to produce the best shows for you, our audience.

I think the drama on the track, coupled with the kind of treatment the media as a whole has given it recently, has taken Formula 1 to new people and new heights. From 2012 onwards it won't be quite the same on the BBC - but the effort and passion invested in covering the sport certainly won't diminish.

I'm proud of what we continue to bring you - this weekend being yet another reminder of what this incredible sport can deliver, and I look forward to sharing more moments like Jenson's win after the summer break.

Have a great summer. I'm off to get working on that speech...


If you would like to comment on the new UK television rights deal, please go to the BBC's head of F1 Ben Gallop's blog on that subject


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  • Comment number 1.

    Jake, we love your coverage and all the BBC F1 team has given us, we (the F1 fans) only hope and wish this "deal" can be turned around and the superb coverage will continue here on the BBC.
    Have a great summer and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season

  • Comment number 2.

    The worst bits about the coverage news, for me anyway, are the fact that the license fee isn't optional, therefore BBC dropping something that so many people are interested in has even more of an impact. This is especially acute when in the past when things like digital radio stations with miniscule audiences (in comparison with F1) get saved, and 90% of BBC shows are just as bad, if not worse than the trash on most cable channels.

    But by far the worst part of all of this is the way BBC have handled the whole thing. Especially management at the BBC. Trying to convince us that this is better for the fans, and that we'll still get the whole picture is just wrong. The 21000+ signatures signed on the petition so far ( and the 6400+ comments on Ben Gallop's blog show just how much this has affected people.

  • Comment number 3.

    The current BBC F1 team deserve the highest praise for the work they have put into making the current coverage the best it has ever been. Further praise has to go out to you guys for again putting on another stella show in light of the difficult circumstances this weekend.

    I think we have all made our feelings fairly clear on the situation (i.e. Ben Gallop's blog) so lets focus on celebrating the amazing coverage that we still have left for the rest of this season.

    Thank you Jake and BBC F1 for all your amazing efforts!

  • Comment number 4.


    Sadly this is not about 'finer detail'. As you well know, no one cares what the detail is and will be switching off in droves. no one wants to watch half a season and I won't pay for sky.

    Ask yourself this... would you go to the Cinema to watch a film, only for it to be stopped half way through and you move to another cinema and pay again to watch the other half... no. so why should this be any different......

    looking forward to the last half of the season and heres hoping its not a Vettel whitewash so the last season we all watch is not a let down.

    Enjoy your summer break Jake... ohh that rhymes!


  • Comment number 5.

    Jake the job u guys have done has been outstanding to say the least , plz can u speak to bearnie at next race , i know the deal will never be reversed , but plz not highlights on the non-live races , plz plz plz not highlights , full races but delayed is a definate olive branch! , still i will enjoy the rest of this season with u guys , thanks for the last 2 & 1/2 years , all the best!

  • Comment number 6.

    The basic foundations of formula one are its fans (viewers). If you ,DC and eddie are refusing to to show you personal opinions, I will give three words 'shame on you'.

    The BBC has pressed the F1 self distruct button and I hope the BBC changes its mind before its to late.

  • Comment number 7.

    i have followed f1 for the last 19 years, but the coverage now is totally amazing , yes i dont think many of us supporters are happy about the sky deal but no amount of moaning is going to change it, i just hope sky have the common sense to employ you all, because f1 will not be the same without you

  • Comment number 8.

    "Yesterdays #bbcf1 programme was the most watched show, on any channel, at any time, all day long. Wow. Thank you." - From twitter.

    Well it wont be next year, will it.

  • Comment number 9.

    I will not be taking out a +£600 a year subscription to Sky.

    I will not be watching F1 after the end of this season.

    From reading the thousands of comments on Ben Gallop's blog post, it seems I am not the only one.

    I wonder how Vodafone, Santander, Pirelli, Boss, Johnnie Walker, etc will react to news that F1 viewing figures will drop through the floor as a result of this deal?

    I think we know now, when someone says "F1 is all about the fans" that they actually mean "F1 couldn't care less about the fans, it's all about the money."

  • Comment number 10.

    Can you please explain why your great coverage will be better when I can only see half of it?

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi jake,
    Just wanted to pass on my support to you and the whole BBC team who week in week out provide f1 fans with amazing coverage. Even this weekend with this news hanging over you the coverage was fantastic. I have never signed an online petition, joined an action group or written so many letters of complaint as I have just done over the BBC's decision to reduce the coverage. It is an unfair and unjust decision and I cannot believe that the BBC, the teams and Bernie Ecclestone think this is good for the sport. There should be full coverage even if this means moving to another "free" channel (where hopefully you would all move to!). Chin up, enjoy the break and know that the fans are working hard to stop this ridiculous situation.

  • Comment number 12.

    I now see no justificaiton for the BBC TV licence so I have written to my MP to request that it be abolished.

    The BBC should compete for business in the free and open market where its bad decisions (such as this one) will be judged by the public in whether they pay for the BBC.

    At the moment, if someone tries to express their view and not pay the licence, they are thrown into jail. That can't be right in a democracy?

  • Comment number 13.

    Please just make sure the highlights is a full replay and I could live with that.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just to say that teams coverage is / was as excellent as normal , And we do realize the position that you were put under , But we cannot let this go , This simply will not do ,How ever you dress it up we have been hugely , massively let down by the BBC , Its a sad thing to say but i would rather they ( the BBC ) had let F1 go completely rather than have this pathetic half hearted approach, Better that some other free to air broadcaster have it than this debacle . Its a terrible outcome and it HAS to change . .
    ps: Still lovin your work . .

  • Comment number 15.

    "If you would like to comment on the new UK television rights deal, please go to the BBC's head of F1 Ben Gallop's blog on that subject"

    You mean the one with over 6400 comments and no response?

  • Comment number 16.

    "Yesterdays #bbcf1 programme was the most watched show, on any channel, at any time, all day long. Wow. Thank you." - From twitter.


    So why is the BBC effectively cancelling their most popular show. Does this mean Eastenders will be going soon too?

    Thanks for all your (and others) hard work on the show, but its legacy has been ruined, all associated with it have been tarnished, what a disappointing outcome.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Jake
    In your comment you said "I can honestly say I have never worked with a more talented or dedicated team. From free practice early on a Friday to the F1 Forum that often finishes two hours after the race, we try to get you to the heart of the drama."
    My question is: Will it be "Free Practice" next year or will the teams have to pay Sky?

    You and the team have done a fantastic job and we all know it's not your fault.
    Well done and thanks.

  • Comment number 18.

    A true professional Jake. Well written blog and truly diplomatic. I know your upset and we all feel the same but everyone knows you cannot speak negatively of your employer. However am loving how outspoken Martin Brundle is being.

    Whatever happens I sure hope the BBC will make sure the British Grand Prix and the first and last races of the season are the three top priorities for live coverage next year. This is disappointing, I would have preferred a BBC/ITV merger is possible. Cannot bring myself to order sky after recent scandals involving the Murdochs. F1 i9s truly immoral.

    Good luck Jake, best F1 presenter in last 20 years at least.

  • Comment number 19.

    I would like to thank you Jake for the way in which you handled the comments made on race day. I'm sure we would have had a much more in-depth look into things if you, Eddie, DC & Martin had been allowed to do it your way. But still........!
    I was so pleased that Jenson won, especially after the troubles of the past two races but I must say I did watch with a heavy heart. I will see the rest of this season out...if I can bear to.....and then it will be goodbye from me and my family.
    I wish you and the rest of the team all the best for the future and hope that you all have a great summer.
    The best man speech will be fantastic I'm sure as is your presentation for F1.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Jake,

    I would have preferred BBC to keep their current contract until 2013 and then F1 could have gone elsewhere (ITV, C4, C5). At least this way we would have had 2 more years of guaranteed free to air coverage.

    I think the BBC coverage is great. However, the reason why we turn on is to watch the racing

    Bernie's comments would indicate it was BBC who brought SKY to the table. This is very disappointing if this is true; Ben Gallop should be honest enough to admit what exactly did happen. There are >6000 comments on his blog and yet no comment from him!! If BBC did do this then why?? Why didnt they do what ITV did and just let the contract go completely?? This allowed another channel (BBC) to pick it up!! This way we 'may' have had the entire coverage on free to air. BBC appear to have taken it to SKY!!

    Also, why do all the BBC people keep saying "we are sharing it with SKY"


    SKY have everything and BBC get half? How is this "SHARING"?? SHARING would be SKY have 50 % and BBC get 50 %


  • Comment number 21.

    To your "understandable sadness and confusion" you can add the absolute blind fury of what appears to be the vast majority of UK fans over this appalling deal that your management and Ecclestone have stitched up with Sky.

    Dumbing down the BBC sports coverage by removing "intelligent" sports such as F1 makes it even more difficult to justify the BBC's role and the licence fee. I think you've fallen into the govt's trap and established the conditions under which they can insist on further cuts and eventual full privatisation.

  • Comment number 22.

    I have to say as much as you try to re-direct the issues at hand, it's as much your reponsibility to present the feelings of your fans to the management as it is for us to express them to you and the management.

    By not taking the time to discuss this openly on air - it's just adding even more fuel to the fires of disappointment from the fans.

    Personally - I blame every tom, dick and harry who has invested in a Sky Sports package over the past 15 years or so, through their blind devotion we have created a monster that simply destroys every sport it touches. Premier league pre-madonna's being the most prominent example of what wrong with SKY SPORTS....if everyone cancelled their subscrioptions - we could re-badge BBC4 to the BBC Sports channel and bring all our great sports back to the masses that made them what they are today.

    Whilst I wish you the best of luck during this break and your personal plans. please consider the following:

    1) You are probably alone in enjoying Eddie Jordans comments.
    2) This Sky deal effects the fans
    3) This year you will give 100% for 100% of the time, next year you will give 100% for 50% of the time - also remember that F1 finsihes in November and starts in March, so holidays are for then I guess.
    4) Hungarion GP was most watched across all channels at that time of the day including Satellite channels - it's not very supportive of 'shrinking' ratings is it.
    5) The F1 forum is overkill, mildly entertaining, but I am not a regular viewer of this, maybe cancel that and save some money?

    I sincerely hope that all of you sign the petition to keep F1 on free to air TV in support of the fans.

  • Comment number 23.

    Comment 9, you are spot on, money money money. I would rather the BBC keep it for all races and just cut the amount of money they spend on the pre and post bud ups. They could save millions making it a more simple coverage. Obviously it is great having the coverage so in depth. Seeing the race I'd the main thing. I'm sure this could of been an option.

    It's all about money, not the spectators, they should of done everything possible to keep it on the BBC, and if that ment cheaper production then so be it. Sky is not the answer, and 10 races a year on BBC is NOT the answer.

    BBC you better find time for full re runs on the 10 races you are not showing.

    Everyone I've spoken to will not be getting sky - so f1 will be in decline from 2012 onwards, like cricket, boxing etc. What a Shame.

  • Comment number 24.

    Thanks for the update Jake. Just be aware that the decision isn't being taken lying down. Campaigns are being formed, letters written, emails sent. No one has chained themselves to a railing yet but it may come to that!

  • Comment number 25.

    Jake it was so obvious in the forum you were trying to get other people (the bloke in the crowd/Jenson) to be your mouthpiece over this utterly ridiculous decision as you have no doubt been gagged by these idiots.

    And fair play for doing so.

    We know that what you have written in your blog regarding the coverage is censored rubbish, we are onto a great thing with BBCF1 and everyone knows it, apart from Barbara Slater.

    How can she decide, in one foul swoop to wreck 10 million peoples weekends!!? Because that is what she has done. It's not just about the race, its the build up, qualy the excellent features you do. I am a much happier person on a GP weekend. My time is all based around your coverage, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    It is nothing short of a farce, it'd be hilarious if it wasn't so painfully galling.

    I really don't know if I can watch the remainder of the season, I watched yesterday but the air of sadness was all too evident and it feels like a clock is ticking as to when this brilliant experience will be all over.

    Completely and utterly gutted.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hungary F1 Forum:

    "Did you enjoy the race today everybody?" - Jake

    "Yeahhh!" - Crowd

    "Excellent, did you enjoy the bbc coverage?" - Jake

    "Yeahhh" - Crowd

    "Yeah it was brilliant, better than SKY. We don't want it on SKY!" - voice in crowd

    "That's what?" - Jake

    "WE DON'T WANT IT ON SKY!" - voice in crowd

    "What? Let's move on!" - Jake puts on puzzled face then walks away laughing

    Martin smiles

    "Well... CENSORSHIP in it's extreme!" - Eddie

  • Comment number 27.

    In the light of recent events yourself and the team did a fantastic job this weekend Jake. top notch coverage as always.
    Sky is without a doubt the worst thing ever for the F1 fan base. Football fans don't mind dipping their pockets as they get hundreds of matches a year but who on gods earth is going to pay £600 for ten races. BBC have made a bad move on this one and Bernie himself, after working so hard all these years to get F1 the coverage it deserves, he finally gets it from 2009 to now and in one foul swoop drops it like a brick. Well done Bernie and well done BBC for undoing all your hard work.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think I can speak for the majority of fans, when I say that for those of us, who for whatever reason, cannot actually attend the races, have been priviledged to have you and the rest of the team, bring the race to us in our homes. For me the weekend starts with 1st practice and ends after the forum. The features and the "fun and games" are nearly a big a part of the actual weekend as the race.
    I would like to thank everyone of you, from you Jake, to the whole of the team who give us such a trip. The ethics etc of the TV rights fiasco is another matter. I for one shall miss Formula 1, after all a 30+ year love affair with Formula 1 will not be easy to get over.
    Good luck to everyone.

  • Comment number 29.

    As we wait for the inevitable barrage of comments from disgruntled viewers upset to be losing one of their favourite parts of the weekend (and believe me I am as disappointed as the next person), I'd like to say a big thank you to you, Jake, and the team for the excellent coverage this past couple of years. Although from next season things won't be the same, I know everyone will be working twice as hard to bring us the races in the best possible way.

    We must understand that F1 is a money driven sport and regrettably, Sky have more of that than the BBC do. This was always going to be the end result and actually I think to still have half the races shown is a good bit of negotiating by the BBC. This is not to say I am pleased with the decision - far from it - but it must be understood that it was inevitable eventually.

    So thanks Jake, you're welcome in my living room on a Sunday any time.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a big fan of F1 I am so disappointed to hear about this deal. I won't be adding sky sports to my package but will still watch on the BBC. I hope the overwhelming fan opposition to this can reverse the decision. If not I plan to avoid any of the sky coverage and I hope others will do the same. If their ratings are low they may pull out early and return it to free TV. Even a BBC/ITV share would be better than this.

  • Comment number 31.

    20 races with lighter production on BBC > 10 races, 10 lots of highlights and SKY


  • Comment number 32.

    If it's just about the BBC budget, I'm 100% certain that every viewer, F1 fans and non-F1 fans alike, can see where huge saving can be made without sacrificing complete F1 coverage.
    Cheap game shows, reality TV and hundreds of useless presenters.

    And don't feel too bad for the F1 presenters. They will be taken on by SKY.

  • Comment number 33.

    It doesn't matter how popular BBC's F1 coverage is, it doesn't make it any cheaper to buy the rights to show it, and the price tag for that is far too high.

    I for one am glad at least *some* of the races will be live on the Beeb and hope that it remains largely unchanged.

  • Comment number 34.

    Jake, that you and the team have delivered F1 on the BBC into such good health makes the decisions even more gauling for fans.

    Just look at the way Lewis Hamilton's post race interviews have evolved over the course of the season to see how essential the pre/post race shows are in order develop the whole story of a season.
    And it is a whole season story, look how dominant the Brawn team were and then their relative performance slid.
    Do you think we can pick up that level of detail from a 45mins highlight show?
    I doubt it no matter how hard you try.

    Enjoy your holidays. "We'll see you after the break" - a phrase I guess we must get used to.

  • Comment number 35.

    I posted my concerns and angry post in Ben's blog along with 6000+ other people,so I will refrain from that here to say a big thank you to you jake and the team, yesterday the show was awesome, Eddies shirt unparralleled,you, DC + Martins tyre changing brilliant , the coverage spotless, dynamic and air punching stuff.
    Never, has F1 been so exiting, compelling viewing, I do fear though, next year 6 million viewers will be a thing of the past on the BBC.

  • Comment number 36.

    The BBC isn't a conventional customer-supplier set up. We pay our licence fee to the government, who have decided we don't want it to rise. So cuts have to be made and the axe has fallen on F1. I'd rather they cancelled Eastenders, but that isn't going to happen - the BBC charter requires diversity. Ranting on forums is no good, the only productive thing we can do now is write to the politicians behind this - your MP and the BBC governors.

    That said, by chance I missed yesterday's race, the first all season. (Ok I confess - I was still livid and passed up seeing it live to have lunch with a young lady friend).

    Got home and watched the race on iPlayer three hours late. And you know what? It was Ok. Great show, and finished just in time for a curry in front of Top Gear.

    So if its today's full decent coverage with build up and features, broadcast no more than three hours after the race finishes, I think I can live with it. Better than nothing if that's really the only alternative.

  • Comment number 37.

    Barbera Slater and Ben Gallop and Bernie Ecclestone and that Murdoch's evil empire have massively underestimated the fans fury over this.

    I've complained to the BBCtrust and my local MP.

    How can F1 costing license payer

  • Comment number 38.

    firstly I'm glad Ben Gallop felt bbc has the money to throw around with a last minute flight to Budapest *sarcasm*
    secondly I nearly cried when you signed off on the forum yesterday, f1 is so much fun with the current team and I have never been so into the sport, I watch all the red button action when I can, the sat qualifying and race from the second the coverage starts until the end of the forum, the fact you guys all love what you do reaches out through the screen into our homes and into our hearts and I am truly devastated about what the bbc has done with this deal, I know its an extreme bizarre thing to say about tv but thats how I feel. I am now resigning myself to the fact next year I will not get to see every second of the action, can't justify the cost of subscribing to watch f1. I echo the above comments it feels like a clock is ticking down to the end of the fun and I am too completely and utterly gutted and will savour every last second of your coverage.

  • Comment number 39.

    Jake, I must admit that when you first took over as lead presenter of BBC F1 I wasn't your biggest fan, maybe that's because I'm a ITFC fan, but you've grown on me and I think BBC F1 is the best show on British television. I and many thousands of other F1 fans will do everything we can F1 exclusively on the BBC in the future. Letting Sky get a foothold in F1 is not good for fans, not good for the sport, not good for the sponsors, not good for the British motor racing industry, not good for pensioners and the least well off and not good for Britain.

    The only people who benefit from this deal are Ecclestone and Sky.

    I have been a motor racing fan since I was eight years old and I have spent a fortune over the years going to circuits, competeing and supporting motor racing in the UK but I not pay for Sky.

    I want value for money for my licence fee £ but sharing F1 with Sky is not the way to get it.

    Enjoy your break and good luck to NCFC in the prem next season. (ouch that hurt)

  • Comment number 40.

    i couldnt believe it when i heard the news a couple days ago about the deal with Sky.. F1 has been a popular sport over many fantastic sporting years and now Sky are just going to ruin the whole sport, only because they are wanting more money and they had a turnover of £6.6billion i heard on the news so why the extra money there just greedy!.. im hoping that since there is near enough a year to go till they do the sky and BBC thing, most of the drivers and top F1 people would have a say in this aswell as the fans to hope that the only place for F1 is the BBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 41.

    Very saddened by this decision, and will really miss the excellent beeb team for half the races (I wont watch sky on principle, as I believe it feeds the growing monopoly on sporting events that they have). But are the teams & Bernie also to blame? If they really cared about maximising viewing figures and keeping the sport free-to-view on tv, they should charge less for the tv rights.

  • Comment number 42.

    Jake, you are a true professional. Unlike your peers....

  • Comment number 43.

    As with most others i've utterly dissapointed about the TV deal but I just wanted to add that the BBC coverange has been brilliant.
    I rate it right up there with the quality of coverange seen in the BBC's and David Attenboroughs wildlife documentaries - the only other things I watch on TV.

    To be fair all my friends and family say Sky do a good job on the Football (I wouldn't know as I hate the sport) but i just can't seeing it being as good for the F1. I think you and your teams passion for the sport comes through and i can't see that being the case with Sky. Plus, there is the possibility of adverts during the live race - speaking of which, how the hell do Sky get away with so many adverts when you already pay them insane prices for the service?

    I won't be paying for it that's for sure. My parents have Sky though so I can always go there when it's not on the BBC. Problem there is, my Brother still lives there and watchs every single Football match of which there are usually 2 on a Sunday - so i won't be able to catch it live.

    I echo others comments in that the BBC should simply show the full race later that evening as opposed to extended highlights.

    Anyway, enough about that. Thoroughly enjoyed the race and the coverange this weekend and look forward to the last few months of it.
    Incidently I have some holidays in too so i might get up to Scotland and hit the trails on my bike before the winter kicks in in a couple of months and i get the Snowboarding gear out the loft!!

    Hope your speech goes well - at least you're in the right job for doing one! I'd be hopeless and really hope i never get asked.
    I'm busy planning my own wedding actually as i intend to ask the question soon. Thinking of the penthouse suite in the Wynn Las Vegas with some fine dining, cocktails and some theatre. Should be fun.

  • Comment number 44.

    Love the BBC1 coverage.
    I will stick with the BBC. I'll watch when it's on and listen when it's not. The only way to make the world different is to change it one step at a time. If enough people refuse to kowtow to Murdoch, by refusing to pay Sky for anything at all, not signing up or even better cancelling an existing Sky contract, then things will change.

    Until then, people get the coverage they deserve, and if so many people continue to line his pockets, he will always be able to outbid the BBC and we will continue to lose the high class coverage of sport.

  • Comment number 45.

    In this country we have some lucky combinations on the BBC that show the world our trade mark quality of banter like on Top Gear. The stars have all been lined up in the same way with Jake and the crew for F1. I feel this team has become an essential part of our own flag and clearly its because Jake cares about this job and cares that the fans enjoy the coverage. We are really lucky and spoiled to have had F1 go back to the BBC with such a fantastic team commentating and presenting it. Keep going Jake, you do a fantastic job not just for F1 fans but for Britain.

  • Comment number 46.

    Thanks for taking the time to post Jake and I echo your comments with regard to the F1 team who provide amazing coverage every single race.

    However, if I was in your shoes I would be absolutely disgusted with my and your team work incredibly hard, produce BAFTA award winning coverage and then have the rug pulled from beneath you. I can't think of anything more demoralising as an employee, those in power should be utterly UTTERLY ashamed of themselves.

    In the whole scheme of things the F1 coverage is not hugely expensive given the huge audience share it recieves and this decision comes accross as having been made by paper pushers and desk warmers who have no concept of F1 as a sport and probably hate everything about the motor vehicle.

    I will never pay for TV licence again....

  • Comment number 47.

    Thank you Jake and all the BBC team for truly great coverage over the past two and a half years. I'm sure that you'll deliver the best coverage ever in what's left of this year.
    The professonal and brilliant production of F1 by the BBC is the reason why so many fans are so outraged by the sport going to Sky.

  • Comment number 48.

    Sorry Jake, but I've really no interest in only being able to watch half the season Live in 2012, F1 is a sport that needs to be watch live in full.

    It's an appauling decision and one that clearly isn't "better for the fans".

  • Comment number 49.

    great coverage again but then BBC do have the the best F1 coverage in the world, as where else would you get Schumi painting Lee McKenzie nails, but also i dont understans why BBC half dump a programme that gets 6m viewers, most watched programme on any BBC channel yesterday cos surely BBC would cut there arm off of 6m viewers

  • Comment number 50.

    In reality the importance of this staying on the BBC is less than the importance of this staying free for air. Personally I'm dissapointed that the BBC struck such a deal which ended up in only allowing 50% of the races to be aired for free out of the selfish motive of keeping F1 on the BBC. It would have been much more honorable for the BBC to have opened up the deal to the other free to air channels such as ITV and Channel 4 to see if a more suitable outcome for the fans could have been struck, only then should they have looked at SKY as an option. This deal was struck in the best interest of the BBC and not in the best interest of the fans.

    I understand Jake has many other commitments to the BBC and is unlikely to channel hop, however the rest of the team have comfortably done this in the past with the ITV - BBC switch and I'm sure that it can be done suitably in the past.

    What I really want to see is the same coverage as last year, perhaps with Sky burdening more of the costs and then FULL race and build up shown hours later on the BBC.

    Another option, and something I think the BBC really need to investigate is for them to introduce a new license just for sports. Make it an optional £50 a year and fight for the right to show decent sports on their own dedicated channel. This way we can bring back Cricket, Snooker, Darts and F1 to where it should be.

    I'm not going to be buying a sky sports subscription, for the 10 races a year that I can't see it isn't worth the money. I also don't feel like subsidising the rest of channels sports coverage - I'm not interested in 5000 football matches a year...


  • Comment number 51.

    Jake, you're a hero and the Beeb have screwed you and the others over! Keep doing what you're doing, you've changed the F1 into something anyone can watch and enjoy!

  • Comment number 52.

    The coverage HAS been and IS the best F1 has ever received EVER! so why split it .. in the long run everyone knows that this kind of 'split coverage' can't work, it will ultimately have to go one way or the other. I think sky will be disappointed by the viewing figures (and so will Bernie and the Teams) so hopefully it will revert to terrestrial at some point. I've been watching F1 for 35 years I don't have sky sports and I wont be paying for it even if F1 goes over to cable full time. You're averaging around 6million viewers every race pretty much and I can't see Sky getting that many. Bernie tried pay TV for F1 and it failed miserably this is no different, sure its a lot cheaper but people arn't going to pay for a multi-channel sports package just to watch one race every 2 weeks.
    To me this is classic BBC, create something absolutely amazing, essential sports viewing every couple of weeks then pass up on it for what? so that they can keep ploughing out the weak, lowest common denominator rubbish that fills BBC3 and a lot of prime time BBC1. The Beeb is supposed to be about innovation and excellence, showing the way not following so why cut off one of your greatest success stories of recent years? so that we can have eastenders 3 times per week? or more programmes about food, rehabilitating your house or selling the contents of your attic/garage?
    What's going to replace F1 on a sunday .. omnibus eastenders, the burleigh horse trials? I shake my head in wonder at the lack of foresight in this decision, its the 'quick fix' mentality.
    Anyway you and the team should be proud of what you have accomplished its been stellar and set a new standard for sports coverage which will be much copied I think.

  • Comment number 53.

    would everyone please stop getting annoyed at the BBC, why would they want to stop? it's clearly their only option, and what's even clearer is that it is all the Tories' and the Mail's fault

  • Comment number 54.

    Well done to you and the the rest of the BBCF1 team and congratulations on such high viewing figures this weekend. It just such a shame that BBC managment has betrayed not only the fans but their own staff as well!

  • Comment number 55.


    I think the entire BBC audience recognises that you and the rest of the team gives 100% at all times, as you said in this blog. That's just one of many reasons why it's so sad that the BBC won't be showing 100% of next season's races.

    Personally, I wouldn't blame any of you for walking away at the end of the season, unless you're contractually obliged to stay - I know Martin Brundle has already said he is not. You would be able to hold your heads high, unlike the BBC management who made this decision. Of course, I also place a lot of the responsibility with the Formula One management.

    Have a good break!


  • Comment number 56.

    I also think its important to realise this deal with Sky may not even go the distance. F1 depends on sponsor support especially with newer teams and new drivers. If Sky wrecked the viewing figures which is most likely then sponsors will take this into consideration and starve the sport of new comers. Its not just about viewers not wanting to pay subscription its also how adverts don't work with an endurance race.
    Sky wont just pull less viewers they will also put people off watching it.

    Its not a safe deal by any means and sooner or later the heads of the BBC will need to correct their priorities given that yesterdays race had record viewing figures. I recommend a U turn.

  • Comment number 57.

    “I then woke up at 7am as my phone was ringing - Ben Gallop the BBC F1 boss had flown to Budapest, was in the lobby of the hotel and had news on the TV deal.”

    Is that true? The cash strapped BBC had to fly Ben Gallop at short notice to Hungary at the licence payers expense to give you the news in person.

    If this is the way the BBC operates there is no need to wonder why there’s no money left for worthwhile television.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm still fuming that the 2011 season will be the last full coverage season I get to see, without paying out to Sky (which i have no intention of ever doing - certainly not until the BBC drop the mandatory TV license fee).

    I have been a big F1 fan for many years, and remember the poor coverage ITV gave before the BBC took over the rights again. The entire package the BBC present for F1 is fantastic - Jake is a great presenter with what feels like a true passion for the sport, and the line-up of David Coulthard and Martin Brundle is amazing - their knowledge, passion, love and enjoyment of the sport makes F1 an exciting sport to watch in even the most mundane GP's. This package works so so well, and continues to evolve crucially bringing in more and more viewers every race weekend. I really cannot understand why the BBC are selling out (other than purely financial gain at the loss of the license paying public)

    I understand things have to change - the same as every other business does, however, to rub salt into the wounds, the BBC (Barbara Slater) then announce "We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC," How can that be?? How can anyone be delighted that you are now showing 50% less coverage of a sport? Can you imagine the BBC only showing 50% of Wimbledon?? It is inevitible in my view that the "50% coverage" can only be a lesser quality than todays race - not because of the presenters or teams, but by the financial cuts the coverage will face, and the ultimate fact that F1 on the BBC will be dead from then end of 2012.

    This is the wrong decision for the BBC to have made, and it will leave many people angry, frustrated and honestly quite sad. And, also question once again exactly what value we do get from the BBC license fee.

  • Comment number 59.

    I tried to explain the situation to my 7yr old boy who loves F1.
    After 5 mins of a blank expression from him while he thought about it, his reaction was, "But that's not fair. What about people who don't have Sky?"
    Out of the mouths of babes...

  • Comment number 60.

    Pointing us to Ben's blog is understandable, but what people want to know is what YOU think on the sky deal. Ok, you're young but you still have an opinion. Even if it's against the tide (tsunami) of comments, you can, as a man, state your position & why. People will respect you all the more for it, regardless of which way it goes. May be you'd like to host The Voice? A kareoke contest for £22m? Bargain.

    I'd like to know what will happen when people turn off the BBC for F1 - surely then it'll have to be dropped entirely, breaking the Concorde Agreement. Jake, as someone who has inherently better knowdelge of the pressure ratings impose on broadcasters, where would you put the cut-off point for the BBC?

    I've followed F1 every year since the early 80's, but won't be watching next year to help force the BBC's hand.

  • Comment number 61.

    Personally I don't mind paying to watch quality live sports whether at the event or on TV. BBC4 should be turned into a premium subscription channel. The Licence Fee was not intended to cover this, Wimbledon, F1, football, Olympics etc should be paid for separately by the viewer.

  • Comment number 62.

    The exceptional work on the BBC F1 team validates our support and it will be interesting to see the relative viewing stats next year for the races where we have a choice of viewing on BBC or Sky.

  • Comment number 63.

    “Without the fans the British Grand Prix wouldn't be what it is and the same applies to the BBC's F1 coverage. It's you, the viewer, that make it.” Your own words Jake.

    Why weren’t we consulted when the BBC wanted to gift it to Murdoch and his chums, when they could have dumpt it and let Ch4 pick it up ……

  • Comment number 64.

    remember last time sky had f1
    what was is 10k viewers?
    same will happen again, people who have sky are canceling their contracts in protest
    nobody is gonna pay for 10 races
    sky sports only has about 2 million subscribers and 2 million of those are football fans
    expect sponsors to reduce the ammount they pay teams soon

    all this is because ch4 and ch5 where going to bid on rights when bbc rights ran out
    bbc prefer to keep crumbs and screw us over

    well not much longer 80k more name and the petition goes to parliment
    and dot forget ch4 is owned by the government so if you did them over you did the government over

    i expect this deal to be rendered void before the year ends

  • Comment number 65.

    My comments are in line with others voiced here:

    Most watched TV programme on Sunday.
    6000+ comments to a blog (has that ever happened before?).

    Yet the BBC Sports Web pages have people re typing tweets all day (Sportsday Live?)
    BBC3 - Snog Marry Avoid?
    BBC Alba?

    Someone high up at the BBC must be noting these responses - you saved the Asian Network and BBC 6 Music. Lets have a U turn. Keep 100% of F1 Free on the BBC.

  • Comment number 66.

    Jake, I don't think there are many (any?) British F1 fans who don't appreciate all the hard work you and the team have put in to making the coverage so enjoyable.

    But there are some key questions to be answered:

    Why did the BBC not cut other things (coverage of practice, expensive build up VTs, the fourm etc.) to save money and keep F1 free-to-air?

    Will the sponsors accept such a loss of audience? I sincerely hope FOTA push this hard with Bernie. FOTA could politically position themselves well with the fans by fighting our corner on this and securing a deal where at least we get every non-live race shown in full later in the day.

    Why do this to one of the most popular shows on the BBC?

    and many others. This is not a good deal for anyone except Bernie & Murdoch.

  • Comment number 67.

    A touching post...

    Dont forget to show your disappointment and add your name to the petition at

  • Comment number 68.

    Jake, right at the bottom of your blog you (or the editor) say "If you would like to comment on the new UK television rights deal, please go to the BBC's head of F1 Ben Gallop's blog on that subject" yet this morning it said at the bottom of that blog this very morning that it was "now closed". So I am not commenting on this "deal" rather on the fact the BBC cannot seem to make up its mind what it wants us to do. In her Out of office reply, he Head of Sport says we "MUST NOT" complain to her, rather use the official complaint process. It is not for her to instruct her customers (the licence payers) what to do or how to complain - how arrogant can you get. The BBC should try listening to and acting on the wishes of its viewers rather than just paying lip service.

    Have a good summer break Jake - you deserve it!

  • Comment number 69.

    I still don't think BBC or even the presenting team get exactly what fans are angry about. Yes the BBC coverage is good but F1 should not remain at the BBC on some half baked way at all costs in . The point is that when negotiating the BBC should have been working in liecence fee payers interest and ENSURED ALL LIVE RACES REMAIN ON FREE TO AIR CHANNELS, be it ITV, channel 5, 4 etc. (were these seriously approached for a partnership?) I would give up all the forum, build up, etc. for them all to remain live on free to air.

  • Comment number 70.

    Being one of the many millions who are not in the UK but watch F1 with the BBC, I, as does everybody who watches F1, feel robbed by Ben Gallops and his teams decision to share broadcasting with sky.

    I use a free to air sattelite to get the BBC in Ireland, and with the way Ireland's economy is, no one can afford Sky.

    Its a disgrace to make this decision, mostly because Sky won't employ the current BBC production team (who do a fantastic job which goes without saying) as they will have their own people they want to present it, thus putting upwards of 20 people out of a job, and as! Martin Brundle said in Quali "who's going to be down at the job centre queue with us DC. "

    I can only hope that the #poweroff1fans which gets mentioned so much when times are good, will actually be noticed by high up big wigs.

    Enjoy your break Jake, its hugely well deserved.

  • Comment number 71.

    It seems that people here have failed to read between the lines here:
    The reason for this sky deal is entirely down to Bernie Ecclestone.

    - Bernie wants more money for the TV rights.

    - Sky can easily afford pretty much whatever he asks (look at their squilion pound profit announcement !)

    - The BBC have been good friends to Bernie in the past, getting him out of a sticky wicket when ITV told him where to go after he tried hiking the price on them.

    - Because of those factors, and for a bit of good PR, Bernie forces Sky to let the BBC have a bit of the action.

    - Sky agree, knowing that the BBC coverage will be just like a massive advert for their coverage of the other half of the races.

    The BBC had no real choice but to take what they were offered, no amount of scrimping on pre- and post- race analysis would change this (and I'm guessing these don't actually cost any more to do anyway, I very much doubt that EJ and DC are on an hourly rate) - they don't have remotely the amount of cash that Sky does and Bernie knows this.

    Also, as a side bonus the Sky coverage will hopefully include live snippets of hacked telephone answering machine messages from the driver's 'phones during the race (like we get now for the pit radio messages)....

    "and it looks like another win for Vettel, oh hang on, a message....'Seb, it's Mum, don't forget it's your dad's birthday party on Tuesday, about seven-ish, can you bring some hummus. Good luck for the race'....hummus eh ? What do you make of that DC ?"....
    "Well Martin, when I was racing you would avoid garlicky dips because your helmet would stink for the next race but I guess Seb replaces his every race anyway..."

    As an aside, I already get Sky sports but only because if you get the whole 'world' package it comes free and I can't live without the disney channel....

  • Comment number 72.

    Jake the bbc has done a fantastic job of presenting F1 but as others have stated highlights are simply not good enough if we had delayed full coverage of the race it would not be ideal but at least most people can live with that. take yesterdays race for instance it was practically 1hr 45 mins long so with a highlights program you would have to cut around 45 mins out of a gripping race. I think the licence paying loyal fans deserve much better than that dont you ?. If not im afraid i wont be watching a sport i have followed passionately for more than twenty years like most people on a normal wage with children to feed i cant afford sky. if its ten live races and ten highlights i like many others would have preferred the BBC not to have kept F1 and let it go to ITV CH4 or even CH5 at least it would have been live

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    To everyone moaning about only having half a season to watch, I'm really dissapointed with this decision too, but I'd rather have half a season live and highlights (possibly full higlights) of the other races than nothing at all.

    I can't afford Sky, so the BBC remain my only option. At least we'll still be able to follow the coming seasons.

    What I can't understand at all, though, is Bernie keeps selling this deal as being good as "There are going to be a lot more people viewing..." How??? Every Sky customer has access to the BBC, so how/why will there be more people watching?
    Complete nonsense, and I wonder what the outcome will be regarding the Concorde Agreement.

    Anyway, thank you Jake, and all at the Beeb. The coverage you've given us has been first rate.

  • Comment number 75.

    Just want to say that I agree with what seems to be the majority view on here, namely:

    1. The BBC coverage is absolutely excellent (particularly since Martin and DC became the race commentary team).

    2. I'm very upset that Bernie Ecclestone has taken this decision, which clearly puts profit above the fans' wishes (yet again).

    3. I won't be buying a SKY subscription (so I hope that the current BBC team don't all go to Sky).

    4. I don't blame the BBC for this, and I think they have probably done as much as they could to protect the fans.

    5. I love F1 but hate the way it is run.

    6. Have a good holiday.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'm conflicted about my approach to F1 next year. Do I....

    1) Stop watching F1 altogether
    2) Only watch the BBC live races
    3) Watch BBC live plus "highlights"
    4) Get Sky Sports and dump BBC altogether?

    Well the thought of (4) fills me with dread and I'd feel unclean doing this, so that one is out.
    Option (3) is unlikely as "highlights" completely kill the spectacle and flow of a race.
    Option (2) seems the least depressing, plus it supports the BBCF1 teams efforts without giving any considerations to the hijacking by Sky.
    If I can't live with option (2) after a few race weekends then I'll be off to watch some other motorsport that is completely FTA, maybe BTCC.

  • Comment number 77.

  • Comment number 78.


    Our issue is not with the BBC but those in charge, the majority of the production term clearly do the very best they can and produce BAFTA winning television.

    As licence fee payers we have a RIGHT to be angered by this immoral decision and we will not end the fight until the decision is reversed or F1 dies on its bum because of it.

    Viva la F1!

  • Comment number 79.

    Sadly, you cannot comment on Ben Gallops Blog as instructed as it was closed last night............unless it has been re-opened.

    To Jake, enjoy your time away with your family, precious times for anyone and when you return at the end of August, know this, there are very many people unhappy with this news. You work within a team of consummate professionals delivering results any broadcaster would be insane to loose, you are driving up viewing figures, you all keep the show fresh and exciting and there is just a genuine feel of having old friends around when you watch the show............I don't like loosing old friends, the banter with DC and Eddie is wonderful and Martins evolved into a truly wonderful commentator, his appetite for Hungary comment on Sunday made me chuckle. I have followed F! from a mere boy and followed it on TV for as long as I can remember, my daughters could tell you drivers, teams and principals from the minute they were able to talk as they sat with Daddy for every race so it is part of the fabric of our family, but from the end of the more. It is hard enough trying to avoid the results if you choose to watch it later on Iplayer or highlights but to loose the option to watch the races live is truly hearbreaking.
    You and the team deserve all the support and praise and Mr Gallop and his colleagues ought to review what is being said and gauge the strength of feeling and grow a set and tell Sky, sorry, NO DEAL

  • Comment number 80.

    I don't see Jake, DC, Martin or EJ being prepared to do a 50% job next year, I hope they all move over to Sky and continue their excellent coverage for 100% of the races.

    Even if they all stay at the BBC we will only have them for half the races, the BBC won't be sending them to the races they aren't covering. So I would prefer 100% decent coverage and commentary compared to 50% . . IMO it's a no-brainer, they have to go to Sky.

  • Comment number 81.

    The problem is Jake this news will mean the breakup of the BBC team all the soul and atmosphere that you: EJ.DC MB, put into the show will be lost. For a lot of the fans you four are as important as the F1 teams. Condensing 4hr in to a dog’s dinner of "F1 highlights" every other race will be a waste of your time and licence payer money. So sorry your bosses can not see this

  • Comment number 82.

    I am not sure if this is entirely the BBC's fault as it seems to me that Sky do this with a lot of shows ie see that they are popular and then outbid the current provider. I wouldn't be surprised if this is what has happened here and in the current climate, how can the BBC compete with Sky? The thing that annoyed me is the press release that stated that this is fantastic news for F1 fans. No, it is NOT fantastic news, it is quite the opposite. I don't like being patronised in this way. It would be better if the BBC has said that they are sorry but cannot afford the sole rights to F1 but thank goodness they have managed to get half of the races. Honesty is always the best policy, especially to those paying the licence fee.
    I already have Sky as Freeview signal is weak in my area but have basic package as try to keep costs down. My Husband and I have decided to pay for Sky Sports as we don't spend much on other things at the moment and this is our weekend entertainment! I bet the coverage won't be worth the huge cost, in which case we would look to cancel the subscription.
    So disappointed about this and the fact that the contract is until 2018 is very depressing.

  • Comment number 83.

    Having followed f1 all my life (40 now) I was excited when f1 returned to the bbc and I wasn't disappointed, the current coverage is fantastic (I would like to see the clock countdown return to the website though, it was a handy feature when you'r all over the world). The amount of discussion and information you provide is exceptional......but as others have said, this wil be my last season of following it, I don't have sky and I never will - Highlights just aren't enough!!

    Doesn't the BBC realise that every time they get 6 million plus viewers that 10% of the population are watching? Surely thats no small number, is it?

    Hopefully small ripples can make a wave, otherwise its farewell Formula one =\

  • Comment number 84.

    Jake - I'm criticised you many times for many things and praised you when your team has done right.

    Before I get into the meat and bones of what you've written, an excellent, well thought out and well written blog. Enjoy your break.

  • Comment number 85.

    it isnt f1 without you three JAKE/EDDIE/DAVID

  • Comment number 86.

    Maybe it's finally time to do away with the archaic concept of a BBC Licence fee. BBC could charge for it's services, and those programmes that are popular would be funded, and those that are not ... wouldn't be. I know, I know. It means that LCD programmes will 'rise to the surface' and some of the more 'specialist' programmes won't get made. But, such is progress.

    If this is unpalatable, perhaps BBC could ask viewers what they'd like to see, and who they'd like to see hosting it. We pay some BBC broadcasters waaaaay to much (I won't mention names, but the initials JR spring to mind). Perhaps if we dumped them, we could afford some of the other presenters (like JH) and also afford F1.

  • Comment number 87.

    @53 livelylefty

    I hope your comment was satirical. The BBC did not have to re-negotiate the rights deal this year. They had another year to go with the existing one. They could have insisted that any joint venture be other free to air media companies. Ecclestone has said that this deal was not his decision. And if Blaire and Brown hadn't allowed the Murdoch empire so much power under their watch Sky wouldn't have the finance to make this deal.

  • Comment number 88.

    Bernie is incredible at making deals, bit it never revolves around the fans! He is a multi millionaire, he's near on dead. Why is he trying to make more and more money. Selfish g*t.

  • Comment number 89.

    Excellent coverage again this weekend! Well done Jake and all the BBC F1 team! Thankyou for all your hard work and making F1 even bigger in the UK over the past few years!

    Everyone on here please comment on the Facebook page 'A message to F1 teams and sponsors about the BBC decision' We need as many comments and supporters as possible!

  • Comment number 90.

    I sympathise with all the UK viewers - but really, it's the money that talks and makes the decisions, are you surprised? I've enjoyed the F1 commentary this year as I watch on Abu Dhabi TV (paid cable!! but not as bad as sky), don't get Jake and Co though.
    CAN SOMEONE TEACH COULTHARD HOW TO SAY "VETTEL", It broadcasts his ignorance to the whole world, it spoils my viewing enjoyment every time he opens his mouth! Please Jake feed this on to him - Brundle can take him aside and teach him! How would he like it if he was continuously call clothheart

  • Comment number 91.

    It's unlikely that the BBC or Bernie will listen to us. Go to the sponsors. If you have a Vodafone account then ask them what they are going to do about it. Ditto Santander and all the others. They stand to have their marketing exposure slashed in half.

  • Comment number 92.

    I am horrified that the BBC has decided to stop broadcasting F1 live or maybe still full coveridge delayed. The BBC and its presenters have done a far better job than ITV and since i can no longer afford to go to any races it was a great way to follow my interest of 45+ years. I will not follow it to Sky because i cannot afford sky and secondly after the past few weeks even if i could afford it wiil not give the Murdoch family any of my very hard earned money. I can assure you i can be stubborn and this is onme occasion when that will stick. If it means farewll to my preferred entertainment at weekends so be it.

  • Comment number 93.

    #21 "I think you've fallen into the govt's trap and established the conditions under which they can insist on further cuts and eventual full privatisation."


    I agree - in fact, I can not see any case for retaining the licence fee since the BBC seems to sink to the lowest possible denominator.

    Forget about kids in schools seeing science and engineering in motion, forget the fact that F1 teams and technology firms have a bigger presence in Britain than any other country in the world.

    The BBC didn't have to cut this, but they chose to do so.

    Barbara Slater should resign immediately in the face of a very severe public backlash to her poor decision making skills.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    To me, it seems, that a simple £1 increase of the license fee this year would have provided enough money to ensure the future of F1 on BBC for years to come. Like everyone in the "public" sector, the BBC has a tough time of it with the way our government wants to approach funding such fantastic national resources. I'm sure the BBC could have saved money to secure the F1, but the BBC is about so much more than sport, and I'd have been sad to see other things cancelled because of this scenario as well.

    We need to all realise that this is the reality we're being pushed towards... the government painting that a modest £1, £5, or £10 rise in the license fee is too much for us, while such decisions mean we suddenly have to start paying £30, £40 or even £50 to get the same quality of coverage elsewhere. It's poor economics for the common householder!

    Thanks for the words Jake, Formula 1 hasn't been this entertaining for as long as I can remember, and the BBC team are a huge part of that enjoyment.

  • Comment number 96.

    This is terrible news not only for F1 fans in the UK (and those other countries lucky enough to receive the broadcasts) but for the sport itself.

    Firstly, the BBC F1 team have done an incredible job. The buzz that swept round F1 fans when the news broke that the BBC were to regain the rights has been justified - and then some. The coverage is second to none. Quantity increased and quality even more so. It has been engaging, innovative and inclusive without ever being patronising. Being able to include newer viewers while not frustrating those who are more knowledgeable is quite a skill and in my opinion has been key to the ever rising viewing figures BBC F1 has achieved. No longer do I switch over only 10 minutes before the race - the BBC have managed to make a pre race show that is engaging, entertaining and which makes those 55 minutes fly by. The forum afterwards gives time for events to be discussed in detail and again never drags.

    Without even touching on the fact that F1 will no longer be free to air (Bernie breaking one of his key promises not only to the fans but to the teams and sport itself), the quality of Sky Sports coverage will make ITV look good! Their dumbed down, cheesy, formulaic sports coverage succeeds not through quality but through having the budget to buy the rights to the biggest events. Despite these rights, Sky have failed to produce any signature piece of commentary or coverage that has remained with fans beyond the moment of success. Their notable commentators and pundits are notable only through ineptitude and/or scandal. So the fans, whether or not they can or do chose to pay for Sky Sports, will inevitably lose out.

    Viewing figures alone will make this deal bad for F1 in this its home country. The highs of this year will not be replicated by Sky who barely get above 2 million for their big draw football matches - F1 could fall down to around the 1 million mark. How can the teams, who rely on sponsorship not TV revenue, be satisfied with that.

    And unfortunately, it is inevitable that the BBC figures will also drop. Delayed broadcasts and highlights will never be as popular no matter how high the quality of BBC's production. With missing half the races per year, the live coverage will also suffer as momentum is broken.

    Yet, Bernie seems to think this is good for the sport. It is a sign of just how out of touch he has become. It would be in F1's best interests to keep the sport on the BBC - even if that meant taking a drastic drop if the money it received for the rights (it's not exactly significant in F1 terms anyway). But greed has clouded his business sense - unless of course this is merely a precursor to Murdoch's buy out from CVC.

    Meanwhile, the fans and the sport will suffer.

    Jake, Martin, DC, Eddie, Ted, Lee, Crofty, Ant, Sarah, Natalie & everyone else in the BBC F1 team - thank you for three years of the best coverage that F1 has ever had (or seems likely to have). Your hard work has been hugely appreciated.

  • Comment number 97.

    BBC, pleased do us, your customers a favour - let another free to air channel take over the f1 coverage!!! That way you'll stop wasting our license fee (I personally don't want you to spend my money on only 10 races) and give us, the fans, our sport back!!

  • Comment number 98.

    Thanks Jake for your great coverage. You all do a great job, however I feel the fans are being very badly treated. The cost cutting excuse doesn't wash I'm afraid. I believe the BBC's move to Salford is costing £900m!!!.How about the BBC only show half the episodes of Strictly or Eastenders, then having highlights of the rest. Sounds daft, well thats what the BBC wants us to be given. Personally I won't be watching, just as I gave up watching Premiership football, then F1 will go the same way. I wouldnt have Sky it even if I could afford it( which I can't).

  • Comment number 99.

    One quick thing regarding the licence fee. If the BBC was funded by advertising, we'd still have to pay for that anyway, through prices at the supermarket etc.

  • Comment number 100.

    Sponsorship wont be effected by this move...just look how it was effected when football moved to Sky from BBC.

    Would like to take this opportunity to say good luck to Eddie, DC and Martin next Season at Sky.

    From next season I will be watching RTL German TV for live F1.


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