F1 Winter Break
BBC F1 boss: The bare facts are the BBC needs to save money
BBC F1 boss: The bare facts are the BBC needs to save money
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jul 2011   |  5:11 pm GMT  |  150 comments

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 of coverage it presents for financial reasons, but the trade-off is that at least half of the F1 season will still be on free to air TV,

Ben Gallop

“The bare facts are that the BBC needs to save money, “says Gallop. “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.”

Gallop joined the BBC in 1998 after an early career as a journalist with SKY. He was made head of F1 shortly after they took over the sport in 2009.

Bernie Ecclestone met with the teams this afternoon and said afterwards,

“It’s good for Formula 1. For sure there are going to be a lot more people viewing, and a lot more opportunities for people to view, so from that point I’m very happy.

“I’ve been finalising this all night long and one or two things might change a little.”

“Sky will broadcast everything, all the races, live. The Beeb will do 50 per cent live, and when it isn’t live, they will be putting together a very good highlights package.

“They [the BBC] may yet do the whole race deferred, we have to see.”

This would make the deal similar to the model in Finland and Japan.

And his message to fans who cannot afford to take a SKY subscription?

“That’s where the problem is, “I know,” said Ecclestone. But from what I understand Sky has enormous coverage, 10 million homes.

“For those who can’t watch Sky, they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time,” he added.

As for the races, it’s not yet clear how they will be divided up, but here’s what the 20 race calendar looks like at the moment:
18 March Australian GP
25 March Malaysian GP
8 April Chinese GP
22 April Indian GP
13 May Spanish GP
27 May Monaco GP
10 June Canada GP
24 June European GP
8 July British GP
22 July German GP
29 July Hungarian GP
2 September Belgian GP
9 September Italian GP
23 September Singapore GP
7 October Japanese GP
14 October Korean GP
28 October Abu Dhabi GP
4 November Bahrain GP
18 November US GP
25 November Brazilian GP

Read the full blog from Ben Gallop HERE

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The BBC/Bernie should have tried to share with another terrestrial tv channel(s)


There has never been wprse time to be involved with Mr Murdoch,his reputation has never been lower so i don't know who thought it was a good idea to go in to partnership with BskyB re F1 coverage. The teams and theF1 bosses all go to great lengths to state how grateful they are for the fans supoort and loyalty to the sport. i cannot believe that this deal has been done. it was the BBc (a public service broadcaster funded by license fee payers) that has brought the sport to the level it has achieved in the UK. This deal has nothing to do with the enhancement of the sport. theonly thing at the heart of this deal is money. Shame on the BBC - you have just completely disregarded the fans who follow F1 avidly and sold themout. Shameon you Mr Ecclestone -howmuchmoney do you actually need- if you were actually interested in the furtherance of F1 you would never evenhave considered this deal let alone agreed. i am so angry and absolutely disgusted with the news of this deal


I agree, any other terrestrial channel maybe one from europe.

So I don't quite understand, is he saying that at present they show half the football matches on the bbc and the other half is on Sky? I don't think so the football fans would never stand for that, so why should we?

This is a very serious miscalculation on his and Bernie's part and will do terrible damage to F1. They will loose many thousands of followers from the UK who will not put up with half a service. Will we get a licence fee reduction? No I didn't think so!

As far as I and many others are concerned this will be the end of following F1.

The BTCC will have my undivided attention next year on ITV. That and MotogP if that is still to be shown or maybe only half of that too.

Whilst this makes commercial sense to some in the short term, the loss of sponsorship will kill off the sport in the long term. It will go back to the same status as Sports2000, F3 F-Renault etc ie all the normal un-televised club racing.

A black day for us all!


Bernie doesn't get it. Sky might be in 10 million homes but how many of them have 'Sky Sports' which, according to the Sky website is "...just £20.25 extra a month, or £30.50 extra a month with the HD Pack."?

We are going to see viewing sales fall and with it the amount of sponsorship the teams can generate.

Bernie says, "...they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time,”. With that statement Bernie shows that he doesn't understand what it is to be a fan, and he doesn't have any faith in the sport. Truly he's out of touch. At 80+ he should join my mother in an old people's home. He's past it and he's going to take the sport down with him.

Rubinho's Keyfob

"Bernie doesn’t get it. Sky might be in 10 million homes but how many of them have ‘Sky Sports’"

It's not even just that. Even if every single one of them had Sky Sports, does Bernie think that those 10 million homes are *IN ADDITION* to those who can already get the BBC? No, it's the same viewer base.

This deal, as I understand it, does not increase the viewer base it simply divides what's already there. Not only that, but it divides it in a way which will guarantee fewer viewers overall. There are the camp that will get (or already have) Sky Sports and will watch there, the camp who will just watch whatever the BBC manage to show, and the camp who will just switch off.

Therefore, fewer people watching overall. I don't see where the 4th camp (those who currently aren't watching but suddenly will when it's on Sky Sports) will come from.

I don't believe those involved are too stupid to have not considered that, so I'm left with the conclusion that it must simply be about the money.


It is often said that Bernie is out of touch but I feel it is the opposite.

You see F1 is struggling for sponsors and this deal will secure significant finance for teams. This is only following the successful model of other sports in this country. Please don't tell me the popularity of Football, Cricket, Rugby and Golf (all of which Sky covers comprehensively) has fallen. It hasn't the popularity has increased.

In summary Bernie is moving with the times and we must have to pay.


I already pay something like £47pm to Sky for entertainment and movies and there is no way I'm going to pay more for Sky Sports which up until now has not shown any sports that I am interested in.

If Sky allow any Sky subscriber, even those on the basic package, to view F1 then fine but if it is exclusive to Sky Sports then they have lost me as an F1 fan of 20 or more years. I'm sure I won't be the only one either...

In fact, I have been toying with the idea of scrapping my Sky subscription and jumping to freeview and this might just be the straw that breaks the camels back in that regard. I certainly won't be paying more than the current £47pm and if I still can't watch F1 while paying that much then what's the point in subscribing at all?

Let's hope my fears aren't justified.


Please, for the love of God, will someone please tell me how this means more viewers? How does having half the races on an installed base of only 10 million homes equal more viewers? What the heck am I missing?

I alos notice that FOTA are conspicuous by their absence? Here's hoping they are going to stand up for the fans and hold Bernie in contempt on the concorde agreement.


Currently it's in every household so 50% of the possible audience cannot now see the f1 with out a minimum £400 per annum spend.

Also watching it in pubs is ridiculous. I can't take my son to the pub and he lives f1, or should I say "loved" f1 as he'll be gutted if he can't see all the races.


Wayne, you just don't get it yet, do you? The UK (and Europe) is bust, its currency fast going down the drain - you no longet matter - Bernie will squeeze what he can, but Asia is the market the sponsors (i.e. F1) are interested in. In the past, did F1 care about the African viewers? No. You are the new Africans - wake up - F1 follows the money - the UK doesn't have any.

Re. your retort about the BBC - funny how Mark Thompson (Head of the Beeb) is on record as agreeing with me (last year). You have been brainwashed.


fullblownseducer, whereas now its in all the households in the UK so you did not answer the question. Also your view of the bbc is 40 years out of date.


Ten million homes is half the households in the UK.

More F1 fans will now subscribe to get their fortnightly fix, and the ones that don't want to can catch it in pubs or make do with the Beeb.

I see no problem. Will be good to see how Sky compares with the Champagne Socialist Channel (aka BBC).


Hi, what about the millions of viewers outside the UK. We in Holland have the dreadull rtl doing some tv coverage, but it is trully not worth watching. sky will be very xpensive to obtain, so Bernie and BBC thanks very much for half...


You pay the licence fee in Holland? Wow..


Well, you can only view BBC if you have a cable subscription and I very much doubt the BBC allows cable companies to relay the signal for free, so indirectly... Yes.


So it's a 'no' then.

Maybe if all you guys send £150 to the Beeb you can turn this thing around...


They could have ditched BBC4. Or not moved to Salford. Or not spend squillions on the olympics..


Anyone else feel a bit betrayed by this all?

It will now cost £43 per SKY race to watch all the races now, that's not peanuts to the man on the street.

Fine the BBC needs to save money, but so do we. Fuel and food costs are rising all the time, somethings got to give.

Yet again we are expected to dip into our pockets for something that should be free.

Maybe I will be able to just eat supernoodles for 6 months to afford the SKY coverage.


Why should it "be free"?


Not saying it should be Free. But it should be affordable to everyone who wants to watch. If that means it needs to be FTA, then fine.

Also they talked about it being important being FTA. So what happened there then ?

Tbh no going back now. Just leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of the F1 fan.


It should be free with all the sponsors advertising at every angle. You wouldn't want to start paying also for ITV/C4/5 and all those other freeview channels.


F1 on the BBC isn't free. It's compulsory for me to have a TV Licence?


Iceland Roast Beef Dinner is a snip at £1.50 a go and far better balanced nutritionally than Supernoodles for long term cost cutting!


Blade Runner

Brilliant - I haven't stopped laughing. But true.

simon mitchell

the excuses dont cut it the bbc jumped out of the deal 2 years ahead of time. the money would already of been allocated for it. why the bbc couldnt spend the next 2 years sorting out a deal to benefit the license payers with fta formula 1 is beyond me. why would you drop it so quickly and let the 6 million per race viewers down so badly by tying up with a channel that will charge us £360 per year for the same coverage without the same team or format that has won the bbc awards and has increased the popularity of f1 in the uk massivley. the bbc should be ashamed and the head of sports needs to go


Will he be paid half as much now there is half the coverage to be head of I wonder, in the spirit of cost saving...


Just heard the news. It's awful- I don't want to get Sky just to see Formula 1.


The 'bare facts' are that this is a complete cockup by the muppets at the BBC.

I'd rather ITV have kept it than BBC take it on only to realise they can't afford it and make way for SKY to come in.


There wasn't a recession when BBC took it on.

ITV were nearly skint recently, so couldn't have possibly afforded it.

For the BBC to say they have to economise is rich, having spent £900million on their Salford place 'to decentralise', & then find that many of their staff don't want to travel there & certainly not live there.

They moved north once before, found it was a flop & moved back south after a few years.

As that money was wasted, will the £900m be wasted too, plus the enormous salaries (£800,000 for Mark Thompson, Director Gen.) of their management.


A hugely wasteful organisation which then lies about its reasons for reneging on a committment to the people who put bread on its table.

Now lets hear from Wayne in support of the Beeb.


But what do this mean for the presenters?

Will Martin, Jake and DC go with the full time gig if offered it on Sky, if they aren't then will they be satified just doing half the races and the highlights?

Personally I'm gutted and feel betrayed, Bernie and the teams like it as they will get more income from it but the poor old UK licence fee payer loses out again.

I'm already a Sky customer but I will have to pay out again no doubt for their F1 package.

F1 on TV has become a much more enjoyable experience since the BBC took over with live practice sessions and for the most part very entertaining and knowledgable pundits and presenters. This is a backwards step in my opionin, I remember the last time Sky had F1 and it was a very poor show indeed. It lasted a year, fingers crossed for more of the same.


The bare facts are that the BBC has made a stupid, shortsighted business decision that benefits no one except Sky.

The bare facts are that formula 1 just committed suicide.


It also shows how weak our economy is to the rest of the world.

BBC, it would of been better to bow out on a high than admit we can't compete.


Denial that there was any problem with the deal and then bam, announcement of this. Zero consultation with the fans but if the level of vitriol today is any indication then hopefully there will be some back-pedalling to the negotiation table.

To anyone in the BBC PLEASE CONSIDER THIS. Can you not sell half the package to the fans who want it? Most fans would be in a position to pay for a season access to the non-televised races, and have the internet access to make this possible. A box to put it on a tv (Roku, AppleTV) is under £100. This is far better than paying £600 per year to Sky! I don't mind paying something but not £600. If you can sell me the other ten races for £100 I would buy it in the next 5 minutes.

In the BBC blog they explain this 'mixed-rights economy' with reference to other sports. Let me point out the differences to you.

Football - on a weekend there can be ten top tier matches, often simultaneously. Before multichannel tv there was no way to cover this terrestrially. That is why it is on Sky.

Cricket - there was no way to devote up to five days of daytime coverage on terrestrial tv. That is why it's on Sky.

Golf - there was no way to show four full days on terrestrial tv. That is why it's on Sky.

F1 - three hours, every two weeks, generally on a Sunday afternoon. In its whole history in the UK has been free to air. The whole audience base cannot be considered to already have Sky, and has a large demographic that the BBC has trouble getting otherwise.

Seriously BBC. SELL HALF THE COVERAGE DIRECTLY. We know it's tough times but to sideline us suddenly with £600 for half the season is an insult, no matter how you try and justify it.


This is true, but still leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Everything is getting monetized. Soon - websites will become channels, and you will have to buy an access package to view certain websites. Pull the plug on your own terms, before you have to go cold turkey.


Just realised how insane this whole thing is. Sky could never have gained the F1 rights without partnering with a terrestrial TV channel (the Concorde agreement would never have allowed it). Therefore if all the terrestrial channels had refused to do business with SKY, Bernie would have had no choice but to give the sole rights to one of them. One must therefore presume that either the BBC is so greedy that it didn't want channel 4 or 5 to get sole rights or that SKY was preparing to do a deal with one of the other channels themseves.


James has mentioned that it would have been C4/Sky


Reading various forums over the course of the day, I'm struck by how many F1 fans are like me - F1 being the only thing they watch on TV.

The Beeb is not 'free' - I can't actually have a TV in my home without contributing to the BBC. No one is going to come to my house & threaten me with court action if I don't subscribe to Sky even if I don't watch it.

The likely result of this decision will not only be the loss of many active F1 fans, but may push many of us to support the campaign to abolish the licence fee altogether.

If the BBC can't afford F1, then fair enough, but I shouldn't have to keep funding Antiques Roadshow & BBC4 just because I have a TV.


The BBC should have looked at their own coverage, scaling back the huge "nice to have" coverage (practice, F1 forum, hours of build-up and analysis afterwards) could well have yielded enough savings to give us all the races (the things which count) live. At c. £40 per month for Sky I won't be subscribing and will have to make do with the highlights. You have to really ask whether 10 F1 races are worth £48 each to watch on tv, £480 per year is a very decent trip to an actual event.

PS. Let's hope the perennially dull Valencia race isn't one of the 10 the BBC get.


That might save £3/4 million. THe rights are £45 million a year


Wow - some fired up fans here - but most of them are missing something. Come on, we all know, and have known for many years, that Bernie made this a big money business and his duty to the teams and shareholders has been to keep finding ways to increase the value of F1. Absolute viewer numbers don't matter. It is the money they generate that matters and if the sponsors are happy with the numbers that Sky will produce then all the key players are happy. The teams won't fight too hard against this is their share of revenue goes up ten-fold. And the other big opportunity is that Sky have digital technology that can give you multi camera viewing, data feeds and a hell of a lot more interaction and behind-the-scenes information than you get now. This was something Bernie has been under pressure to deliver for several years and he is finally doing it in a cost effective way for F1. Now, I don't get Sky - I live in Australia where costs for EVERYTHING is going through the roof, so simply couldn't afford to take a Sky (or Foxtel, as it is known here) subscription. But that means F1 isn't getting any money from me now, and they won't get any money from me in the future. No loss to them - only loss to me. As with all goods and services these days its a "user pays" model and you choose what to buy. Is it worth cutting out the weekly beers to get a Sky subscription? Do you cut out some magazine subscriptions, or cut back on the take-aways? Your choice. And, by the way, I don't have money for any of that so am hoping One HD does a deal to keep it free-to-air in Oz otherwise F1 becomes a thing of the past after 45 years. That's life in the market economy folks.


good points. agree with you totally and once the emotions die down, the air will become clearer. however i will not stop following a sport i have followed since '69. C'mon it is only recently in Oz that we have got all races 'live' unlike previous channels attempts. I do see Channel 10 carrying it on if they do not carry it on ONE HD....maybe


As license fee payers, we are not customers, customers have choices, license fee payers have rights.

Absolutely no-one, but profit makers were consulted.

This is the one thing I don't mind paying for, but now to pay twice is outrageous. I watch nothing else.

This individual should be removed from office for demonstrating a complete lack of judgement and competence.

Richard Williams

So why couldn't they do a share deal with Channel 4, 5 or even ITV? What angers me, and I presume most fans, with BBC covering ten races, we are stuck with forking out nearly £500 a year to watch the rest--essentially 90 minutes of coverage a month, equating to £40 a race. Far worse a deal than football fans who can enjoy a couple of games a week on Sky for the same price.


I think a deal with ITV would be impossible because BSkyB are the largest shareholder of ITV plc and would probably block the deal to push it towards Sky.


Er...aren't they being forced to sell said shares in ITV?


They're been forced to sell "some" shares by "some undisclosed date".


The model makes sense and tries to strike a balance.

Free on BBC.

Paid on Sky, probably with streaming to devices as option for subscribers.

In time you'll come to accept it, by choice or by force. Personally, I'm against paying for watching sports on TV. They should look to ad revenue to pay to deliver the even to me free. But you can be sure Bernie looked at UFC and got upset at the millions they clear on PPV and said - let's try this somewhere where the fans are educated and have the resources to pay.

Just an FYI - everyone here will live and survive if they don't watch F1. You can try it sometime. As it stands, it seems BBC will still ensure you won't have to live without a free fix. All of UK can protest of course by not watching F1 at all - that will get everyone's attention quickly. Fat chance of that however.


Just realised how insane this whole thing is. Sky could never have gained the F1 rights without partnering with a terrestrial TV channel (the Concorde agreement would never have allowed it). Therefore if all the terrestrial channels had refused to do business with SKY, Bernie would have had no choice but to give the sole rights to one of them. One must therefore presume that either the BBC's original bid was less than channel 4 or 5, or that SKY was preparing to do a deal with one of the other channels themseves.


I wouldn't have minded so much if there were a pay-per-view option available to terrestrial viewers, but it doesn't appear that will be the case. I really don't want pay a monthly cost to move away from my current Freeview+ set-up, in order to then pay another monthly cost for a Sky Sports subscription.

There's so much infrastructure available and so many delivery options that Sky could be using to offer content without trying to tie customers in to subscriptions - surely F1 would be the perfect platform to experiment with.


Can't you get Sky Sports on Top UP TV?


You can, James, but it's still not exactly pay-per-view even if there's no fixed contract term. £19.99 a month for Sky Sports 1, £29.99 for Sky Sports 1 & 2 and 30 days notice required to cancel, so it's unlikely you'll be able to plan in such a way that you're only paying for the non-BBC events.

That's the difficult sell, as you've said elsewhere. It's a lot of money for some to find in the first place, myself included, so when you consider that half the product you're paying for is available FTA, it's not an easy outlay to justify.


I would think it highly unlikely that F1 will be on Sports 1 or 2 as these are the channels they show Premier League matches on.

More likely F1 will be on Sports 3 or 4, which aren't (at present) available on Top Up TV.


Sky Sports 1 and 2 for around £30 per month I think. But what is the guarantee that Sky won't move the F1 to Sky Sports 3 or 4? They seem to shuffle events quite randomly to encourage buy up of the full channel sports package.


I think you need one of the Top Up TV boxes for the Sky Sports offer, rather than just giving you a CAM option (like they do with ESPN) which would have been compatible with my existing PVR.

And at £30pcm, I'd rather spend the £360 on tickets for Silverstone.


No doubt they need to save money to pay for Wimbledon and more match of the day. Shocking decision


Thing is ITV couldn't attract the advertising revenues to make the business case, not even BskyB will be able to so how would C4/C5 overcome that obstacle.

The elephant in the room is the broadcasting rights cost but BskyB is like F1, it's a cash cow and can afford the loss to make a point.


I presume this post is relating to this BBC announcement, which has had 350 replies in just 45 minutes, all of which are outraged?! That's a staggering number surely?



Ben's comments were simply a rehash of the earlier statement - he added nothing of substance to the announcement this morning. Whatever the reasons, the BBC management have royally screwed F1 fans in the UK.

We are all aware that the Concorde agreement requires major markets such as the UK to show F1 on Free-to-Air channels. The BBC didn't want to lose such a high profile event and from their point of view it makes sense to make a deal with BSkyB, but the BBC are here to take our interests into account and not their own (obviously someone very high up forgot about this).

I have already decided that if this deal does proceed then I will simply start watching the BTCC instead. Even if I were to watch next year, I have a feeling that the BBC will be lumped with the Valencia and Bahrain races...


If it's just about saving money, there's a huge list of BBC output I'd get rid of before F1.


The BBC should be ashamed of themselves.

You've just killed F1 in the UK. Viewers will quickly get fed up with watching one race live then the next week having to keep away from all media in order to watch highlights of a race without knowing the result. Stupid idea, if you don't want F1 anymore then get rid of all of it...don't treat us fans like fools with this pathetic half season rubbish.

I'm happy to pay my licence fee for programmes I don't watch or care for on the understanding that there are some shows I do want to watch like F1, but not this.

Does anyone care about the F1 fans or is it just about how much money Bernie can make ?


Perhaps SKY could stream the races live (at a lower quality to encourage subscription) so that those without their service could watch too. This could even be used to encourage people to subscribe with them as they would be allowing people a free sample of their product.


I won't be watching F1 next year. I've watched F1 for over 20 years, this will be the last.

Wonder if BBC got any money back from this deal, as i'm sure they paid loads to get it back from ITV 2 years ago?


Bernie does not give refunds.


At least half the season will be on FTA.. Do we want to sit at home waiting for the edited titbits on the non FTA days, I think not. This is victimisation of the F1 fan, if you want to watch it all you have to pay.
Strange that the F1 boss at Beeb is ex-Sky, conflict maybe. I still say it isn't legal under the concorde agreement to sub out the coverage to non FTA operators.
Anyway, I'm off to eat half a sandwich drink half a cuppa and watch half a film. Then I may just pay half my license fee.

William McCone

How about they just bin BBC3, at £115 million a year its almost 3 times as much as an F1 season and who wants constant re runs of 2 pints of later. They could of scaled back all the presenters they have attending every race. F1 will lose from this, can't see how this is in anyway good for the sport.


having the whole race deferred on the BBC would definately soften the blow, i hope that Bernie will at least grant us that luxury.


I accept that it's almost impossible for anyone in the UK media not to have been involved with News Corp/Sky in some way, but surely to avoid accusations of corruption the BBC needs to be absolutely transparent in what the details are, especially the financial details of how the money is spent *now*, and how this deal saves money. Every penny needs to be accounted for because it's the public's money.


“For those who can’t watch Sky, they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time”

What total rubbish.


You're right Stefarno,that remark is total rubbish and goes to show, in case we didn't know it, that Bernie Ecclestone is in no way an F1 fan!

Annoyed Licence Fee Payer

Reminds me of Gerald Ratner and his infamous speech in 1991.


Very right. Our product is crap so you are far better off watching edited highlights to try and make it palatable. Well, that certainly was true of previous years but not so the current era. Big foot-in-mouth moment for the old boy.


Well I read it. And like may of the comments on that blog you have to wonder about the BBC's priorities, their understanding of their own remit, their view that they have to pay top wack for talent, the jamboress for hundreds of staff for every sporting event all over the world , their insistence on maintaining minority channels like BBC 3, the sheer waste of relocating staff to Salford etc as nauseam.

It has been evident for a number of years the BBC no longer cares about sport has been more than happy to lose the rights to al the major sports in the UK.

I don't believe they looked very hard to save the total live F1 season. I dont think they understand how people are having to cut back on expenditure ( i have had a pay freeze for 4 years - but am lucky to have a job). I dont think the BBC really understand the value of sport. They really dont understand F1

I am sorry for F1 viewers in the UK. My daughter has recently become interested in it to the extent she is starting an engineering course at Uni next year. Wouldnt have happened with the on off deal this represents. Who is going to bother with highlights? Ask how Ch5 are getting on with that with the cricket.

You can see the maths add up for Sky. You can see how the maths adds up for the BBC. You can see how the maths will add up for the F1 teams who will be bought off. You can see the cynical calculation of viewer retention rates, audience figures, subscriptions, advertising reach, sponsorship returns, sell on opportunities and so it goes.

I can no longer see the love for the Sport in their thinking. Welcome to the Murdoch world


How can they think that a pay-to-view channel can increase coverage more than the 6/7/8m regular viewers that the BBC gets??

10m homes? How many have Sky Sports or can afford it? Or want to give more money to News Internationals chairman?

How many homes have BBC 1/2/ITV/Ch4/Ch5 on free to air..? More than 10million I'd bet.

Perhaps the BBC could have worked out a rotation with C4/5 to share 1/3 each instead.

I cant afford £20+ a month to watch 10 races.. and nor can my parents, so that will be another 2 viewers lost to F1.


How on earth does Bernie figure this will increase viewers? The reality is at the very least a 40% drop in the UK before Sky and BBC release manipulated figures.

Annoyed Licence Fee Payer

As the BBC will no longer be airing the full season of F1, which is one of the very limited number of programs I watch on the BBC, can I expect a reimbursement of a percentage of my licence fee, or will this money continue to be poured into niche radio stations with no listeners, endless repeats of cheap and poorly made programs featuring people who want to buy or sell a house/buy or sell antiques/dance like an idiot* and yet more 'quality' drama?

*delete as appropriate


Yes, it's a huge shame. The BBC used to be renowned the world over for their quality of programme (both content and production). It seems they have now gone for quantity over quality. We have the ABC in Australia but that might as well be the BBC as most of ABC1 and ABC2 are BBC cast offs, so we have seen how the programming has gone - the same as the rest of the world with house hunting, DIY and cooking shows dominating. It's a service Jim, but not as we know it.


Ex-SKY man at Beeb does deal to pull BBC's buns out of the fire by organising a sell-out to SKY? Colour me shocked :p

I am totally fed up about this... been watching F1 since start of 1994 and its been a big part of my life. I refuse to pay Murdoch a penny though and so will not be suscribing to his TV channel.


I for one are very disappointed I will not be watching, I do not want to pay the Murdocks a penny after they hacked into dead childrens mobile phones. I will also be boycotting anyone who sponsers f1 as well.


Whitmarsh is saying in Autosport that Bernie has assured him that BBC will showed deferred races where they don't show it live. If so, that's not so bad.


just read martin m'c comments on autosport. turns out he is as 2 faced as everyone else when money in f1 is involved. he should be sacked straight away as fota chairman if he allows this. i thought fota was for the good of the fans afterall. how can several less million people watching f1 be good for it. sell out the lot of them.


Shame on you Bernie I will not be watching and will be boycotting those who sponsor F1 from now on as it is the only way Bernie will understand that there are real people out there that do not have the money he and his friends have. So hit Bernie in the pocket, when sponsors start leaving the sport then he will understand?


This is the end for me and F1, its been 25 good years but I cannot endorse anything to do with that horrible man Murdoch let alone give him my money.

Touring car can have my full support in 2012, it is a better sporting event anyway. ITV4 are excellent when it comes to the BTCC.


I just dont understand the decision. F1 brings in so many viewers to the bbc channels in comparison to so many other sports and programmes.

The priority of f1 viewing is live coverage. If the bbc really needs to cut costs then they should simply cut the pre-program and red button forum. Let the racing be the show. If that does not cut enough budget then start looking at other sports to cut and programs.i think f1 has been an easy target for them.

F1 is already inaccessible to me due to the cost of tickets and soon i wont be able to afford to watch on tv live either.


There are ways around having to pay for SKY, providing you are prepared to watch the race a bit later. I am sure some kind folks will post the race on the internet.


Really gutted by this news. F1 coverage on the BBC is fantastic and brings a truly great sport to the masses. For me to get sky sports it's an extra £20 a month and I'm not prepared to pay that just to watch one sport. F1 won't be the same if this goes ahead.


What is this top up service? I presume you're talking about just buying sky sports but that's extremely expensive. If I want to get sky sports I have to pay £40 a month and then £7 on top if I want it on HD. Scandalous! For effectively 10 races! That therefore equals £56.40 per race! How on earth can I justify spending that?!? I'm guessing that sky will change which channel they put it on as well so people have to subscribe to the maximum package. Unfortunately i'm not surprised Bernie has jumped into bed with the Murdocks but I'm horrified that BBC have. Absolutely disgraceful!


If it was a choice between F1 and Wimbledon as some commentators seemto make out I would say the BBC has made the wrong decision. It sux that the success of the BBC coverage make it economic for Sky to enter the fray.


Why not let sky and bbc show the F1 together at the same time all the time :/ or let the BBC show the whole race but delayed (that is what some people have to do anyway if the race is on at 4am unless you're very hard core :p)?

Its a very silly decision by the BBC to let a popular event go, a silly decision by Bernie to let pay tv take over F1 but a brilliant move by Sky so that they take control of yet another sport.

Btw Mr Gallop (former sky employee lol) the situation with pay-tv and free-tv sharing coverage does not work out well. Its frustrating. I can't watch the champions league or premiership fully anymore 🙁 Let alone Cricket etc...


i think if it was the whole race shown latter i could accept that, i dont really need the build up ect just want to see the whole race not what the bbc think i want to see


The BBC should be utterly ashamed of themselves for this. The UK is becoming a worse and worse place to live, we are all expected to pay more and more for less and less. This will only get worse until the UK Public decide to stand up and be counted - about time we took a leaf from the books of the Arab States. The vast majority of us must be deeply unhappy about the way this country operates and is run these days, time we did something about it...


unfortunately it will be like every thing else, people will huff and puff and make some noise to their friends but when it comes to going out and voting they can't be bothered. only about 50% of the voting population bothered to turn out at the last election, its the same with this, most people moan about it to their mates if at all but that's it a.c the beeb will think they have done a good job.

the beeb should have done a deal to raise the 20 million shortfall they call a saving by using the top up tv on review, they could charge us 20 quid a race weekend for the full coverage and that would still be half the cost as on sky. Even if only 25% of the viewers took it up it would still raise much more revenue than they are short.


I'm very sad. I understand the economics of the decision but it's wrong.

F1 should be seen live, only live.

And Brits who don't want football need to pay the full price.

I'm Belgian, we get BBC, not Sky. So byebye quality coverage.... 🙁


Post what you want on here rupreck Murdoch won't give a rats ass. the only way you can show your disgust with this is by not buying the subscription to sky.

There are plenty of online places to watch for free. Without ad breaks but definately with poorer quality.

Do not give your hard earned money to the eavesdropping little fu@$er.

I'm one of the 10million households. Because I have a sky dish and recieve the most basic package they do but I can't and won't pay twenty quid a month for sky sports and forget to cancel it during the off season.


This all stems from FOM owning the broadcasting rights and this year some of the most important parts of races have been completely missed! Its about time the teams took control and i fear its time for Mr E to retire so that F1 is completely free to air.

A very bad day for F1 and many fans will simply turn away - I am dreading all the advert breaks


TV rights are £45 million for a F1 season.

What is the production/broadcast cost for a F1 season?

What is TVs revenue for a F1 season?

Simple maths.

F1 is paying the bill for BBCs other crap, with the acquiescence of FOM.


Maybe this would be a good time to push for a review of the outdated UK TV licensing system.

Bye bye F1 (from a casual viewer, one of the majority)


Not being a football supporter I am not going to buy a Sky Sports subscription just to watch F1.



That's all folks!


HMS Formula 1 is steaming towards oblivion, Bernie has opened the sea-cocks, determined to scuttle rather than let anyone else be captain. The crew (FIA) is locked in the officers mess wondering where the ship is headed and if they should change the rules again (only 3 funnels permitted). The engineers (Teams) are keeping the engines running and supplying electricity for the pumps (Sponsors) which are slowly loosing the battle against the seawater rushing in (Rising disgust and anger). Life-boats are available but only the bow may be used, though the stern may be purchased to make a complete boat, otherwise you may cling to the flotsam.

I could do a far better analogy if I weren't so angry.


The question should not be "why are the BBC wasting £50m a year on F1", it should be why are the BBC now wasting £25m a year on half of F1"?

The more I think about it, the more I want Sky to succeed and the BBC to fail. If they don't really want it, I wish the whole BBC team would move across to Sky and leave our relic of a public broadcaster to rot.


Perhaps viewers should boycott a race or two.... F1 depends on an audience, we should vote with our feet and teach the money grabbers a lesson!


Hats off to Bernie, only he could sell the F1 TV rights to the UK twice


That is rubbish. It is a political decision. We have seen on a daily basis for the last umpteen days the way that NI/BSB/Newscorp interacts with politicians.

The move to Salford, all £900 million was imposed by the government. This move saves £12m. The figures, BBC, do not add up.

Most people I know view this as a political move and I can tell you that that is my opinion also. F1 was the jewel in the BBC crown. It was virtually the only regular international sport left to them.

The only, and it is the only, reason they would give it away is through pressure from above.

It stinks. It is not about money saving. If I gave what I thought was the reason I feel certain the moderator would blank it. But the answer is there, obvious to all of us. Just read the Guardian, Telegraph and Private Eye.

Partnership? Half the races and we don't know which? Sky shows them all? And we all thought the coalition was one-sided.

How long before Silverstone no longer sells out? It'll be fairly quickly for the Friday. Then Saturday and eventually you'll be able to walk in when you want on Sunday. If most people - 600,000 sports subscribers? - do not see all the F1 races live, as we have been used to, then its popularity will wane.

I was one of the few subscribers last time F1 went to Sky. My friends and I would have Sky and ITV on at the same time. In the end we would all watch ITV. And, no offence to the ITV presentation, the BBC production was considerably better.

In these straightened times how many people are going to pay up to £45 for each race?


Not sure that's true about Salford. Wasn't it spurred on by Daily Mail or one of the papers campaigning that BBC was too London focussed?


Yes' the BBC move to Salford was not required by a Government, past or present.

However, the vast expenditure on all of this is paid for by Licence payers, or if you like MOTOR RACING FANS, who are amongst their number.


James, I did not mean to suggest that the move was inspired by, lobbied for or influenced by theMurdoch empire. I have too great a respect for your insurance premiums.

To clarify: I meant that the move was imposed from without.

Just like the sale of F1.

I have absolutely no idea whether the anti-BBC tirades your namesake Murdoch treated us to over recent years had any influence on the government when it came to these decisions.


Whilst I am upset by this decision I can understand that financially it makes sense. The great thing about f1 racing though is that it is exciting and unpredictable. For example, who would have predicted at the start of this season that the most exciting race so far this year would (in my opinion) have been the Canadian grand prix? My point is that there is no guarantee that the most exciting races will be shown live on bbcf1. Also, there is no guarantee that the final race of the season will decide the title- so does that mean that the title decider will not necessarily be shown live by bbcf1?

Seán Craddock

5 week break between Hungary & Belgium???

I don't think I could survive that long mid-season!!


Disgusting. Something else about to be stained by the Murdoch empire.

On top of these posts, the various petitions, etc, I suggest lots of emails to the Corporate PR departments of key F1 sponsors such as Vodafone, Santander and the like - 'people power' has just made a real difference in the UK with the end of the NOTW.


this deal as it stands will run until 2018, the BBC to get half the races including "Silverstone & Monaco" and the last race, BUT ONLY IF THERE A EVEN NUMBER OF RACES if they only have 19 or add 1 to make 21 THEN ONLY SKY WILL SHOW THE FINAL RACE....


It astonishes me that the Ben Gallop has had to come out and say the BBC needs to save money...Well so do we and some of us are in fact students who can't afford to pay for all of the Sky subscriptions required to essentially watch only 1 sport once every "now and then" essentially because F1 now no longer does a regular thing of a race every 2 weeks.

The BBC can EASILY save money by not paying outrageous salaries to their entertainment people. We hear tens of millions sometimes for them. When did they need so much money just to live for crying out loud?

In addition, the amount of useless shows the BBC airs that apparently is good for primetime and for the tax payers' money...Sorry, but Bargain Hunt, Countryfile, Master Chef, etc...There are so many runnings of these shows on the tv schedule and then further re-runs too on BBC3 and occasionally BBC4...The BBC have shown to be quite poor in money management in my view and it has been an INSULT to a lot of us fans.


So the BBC are saying that they are following the same route as the Champions league? If i remember correctly, ITV used to show 1 game per match week on a wednesday evening, and then the final. As far as im aware, and speaking as a lifelong football fan, they still show 1 game per match week, and the final. The only difference is that the games they showed used to be on a Wednesday evening and now they show the Tuesday night games and this only took place because UEFA increased the size of the competition and therefore games then started to be played on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. They show the same as they did 12 years ago. I dont want to hear this utter rubbish from the BBC.

The BBC has helped increase the popularity of F1 in the UK and now they and F1 will lose from this ridiculous partnership. Many people who now watch F1 are 'armchair fans' and enjoy watching the F1 when it is on, and because they probably miss the odd race here and there, they are still up to date with most things. however now that the BBC may now miss 3 or 4 races in a row due to them being on SKY, if an armchair fan then misses the race which is on BBC, they may have missed a quarter of the season, have no idea what is going on, and guess what? They'll switch off!!

The BBC have jumped into bed with the devil, only thought about themselves and left those of us who cant afford SKY but are avid F1 fans up the creek without a paddle!! I've saved up tis year to travel to Monza to see the guys driving these amazing cars up close and personal. Next year it will cost more than ive paid for flights, tickets, accomodation for 5 nights in Milan just to see it on TV.

Thanks for a great 2 and a half years, and thanks for making something i havent missed since 1989 when i was old enough to watch, confined to the scrap heap for me.

Patrick McEvoy

The BBC should be ashamed. Lord Patton said cuts would have to be made(AM Show- Sunday)but this decision was already made months ago & all participants responsible for depriving F1 fans of 50% of races on FTA should be disgusted with themselves. Still, I supposed the large sums of money they all trousered will ease their consciences & allow them to sleep easy or enjoy the good life at the expense of the fans.


From the comments here you'd think we're not impressed - this deal is a disaster. If you get a chance, perhaps you could relay your readers' thoughts on to the people who matter.


If the BBC really needed to save money, why would they pay £22 million for an X-Factor copycat show?

It's not original TV, and doesn't appeal to anyone that doesn't already watch the X-Factor.


so everyone including sky customers get bbc1, yet moving it to sky means only those with sky and then with sky sports can see the races, Urm?? you twits how does that mean more people can see it?? stop forcing us into a world of comercial gains and give us back our motor sport!! yes sponsors can get involved and show their suport but we should not be forced to buy. BBC you have really let us down, you should hang your head in shame and bernie you should be made to answer for your actoins, i hope you keel over with shame the next time you meet a true fan, at least you wont have to far to fall:) PRATT

John Wainwright

That's right BBC, save money so you can produce more banal episodes of Eastenders or Antiques in the Attic dross. Deeply disappointed from a long time defender of 'Auntie Beeb'


That really is a non-argument, I don't like Eastenders eithr, but plenty of people do, jus tlike plenty of people don't like F1. As for the antique dross, the reason it gets made it is cheap daytime filler, perhaps you think they would replace it with expensive drama?


If they need to save money....................

DITCH BBC4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


“For those who can’t watch Sky, they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time,”

[mod]. Best mates with Gerald Ratner are you Bernie?

Having said that, Gallop's notion that sticking half the season on pay TV will ensure more viewers puts him on the top rung of the imbecile ladder.

Michael Saunders

Highlights from Sky means 30 min of action in a 1 hour programme. Compare it to the rugby, football and cricket highlights.


Slightly off topic.. but thank God the opening race of the season is back in Australia where it belongs, hopefully. Atleast until Bahrain decide to fork over enough cash to steal it back again, for the good of Bernies wallet, but not for the good of the sport.


What utter rubbish from the BBC. BBC3 costs twice as much as the F1 does, and has contributed nothing to TV. Furthermore BBC4 costs the same as the F1, but is full of dumbed-down pretentious rubbish that no-one watches.

Instead of cutting back on F1 (something that peoplea ctually watch and enjoy), they should have just closed BBC3 and BBC4. No-one would have missed them.


The BBC seem to think that having an extra channel full of NOTHING is better than having one of the most popular shows on TV. CLUELESS IDIOTS.


James - what will they fill the now empty F1 time slots with? More football?


Bernie Ecclestone The man that killed off F1

Great one Bernie ,

You wanted financial support for F1 in TV rights & sponsorship deals.

Congratulations .....You got it,

You want what's best for the fans.........Bulls**t.

What's the point of brand new circuits with great hospitality

& sponsorship deals worth millions when no-one can either watch or afford to watch the races.

F1 used to be a spectator sport but without the wide TV coverage ,how is the fanbase supposed to be sustained.

If you think that F1 can be supported just by the paying punters at each circuit then you are seriously deluded.

For those of us that can't afford to go to the races in person,

the TV coverage (especially on the BBC, which has been superb this season) is our only way into this sport. Reduce the access to the sport via this widespread medium & all your sponsorship deals count for nothing, as there will be no-one watching to notice them.

Would you really try to sell sunglasses to a blind man ( or woman).

Well then!!!!!!!!!


P.S. Wanna save money at the BEEB,

Get rid of the Bl**dy soaps & repeats of the soaps.


Unreal responce to that blog on the BBC. Its already on 2910+, by far and away the most commented blog on that site i believe and im yet to see one positive post!!


Just to highlight - that in 7 hours there have been over 3000 comments on the BBC site mentioned above... I'd say that this is a pretty big deal for the UK viewers



There have been over 1,000 here in the same time..


Indeed there have, and realistically you're site is mainly the hardcore fans who go "looking" for F1 news... I know a lot of people who watch some F1 races and vaguely follow the season, just because it happens to be on TV as they flick through - they will all be lost on Sky

Likewise I watched loads of WImbledon and World Championship Athletics recently - but I only watched them because it "happened" to be there when I flicked through, I'd never go searching for channels just to watch these but yet I love them all the same


I know Brits think they are important and all but remember the UK is only about 5% of the world audience. As much as this sucks if you are British it's not exactly going to ruin the sport.


So Brundle and co. move to sky and the non-sky subscibers are left with half the races and a second tier commentary team?

Sky will have the sole rights as soon as concorde agreement expires. Bye bye F1. You will be missed, but asking us to pay Murdock/News International to watch our sport? Forget it.


No, same commentary team for both


Where did you here this? Any confirmation?

Would be a very good thing, assuming it includes Martin, and you?


Its a very great shame. Over the last 45 years I have tried to watch as much F1 as has been available. In the early years it was only edited highlights. I suppose that we have been totally spoilt with the recent coverage by the BBC. With 2 of the best commentating teams that you could ask for (the 5 live mob and the DC/MB team). At least F1 went out on a high... thanks guys and I wish you well. As for me its Goodbye to F1 as it was to Rugby & Cricket. There is actually no way I could pay money to the Murdoch family.


F1 fans welcome to the actual world of sport. It is a business and a product to be sold. You have no divine right to get F1 free. You don't expect to get into Silverstone for nothing just because you're a fan and so more people can look at the sponsor logos so why expect it with tv?

You now have a choice. Pay for Sky to see everything or stick with the BBC, get half for "free" and all the other good bits too. Or you can watch less of the sport.

There are far bigger injustices in the world rather than having a choice about whether to pay a bit to watch a bit of motorsport. I hope you are as passionate about airing your feelings on them.


Stan and Steve, free is in inverted commas in my post implying its not really free but often seen as free.

Sorry my post was confusing for you guys so let me restate my point amended to take into account your criticisms.

You have no divine right to get F1 on the license fee.


But the BBC has a divine right to our license fees! So should we just take every bad decision they make lying down?


Thats the first time i've ever seen having to pay £145 for a tv license described as getting something for "free". Perhaps you're not the one in your household that is responsible for paying for said license, in which case, I can see why you'd think Formula 1 comes for "free".

For those of us who are responsible in our households for paying for this license, trust me, it seems its anything but free.

I just thought I'd give you an opportunity to re-think your comment. And yes, I'm very passionate about worldwide events, thanks.


What a completely arrogant comment to make. Nobody has been getting anything for "free", for your information a tv license costs somewhere in the region of £140 per annum. If you think thats getting something for free then you must think that money comes from tree's. Please at least get your facts right before trying to cheese people off.


Re: “That’s where the problem is, “I know,” said Ecclestone. But from what I understand Sky has enormous coverage, 10 million homes.

As others have already said, the installed Sky base maybe 10 million but how many have Sky Sports? I pay almost £30p/mth for Sky but to get Sky Sports it will cost an ADDITIONAL £20.25 PER MONTH(£30.50 for those who have the HD pack) - it just ain't gonna happen in this household!

If the TV rights cost about £40M p/a as reported, this equates to approx £1.60 per TV license holder (using 2009/10 figures of 24,963,799 TV licence holders) - a little over 1% of the licence fee.

The middle ground is surely 'free-to-view' commercial TV - ie with the dreaded adverts interupting the action 🙁

I knew the BBC were doing a great job - I guess just didn't realsise how lucky we were.....


Can anyone explain why F1 should be different from any other sport? In the UK golf, football, darts, Rugby League, cricket, tennis, boxing and horse racing fans all have to pay extra to watch the best in their chosen sports.

Galling I know for F1 fans who can't afford the extra but very much a reality check.

As I've said before if you don't want to pay Sky through reality or principal you don't have to but you will still get live races and comprehensive deferred coverage which is better than the whole lot being on Sky.


The beeb should have done a deal to raise the 20 million shortfall they are calling a saving they have to make. By using the top up tv on Free view which is available to almost every household in the UK at no extra cost, they could charge us 20 quid a race weekend for the full coverage and that would still be half the cost as on sky. Even if only 25% of the current viewers took it up it would still raise much more revenue than they are short. The BBC is unfortunately from the way it has evolved, is a very un-economic organisation to run. its trying to change but its the same as many other public sector operations it has to cut costs the easiest way it can and paying 20 million less for f1 rights is an easy saving. The BBC should employ a few more senior management from the likes of Tesco, they would find a way to squeeze the rights out of Bernie for 10% of what he gets now and tell him he's getting a great deal, like they do with the farmers.


Thisis a great shame. Apart from idiot eddie, the BBC has a really strong team for its F1 broadcasts.

OK so I have to watch on Sky Sports. That's OK too but what really bugs me is that the BBC has to save money and the turn immeditely to the world's top sport to make the cuts.

I can easily save them money.

Drop Deadeners and that ..[mod] AWFUL One Show.

If F1 still needs cuts then very reluctantly I cut the practise session and the forum. This would be a pity but would nevertheless same money.


Currently the F1 is available to everyone, including Sky subscribers. Soon, half the season will only be available to Sky subscribers. That's not going to grow an audience! It’s plain common sense. I can understand now why such a bad decision has been made, when the people who made it cannot see this plain fact.

There was a comment above about going to the pub to watch the sport. There are currently very few places that show the F1 compared to say the football, and even fewer that can afford the outrageous subscription fees these establishments are forced to pay.

I practically pay my BBC licence fee just for the F1 nowadays. If I don’t get full F1 coverage, I don’t want to pay a full licence.


Further to posts 86 and 88 by EM,

(86) Sport for free! All those who watch sport on the BBC do not get it for free they pay through their TV licence.

(88) Reality check! I don't know about you but I can not afford an extra £400+ a year for watching Formula 1 on SKY. In any case I would not pay it if I could afford it.

SKY have taken over too many sports coverage over the years, Football, Golf, and Cricket, to name just 3. The reason SKY are now interested in Formula 1 is down to the fantastic job the BBC, its presenters and production team have done in increasing the profile and viewing figures, after they were successful in the bidding process in 2009. The last two bidding processes for the TV rights, SKY did not bid, as far as I am aware. Its only now, when the viewing figures are over 6 million, that they want the sport, because they can see a profit in it, by charging an exorbitant amount to watch Formula 1. I hope it all backfires on Bernie and Murdoch when they don't get the expected increase in paying customers.

If the BBC had been honest with the Formula 1 fans to begin with, when they were considering cutting the sport altogether, I would have been more than happy to pay extra for my TV licence, say £5, so if all 6 million Formula 1 viewers paid that, it would amount to £30 million. The problem would have been how to collect it from the Formula 1 fans.

Another party who may be responsible for this situation is the then Government (2009) who left Formula 1 off the Crown Jewel Sports that are preserved for Free To Air TV coverage. The alarm bells should have started to ring in March 2009 when the press highlighted that SKY would target Free To Air Sports.


The Beeb have let the fans down and badly, Bernie Ecclestone lives in a dream world if he thinks the fans will go to sky and that the team sponsors will not suffer from this stupid Pay To View Deal, I have already E-mailed my bank to say so. I have watched F1 from God knows when, ever since I was old enough to know it existed and I am now 57, I will not subscribe to Murdochs empire to view F1 on principal even though I could easily afford it, as a lot of Fans cannot. If need be I will stop watching it all together, I will definately not be watching the BBC's attempts at half coverage and will probably change my bank accounts based on the lack of input from the sponsors, that will hit them where it hurts. Eric


F1 has been a major part of my life for this past 20+ years including missing close friends weddings, work, sex and sleep to watch either qualifying or race live. If greedy people like Bernie Ecc think that I will pay 500 quid per year plus TV license cost to Sky to watch the complete F1 championship live on Sky Sports then I'm afraid he has no grip on reality. One of the reasons Sky constantly give for their excessive charges is the cost of providing exclusive coverage of these top level sports such as cricket and football. I simply will not pay Sky for their coverage of other sports that I will never be watching just so I can watch the only sport that I personally enjoy. I reckon I won't be the only person to feel this way. This move to Sky may well not make a huge dent in viewing figures but I reckon F1 will loose the avid fan like myself who doesn't channel hop after the race has started to watch some of a football match and then a snippet of cricket only to turn back at the end of the race to see who wins. F1 will never be the same! Well done Bernie!


Well what do people expect from Ben Gallop who used to work for Sky. I bet his brief as boss of BBC F1 was to do his utmost to bring about the situation that has come to fruition. Ben Gallop you have betrayed the BBC Licence holders, and I bet you recieved much more than 30 pieces of silver for your betrayal from the Murdochs.

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