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New F1 deal explained

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Ben Gallop Ben Gallop | 12:54 UK time, Friday, 29 July 2011

We announced today that from next season the BBC will be sharing coverage of Formula 1 with Sky Sports.

There has been considerable reaction to the news so I feel it's important to explain some of the background behind what has happened.

The headline is that under a seven-year deal starting next season, we will be showing 10 of the races in the F1 calendar, plus the corresponding qualifying and practice sessions, live on BBC TV.

We will broadcast extended highlights for the rest of the grands prix just a few hours after the chequered flag has been waved. Sky will have live action from all races, qualifying and practice sessions.

There has been a great deal of unsettling speculation recently about F1 rights. Amid all the rumour and counter-rumour, our production and on-air team have shown huge professionalism, dedication and expertise to keep delivering the high quality output that has become the trademark of our coverage.

The speculation is now over. This new arrangement extends the BBC's commitment to F1 by a further five years - our existing contract, which gave us exclusive rights in the UK, was due to expire in 2013. But of course it does mean our coverage will not be as comprehensive as it has been in recent years.

So why are we sharing the coverage with Sky when up to now it had just been us?

Ultimately, of course, decisions about which media organisations get the chance to broadcast F1 are taken by Bernie Ecclestone's Formula 1 Management (FOM). But from the BBC's perspective the new set-up provided us with an opportunity to continue our association with this gripping sport, which has captured the imagination of our audiences since it returned to BBC screens in 2009, with viewing figures at a 10-year high this season.

And while our coverage from 2012 may not be as extensive as it has been up to now, the bare facts are that the BBC needs to save money. Given the financial circumstances in which we find ourselves, we believe this new deal offers the best outcome for licence-fee payers.

In a sense this partnership with Sky is another example of how the landscape of sports broadcasting has been transformed in recent years. There was a time when the BBC and other public service broadcasters could expect to televise all the big sports themselves. Now though we have a 'mixed economy', with some events on satellite while others are on terrestrial.

And although this may be the first time the BBC has shared Formula 1 with another broadcaster, there is a long-standing pattern of partnerships between free-to-air and pay TV to cover major sports. So the Champions League can be watched on both Sky and ITV; US Masters golf is now shared between ourselves and Sky (with audiences for that event up this year); and then of course there is the Premier League - with live games on Sky and ESPN, while our ever-popular highlights programme Match of the Day keeps football fans entertained on a Saturday night.

This new F1 arrangement will allow us to tell the story of the whole F1 season for BBC viewers, while providing extended access to the biggest moments in the calendar: including the glamour of Monaco, the excitement of the last race of the season, plus the British grand prix at Silverstone, which remains one of the highlights of the UK's sporting summer.

In addition to our award-winning TV output, we will continue with our exclusive radio coverage on 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra as well as our comprehensive F1 website and mobile services and the regular broadcasts on BBC News outlets. We know F1 fans appreciate the extensive multi-platform coverage we offer and, as well as capturing those big moments on TV, we pledge to keep audiences up to date with all the news and action throughout the season, wherever they are.

You will appreciate these are early days, with much still to decide, including some of the detail around our own production. We will let you know as soon as there is more to say on that front - but in the meantime there is the small matter of the 2011 season to focus on.

Ben Gallop is the BBC's Head of F1


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  • Comment number 1.

    Not good enough Ben.
    Not everyone can afford Sky, not with rising fuel and food prices.
    F! has priced me out of going to Silverstone, now the BBC has priced me out of watching on telly.
    Not sure I can be bothered watching half a season. 2011 has been brilliant coverage from the BBC. After that, I am done.

  • Comment number 2.

    Two simple words - sell out.

  • Comment number 3.

    This is a complete sell out. To watch the entire season in HD, as we do now, we, the licence fee payers now how to pay Sky twice, once for the sports channel and then again for HD. We are losing out to the greed of Sky and FOM. Shame on the BBC and Bernie Ecclestone for this shoddy deal

  • Comment number 4.

    Given that F1 NEEDS FTA coverage in some shape or form, is it not true that had you not got into bed with Sky, Channel 4 could have the rights and all races would remain live and free to air?

  • Comment number 5.

    "The headline is that under a seven-year deal starting next season, we will be showing 10 of the races in the F1 calendar, plus the corresponding qualifying and practice sessions, live on BBC TV."

    No, the headline is that Bernie, the BBC and Sky have shafted the F1 fans for the sake of money, yet again.

    If I had a crack team of lawyers at my disposal I would have them picking through how the BBC have managed to break a contract that still had 2 years to run.

  • Comment number 6.

    "considerable reaction" Really I wonder why that would be? 1) One loosing the rights to a pay to view sucks. 2) giving up on a done deal is just Plain stupid and an Insult to fans of F1. Shame on the BBC.

  • Comment number 7.

    Why can't somebody just admit that you've spent far too much on the Olympics and something has to give.

    Ask yourself this - do you think 6 million people are going to watch the Olympic torch being carried across Britain for 70 days?

    I think you could have found the money from somewhere else.

  • Comment number 8.

    So what will happen to Jake, DC, Eddie, Brundle et al? Will Sky offer them megabucks to transfer or are they going to be loyal to the beeb?

  • Comment number 9.

    Is there a prospect of the BBC showing time-delayed full race coverage for the races that Sky are showing? Or will we only get highlights of those races on the BBC?

  • Comment number 10.

    Why does F1 feel the need to treat its fans like dirt?

    If the BBC needs to make saving then look no further than BBC3

  • Comment number 11.

    Will the current team remain in place for coverage that is shown?

  • Comment number 12.

    My reaction to the news was - why bother?

    Those who want to see F1 live will have to pay Sky for the privilege anyway, so who does the BBC think will tune in for live races that are shown on terrestrial?

    A far, far better idea would have been to televise all races live, but without sending BBC personnel to each event. Brundle, Coulthard, Jordan etc could do just as good a job from a studio in Salford.

  • Comment number 13.

    Audiences at a 10 year high, so slap em in the face for their support. Terrible decision...

    Why did you not give us the option to pay a premium for our coverage - you could have broadcast the other 10 races online and I would happily have paid for the top-class coverage the BBC gives. Sky coverage won't be a patch on what we have now....such a shame.

  • Comment number 14.

    oh no.. does this mean ads back in F1?

  • Comment number 15.

    This is outrageous! and I can't believe you say it's to save money!!! If the BBC needs to save money so do I! I want the BBC to cut my TV licence by 50% just as you have the F1 coverage... that is all I watch on BBC! Total joke!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    A quick bit of fag packet maths says that to watch all the F1 races in HD next year means that if you don't already have Sky it will cost an extra £43 per non BBC live race.
    In November when the BBC exclusivity ends I will be cancelling my Licence fee direct debit as it was the only thing I watched on the BBC. (I already have Sky)

  • Comment number 17.

    So how much have the BBC recouped from Sky for reducing their coverage next season and the season after? I think we are entitled to know. I fo one will not be watching the sky coverage and F1 will be poorer for it.

  • Comment number 18.

    Does this mean the BBC has cut short its previous agreement - due to expire in 2013? Whilst I'm sure Sky will give high quality coverage, as they do with other sports, it seems that budget cuts are now biting the quality of what the BBC can afford.

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh we get radio on 5live I feel privilidged! NOT!

  • Comment number 20.

    It's a really sad day for F1 fans in the UK. Personally, I watch all races and qualifying live. I can't stand highlights shows. In case nobody's noticed, there's a recession on, I've just taken a 10% pay cut and I can't afford (nor do I want) a Sky Sports subscription. I see F1 losing a massive audience share due to this crackpot decision by Bernie. Still - he's not bothered. As long as the money's already in his wallet he couldn't give a damn if nobody watches on TV.

  • Comment number 21.

    What a load of pointless spin, what the BEEB and FOM are shying away from is the fact that this break the concord agreement between cvc,fom and fota.

    F1 will lose MILLIONS of viewers and any credability the current BBC production/presenting team have forged of the the last few years.

    I have loved this sport for over 20 years and I increasingly feel that 2011 will be the last season I bother :-(

    I hope the £900 million move to Salford and what ever the olympics is costing is worth it........................

  • Comment number 22.

    wow, what a bad move for F1. Who would want to watch half a season of anything? Showing highlights is no substitute I'm afraid. Sorry Bernie, you might just lose me.

    I hope Martin doesn't sell out to Sky, he has done an awesome job and I hope he makes a stand (as well as the rest of the bbc team, eddie, david etc)

  • Comment number 23.

    Or to summarise: "we've wasted £900million on the 'decentralisation' to Salford and now we havent got any money left to make programmes."
    Epic mismanagement teamed with Eccleston's greed.

  • Comment number 24.

    I have been watching F1 free since 1964, youve just lost a viewer. I refuse to pay for sports on television

  • Comment number 25.

    In terms of how much the F1 coverage costs the BBC per viewer, I imagine it is not as expensive as other shows. Plus £900m to move your sports departments, now THAT is a lot of money. How much will the Olympics cost the BBC?

    I will not be forced into lining Murdochs pockets, so I will not be watching F1 at all as of next year.

    The BBC has done an amazing job with F1. But what is the point in watching half a season? You may as well not show it at all and save yourselves even more money, it will help nicely towards the Olympics I'm sure.

  • Comment number 26.

    Sorry but Sold out by the bbc Thanks

  • Comment number 27.

    Its stuiped the fact FOM dont give a damn about there fans and only the cash! i have to no pay around £25 a mounth!!! for sky sports just so i can watch the sport i love, F1 on bbc has been bloody amazing why change it!!!!

  • Comment number 28.

    The BBC keep saying "extended highlights". What does that mean? How long will the highlights programme be?

    Completely the wrong decision by the way. The BBC has lost a lot of good will from F1 fans today.

  • Comment number 29.

    i am not happy with this at all !!!!!!

    Yes it saves the bbc money but what about us the customers ??? Now to enjoy F1 in its entirity we will now need to pay £35 + a month to sky !!!!

    Also is there any future guarentee that F1 will not be completely on sky in the next 10 years after a new concorde agreement with FOTA etc. Will F1 go the same way as test match cricket and be satellite exclusive after the teams have enjoyed the extra revenue that BSkyB will put in.

  • Comment number 30.

    Will there be anything shown online or on the Red button when Sky are showing live??

  • Comment number 31.

    "Given the financial circumstances in which we find ourselves, we believe this new deal offers the best outcome for licence-fee payers"

    What about the fact that under the current concorde agreement, FOM has to give TV rights to free-to-air stations in key territories including the UK. But in agreeing this share scheme with Sky, the BBC has merely condemned F1 fans to a world where we only get to see half the races unless we pay for Sky.

    If the BBC had stood firm, Ecclestone would have been forced to look at giving coverage to another free-to-air broadcaster which might not have included sharing the rights with Sky.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm ashamed of the BBC for letting this happan I can't afford SKY and I feel coverage on sky with other sports has been poor at the of times best. It seems there doing this to cut costs, which could be done by getting ride of programs that are all round poor Eastenders springs to mind or they could just say no to goverment telling them what to do.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's a waste of money, might as well have nothing and save yourself more. The worst of both worlds, and all the spin is just insulting.

  • Comment number 34.

    No. You need to rethink this. You need to re-open negotiations with Bernie. Do it today. We don't need justifications. We need you to fix this.

  • Comment number 35.

    Wasn't there any chance of doing a deal of spliting it with ITV or CH4 instread of SKY.

  • Comment number 36.

    Very sad day indeed this. This move could effectively kill off F1. I will continue to show my support to the BBC. But for the first time in years as of 2012 im actually going to miss live coverage of a Grand Prix.

  • Comment number 37.

    So the BBC commitment to sport is further diluted. Perhaps my commitment to the annual licence fee could be further diluted? You have lost live premier league football, test cricket, any live cricket, 1/2 F1 racing just for a start.
    How long before the BBC pulls all sports coverage?

  • Comment number 38.

    It's a real shame that the BBC has made the decision to save money by cutting full F1 coverage. It's all well and good stating that Bernie Ecclestone has the final say, but if BBC had made a competitive offer, we wouldn't all be typing these comments now. Having been drawn back to F1 since it has been on BBC, i don't know how bothered i'll be about it, knowing that if i want to watch it all, i'll have to pay in the region of £50 a month. I already pay my licence fee.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is a terrible decision, and essentially turns the BBC into an extended advert for Sky. 'Tune in to Sky Sports to see next weeks race...' And need we remind ourselves of this:

    Sky have been trying to buy the TV rights from us for a long time, but we won’t because they are not free-to-air broadcasters. With their viewing figures it would be almost impossible for teams to find sponsors. That would be suicidal.” - Bernie Ecclestone, May 2011.

    If the BBC are claiming this is down to cost-cutting, I would remind them of the 400 reporters and technicians they sent to Glastonbury, the 250 people they sent to cover the 1 year to go until the Olympics thing in London. The 6 million pounds they pay Moyles and Clarkson.

    Cost-cutting should not mean we no longer get to see the programs we want to see.

    Help us FOTA, you're our only hope. Break away formula anyone?

  • Comment number 40.

    Sorry for not making a reasoned or sensible argument. But all I can say is, you suck. How the hell is this the best deal for the fans? Why is the BBC dumping something that at at one point last weekend had a 45+% audience share? Why have you given up your contract 2 years early? I'm speechless, I really don't know what to say.

  • Comment number 41.

    It's a terrible mess. If the BBC wanted to save money, you could have presented the show from a studio and taken the world feed, sending a handful of people to the races. The rights aren't actually that expensive when you contrast it against some other high-profile BBC expenditure, and the viewing figures and market share are incredible.

    Personally, I think a better outcome would have been for the BBC to back out completely and let another FTA broadcaster (ITV or C4) take the rights, even with the adverts. At least that way I wouldn't be in the position of having to choose between the worst free coverage since the 80s, or paying around £500 for 20 races, 10 of which I can get free of charge.

    Horrible decision.

  • Comment number 42.

    "And while our coverage from 2012 may not be as extensive as it has been up to now, the bare facts are that the BBC needs to save money"

    Fair enough however the BBC have done it in the total wrong way, dropping the F1 forum or pre/post race coverage (even though they are great) and just showing the sessions would save money and be much better than the current soultion.

    The fact is that a move to pay TV for F1, even just a partial move, will drop viewer ratings as the less dedicated fans will not pay for Sky TV especially for F1. Less viewers means less fans therefore this decision can ONLY be bad for the sport.

  • Comment number 43.

    I fully accept your predicament, and how you have been put up to "explain" what the BBC is doing

    My difficulty is that the BBC seems to have money to pay "talking heads" at Wimbledon, Golf, Athletics, et al. It can also find half a million to build a studio for the World Cup in South Africa and take 300+ staff to cover the football there. But at the same time it just can't find the dosh to cover F1

    Some have said the coverage of sport on the BBC should start at the time the event kicks off, and ends when the final result arrives

    If that rule was followed, F1 could continue

    After the present deal expires, the BBC will no longer be able to show F1 live

    In the meanwhile, who wants to watch "highlights" late at night when the result is known? Grow up!

    A very sad day

  • Comment number 44.

    Ok I can see the reasoning behind it, but as License payers would it not have been nice to have been asked what we thought before the deal went ahead. We put up with years of substandard broadcasting from another channel before the BBC took it back. The coverage you have been giving has been excellent, and now you want to spoil it all by only showing 50% of the complete races. Not everyone has Sky, me for one and have no desire to get it either. I pay for a license so I can watch decent programmes so why should I have to pay again to Sky to watch the other 50% of a programme I have watched for years. Highlights are ok, but never the same as you miss most of the race. Very disappointed indeed

  • Comment number 45.

    yeah didnt this already happen a few years ago with f1 on sky? bbc are a joke, its bad enough golden league athletics is mostly on the red button, now you lot have lost half the races! I suppose the blow would be softened if we knew the cost cutting was really that but most of us know thats really not the case, gotta get those bonuses from somewhere eh guys

  • Comment number 46.

    What an absolute load of rubbish, one of the most entertaining programmes on the BBC, race weekends will not be the same again, money saving idea - scrap Eastenders and the Apprentice, rubbish programmes. Still we can always watch the repeats of past programmes that fill the BBC.

  • Comment number 47.

    Whilst BBC F1 fans have been hoping the BBC would keep F1 on after 2013, this isn't what we we're looking for. And, to be honest, I don't think we'll ever be "happy" with it.

    We're told every week by the BBC team that viewing figures for the races are rising with each passing week. Whilst we realise that that doesn't mean that money doesn't need to be saved somewhere, we're devastated that the BBC (and FOM) have decided to take away coverage from us.

    That's what this is, after all -- removal of coverage. Sure, you can say that the BBC will still cover F1 for years to come, which it will technically, but let's be honest here. The season is 20 races long, not 10. We, as massive BBC F1 fans want to see each race, and we want the best coverage possible -- not just some news updates and highlights. We sit and watch hours upon hours of coverage because we are passionate about the sport, and want to see it succeed. I believe it was growing as a sport whilst at the BBC, because the heart of the sport is in the UK, and the BBC is the heart of British TV coverage.

    The BBC has been simply outstanding in its coverage of the sport since the rights were returned a few years ago, and it's a shame to see that that's about to stop.

  • Comment number 48.

    I have watched every live race on TV since 1992, whether on BBC or ITV. There was never a choice of tv channel, but the iconic Murray Walker was always the draw. Today you have Martin Brundle, not to mention Jake, Eddie, and David, all excellent, and an important part of the coverage. The only thing which will keep me watching BBC coverage (after ive annoyingly had to purchase a Sky Sports subscription) is if you keep all of those guys onboard. If Martin,Jake & co. go to Sky, i go to Sky. I fear many will feel the same as i.

  • Comment number 49.

    can't believe this is happening im not paying Rupert Murdoch anything and im not watching half an f1 season terrible decision altogether f1 is dying now it's going to sky

  • Comment number 50.

    You say TEN grand prix live on the BBC, you have mentioned Monaco,British & the last grand prix of the season, who decides the other seven grand prix??

  • Comment number 51.

    Ben - we all love F1 on the BBC. BBC's coverage of F1 has revolutionised how we watch, and has helped old and new fans re-connect with the mad world that is the F1 circus. And I am incredibly happy to pay my licence fee for this service.

    The problem with this deal is that all that hard work you've all put in is going to be undone. Casual fans aren't going to want to watch half a season, in fact, they will be more likely to turn off, and Sky won't get half as many viewers watching as the BBC did. This inconsistency is going to turn viewers off of F1, simply because of the lack of it being on the same station (and the other half 'locked' behind a 'paywall') and the lack of the same commentators, reporters etc. The BBC aren't going to enjoy the same audience numbers - neither are Sky, and ultimately the ones who are missing out are the ones who make the sport - the fans.

    It's a rather sad moment all round for F1.

  • Comment number 52.

    If the BBc need to save money the answer is simple get rid of BBC3 & 4 stop producing the rubbish shown during the day and cancel Eastenders Then give us back our F1 during 2010/11 the F1 coverage has been the best ever what I have seen of SKY sports is terrible I will never subscribe to this overpriced organisation just to line the pockets of Murdock and Bernie. BBC you have made a big mistake.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a load of unmitigated garbage.

    Either show all of the races or none at all.

    We are now being forced to pay to watch them on Sky anyway if we want to see the whole season, so why bother wasting the license fee on half the races?

    At least now the BBC will have more money to spend on pointless reality shows, Eastenders and banal period dramas.

  • Comment number 54.

    Your reaction is what really angers me. You are not fighting hard enough for your BAFTA award winning production team or all of us who believe F1 should be free to air. I do not hold the BBC responsible for the loss of the exclusive rights, that is probably Bernies fault, but I do think you should be reflecting the obvious disappointment we all feel. A deal with Channel 4 was what could have saved the situation.

  • Comment number 55.

    If the contract signed in 2009 was to deliver exclusive coverage of F1 on the BBC until the end of the 2013 season why have 2 years been dropped from this contract?

  • Comment number 56.

    £45 million allegedly spent on F1 per year. £900m on moving the BBC HQ. Cost of BBC3 per year £115m.

    F1 gets sometimes around 47% of TV viewers. I doubt BBC 3 has ever got past 10%

  • Comment number 57.

    Very poor decision. Both from Bernie and from the BBC.
    I will not pay for Sky Sports just to watch F1, there is nothing else it shows I am interested in.
    I have no interest in watching repeats.
    I have no interest in following a sport where I can only see half the events.
    There are so many things to invest my free time in and now F1 is not one of them.

  • Comment number 58.

    Just to get this straight has the BBC given up exclusive rights to F1 in 2012 to give us half a season from 2012 to 2018? I know which I would have preferred. I doubt I'll bother watching half a season.

    I understand the need to save money, but were other options, such as a joint bid with ITV/C5 etc. considered to keep F1 free to air?

  • Comment number 59.

    This is a total disgrace, whilst the ITV coverage was bad, at least it was for every race.

    This is a real snub to loyal F1 fans who give commitment to a sport that has clearly gone the same as football - all about the money, not about the fans!

  • Comment number 60.

    It'll be back to the bad old days of trying to avoid hearing the results of the race until watching the highlights show. Which means avoiding News 24, Twitter, Facebook etc. Ultimately it probably means I'll be watching a lot less F1, especially if it turns out the ones the BBC does get are the dull ones like Valencia and Borerhain or all the 6am Asian ones.

  • Comment number 61.

    @UKDelenn Post 1.

    Spot on. My thoughts exactly.

  • Comment number 62.

    Really disappointed with the BBC. It is really telling that this news comes out AFTER a deal is done. I think everyone at the BBC knew the kind of reaction they would get if this idea came out beforehand.

  • Comment number 63.

    Either show it or don't, don't show half of it so everyone who wants to watch a whole season has to pay twice for it. So much effort must have gone into producing such great coverage over the last few years and that will be wasted from next season onwards. Shambles.

  • Comment number 64.

    as with a lot of others reading this news today I do not have any problem with the BBC or the coverage they produce for F1 over the season. it is some of the finest sports coverage that is made anywhere at present. My problem is that I will not be able to watch half of next years season as I can not afford the subscription to watch it on sky. I have no interest in football, Golf or wrestling (the mainstay of sky sports) and as such will cost approx £30 per grand Prix to watch (£300 extra subscription per year for the 10 I won't be able to watch on the BBC). I hope sportscar racing such as the Le Mans series, Moto GP, Dakar and touring cars are not going to follow the same route (I don't class eurosport in the same class as sky sports).
    I can only hope the F1 teams stand up to Bernie if they are able to and think of the fans instead of their pockets.

  • Comment number 65.

    Ben, pick up the phone and talk to Bernie. Sort this out

  • Comment number 66.

    "And although this may be the first time the BBC has shared Formula 1 with another broadcaster" Not true! I recall F1 being on BBC and BSB/Sky in the early 1990's

  • Comment number 67.

    The powers that be have a lot to answer for. Its a very sad day for the sport I've loved my whole life, sold out.......

  • Comment number 68.

    £610 a year to watch live F1 Races on Sky .......... £610 oh and then there's the licence fee on top of that. I would be happy to pay more in licence fee to the BBC rather than Murdoch.... (oh come on we all know he's going to buy it anyway no matter what the result of the hacking scandal). Also BSkyB just post a 15% fall in yearly profits! - well looking forward to sky's erm..... "okish coverage"

  • Comment number 69.

    I thought it was clear in the agreement between bernie and the teams that in major european countries formula 1 had to be live and free to air, when i got sky sports for the ashes in 2009, that cost me £26 a month on top of the cable subscription, that wouldnt fit my definition of free. I feel as if any form of delayed broadcast, especially if it is just highlights, takes away from the magic of live sport. This is even more important in a sport like formula 1 where the action is very much result oriented, as opposed to football where people will often watch match of the day to see a spectacular goal.

    Hopefully the teams will find a hole in the agreement, as i think it would be awful for the sport in this country to require a subscription to watch, and given this country is probably where formula 1 is biggest, could well stretch the budgets even further as sponsors pull out.

  • Comment number 70.

    Oh and the BBc are well known for throwing money around for exuberances such as the Election. I could have covered the election as well as the BBC for a tenner. Spend money well and you'll be able to afford brilliantly produced shows.

  • Comment number 71.

    What a load of rubbish. This deal stinks for those who do not already have sky for other sports.

    "This new arrangement extends the BBC's commitment to F1 by a further five years"

    No it doesn't. It just shows how little respect you have for the fans. I have no inclination, nor the disposable income, to take out a new sky subscription at at cost of around £500/year and I don't think that I am the only one.

    Only showing half the races? Seriously? Why don't you save money by only showing half a series of Strictly Come Dancing? Or half of Wimbledon? Sound ridiculous? That's because it is. To be honest, I'd rather you scrapped F1 completely than only do half a job.

    This is an absolute joke and whoever came up with this idea should be fired immediately, along with those who approved it. Now that's how you could save some money.

  • Comment number 72.

    5 out of 10 Ben, its just not good enough.

    Someone needs to explain to me why I would watch half the races on BBC, if I have to pay for sky then Ill watch the races there.

    I just wish I could stop you lot from forcing me to pay for the BBC

  • Comment number 73.

    As Bernie and F1 have always taken the line that F1 should be free to air for maximum audineces there is no way to dress this up as good news for anyone but Rupert Murdoch. Better to go back to ITV and advert breaks than this..

  • Comment number 74.

    Also comparisons to sport such as football are meaningless, for football if there is a match on Sky, chances are there is a different on on terestiral TV too around the same time, with F1 it could be months between different GPs on BBC1.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    Many people refuse to deal with Sky. The recent News International relevations have obviously been ignored.

    I have watched F1 for over 30 years And have now been SOLD OUT by the BBC so you can pay excessive wages.

    I will NOT watch Sky and will not watch half the season on BBC. Whoever dreamed this up should be sacked. Everyone looses except Murdoch.

  • Comment number 77.

    Cheers BBC F1 - I bought a nice new HD TV at the start of the year to watch F1 HD thru Freesat HD and now I have to pay about 500 quid a year to watch it on SKYHD (After youve seen it in HD youd NEVER go back to SD) so youve just wasted my time and money. F1 is literally the only thing I watch on TV - I work most of the time and listen to music mostly so I'll be cancelling my License and turning my nice new TV into a giant PC monitor - all perfectly legal as far as I know. Thanks for nothing BBC!

  • Comment number 78.

    I just have one question.

    Did the BBC explore every possible avenue of ensuring all grands prix were on free to air TV next year?

    As the company's due is to work for the licence payer, even working to have some races on Channel 5 or ITV4 would have been better.

  • Comment number 79.

    It would have been better for the BBC to say "no deal", and let the Concorde agreement take effect in blocking Sky from purchasing it. Then the price would have to come down, and the BBC could then re-enter negotiations vs channel 4/5.

  • Comment number 80.

    If the BBC had coverage until 2013, why have they bent over backwards and had half a season ripped away from them?

    Absolute disgrace. I can guarantee the money the beeb will save will no doubt be wasted on some other rubbish like ANOTHER period drama.

    Well done BBC. Well done.

  • Comment number 81.

    Please don't go to the trouble of explaining this deal next year, I won't be watching. You've sold F1, it's fans and dare I say it the team that have brought compelling TV to the bbc for the past couple of years, up the swanny.

  • Comment number 82.

    I am normally a rational and reasonable person but I am furious. I will not be watching Formula One on Sky or on the BBC from now on. The BBC in general I will no longer support as blindly as I once did. Very, very unhappy.

  • Comment number 83.

    In the end, everything is down to money - it's a commercial world and the BBC has to be commercial too.

    The BBC has developed the F1 coverage in the UK to record levels of viewing, as you mention, and has won a deserved BAFTA in the process.
    In the "real" commercial world you do one of two things in this situation . . .
    (a) Pat yourselves on the back and continue to reap the benefits of the structure you have, and in the process deprive your competitors of their peak time audience, or
    (b) sell the concept on to maximise on the return of your investsment.

    However, you choose to do neither. Obviously (b) cannot happen. You cannot sell the package on in total. So you chose not to take option (a) either.

    The BBC obtains enormous revenues for what it sells on to the rest of the world, and the award winning F1 coverage is amongst those products. This must be one of the most powerful markening tools for the BBC in developing international markets for it's other products. But you decide to kill off one of the BBC's most prominent products in this arena, one that goes to so many countries.

    To these points you have offered not the slightest glimmer of a justification for your decision.

    In short - you are totally out of touch with your viewers . . .the ones that provide you with record statistics . . . even when a program has to be rain-extended for Canada managing to hold those viewers (and attract many new ones) for several hours.

  • Comment number 84.

    Well I reactivated my id to vent my spleen over this proposterous sell-out... veiled (unsuccessfully) as A Good Thing...

    18 posters beat me to it... Rubbish, BBC Sport, Rubbish... you should be ashamed!

    Fat lot of good half a season is...

    F1 is not like Premier League... you can't watch "the other match"... and you don't even show GP2 and GP3.

    What a let down.

  • Comment number 85.

    this news really has ruined my day, i can't afford sky especially not with sky sports, unless the highlights show is lengthened its pointless as it already misses a huge amount of the racing. whats the point of watching half a season with a cut down show. axe bbc 4 or one of the other pointless networks no one actually watches, i would have much rather paid double for my license fee than loose f1 on the bbc

  • Comment number 86.

    Another sell out from the BBC when it comes to sport, particulary live sport!! Don't blame Bernie E, shame on you.

  • Comment number 87.

    You're going to continue with the radio! oh well how nice!! Makes me feel all 1930's

  • Comment number 88.

    I cant tell you how dissapointing this is. As I am sure you can tell from all the responses that the BBC has seriously miscalculated the sheer level of public outcry that this will cause. After being an avid F1 fan for over 25 years, I think this will begin the process of the deconstruction of the sport we all love.

    How fitting that he BBC will be itself responsible for this after doing so much good to increase the sports appeal to the masses.

    In closing, I am hoping that the likes of Martin Whitmarsh & Christian Horner will stand up for true F1 fans as well as their sponsors. After all, the Concorde Agreement states that the coverage needs to be Free To Air. How many sponsors do you think will be happy at the prospect of the audience figures dropping off the cliff from 6m to 1m on Sky. Yes, there will be adverts, but what good will those be when no one will be watching.

    I hope the sense of the scale of British employees within F1 will take a stand and not see this agreement through. If we can take Murdoch to task for the Phone Hacking scandal, we can upset the apple cart for this deal.

    This is not over, not by a long shot. It will all get political when the teams come to renegotiate the Concorde Agreement, just watch.

    I would not want to be the BBC executives responsible for this farce.

  • Comment number 89.

    I cannot help but feel frustrated about this. Without doubt the BBC has done a first class job and i feel its team deserve far better than to become essentially 'part time' reporters.
    The Sky full time coverage is not the right combination for those of us who are fed up with the professionalism of the Beeb deing diluted by those who can simply wave a cheque book at FOM
    Bernie you have made a mistake

  • Comment number 90.

    Highlights are in no way comparable to full coverage, and full coverage of only certain races is also no good, why should I care about a race when I haven't seen the others.

    I for one will not pay £30+ pounds monthly to watch the F1, so for me this season will be the last I watch, including BBC highlights. Frankly the BBC should save themselves money and pull out completely if they're not going to show the full thing. Or even better should have allowed another free channel to share the broadcasting rights instead of Sky.

  • Comment number 91.

    It's now clear that the BBC does not have the ability to compete for season long major sports. The BBC has sold out to sky and sooner or later all sports will be pay per view only. With regards to ITV and Sky for the champions league it was 50:50 at first but now ITV only get one game per round. I think it's a shame that for the first time in about 10 years the BBC have got the F1 broadcasting right and within a few years it will all be gone. I don't understand the point of licence fee any more, the only things I watch on the BBC are F1, Top Gear and Wimbledon. F1 will be gone in a few short years, Top Gear's presenters are considering jacking it in and Wimbledon is apparently being sold off to sky as soon as 2013 (if reports are to be believed). I don't see why these cuts are being made with BBC3 and BBC4 showing nothing but repeats of programmes nobody watched in the first place. I also think I'm reflecting public opinion by saying that I expect the resignation of the director of BBC Sport.

  • Comment number 92.

    Shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you. If there is ever a vote to get rid of the licence fee then don't expect my support now. Going into bed with sky negates any reason why I should pay what amounts to a subsciption to view BBC content. If your going to let sky have everything then why should we all pay you and not just be allowed to use that money to fund a sky subscription. Shame on you.

  • Comment number 93.

    So the BBC needs to save money does it? What about the people who PAY for the BBC with their licence fees? The people who now have to pay MORE money to watch the full season of F1. When will we be given any consideration? Those who don't already have Sky Sports will have to pay £20 or more every MONTH, for 1 or 2 races a month, and will have to pay even in the off-season if they're new subscribers (12-month subs being the norm). £240 per year, £24 per race (the amounts may vary but it's a LOT of money). But oh yes, you save a measly £20 million from the £4 BILLION budget which we are forced to give you with our licence fees, and F1 in the form of Bernie Ecclestone rakes it in from Sky because 'times are hard'. The well-deserved BAFTA for the BBC's coverage will be F1's last when only the well-off can afford to watch. Thanks for nothing.

  • Comment number 94.

    I cannot believe the decision made by the BBC with regard to their F1 coverage. A contract was signed by the BBC with F1 up to the end of the 2013 season. Surely it wasn't too much for me and the rest of the f1 fans in this country to expect the BBC to honour this commitment. The BBC is already light on internationally significant sports and in comparison to the amount of money spent on EPL rights, the rights for the F1 coverage is relatively an absolute bargain. I can't believe the BBC deemed it in the interests of their viewers to end the last significant sporting event covered. The BBC should feel guilt at letting the sport go to Pay-Per-View. The sport is dependent on exposure to the largest possible audience and I hope the BBC feel remorse for the inevitable job losses up and down the motorsport world. Engineering in this country is already on a downward track and the BBC will only serve to batter and punish the few industries still thriving in the UK.

  • Comment number 95.

    I have to agree , I whats the damn point in only half the races , Absolutely pathetic , It is a huge sell out , And as you are saving cash , dont bother to send a crew or presenters etc to the races you are not covering utter waste of time . I agree we are suffering because of the overkill coverage we are going to see at the Olympics. And just WHAT is the wording of the Concorde agreement that says that F1 has to be shown on terrestrial tv ? .

  • Comment number 96.

    Oh so because we get radio and highlights of the races we miss thats good?......Sorry this explanation changes nothing.We was told that F1 would always be free to air only weeks ago by Bernie,and now we see that it was a complete lie.

    Do you think the british public aremade of money and prepared to shell out another £26 a month to watch F1?...I don't think so.Unles you watch other sports the Sky deal is a waste of money.And many begrudge paying their hard earned cash to Mr Murdoch to watch F1.Theres a recssion on if you hadn't noticed,and many simply cannot afford to pay for Sky.Watching highlights is not the same as watching the race live,as the odds are by the time highlights come on people know the result.

    Sorry but the BBC and Mr Ecclestone has sold out,and let down F1 fans and british viewers in general,for shame.How could you let Sky get in on the action when there was ITV or Channel 4 to consider.Alot of F1 fans feel the same as me,and you've damaged this sport massively.You should have axed your Wimbledon coverage instead,as F1 has always been a asset to the quality of your programming,and has many fans.This deal may well destroy F1 as we know it.

    Hang your heads in shame BBC R.I.P F1

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm just speechless. Once again the fatcats at sky get to rule the television world all because the BBC 'cant afford it'. Rubbish. All i watch on the BBC is F1 and top gear, with the occasional radio 1 show to listen to. So since you've bowed down to the mighty fatcats at sky and given them more power, do i get to pay less on my tv licence? Since YOUR making cutbacks, we should benifit too?

    No? Didnt think so.

  • Comment number 98.

    Epic fail...

  • Comment number 99.

    This is simply not good enough. Why should I pay you a license fee when f1 is the only thing I watch on your channels. F1 had 10 million viewers, wimbledon had less than half of that in 2010, but you are apparently choosing sports 'sacred' with your audience???? How could you partner with a company as unscrupulous as Sky (recent events heavily reported on by the BBC), why not partner with another free to air channel, so famillies up and down the country could continue to enjoy this sport

  • Comment number 100.

    Poor poor poor by the BBC and FOM, and i'm still forced to pay my licence fee for a bunch of channels I will now not watch at all! ITV coverage was a farce because of all the AD breaks, so here's a good idea, lets go back to that or just watch half a season! Complete joke! Yet another sell out! Agree with kb that if coverage is cut, so should our license fee! We pay for this channel, and what say do we get??? Disgrace doesn't cover it!!


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