Posted on December 7, 2011

The on screen team has been announced which will lead Sky’s F1 coverage when it kicks off a new six year contract next season. It features five presenters who have been employed on F1 by the BBC this season, as the Pay TV broadcaster flexes its muscles and raids the Corporation’s staff roster. Radio 5 Live’s David Croft will be lead commentator, with Martin Brundle moving into a role like the one Andy Gray used to have in football for Sky; live colour commentator, chief pundit and lynchpin of the operation. His hiring is the main coup for Sky and More…

Posted on November 25, 2011

This is the last F1 race before Sky come into the sport and start their blanket pay TV coverage which will run until at least 2018. It will be a big change in the way F1 fans in the UK watch the sport. Meanwhile BBC has released details of the 10 races it will cover live. Sky wants to appeal to F1 fans, giving existing subscribers another reason to continue paying, avoiding the dreaded “churn” as it is called when subscribers cancel. And it hopes to attract at least 150,000 new subscribers, which would be roughly the break-even point against More…

Posted on September 2, 2011

According to a report in today’s Mirror, a member of the coalition government, who sponsored a motion against News International, has called for the BBC director general Mark Thompson to explain how the BBC/Sky F1 deal came about. Under the deal, BBC will show only 10 of the 20 races, the rest will be on a SKY pay platform. In a letter to Thompson, which was leaked to the Mirror, Lib Dem MP Don Foster says, “I do not believe plans to share coverage between the BBC and Sky promote the best interests of licence fee payers and motor racing More…

Posted on July 31, 2011

Since the bombshell was dropped on Friday that F1 in the UK is to be taken over by pay TV channel SKY, with BBC being only bit part players on the scene, the fan reaction has been very strong with 81% of a poll sample of 5,000 JA on F1 readers saying that they will not buy a SKY package to watch F1. We’ve had 1,400 comments in 48 hours on the subject, with some very eloquently expressions of regret and anger. Here is my selection of the best of them: Ed Arran writes

Posted on July 30, 2011

This evening I’ve managed to get a much clearer picture of how the new SKY/BBC TV deal in the UK is going to work and it’s not what many people think. First the subject of what the BBC will show on the 10 weekends when SKY has the exclusive live rights. Although FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh says he has had assurances from Bernie Ecclestone today that the race will be shown in its entirety a few hours delayed on free to air, BBC sources say that this is not the case and that the show will be around 75 minutes, More…

Posted on July 29, 2011

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has given a cautious welcome to the news that F1 in the UK will be partly on Pay TV and partly on terrestrial as SKY will share the coverage with BBC. Whitmarsh has long maintained his position that Free to Air is the model the teams wan and he seems to be trying to force Ecclestone into a position where the BBC will show entire race deferred on Free to Air TV, a few hours later. The financial package is also clearly attractive enough to teams, who share 50% of all the sport’s commercial revenues. I’ve More…

Posted on July 29, 2011

Ben Gallop the BBC’s Head of F1 has posted a blog on the BBC Sport website in response to what he calls “considerable reaction” – in other words the many thousands of comments both to the BBC and other websites – from F1 fans. Gallop says that sports TV has now entered what he calls a “mixed economy” where large free to air broadcasters can no longer expect to cover big sporting events exclusively and must accept some sharing with pay channels, citing the Champions League as an example. Gallop argues that the BBC had to scale down the amount More…

Posted on July 29, 2011

Bernie Ecclestone arrived in the F1 paddock at 2pm this afternoon and is set to meet with the F1 teams after the ninety minute practice session to discuss the SKY/BBC F1 broadcast deal which was announced this morning. Both Ecclestone and the teams have made it clear in the past that F1 must remain on Free to air TV and yet the Sky part of the deal, where they will broadcast all 20 F1 races and practice sessions live, would seem to contradict that. I’ve spoken to FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh in the last hour and he says that the More…

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