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New details of co-operation between Sky and BBC emerge
New details of co-operation between Sky and BBC emerge
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jul 2011   |  12:31 am GMT  |  313 comments

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, meaning extended highlights with brief introduction and post race analysis.

So either Whitmarsh is taking a leaf from Ecclestone’s book and spreading confusion, or he’s taking a negotiating stance, suggesting that the scenario he paints is what would be acceptable to the teams under the Concorde Agreement, which safeguards their interests against F1 going live on Free to Air TV exclusively.

There is more to come on this subject.

The BBC will show these extended highlights in a 5pm or 6pm slot on Sunday night, which is prime time TV, hence the assumption by Ecclestone that the casual viewer will be caught up and in this way the audience may grow.

The extent of the collaboration between BBC and Sky on the production of the coverage is also becoming clearer. The commentary will be shared between both programmes, but the presentation teams will be different. The BBC is likely to have limited presentation as they will want to get quickly into the race highlights action at the start of the show and then there will be some analysis afterwards.

However the on site facilities will be shared, so rather than having two trucks, they will share edit equipment and production facilities. This will mean a major saving for both sides.

This is what BBC F1 boss Ben Gallop means by “shared economy.”

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Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to

find high quality writing like yours these days.

I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


Amazing! Its genuinely amazing piece of writing, I have got much

clear idea about from this paragraph.


Can i use a bit of common sense here?

BBC = TV license payment

Sky = monthly fees + TV license payment

Stupid move and one that will hopefully change back by next year. Not much point in watching the races that aren’t live and i don’t want to have to go to a pub to watch them either.


if they want to lose me from the audience then carry on. maybe they reckon they can get more with sky. just another example of nmore elitism in sport, now it includes the audiences as well. if BBC can afford to show it previously why would I support sky for wanting to charge more for the same service.


I stopped watching F1 after 2009 season and I don’t regret it. F1 sucks now there’s to much technology involved I miss the old days of F1 when it was actually exciting to watch. Screaming v10s free aerodynamics on the cars and some of the good old tracks which some have been destroyed like Old Hockenheim for example. Am for one very greatful for what the BBC has done with broadcast on the TV so far, full coverage start till finish and a choice to which commentating you wish to listen to while watching the races if your watching it online like me. Some of us can’t afford Sky to much money for people like my family paying like £30+ a month which we can’t afford. This is a mistake the won’t forget. Am through watching F1. Shame that it was once a great sport watch.


BBC Director General Mark Thompson has been asked to appear in front of the Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee, to explain why the BBC effectively blocked Channel 4 from acquiring the F1 broadcast rights, by jumping into bed with Sky.

No one expects him to reveal anything … They never do at these hearings, but it’s a start.


We’ve been sold out by the lot of them, Greedy Ecclestone, FOTA, BBC. Half a season of full coverage is useless to me.

Sky won’t get any money from me and BBC won’t get any more license money either as I only watch F1 on BBC. I’ve had it with them all. After 30 odd years of watching F1, I’ll just walk away.

Let’s all watch in delight 12 months from now and they all wonder where the UK viewers have gone. They can’t say they weren’t warned.


8500 comments on Ben Gallops blog, and now the BBC have closed it to further comments.

I urge everyone to sign the government petition to get this issue into the commons for debate. It could be our only hope…


As of last night is closed for comments. With this the BBC clearly showing it doesn’t care 1 bit, it doesn’t care that there are 8415 negative comments on this sell out deal.

Guess the BBC wants us all to use to make comments now on the disgrace? 😉


well done bernie you hobbit ,you have managed to kill F1 ,as said sponsors will leave the sport as fans can no longer watch .as a ex sky subscriber ,i now use freesat i will never go back .moto GP for me next year sorry lewis and jenson ,my rocket red shirt is going in the bin .


I swear what I’d like to say about Bernie is just…er bad taste and maybe a little inappropiate but after the problems he caused for Donnington and even Silverstone he’s contempt for UK fans was never hidden

He should have gone with Mosely. but I to fear this is the end of F1 as we know it. Like Boxing, Football, Cricket and every other sport on pay tv it’ll become a vauge topic and not the living organic drama its become over the years….RIP F1


Im worried what this means for F1 in the UK in the future.

How are they expecting F1 to generate new fans to the sport when the most comprehensive coverage is locked on a digital channel that is highly expensive and completly out of reach of many people cost wise? We are all being forced to tighten our belts, wages are not going up whilst prices for gas/electricity/petrol/food/clothes is constantly rising. Are you really going to pay £40 on Sky when you are struggling to pay for your heating? Of course not.

So less fans coming into the sport and this has a knock on effect for the industry. F1 is big business for the UK. Most of the teams are based in the UK in some form, and they employ lots of people and this has a knock of effect to the motor industry etc. If we cant generate new fans, where are the new engineers, designers etc going to come from? Why would they want to enter an industry they cant access and get excited about?

And what if the sponsors etc decide that its no longer worth their time being in the sport? Imagine Vodafone pulling out of Mclaren, or if RedBull decided it just wasnt getting the coverage it wants? Teams collapse or are forced to shed thousands of jobs. It would be a disaster for the UK.

(This is why our government are run by total idiots who dont have a clue. They had a chance to protect F1 in the UK and decided not to. God help them if things go really wrong because of this).

A bad decision. The only good news I heard is that the BBC/Sky commentary etc could be shared. Sky needs to come with a deal that allows the BBC staff (Kravitz/Brundle etc) to work for both and this allows Sky to keep the excellent BBC team in place IMO.

Sky would be idiotic to try and bring in their own staff who have no clue about F1. TBH tho I suspect this will be exactly what happens. They wont have the balls to admit that the BBC do an incredible job and will try to do it their own way. We will end up with a glamarous presenter flanked by celebrities who have next to no idea about F1, the rules or regulations etc.

I despair, I really do.


Read: Swimming with the Sharks and you know that the only thing that motivates F1 and everything around it is money. The BBC is jut not interested in the TV license payer. Just switch to Le Mans…The best racing ever. No need for silly DRS (moving flaps) to see passing…… and there is also the occasional amateur who races for the love of the sport!


Sad day for F1. This decision will be the death of F1 in the UK.

With current viewing figures in the region of 6m viewers, I would guess this will drop to 1/10th of this when it goes to PayTV. (£600 a year to get F1 in HD on Sky).

The result will be that sponsors won’t be willing to pay anything close to what they currently pay.

I hope Bernie is proud of himself, as this is the end of F1 in the UK.


F1 is sidelined by the BBC to enable them to keep BBC3/4 and their cultural offerings such as “Snog Marry Avoid”, “White Van Man”, “Viva Blackpool”, “Geordie Finishing School” etc. etc. They certainly do have their finger on the button knowing just what the British public want. Bernie you’re a traitor to the fans, when by doing the right you could have been a hero.


The BBC could gave saved some money through the last 2+ years by not sending so many people to each race. More than half of them are surplus to needs – you only need to read their website to see that.


I would have been less angry if the non-live races are going to be shown in their entirety.

I am aghast that the BBC has struck up a deal involving the Murdochs given that they have corrupted our police force, government and press.

On a personal level I only care about full race and qualifying coverage. I could live with half of the races not being live but the NEED to be shown in their entirety with a quality commentary team.

For one I am not convinced that the Martin and David are good commentators. Martin is bais towards certain drivers, has a penchant for waffling and if we are all honest their commentary is littered with errors andnot to mention condescending. They should research what Crofty and Ant do and you should really tune into Toby Moody and Julian Ryder for the Moto GP on Eurosport. I have been thankfully watching the Moto GP deferred on Eurosport to get away from the abomination that is the BBC MotoGP commentary.

How much is the BBC paying their Millionaire club commentary team? I suspect that Martin’s salary is more than that of the complete Eurosport Moto GP team.

As for being told that in the UK we have had it too good for too long. Well, I might have a few space pounds if everything in the UK was not vastly more expensive than in the rest of the world apart from Sweden. Musical instruments, electronic goods, fuel, internet etc etc are around double the price of continental Europe and North America. In many I ways we subsidise other countries getting things much cheaper. I think that most Americans would be horrified if they had to pay what we do for a mere 8MB internet connection and they would take to the streets if they had to pay our prices for food.

F1 is not a sport in its purest sense. It was conceived by car manufactures to promote their brands. So I am being asked to pay money to the family that has corrupted our country to watch a car advert.


Hi All

There are several F1 petitions out there, I am trying to get them altogether to get 1 massive petition, here is a petiton that I would like to ask you all to sign and again pass it on, We may end up signing several different petitons for the same thing, but we need to do it … -2010/3290

Thank You for your support

Omsk 2 (Mytram Zynom)

Obituary: Formula 1

With her awesome noise and eclectic car style, Formula One, 61, who has been fatally wounded in Budapest (Hungary) this week, won comparison with some of the great racing series such as CART, IndyCar, A1 or Superleague Formula.

But like another championship, A1, she had a talent for self destruction, and fought a long battle against fan abuse. The FIA Formula One World Championship was born on 13 May 1953 in the deserted area of Northamptonshire, north of London.

Her petrolhead father, the FIA, was a motor racing enthusiast and often took Formula One to post-war races where she had met legends like Tazio Nuvolari, Giuseppe Antonio ‘Nino’ Farina, Wolfgang von Trips or Enzo Ferrari. She then trained on various racing circuits around the world and started to attract even more attention from a number of used car dealers, most notably a certain Bernard Charles Ecclestone who tried to marry Formula One but had to make do with extended partnership (the Concorde Agreement) over the years.

Ecclestone, 80, is also being held in connection with Formula One’s murder. Mr Ecclestone’s lawyer, Michael Levy-Bernstein, made the following statement: “On behalf of Mr Ecclestone I’d like to say that the shooting, sadly resulting in Ms Formula One’s untimely death, was intended to protect Ms Formula One from hundreds of fans that had gathered outside the Hungaroring circuit in order to ask for an autograph.

“Mr Ecclestone felt that you can’t have an autograph for free and decided to fire some warning shots in order to scare off the crowd. He was then going to sell them a very attractive autograph package for €666,99 but instead the police took him into custody which I find totally outrageous. The plebs must know its limits and I believe its place is firmly in the sh#t. Oops, sorry.”

Ms Formula One will be buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris next week.

Omsk 2 (Mytram Zynom)

Hey folks, if I were you I’d expect yet another lovely announcement from BBC somewhere in March about them deciding to drop F1 coverage altogether and more ecstatic comments from F1’s leading lights on what a fantastic situation this is for the fans: insane ticket prices combined with pay-per-view TV broadcast will surely make the sport extremely popular because I mean Europe is blooming right now and who in the F1 paddock would believe people are making less than 100,000 euros per month, it’s a joke, right? These guys in the grandstands – they earn the same amount money as F1 drivers? Yes? Then we should sell tickets at like 10,000 euros for Friday Practice… because that’s what we’re here to do, as a team… FOTA=FOM.


just made my complaint to the BBC

I am absolutely outraged at you decision to scale back F1 coverage next season,i understand the need to make cuts, but could’nt this have been done in other areas ie BBC3 and 4. F1 is a highly viewed sport in this country as you know by the viewing records this season. I believe us licence fee payers should of been consulted in such a high profile decision, no F1 fan is going to be happy with half a season and some half baked highlights with a voice over.

I believe this deal needs to be looked at again.


Formula One is a business designed to make super rich individuals even richer. The broadcasting rights decision will have been made to maximise the amount of revenue that the owners of the sport can make. The interest of fans is not an important consideration.

The BBC will have had to make a pragmatic decision about how it can best use a diminished revenue base given the economic problems in the UK. I would totally agree with reducing the expenditure on “sport” and using the savings to fund high quality drama and documentaries.

Note the quotes around “sport”. I tend to view F1 as “sports entertainment” not sport. For real sport watch the ITU triathlons where each competitor has a real chance of winning



I really hope you’re going to go to town on this. We’re relying on you to get the low down. Not likely to get a comprehensive coverage elsewhere without at least a bit of spin.


Sorry fella, no pressure or anything 😉 You are the man in the know though 😀


When will we know exactly which races will be hosted by the BBC? Monaco, Silverstone and the finale are apparently confirmed, but what about the others?


As of this moment (0.48 a.m. Sunday )

there are 5,324 comments to the BBC ‘coverage shared’ blog.

Haven’t read them all, but I would bet every one of them is negative…..!!!

Take that BBC and Bernie.



Well, I guess this is one way to fund the Olympic coverage.


Talk to American F-1 fans about FOX/Speed trade off. The four or five F-1 races viewed on FOX were four (4) or more hours after the start of the race. West Coast, San Francisco, East Coast, DC or NY were only two hours after the start. Speed does a great job on covering F-1 in the States but the late starts for FOX means the ‘thrill’ is gone. FOX is free, Speed is a cable premium service. Still to see the races live is all.


The BBC are trying to cover this up by removing the link to the offending blog. They also fail to mention it in the qualifying show and then remove comments on their other blogs about it. Disgraceful.

Well done BBC, I hope you can do without my license fee.


Just for the record, we haven’t have F1 for free, we’ve paid for it. It’s called the a TV Licence.


I was really pleased with the team in quali today. They are under big pressure, and all their jobs are at stake. What do they do? Deliver the exact reason the vast majority of people are devastated at this news. I noticed a few cheeky swipes and the ending music was priceless, however they were utterly professional about it.

I expect (as the BBC always does) they will report it on race day when the majority of viewers will be with them. I’m sure Bernie will get pulled in for a chat if they can find him though I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make himself scarce.

We can all talk about the money, the license fee, how much it costs to join Sky etc, but the simple fact of it is, the coverage is what we want. The BBC have made an example of how to cover and grow the audience of a sport unbelievably well. Practice, Quali, the Race, great features, likeable presenters that make the whole 4 hours of raceday coverage essential viewing. That is what we will all miss out on.


Calling ALL F1 fans…i have just started an online petition aimed at getting the british government to intervene in the F1 TV rights issue.


If we can get 100,000 signatures in 6 MONTHS,(I could have had 12 months,but we would miss the start of next season),the issue MUST be discussed in parliament

Please note that the petition will not be open for signing until 4-8-2011,and also pass this on to ALL F1 FANS YOU KNOW,THANKS.

We will begin publishing e-petitions for signing on Thursday 4th August 2011.

Heading/Formula One must remain on free to air TV.

Please share and sign when available.


On 29-07-11 i signed on to the BBC website to respond to their explanation of the new F1 deal written by the BBC Head of F1,Ben Gallop…..THIS WAS THE REPLY…(UNBELIEVABLE).


Thank you for contributing to the BBC web site.

Unfortunately we’ve had to remove the content below because it contravened one of our House Rules.

Your comment was considered to have broken the following House Rule:

“We reserve the right to fail comments which…

Are considered likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others

Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable

Contain swear words or other language likely to offend.”

———————————————-This is my post…..


New F1 deal explained


As of 21:56 on 29/07/11…2181 replies to your feeble excuses(not blaming you Ben),when is someone from the BBC going to respond to the people who pay your wages.


At 4500 replies the site closed?

Philip Edwards

Current cost to the BBC is reported to be around £45 milllion per year. Last weekend saw 4.5 million viewers tune in. If this is representative then the cost is £10 per viewer per year or 50p per race.

New cost for the 10 races thrown away by the BBC is around £600 per year or £60 per race.

£60 per race vs 50p per race. I wonder which is better value??? 50p per viewer per race – I can see why the BBC had to cut that awfully large amount of money…..


I’ve had a rethink on this.

Few fans will watch the edited highlights on BBC. Fewer will switch to SKY because of the cost. Advertisers will desert F1 because of the falling viewing figures. Less money comes into F1, so the teams are forced to cut costs even further.

F1 has been trying to do this for years. Shear genius!


Add me to the growing list of people who are going to miss at least some F1 next year. I’ll see what the joint operations on the BBC look like, but there is no way I’m paying for Sky Sports for the sake of 10 races. If I can’t track down an internet stream, I’ll do without…


You can watch F1 free to air on RTL, if you have a freesat box you just need a 2nd LNB pointed 19.2 degrees east, it’s a 10th of the cost of 1 year of Sky … But it’s in German.

Nice to know German TV treats us better than the BBC, and a lot better than Sky does.



How does this work for American TV views on SpeedTV?


That’s it, I’ve done something I never have before and written to my MP.

Not to ask for this deal to be blocked, I’m sure that’s beyond him, but to ask for a look at how the BBC is funded and controlled, and to look at what is becoming a BSkyB monopoly on broadcast sports in the UK.

THAT’S how much F1 on FTA means to me.


‘negotiating position’ ? ‘more to come’ ? ‘what would be acceptable to FOTA’ ? Is there some chance this deal *isnt* done and dusted ?!?


Bernie has been quoted several times as saying:

“It wasn’t my decision”

And it now appears to be true.

FOM accepted the proviso Channel for bid, but C4 couldn’t start until 2013 and the BBC wanted out now, FOTA (Adam Parr in particular) wanted more money and so FOTA put the BBC and Sky together, and now this is what we’ve got.

Thanks Martin

Thanks Adam


Wo, what? Got any sources?


After all these years, I couldn’t even get into enjoying qualifying today, knowing that my favourite sport has been killed off by the greed of two egomaniacs.

I hope everyone who feels let down will get hold of a list of ALL F1 sponsors and manufactures and make sure they know just how many current and possibly future consumers they will have antagonised if they continue to support a branding opportunity that has shown nothing but contempt for its supporters.


Personally, we have the full Sky package with HD so whilst its disappointing, we at least won’t be missing out.

Its the wrong thing to do mind you, but I doubt all the complaining is going to change much – Sky is a machine and nothing will stop it.

Just hoping we still get Jake and BrundleFly and Coulthard on Sky…….hoping, as they make it what it is today and would be sorely missed.


Lets take the long view. A lot of the problems, and the politics, of F1 of recent years come from the fact that the commercial rights are owned by a corporation controlled by its inventor, one very talented and rapacious individual. Even he can’t live for ever. When he goes, we’ll have the first realistic opportunity to address some of these issues, that would seem to me to be the time for FOTA to strike, maybe in conjunction with the top circuits, and get the running of the sport – and all that implies including broadcast rights – back into a broader interest grouping. The WORST outcome would be for CVC to be sold to News Corp, an outfit that frankly should be prosecuted to the end of the earth for hacking the phones of murdered children. As Bernie shuffles closer to his mortal end, FOTA needs to rally behind a strong, dynamic leader ready to grasp back the power when it becomes available. Who might that be? It should be someone with petrol in their blood – Brundle is an example, but there are many others – and NOT a hired hand. FOTA is the future.


Completely agree.


James, Is there any confirmation BBC will show 10 live races in 2013?, I’m guessing there will only be a highlights show.


I can’t see this making sense with regards viewing figures, at least in this country.

We are in the middle of a recesion and it is getting worse. I know a lot of people who are struggling with wage freezes and increasing utilities bills. The first thing to go is always Sky.

The only reason I have Sky sports is for the rugby and I go every week to watch ‘my’ team so see little of it live. Bit of a waste in point of fact.

There will be few people who will take up the Sky Sports option next year after the winter period. It doesn’t take a lot to work this out.

So why is Sky opting for this?

They must have some other revenue stream in their plans.

I’ve seen the suggestion of a pub having it on. The type of crowd you see at football match showings shows that that is not a pleasant afternoon’s sport. And what about the evening and early morning races?

Viewing figures in this country will plummet. I can work this out. Sponsors can work this out. F1 should be offering more to their partners not less. McLaren’s corporate message used to be The Business of Winning. I don’t see this as a win/win for them or any other team, catchy phrase or no.

So what am I not seeing? Murdoch, for all his many faults, is not stupid. Could this be a signal to the shareholders that he still has the ability to crack a deal? Unlikely as I think most will be as confused as I am.

He might well, as he suggested a little while ago, buy the TV rights from CVC. They are not welded to them. I think they would be pleased to get rid of them.

F1 could be seen as a way in to the eastern market but that is unlikely. China hardly had queues.

With the TV rights, not to mention F1 in this country, Murdoch might well be seen as the owner of F1. Todt has little power and only slightly more authority. FOTA would appear to have been convinced by the shiny/shiny. Within a couple of seasons Sky teams will be on the grid and that will be that for FOTA.

Turkeys voting for Christmas. More likely, Christmas to be brought forward.

If, as seems likely, Murdoch takes control of F1 then that will be it for the sport.

So can anyone help? Why is he doing this? Where is the money?


Not really surprised. It was only a matter of time before Sky got their paws on it. This only showing half the races as highlights on BBC is just a ploy to get around the Concorde Agreement. Come 2018 all of it will be on Sky and if lucky you will get 30 minute highlights on a graveyard slot on terrestial.

Liked how the BBC didn’t mention a word about it on qualifying. The biggest story and nothing said, probably ashamed because of all the backlash they are getting. On the BBC F1 website friday evening they had several thousand comments complaining about it. Today they have been removed and you can’t post a comment. Class

Never had Sky or cable, can’t afford it. Watching it in the pub won’t work. How many pubs will be showing F1 when there are football matches on? What about when the World Cups on? What about if you work shifts, sometimes weekends? Even if you do find a needle in a haystack(pub showing F1 instead of football) if you are working that weekend it’s useless.

Hope this ends up like the boxing after Sky got it.


Also noted key difference in interpetation between FOTA chairman and BBCregarding ‘highlights’. If we see every non-live race in full I’d resign myself to this. Can’t see Sky being happy with that tho. Maybe why deal’s being spun?

The licence fee payer argument nevers works because it’s non-negotiable whatever the BBC does.

The government are launching a new e-petition site from 8 August. Need 100,000 signatures to get a debate in parliament on an issue (Assuming MPs no longer need Murdoch’s permission to discuss things?) Maybe a high profile figure will condense all the complaints about agreements and free to air sport and who knows?

I’m one of the 4000+ on beeb’s blog being ignored.


I read Colin Kolles’ comments about this deal on Here’s, what he said:

“Bernie has shown again to his people, who are criticising him, what fantastic deals he has done.

“He has also done fantastic for the fans because it is not only 10 races on BBC live, you also have the other 10 races on at prime time, at 6pm, on BBC – which is even better because I don’t believe that someone likes to wake up at 4am to watch an F1 race.

“This will bring much increased viewership and it brings a quite amazing deal to the stakeholders of F1. I think Bernie has shown again what a fantastic job he is doing and this has to be really appreciated.”

It raised some questions in my mind. As I’m aware of, the guy is from Romania. I don’t know if he has any connections to UK ( i.e. does he reside there etc.), but I was thinking, if he doesn’t live in UK or doesn’t know the situation there clearly enough, then how come is he eligible to speak for UK- viewers? Then again, as I said that I don’t know…maybe he knows UK’s situation well.

And I’m quite confident, that there are plenty of people in UK to wake up at 4AM to watch races. I’m not in UK myself. Personally, I find the licence fee for watching TV, a bit ridiculous. Especially (if I’m not wrong), if all that licence fee money goes for BBC’s use.


I would have to agree with most of these posts.

This has been a real let down by F1, FOTA and most of all the BBC


I’m a sky sports subscriber and even I don’t want to watch it on there,the BBC do a tremendous job.

They put alot of other shite on their channels that could be cut to fund F1. I feel as we basiclly own the BBC we should have some say in what is aired.

Seriously Pissed off F1 fan



First time I missed qualifying today.

Not watching the GP tomorrow either.

A complete shambles BBC & Bernie. Hope it was worth your while…


Logged a complaint on BBC complaints page, mainly on apparent gagging of presenters during quali, and why Ben Gallow blog has been moved from BBC front page to “other news”.

Let’s get some representation using the established process.

Imagine the uproar if they decided to save cash by ditching eastenders !?


They’re moaning about Taxpayers money being used to air a sport to a limited audience but what about the Taxpayers money gone into Silverstone’s Facelift for Sky to take advantage of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


what taxpayers money went into Silverstone,the goverment didnt help with the cost of inprovements.


I feel very let down by the BBC, FOTA and Bernie. The lies & the lack of information is just proof that the people who watch F1 count for nothing with these people. I feel the BBC has made a huge mistake in this deal and I for one will not be very forgiving. The F1 teams should vote against this deal or they will forever be thought of as Bernies puppets.


I hope this mess becomes a blessing in disguise and results in a breakaway series leaving BE and the bean counters in the dust.


Why would the teams breakaway? FOTA and Adam Parr in particular were complicit in the BBC/Sky deal, they’ve welcomed Sky’s 30 pieces of silver, and are laughing at the way they’ve stitched up the British F1 fans.

Just shows how duplicitous the FOTA fan forums were, they vetted the questions, carefully crafted the answers and ultimately welcomed Murdoch’s money.


In Spain whenever there are a football match that is only covered in “pay per view” or a subscription channel, people go to the local pub and see it there. For me this is the easiest solution to watch F1 without cost you a penny (okay you have to pick up a couple of beers along the race but this doesnt really count)so I dont understand people who said there are not watching F1 next year because this. Am I missing something? Are pubs not allowed to have cable TV in UK?


You’d be right, but imagine going to a pub and asking them to switch from Barca/Real Madrid to the F1 (even a race like Spa) – it wouldn’t happen.


Ok thanks I get the point. Here football matchs are around 6 o 7 pm (or later) but I suppose they are around 2 pm in UK. Anyway I am pretty sure that some pubs will choose to put F1 if there are demand


Vic – this happens for football in the UK too….but kick off times align pretty closely with F1 over here, and despite F1 having a huge following, it will only be specialist pubs that would show it so sadly thats not an option 🙁


The pubs will most likely have the football on and not the F1.


Well I’ve watched the qualifying but I couldn’t enjoy it as I normally do, I feel jaded & betrayed, we were told it would always be free to air & we were lied to, I’m not watching next year, I’m not even sure I’m going to watch the rest of this year. This whole stitch-up is a microcosm of what is wrong with the UK & I’m ashamed to be English, we fight for what we want, what we need but lately we just lay down & take it oh & then we thank everyone for giving it to us… 🙁


I think sky will prevail with f1 as they rely on people caveing in and buying there vastly overated service they have ruined all of the sports they have taken over and f1 won’t be any different.

I can see a very old man sitting in his bath chair dribbling with pleasure


Is there a list of contact addresses for all major sponsors involved with F1 somewhere that we can voice our opinion to?


I’ve been reading the last 3 articles on this site about the coverage on the UK, and frankly, most of you guys come across as being very arrogant, some of you dont even seem like real fans. What makes you guys think you have they right to see F1 for free? Here in the USA we have to pay a cable subscription to watch, and not just the “basic” cable, no, we have to pay for the “premium” package so we get Speed TV,and F1 is the only time I watch Speed, the rest of the time is all NasCrap. Not to mention that most races are on at 1 to 5am!! Thank GOD for the few races that are on at a decent time. I dont watch all the races, as I rather sleep in sometimes, and I rarely watch quals. I think you guys have it pretty freaking good! Oh, and what about the times when Speed doesnt show the race live? Instead FOX shows it a few hours later? I STILL watch it, weather I saw the results or not.

You dont have a RIGHT to watch anything for free! You guys need to get off your high horses and realize how easy you guys have it, the rest of the world pays for it. What makes you guys think that you shouldnt? Stop being a bunch of crying, whining cry babies and deal with it, just like the rest of us do. Hell, for about 8 years I didnt get to watch because my family didnt want to pay for it, yet here I am, still a BIG fan…

You guys want some chees with that whine? SMH!!


we do not get it for free,we have to pay a tv lisence fee,which goes to the BBC who currently show F1,so no my friend it is not FREE.


Just to correct you slightly, here in the UK, we have to pay £145.50 per year just for having the pleasure of owning a TV.

So really we don’t get F1 races for free, but as the TV license is not optional, we do expect a certain level of say on what we get shown.


If Bernie has sold us fans out preventing those that have bennto GPs and watch it failfully at the expense of any other sport then it is really a sad day. He will have lost us as there is no way we intend to go to cable TV for Bernie’s pocket. The rest of the programs are not worth that much as are most of the other programs on free to air TV. Wake up Bernie.


we all need to be in agreement of boycotting the BBC and asking for money back on our TV license and then tell your favourite team you wont be buying f1 merchandising from them!!!! i already have done,,,and after whitmarsh’s comments I might even burn my Mclaren merchandise,,,,wheres Ron Dennis when U need him!!!!


Time for that break away series to become a reality – with share of the pot based on points in F1 the new series would share it equally down the grid to act as a carrot to the lesser teams. The new series would keep the V8s, commit to free to air, and changed formula to make for even closer racing. Only the top four teams wouldn’t sign up – Sky can then keep F1 with eight cars starting on the grid and all the lesser teams joining the new series. It would then be worthless and the new series could go to channel 4 with a commitment to uninterrupted coverage during the race. That way both the Beeb Sky loose it which would be icing on the cake and Bernie would finally be out of a job and we get to see the same technology free to air. The big teams would join the new series eventually and people power will have won. I notice in qualifying coverage not a thing has been mentioned so far obviously the beeb are oblivious to what they have done.


Well I have waited 24 hrs to comment.

I am kinda cool with it – Sky Sports 1 & 2 only cost me £17 a month with BT Vision.

Think its just the way of the world. Don’t blame the BBC – blame the current Government for capping the license fee for the next 6 years.



James, have you been contacted about a possible presenter position for the Sky team. That would be one good thing to come out of all this!!




The moving of premium events from free to air to subscription television is growing worse in the States, where Wimbledon just announced a move exclusively to pay television for the finals for 12 years was just announced, after the Open Championship has had the two worst years in ratings after a similar package. The same went for collegiate gridiron’s controversial “Bowl Championship Series,” where Fox (News Corp, 2007-10) was outbid by ESPN. Fox Sports’ FTA package currently includes professional (NFL, includes one conference’s entire playoff package and the league championship every third year) and collegiate (Big Ten, Pacific 12) gridiron, a weekly MLB package including one 7-game semifinal and championship series, NASCAR saloons for one half of the regular season, and the four selected F1 races that are not on their subscription packages (with the loss of FTA tennis and golf on mornings, the idea of FTA F1 live is a potential, but Fox has a news division with a strong Sunday morning talk show).

NASCAR sponsors and fans have revolved against the move of the 10-race playoff to pay television from free to air last year of all but one race (that race was chosen as to not conflict with an ESPN cash cow) after having the third to tenth (2004-06, TNT and NBC) or all ten (2007-09 ESPN) playoff races on free to air.

In other entertainment channels, the subscription television channels are easily defeating FTA channels when it comes to Emmy Awards, mainly because of the perceived “no restrictions on content” attitude.

The motivation in the push in the US for moving events from FTA to subscription has been to increase the per-subscriber rate of the subscription channels as a second stream of revenue, something that FTA channels cannot offer. This model is likely the reason for the push for F1 to move to Sky in the UK. I wonder if the revolt against F1 will be the same as in sports where similar moves were made in the States.


Nice one BBC. You have THE BEST presentation team and commentators in years, viewing figures are through the roof and you destroy it. I have sky but I won’t watch F1 on it. I refuse to. I can just see it now, all Andy Gray style with fancy computers, drawing graphics on the screen, dumbed down analysis, will be just like USAs Speed TV presentation for the UK.

The UK is the most knowledgable and dedicated fan base in the world and we are being treated like dirt – all to line those little gnomes, Ecclestone and Murdochs pockets. Shame on you BBC. A very sad day for UK F1 fans, and the wonderful presentation team.


Sky will have made this a done deal from the off.

You don’t pay £45m for exclusive 20 race coverage to have a competitor show the full thing a few hours later, albeit delayed.

This is typical money bags whitewash and misinformation.


Some headlines about the olympics and the BBC:

“BBC to cover EVERY SINGLE MILE of 70-day Olympic torch relay.”

“The man in charge of the Corporation’s coverage admits the Games will dominate every part of the BBC while they are on.”

“As well as the sport, it has lined up drama, comedy and documentaries all tied in to the Olympics, according to BBC Director of London 2012 Roger Mosey.

“About 750 BBC staff will work on the Games”

“It plans to cover every sport from every venue on every day of the Games. At some points there will be 12 sports taking place simultaneously.”

Good job I don’t pay my TV Licence for this crap. Very very easy to ignore every bit of templated junk mail from Capita every month.


This whole affair stinks and is an insult to British formula one fans. If the Beeb want to save money, then stop making some of the other shit you make that nobody watches. Has Bernie taken into account the true fans out there who can’t afford Sky, the people, like myself, who are unable to have a Sky dish put on the side of their building? But we are told it’s ok because we will have highlights. Big deal!! How excited would Ben Gallop be if he went to his local cinema to see the latest Hollywood blockbuster and he got shown highlights? F1 has been my passion since 1969 and I am sorry to say this, but I hope this new deal blows up in Bernies face. I hope fan power will make him realise that he has completely underestimated the other passion of the British fan.


Decisions Decisions… Should I pay for Sky sports.. or should I pay for my TV license…. I can’t afford both

An upgrade to Sky sports is almost the same as the TV license… and since the only two BBC shows I watch are F1 and Top Gear… why should I bother paying for my TV license.

What would happen if all the F1 fans think like this… BBC would go bust, and the courts would be full of people for not paying the TV license.

Just A Bloke (Martin)

BBC Saving money. How many staff on £100k+ ?

This is not my quote, but from Cableforum.

Eastenders is reported to cost £29.9 million for the year\season 2009 in addition to that cost there was the £700k for the live episode for the 25 anniversary episode. Quite likely to have increased in cost to £32 million for 2011.

Casualty is reported to cost £456k per episode with 49 episodes being shown in 2009. That’s £22.35 million per year :shocked:

Holby is at similar price to Casualty @ £370k per episode for 55 episodes which is a staggering £20.35 million a year.

So lets take these 3 fairly popular TV shows & for the year 2009 cost us the license fee payer for the year 2009 a staggering £73.3 million where as for that price we could get 1.83 seasons of F1.

At the moment the BBC gets somewhere in the region of 6.2+ million viewers over the F1 race weekend an increase of some 500k on the same races in the 2010 season.

Casualty gets around 5.5+ million viewers per episode.

Holby gets around 6 million viewers per episode.

And Eastenders, well we’ll be conservative & say 10 million.

So if we take just Casualty & Holby into account as their combined costs per year are quite similar to the cost to the BBC for F1 we can see that Casualty & Holby cost the BBC £410,576 per hour over 104 episodes.

If you take a typical race weekend, 2x practice on red button @ 1.5hrs each & 1 @ 1hr. Qualifying typically 2hrs and race day coverage of 3.15hrs on BBC1 & lets say an hour on forum (red button) that’s 10.15hrs x 19 races in the 2011 calendar that’s a cost of £205,391 per hour. Which in my book makes bloody good value compared to some of the rubbish that’s turned out by the BBC.

So with respect to those that say it cost’s 20x the amount of other shows I beg to differ, although my costings were found easily on-line they take into account only 2009 seasons (aside from F1) & you could conservatively say those TV shows have seen a 10% increase in production costs since then.


You maybe do not realise that the BBC own the rights to programmes like Eastenders and can sell them and merchandise abroad. The BBC owns nothing regarding F1; they simply lease it.


Channel 4 offered the same money as Sky, but Adam Parr encouraged the BBC/Sky deal with his comments about ‘maximising the TV contracts that Ecclestone is wasting on FTA’.

FOTA will get an extra £15 million from this deal, is it worth it.

FOTA taking Sky’s 30 pieces of silver, and becoming a modern Judas.


Bec – where does this information come from? It doesn’t surprise me that FOTA would want to make money from this – as I said in my post (#70, above) F1 is a business and we are customers as much as fans.

It’s useful and interesting info – thanks.


There were 3 deals on the table:

ITV/SKY, ITV to be senior partner and show all races live, Sky to have the extras package for the ‘bobble hats’, this was rejected by Sky.

C4 exclusive, but they couldn’t start until 2013, C4 thought the BBC had to show 2012 (which they did, but haven’t honoured the contract), so C4 couldn’t go ahead.

And Sky/BBC, which was instigated between Monaco and Canada, helpfully pushed along by Adam Parr and FOTA.

FOM could have tried forcing/suing the BBC to make them show 2012, then gone with C4, but this would burn all bridges for a return to the BBC, ITV weren’t willing to pay a premium for exclusivity, and Sky weren’t interested in playing second fiddle.

So we are left with this mishmash where the only winners are Sky, they will take the initial low ratings on the chin hoping to secure the total rights before or after 2018, they will sweeten the pie for FOTA who are already saying it’s a good deal (for whom though?).

Shows that the FOTA fan forums were a PR exercise and smoke screen, that’s why the questions were vetted in advance, you can’t ask FOTA anything that’s too tricky, they just want a platform for ‘on message’ press releases, and Adam Parr to say Bernie wasn’t maximising the TV contracts … I think we can all see the significance of Parr attacks now, shame a lot of fan boys fell for it, as it ultimately led to the current TV deal.


It’s all very sad really. When ITV got the rights to F1 they really upped the quality of the production, and turned the franchise into something desirable for the BBC to have. Whilst we were (mostly) all pleased when the BBC bought the rights due to the lack of adverts, they were really forced to up their game due to the excellent work put in by ITV.

I imagine that due to the general economic downturn no free-to-air broadcaster wanted to commit to Bernie’s usual sky-high fees for the rights and so the opportunity has presented itself for Sky to bag them at a relatively lower cost than having sole rights. No doubt, when this current deal expires, the BBC will be out of the picture completely and free-to-air coverage will be gone forever.

Personally, I am still upset 24hrs later that this will probably be my final year of full F1 coverage – I’m a hardcore fan, but I’m also unable to pay £50 a month for the privilege. I’m sure that those with Sky may cough up the extra money, but for someone without Sky (and there are only 10 million sky subscribers in the UK) it is simply out of reach. And this is leaving aside the moral dilemma of paying Rupert Murdoch with one hand, whilst vilifying him for the NOW scandal with the other.

So, medium-term, I imagine I’ll still watch the free races, until it becomes frustrating when, inevitably Sky will get exclusivity over races like Spa and Montreal, and the BBC will be left trying to make Valencia sound exciting.

Finally, to those expecting the BBC to air the races in full on time-delay as mentioned by Martin Whitmarsh. This is never going to happen, and is merely a way for Bernie to paint the BBC as the bad guys – sure Bernie will offer it, but the BBC is not going to commit to a full 2 and a half hour broadcast slot for a race where they’ll know 3 hours in advance was boring/uneventful/rained off/had Lewis crash off in the first corner – much better, and more consistent to commit to a 75 minute well edited highlights programme with a set format. The best we could hope for would be the full race online.


Need to get some perspective here. BBC had the exclusive rights for the next 2 years for whatever reason they have decided to trade/give these away. The BBC have prioritised everything else over F1. They had been making noises they weren’t going to bid post 2013 this way they have spun their way out of their commitment and Sky have been the fall guy


I have plenty of perspective on this, and don’t blame Sky at all. I blame Bernie and the Beeb. Are you sure you meant to comment on my post?


I’m gonna miss the BBC team, I honestly thought we’d be seeing Jake, DC, Eddie and Martin for many years to come. Just as the team had gelled and found a good commentary arrangement, it’s taken away. Typical.

Sadly, money and greed will always decide the direction of modern day sport. Look at where the 2022 World Cup is being held for goodness sake. As a die-hard F1 fan I used to think our opinions would be heard but alas time has taught me otherwise.

Signed, Joe – A disillusioned F1 fan wondering why he’s spent his life investing money, time and emotion into a sport that refuses to give back.



I am very interested in the highlights versus full race issue given the apparent contradiction in statements between Whitmarsh and Ecclestone on this point.

I hope this turns out to be a deal breaker for SKY or FOTA (wishful thinking!) 🙂

Just A Bloke (Martin)

H’mm recent stories;

Ecclestone DID make an “unusual” payment to a German Banker.

SKY Senior execs implicated(Murdochs) in illegal phone tapping, iffy management and ethics in its paper business.

Why does this latest development not surprise me?

Sky Sports £35?

Sky HD £7?

H’mm thick end of £50 month for a maximum of three races. Not good eh? Never mind perhaps Bernie will pay my Sky Sports subs??


I find it astonishing that the BBC should choose to align themselves with Sky at this particular time. It has not only tarnished their reputation in the eyes of F1 fans, but in those of the wider viewing public too. Having spoken to family and friends who do not follow F1 they all say that their impression of the BBC is now tainted because of their association with Sky.

And we all know that because of the Concorde Agreement Sky could not have obtained the rights to show the races without this assistance from the BBC in half-heartedly showing some of the races.

You have stated that the teams are reading the responses on your website, and I sincerely hope that they appreciate that this deal goes completely against what is implied in the Concorde Agreement, and that they take a stand on behalf of all their fans worldwide who watch the race via the BBC


The BBC are not aligning themselves with SKY.

BBC can’t afford F1. Bernie needs to find someone who can and he’s striking the deal. SKY can afford it and would like it all, but Bernie would like to have some terrestrial broadcaster involved for viewing figures.

The BBC are just offering to be a minor partner to F1 (read Bernie, not SKY) as opposed see it go to Channel 4 and really be left with nothing.



In India we were getting live coverage on Star Sports.

How is the new deal going to differ/affect for us?



It won’t


what a total farce, F1 lately have been making some terrible decisions.

on the commercial side with this deal and the fiasco with the blown diffuser on the technical side of things at silverstone.

why do they shoot themselves in the foot when things are going good!!

I have sky in my house but I’m not paying any more to them, I’m really disappointed that something better couldn’t have been worked out with the BBC!!


Having gone to bed last night extremely irritable and now slept on this, I’m still extremely irritable. The reason goes beyond F1, although to a fan since before the cars had wings, this is bad enough. It’s not even the idea of being expected to pay 4 times what I’m currently paying for something I already have; and that’s bad enough, too.

It is the knowledge that I am absolutely helpless and there is nothing I can do. The BBC gets my money whether I watch its programming or not, while Ecclestone and CVC will continue absolutely unabated even if the UK market for F1 crashes completely.

There is no democratic element to this whatsoever, no-one is truely answerable to the public and I have no influence whatsoever. Just like my days of providing HR/Personnel and legal advice to senior civil servants, in fact! They only listened if the advice met their agendas and happily lost millions in court to uphold their positions if it didn’t, knowing that politics are more important than public service and that’s where their next promotion would come from.

And I’m still fearful for Silverstone. The DTM meeting at Brands Hatch is very poorly supported because nobody pays to watch the full championship on ESPN (including me, I borrrow a recording from a relative) and it has limited appeal as a stand-alone. F1’s appeal to the public can only diminish and Silverstone cannot afford this, following its massive investment recently. Doubtless, this is the icing on Ecclestone’s overly rich cake.

There are futile gestures I can make, perhaps find a petition for the abolition of the licence fee, threaten my MP that I will not vote for her (I didn’t anyway!) but the fact remains that just about the biggest audience share in current UK televison has been shafted.

It really is pay up or shut up; and I hate that so much.



Don’t usually complain online but i am incensed by this latest decision.

I have been a avid fan for many years and have thoroughly enjoyed the BBC coverage from FP1 through to the forum on Sunday, for me it’s a whole weekend of entertainment. The 5 Live commentaries, twitter updates, online stats , Jake and the team, the pre-race build up and post-race forum – it’s been fantastic for the WHOLE weekend for the WHOLE season.

I’m not paying SKY and for me it will be all or nothing. I’m not prepared to watch highlights, just not the same so will prob not be committed next season to watch bits and bobs. Will prob cancel my F1 mag subscription as well so F1 has just lost another fan together with thousands of other like minded people – well done BBC for another poor decision.

Sorry Jake, you do a outstanding job.


the responses above really show how passionate we all are about F1, the dreadsfull Murdoch shark and how unhappy we are

Power to the people = lets make our voice heard – get on Twitter or similar, post things on Facebook – make sure the F1 teams see your anger

This can be reversed but the fans have to drive this

If the public could bring News of the World down, then we can change this

Get tweeting!!!


Having slept on it, I still feel very angry but mostly very sad today. I know there are more important things in life but to a lot of people (including myself)f1 is their life! Even though it pains me, I will pay the £600 a year to sky because I cannot miss 10 full races a season. I just can’t. But this is unfair to F1 fans that cannot afford this. I go to the british GP every year so now I will have to pay £1,600 a year to follow the sport that I love.

On reading other peoples comments is it true that the bbc can show the full race a few hours later, but chose not to?? This would be ok as I watch the race on sunday night anyway due to my partner working on a sunday.

RIP F1 on the bbc – we’ll miss you xx


I see little difference between a 75 min highlights package on Sunday night and a F1 DVD Christmas present in December.

If its not free to air, I’m not going to chase it down and pay Sky for it – just couldn’t be arsed.


I’m disgusted.

This is not a good deal for the Fans.

This is not a good deal for the BBC.

This is not a good deal for the FIA.

This is not a good deal for the F1 teams.

This is not a good deal for the F1 tracks.

Who wins?


Rupert Murdoch. And as the joke goes, he knew this 2months ago 🙁


Bernie & CVC


It seems to me that Bernie and FOTA are happy for many less fans to see live F1 coverage if it means that they get more money themselves! All at the expensive of the fans that choose to pay an extra £600 a year to subscribe to sky sports to see all the races live. Not happy at all.


Well, Im not sure how much more money they will get? It could end up hurting Sky if they’ve spent all this money acquiring the rights to show it, and dont get many more people subscribing to watch it (and thats essentially why they’re in this). Thats money that wont be anywhere, not to the teams, not to Bernie & his cronies, nowhere other then staying in the former-viewers pocket.


Well im sure bernie is getting alot more money than if he didnt agree to the new bbc/sky and put the contract back out to tender. C4 or C5 wouldnt be offering anywhere near as much.


There’s no point complaining to the BBC or to the FIA. Have to complain to the sponsors whose stickers are on the sides of the cars…


That’s a good idea, also whenever you fill in an F1 questionnaire, and the obligatory ‘do you recognise these sponsors’ question pops up, say no, as you have limited exposure to F1 in the UK now … They’ll get the message.


Already started on that… Started with Willaims as they are my team…

I also wrote to FOTA, CVC, BBC, SKY, FIA

if we all do this… it will at least give them a headache as there mail systems crash with overload.


I get why everyone is annoyed at this, I’m annoyed at this. The quality of the BBC coverage has been awesome but what do you think was the alternative to this deal?

It’s a fact that F1 is very expensive for the BBC. Reading sites like this and the comments on Ben Gallop’s blog you obviously get a very polarised opinion but read the comments on the mainstream media when the cost of F1 was first revealed. They are equally strongly stating F1 is a waste of licence fee payers cash. Neither party can get their way so there needs to be a compromise.

Given the options what were the alternatives? ITV and C4 don’t seem to be interested. Imagine the ..[mod] storm if the BBC announced they were scaling back coverage to be just the race to save money, no quali, no Jake, DC and EJ, no web etc.

Given the fact that the current prefered scenario was not sustainable what we have got is actually a rather good compromise. Quality coverage for die hards has been maintained, prime time highlights will be a lot more popular for armchair fans that 3 hours round shanghai at 6 am, etc.

Yep it sucks if you are a die hard fan without an existing Sky subscription but for everyone else it’s actuall a fantastic deal.


“Yep it sucks if you are a die hard fan without an existing Sky subscription but for everyone else it’s actuall a fantastic deal.”how it is a fantastic deal?

we wont be able to watch the races live so will have to avoid the tv & the internet for a few hours untill the bbc show the race.

we wont be able to use live timing or the gps apps avaliable which are a huge benefit in allowing you to follow the races.

we wont be able to watch the onboard feed or driver tracker both of which have been invaluable this season.

yes we will get highlights or delayed coverage on fta tv still, however it will be a barebones package that will harm peoples ability to follow races as we do today.

in the current f1 strategy & understanding strategy is key, losing things like live timing & gps will harm fans ability to follow the races as we lose an important tool to understand everyones race pace. there have been races this season where i’d have been practically lost without the timing.

im not intrested in delayed coverage & im not intrested in only highlights, f1 is not a sport which works well in that format as its a very technical sport where the extra stuff only avaliable when live are essential.

for me its live coverage or im not intrested & since i can’t get sky it looks like this will be my final year of following f1 after 45 years & trust me that is not an idle threat.


Screw you Sky. I have a complete internet/phone/HD TV package. I have just got off the phone to obtain my MAC code and I am cancelling my complete package. I pay you over £700 a year. You have just lost my business after 11 years. You complete pack of money grabbing ..[mod]


Will there be a new business model?

One thing that hasn’t really been looked into is that the teams have generally said free-to-air is essential for that business model. I think Parr suggested that the business model could be changed – so can we infer that the possible loss of sponsorship for the teams will be offset by money coming in from Sky? If teams are guaranteed a certain amount of money from Sky, they may feel that a better option than scrambling around for sponsors and pay drivers.

Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren won’t be affected by changes to the business model, but the other teams could benefit (or suffer, I guess) greatly.


Please help me on two counts. Firstly I do not understand- The BBC entered a contract to show F1 till 2013. As both customer and Fee payer, we should expect that to be honoured. But what has happened? Presumably production costs have remained approx the same and the licence fee has remained the same so why the massive change to what we should expect from the original contract?Secondly, Bernie Eccelstone said at the Turkist GP that a Sky bid would be suicidal – viewing figures would fall and it would be detrimental to sponsers. Today he is saying exactly the opposite. Can this man be fit to run F1? Are the likes of Martin Whitmarsh going to let this pass? I just do not understand.


From an earlier post:

‘I just wish that the BBC got rid of a lot of techy gimmickry, dropped the fans forum and just cut expenses from the show if it meant I could watch all the races on BBC1.’

Absolutely – I wouldn’t even mind missing qualifying, but you have to have all the races live on free-to-air.

And, I do blame the BBC for this first and foremost.

I know people want to blame Sky, but this was the BBC’s call to make and they have got into bed with the wrong commercial partner. Sky got involved because the Beeb basically went cap-in-hand to them, having blown all our licence fee payer money on moves to Salford, wall-to-wall Olympics coverage and big salaries for people like Chris Moyles.

What we should be organising here is a petition calling for an end to the licence fee, given the cavalier way the Beeb is treating F1 fans.


Really upset about this! I am struggling with money as it is!!! My treat for the year is to go to silverstone but what would be the point in that if I don event know what is going on in the season!!! I have been a massive fan of f1 for years and I am horrified to hear this!!! I have workd it out that I will have to pay £70.00 per race for the races that are no shown on the BBC. I am sorry but I might as well put a couple more pounds together and get a general admission ticket for these races!!! Didnt Bernie say not so long ago that f1 will always be on free tv? Sorry but sky your not having my money!!!!!!


This is the complaint I’ve emailed to fota:

It was made very clear how fans felt about F1 live coverage staying on free to air TV in the UK at the fans forum.

If fans views are not going to be taken into account what was the point in having a fans forum at all?

I feel sorry for the fans who wasted their time attending!

I have been attending Silverstone for the British GP every year since Hamilton came into F1.

I have also been to Spa and Monza to watch Hamilton race.

This means that since Hamilton has entered the sport I have on average attended more than 1 GP per year.

If I stop watching F1 on TV its logical that I will stop attending GPs as well.

I wont buy sky because it is not good value for money and watching the sport a few hours late is not good enough for me.

Even if I don’t know the result while watching the delayed coverage, knowing that the race is already over and the result has already been decided will detract from the viewing experience.

I was pleased when F1 came to the BBC (no adverts) but I’d rather see it on ITV or Channel 4 with adverts then watch it delayed or purchase SKY.

I have been enjoying F1 in HD through freesat all year and enjoy watching the sector times and track GPS positions (Live) on my ipad at the same time, how will live sector times work with delayed coverage?

Should this deal go ahead it will be the end of an awful lot of fans interest in the sport.




IF BBC has the option of showing the full race, delayed or otherwise , they could at least put it on BBC3 or BBC4 in FULL. Way preferable to highlights, and meets Concorde agreement.

I assume if cost is the issue, all those great Pre race features like Coulthard and Jake cruising in the hills above Monaco in the classic mercedes will be first to go!

Bye Bye build up, the exact parts that BBC have excelled in, and built the 10m viewers on. That’s what sets current program apart from ITV offering ! Eg: Even when race has been average or a vettel led procession 😉 , at least BBC historical segment would have made it an enjoyable 2 or 3 hours .


Like some others I thought I’d wait 24 hours and see how I felt. Still seething. For the first time in my life I’m leaving comments; on the Beeb site and here.

Absolutly disgusted after watching F1 all my life on the Beeb (and ITV). I am never going to knowingly pay Rupert Murdoch for anything; and that’s before you start to think about the exorbitant cost. And so my F1 days are numbered. Like so many others who have posted.

C’mon Bernie. Get a grip and think about the ordinary fans for once.

Off to complain to FOTA now…….


I thought my anger might have cooled off after 24hrs but actually im just as angry, if not more then i was going to sleep last night.


James. Great to have more info. Sorry if questions been asked but will FP1,2 and 3 be available anywhere? The insight you get during these broadcasts is highly informative and a must for the fans.



Yes on Sky always and on Beeb at their 10 races and online


Mass protest outside Woking or the BBC HQ anyone?


In fact James can you help us as a fanbase set up a FOTA meeting with Whitmarsh in the break?

Or can we lobby the Labour party to back our stance, this is after all for the best of the people. We shouldn’t be forced to pay a license fee for the BBC when it doesn’t show what we want and have to line the pockets of that blood sucking leech Rupert Murdoch!


The BBC/Sky deal goes against the spirit of the EU law ‘Television without frontiers directive 1989’.

Sadly it doesn’t go against the letter of the law atm, well unless the government decide to help British F1 fans out, because certainly FOTA have abandoned us for Sky’s 30 pieces of silver.


That maybe, but the BBC has now made itself a 2nd rate service. The woman on the Beeb website saying they have Wimbledon and the Open… etc, who cares about Ascot? and Snooker? They might have a wide range of sports but most of them aren’t what the public want to say…

The Beeb may have just kissed bye bye to F1 forever, you wait, Murdoch will get his teeth into it until it is exclusive to Sky, Ofcom must have something to say about exclusivity and sport on Sky TV and being able to charge what they like by monopolising the market.

James, please can you help us? There is a facebook group Save BBC F1… surely the Beeb must realise that the license fee no longer offers value for money, they are producing 2nd rate sports portfolio…

F1 is a crown jewel sport worth £millions, post recession the Beeb will never regain exclusivity so this needs to be reversed before it starts in my opinion.


Whitmarsh – “If it increases the total viewership, and it maintains the ability of free to air for all of the viewing public in the UK, then cautiously it’s good news isn’t it?”

The only way this will increase viewership is if new consumers subscribe to Sky Sports. how many more subscriptions are likely to be taken up by this? A few hundred thousand? One million (unlikely). Hardly enough to usher in a “new era” for F1 if you ask me.

Also, how many Sky viewers did Bernie quote previously? Ten million? What percentage of these are likely to actually watch the F1? I’m assuming existing Sky subscribers would have watched the BBC coverage through their Sky box anyway. With the Sky deal, they will continue to. So where’s the audience uptake there?

Considering the fact the BBC can increase their viewership by a few million simply by providing quality programming / presentation / coverage, how can the Sky deal possibly be of any advantage?

The answer: MONEY

Well, that’s the obvious answer at least. But another trick up Sky’s sleeve is they way in which the “powers that be” can easily tap in, seeing exactly WHO is watching, WHAT they’re watching, WHERE they’re watching from, and how long they’re watching for. This is not possible on a freeview / analogue medium, not to this extent anyway. At current, the methods of measuring viewership on the BBC are sketchy at best.

From an advertiser / sponsor point of view, you can see the advantage of knowing exactly how many people are watching your brand emblazoned upon the multiple billboards, screaming past the screen on the various team liveries.

But as a viewer, the advantage is nil.


I’m a very long term F1 fan (35 years plus)and find that my viewing is greatly enhanced by watching BBC’s coverage accompanied by the F1 timing screen on my lap top. Delayed coverage prevents this and greatly reduces the experience. I cannot afford Sky, I live on a pension. I had the privilege of attening the Maclaren Fans forum recently and, on the day, was impressed by how much the powers that be seemed to care about the fans. All appears a bit hypocritical now doesn’t it, Derek


What an absolute shambles this is!

As usual, it is the F1 fans who suffer the most in all of this. bernie doesn’t give a damn about the sport or the fans who support it. He only has eyes for the balance sheet as he slithers and squirms his way through the sport, poisoning it for fans at every turn.

Absolutely disgusted by this. Shame on all those involved.

Will I be subscribing to sky as a result of this? Not a chance!


Sounds like Bernie is telling fibs.

Thanks for the updates.


Bernie Ecclestone has conducted his business like this for a long time and managed to irritate or alienate F1 fans consistently.

However, in this digital age where viral advertising and campaigning is a powerful norm he needs to be careful (and I think Whitmarsh is aware of it) that people can and will make their feelings known and will do something about it.

The BBC too has treated fans with some contempt also – they very successfully built a bigger audience and having done that they now says ‘sorry – but budgets are tight’. Yeah right, as if we didn’t know that – but if you antagonise your audience they will not forgive you.

Like it or not, the customer is always right and much as I love F1 I won’t pay £40 per month to watch it on Sky and with the excitement of the live event gone I doubt I’ll be very motivated to watch it on the Beeb.

I used to be a boxing fan, but when that left the BBC and went to Sky (then pay per view on Sky) it effectively killed it. Don’t let F1 go the same way.


Im sure Sky’s “new level” will be super, if news corp do eventually take over, they’ve had experience of working with sponsors to produce high quality products.


Welcome to world of high finance.

At present in the UK, you can watch F1 for free in its entirety without interruption if you have a TV, a computer, or even a smartphone with a sensible plan. So, anyone who wants to watch can.

But this deal requires a SKY Sports subscription to get a worse service. That can only generate less viewers. But, even with a reduced reach, it can generate new advertising revenue that will enable CVC to attach more value to the commercial rights, earning it a bigger profit when it sells those rights. This is what private equity does.

It will also generate more income for the teams as they will be bought off with an improved Concorde agreement.

The precedent is Premier League football.

Once upon a time, F1 was a sport. Then Ecclestone arrived.


Now it’s a ‘show’.


The powers that be need to understand that it isn’t important whether the full race or highlights are shown delayed. What is important is seeing the race live as it happens.

In my opinion a full delayed showing is worse than just the highlights. In the past when I’ve had to record a race and come in later I usually end up fast forwarding through large parts of the race.


I come from three generations of F1 fans, last year I was in Halls studying at university (a place where Sky is not available accidentally), I didn’t want the pay the licence fee because I simply didn’t have the money, and so I caught up with the F1 hours after it aired. I always found out the result accidentally before watching the race, and having been a die hard fan my entire life, by the end of the year I was loosing interest.

I’m not in Halls anymore, we have sky sports, but am I not happy with the prospect of watching it on that channel. Sky Sports suits sports that need a mass of airtime that terrestrial simply cannot offer, that is why other sports flourish of it. The f1 runs for three hours, its simply not value for money paying for a subscription just to watch it. The BBCs proposed coverage is something, but having ‘caught up’ after the race aired last year I can honestly say, people will loose interest, I know from experience.


I think the tone of your comment is unfair to Martin Whitmarsh as clearly Bernie is briefing that the BBC have the right to show the whole race – as Jamie correctly summarises above.

I would guess that Bernie is as usual playing with words, and he has set up a contract that deliberately does not apportion rights between the two, so he is not lying when he claims that BBC have the option of showing all the races – it is just that to get the deal with Sky they had to give away that option. The reality is that if BBC wanted to show all the races in full, then there would be no deal with Sky.

Typical Bernie.

It still bugs me that news sites keep going on about the 10 million Sky homes, but do not say how many of those have the Sports package. The reality is that the Sky Sports availability is a lot less than 10 million.


Well Done BBC !

Just when you get the best sports coverage anywhere in the World with a terrific presentation team you throw it away : To Sky !

It also seems that Bernie has had a big hand in this and told the teams a slightly different story to the reality.

Martin W: I have news for you :

I won’t be buying a Sky subscription anytime soon. My wife will be pretty pleased to get back 10 Sundays through the season when I won’t be glued to the TV, laptop at the ready with the live timing and in-car camera windows open.

I will scale back my F1 obsession and take a little more distant interest in it.

I probably won’t watch many of the highlights programmes either because there will be none of the interactive stuff and it will be difficult not to know the results, given all the F1 email news services I’m signed up to.

Is this what you’re sponsors want, Martin ?


when i first heard the new about bbc/sky i wasnt very happy (as i am a sky viewer too) as i feel the bbc haas been brillant for f1, but now i have had some time to think about it im not sure this is such a bad thing cause look at the effect sky has had on some sports such as football, darts and boxing it has truly transformed them and got new viewers for each of them and the sky coverage is always top notch, so why cant they do the same to f1?


Free to air means live, as any F1 fan/fantatic will tell you seeing highlights late is totally unacceptable. Putting some live on the BBC is a joke.

After all the scandal around Murdoch’s News International, possible jail sentences for him or his family, I am amazed they would try this now. I will never pay one single penny to that man but I will spend a lot of time and effort to cause as much trouble as possible to SKY and this idea.


Bernie and Murdoch, how apropo. My expectation is Sky will be stunned at the proliferation of pirating that will come.


Agreed on that second point. SKY’s actions to combat it have been completely ineffective. If they don’t invest enough to protect their massive moneymaker – the Premiere League, then F1 will just go ‘underground’ for many….



Unfortunately whether we like it or not Bernie and the BBC sold us out a bit. I don’t who’s Sky got lined up for its team but I think James you should be one of them! You are a credit to F1 and its about time we see you back on the screens! Who agrees with me?!


Not me. James’ talent is writing; providing insight and adding value.

Christopher Mason

As a matter of principle, I will be finding a new sport – they can get stuffed.


If BBC aren’t showing a race I suggest finding an Internet stream and listening to 5live commentary.

Awful decision by Bernie and the BBC.


Don’t think that would work as most streams tend to be slightly behind what they are on tv, so listening to 5live, you would be hearing things happening anything up to (depending on speeds etc) several minutes before seeing them happen.

I’m already a sky sports customer due to being a Liverpool fan so won’t be missing out, but I still don’t agree with this whole decision and feel for the fans that can’t have sky sports 🙁


Also I certainly wouldn’t pay the subscription fee if it was only to watch the F1


As I’ve relocated to Germany from the UK in the last couple of days, I only caught up with the news of this ‘deal’ when I got connected to the web for the first time yesterday evening. As an avid fan of F1 since 1997 (I’ve barely missed a race since then) it is very disappointing that I’m now going to lose access to live coverage of half the races when I return to the UK… (although I personally don’t expect to return until halfway through next season so I’ll be getting my F1 fix from RTL or something anyway).

Remarkable strength of feeling on the BBC blog page – so much so that (at least for me outside the UK) there is now no link to that blog anywhere on the BBCF1 homepage. You can’t really blame the BBC F1 editor for attempting a positive line in his article – indeed, he may genuinely feel like this was a “save” of sorts, since it appears there WAS a great deal of substance to the media rumours of BBC attempting to release themselves from the F1 contract sooner rather than later.

However, as so many have pointed out, it’s the millions of fans without Sky subscriptions – both in the UK and in other English-speaking territories where BBC feeds are received – who lose out. In my own family’s case my parents were already intending on stopping our Sky subscription shortly and switching entirely to Freesat, and I’m not sure this announcement will change that…

I have noticed, though, that a good number of comments all over the web seem to be proclaiming the “death” of F1, or at least the start of it. Make no mistake, the UK is a key territory for F1 (particularly with so many teams based here) but with millions of fans tuning in all over the world, the execs at the top of the sport will look at the UK as ‘just one country among many’ – as viewing figures rise globally overall, the ups and downs in the UK may not actually be as big a deal to them as it might seem!

It’s a great shame (though possibly inevitable) – Sky as broadcasters of sport do have a history of innovations in coverage, but what more can they do? BBC already covered everything – coverage of all sessions, extensive build-up and analysis, excellent web content. Aside from bringing back the ‘interactive’ features of the F1Digital+ days and allowing viewers to choose which drivers they follow (a service with relatively limited appeal, in the same way that very few people ever used the PlayerCam option in football coverage due to the problem of missing the key action elsewhere on the field!), what more can be done that wasn’t already being done??

I think that is a key factor in the strength of feeling – the BBC coverage was outstanding and it feels like we’ve been ‘robbed’ of it just two-and-a-half years after all the fanfare of ‘F1 coming home’. The team on the show have made such an effort to get the fans involved and feeling like they’re a part of it, and now it feels like it’s been snatched away all-of-a-sudden by people higher up in the chain. I also don’t like the way we were all strung along for weeks beforehand with all the speculation in the media about F1’s demise on the BBC, only for this bombshell to then show up just when it looked like the speculation was possibly unsubstantiated.

It’s just the way business works though – time and again we see the big players find their own agreements which please them all greatly, while the fans are left to bear the burden of whatever decisions have been taken on their behalf. Depressing, huh?


If it is true the option to show the full re-run is there, how about a BBC1 highlights package with an extended option on BBC3? The reverse of what happens now.



Are you really suggesting that Whitmarsh is telling lies? He was firm on what he was told. It cannot be a ploy or a negotiating stance, it would be a downright lie.

I accept that someone is telling lies. My money is not on Whitmarsh.

Bernie, for all his bluff and thunder, might well not be the leader in all of this. In the battle of which wrinkly is the more powerful we must accept aht Bernie’s position with CVC/FOM is not assured. Many feel he is living on borrowed time with the company.


Bernie is playing the best poker game here …. i’ve read multiple reports that quote him, Martin Whitmarsh and BBC and basically all 3 are saying different things…

Bernie says the BBC”s option on off-weekends is to show as much or little of the race (up to full coverage) and its BBC’s decision on how much to cover (so you’d think a full race would appease the fans)

Martin says that Bernie has ‘assured him it will be full races and not highlights’

BBC are saying its highlights (extended or otherwise)

This whole storm could have been very easily avoided had the BBC not just announced on their own this new deal without making it full clear on exactly how it’s all working

Bernie is happy commercially even if only 1m viewers pay to see races as he’ll get a slice from Sky which is probably much more than the 45m he’s getting from BBC alone, teams will get 50% of that but the victim in all this is the viewing numbers…

Seems clear that as long as they’re getting more cash viewing figures be damned …. i for one will simply have to tollerate whatever slim pickings the BBC doles out and make do… am not prepared to fork out the required cash for Sky Sports + HD (over £30/mnth) for maybe 1 or 2 races per month this is both financially and on principal.

Only saving grace for me would be if Sky turned around and offered something like a RaceWeekend pass for say £5 for the weekend…. i would be prepared to pay that but i see it as irresponsible to toss away a lot of perfectly good money for 2 hours entertainment every few weeks


If this mess goes ahead then I won’t be watching F1 and I don’t think I’ll be buying a TV license either. The only reason now for having a license is to watch F1 live and the occasional Top Gear. I can always catch up with Top Gear on iplayer so there’s no need to fork out £145 for the BBC license. The law states that you need to be covered by a TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes, on any device, as they’re being shown on TV. See


I thought F1 would want more viewers. It seems to me the path chosen (although not entirely clear at this point) will result in reduced numbers of viewers. I read the comments of the UK fans on this thread and they are going to have reduced coverage or a compacted coverage at an inopportune time slot. Understandably they are not happy and so a reduced following will result. I feed the same in Aus. Do not know who will provide it (I assume ONE will have to purchase it (if they can afford it) from someone but the time of transmission may change (delayed?). If F1 want better coverage why cutoff one delivery arm?


If the BBC shows the race in full in a 5 or 6pm time slot, then I will be happy with that. Since most races I watch at around that time on iPlayer anyway.

I already discussed Sky with my other half and we can’t justify it just for F1 – we really don’t watch much TV at all.


You know, I remember feeling a similar way when it transferred to the BBC from ITV.

Even though I knew it would be better I still thought there was nothing wrong with the ITV coverage at the time and knew I would miss it. Two or three races into BBC and I’d almost forgot about ITV (almost, Jonathan Legard)..

I am a massive Liverpool fan, and although I dont watch every game (I don’t have sky sports currently at home), it hasnt dulled my passion because of that. We’ll get used to this system over time. Football, Cricket – they are all flourishing on SKY. Also, before I had (say it quietly..) SKY PLUS I missed the odd Grand Prix throughout the year anyway.

This may convince me to finally get a subscription and although the timing was a shock, now that I’ve had time to digest it it won’t be as bad as I thought it would be initially.


I think we’re all missing the big pictures here firstly why did BBC take it off ITV if it was so expensive and its obvious they don’t want it clogging up their precious Olympic time slots in 2011, pity their not thinking about 2012-18, the BBC will be a very boring place.


i have emailed FOTA, as suggested in another thread.

it would be great if lots of people did this.

we should also email all the main sponsors.

when Ford pulled out of the News of the World, it was a tipping point. do not underestimate our power brothers and sisters.

And if all else fails – we can always stream it from ‘wherever’.


In an interview on the BBC F1 website, Bernie states that the BBC has the option to show full race re-runs, but it would appear the BBC have decided to show an edited version.


If that is true we must lobby the BBC. I for one have sent my letter.


Very interesting that the commentary will be shared. It doesn’t make sense for Sky to do that though; if Sky poach Brundle and DC it could have been a key reason for fans to stick with Sky when both BBC and Sky are showing races.

I assume BBC aren’t going to put in the same effort pre and post race that have this year for the races they have live?

James, do we know anything about whether Sky are getting rights to the support races (i.e. GP2, GP3). Eurosport’s deal ends this year if I recall, and BBC were originally offered support races as part of the F1 deal. If Sky gets them and shows them at a decent time I am much more likely to upgrade to Sky Sports. They have very little motorsport at the moment.


Thanks James – good to have a little more clarity on this.

It strikes me that FOTA might want full coverage too. I don’t know the details of the Concorde agreement but, to be honest, it doesn’t concern me. There’s been a lot of angry chat from fans, annoyed at Bernie Ecclestone for what they see as greed, though I’m not sure how much difference there is between that and the teams wanting to maximise viewing figures to please sponsors. I guess what I’m saying is that Bernie isn’t the only one who wants to make a buck. However, there’s a difference between the two in the sense that FOTA didn’t choose this.

The BBC are between a rock and a hard place- forced to make cuts by Cameron’s government, they have to pick somewhere to cut from. Formula 1 lost out on this occasion. I’m certain that Barbara Slater, Ben Gallup et al. would rather not be in the position of trying to sell this to viewers with a positive spin, but what else, as BBC employees, could they do? They have to find some way to make a statement and I believe they have done so professionally. I am sure that no-one on the BBC side of this discussion is ‘happy’ about the outcome, but that there is some relief at least that they have retained rights for half of the season.

I am also certain that, despite legions of fans saying they will not subscribe to Sky Sports to watch races live, there will be as many who already have subs or will sign up and will watch.

Of course I, along with thousands, possibly millions, of fans, am massively dissapointed that the superb coverage we have been treated to over the current and previous two seasons will be reduced from next season. We feel cheated that the BBC have reneiged on their deal 18 months early and aggrieved that they will be ‘in bed with the devil’ as many see it. Were the Murdochs not so prominent in the news, I suspect this feeling would be much less articulated. After all, a good many of those not prepared to pay for Sky Sports already pay a basic Sky subscription (myself included) and I cannot bring myself to say on the one hand that ‘Sky are evil, I will NOT debase myself by paying for F1’ when, in fact, I watch most races on BBC1 via the Sky digital platform.

So – what’s my point? I’m not entirely sure – to thank you for the update, certainly; to support the BBC? Well, not really, but to point out that it’s harder to criticise them than I would like; to slam Sky for jumping in on what many broadcasters would love to get their hands on? Ok, yes, a little bit – but that’s their purpose I guess. No, not really any of those. I think it’s more to suggest that, however aggrieved we fans may feel, we must remember tgat we don’t have a right to free F1 coverage. We have gad it for years, and it hurts when we are told it’s going to be taken away but, ultimately, like many ‘big’ sports, Formula 1 is also a business. A very big one, at least in part designed to sell us things. We look past all that and crave the racing, the personalities, the dramas, the stories, but are nevertheless its customers as much as wr are its fans.


I understand the “rock and a hard place” comment but I feel the BBC really need to concentrate on providing value for the license fee. This year’s coverage goes to show just how brilliant a job a non-commercial channel can do. The coverage is simply awesome – and I include the Forum, behind the scenes stuff and flashy montages in that.

However, if budget constraints mean they can no longer deliver this then they should drop the whole thing. Forget wasting license fee payers’ money on rights for half of the season – it’s pointless.

Bernie needs FTA coverage to keep the teams sweet. The BBC have given him this get-out clause but given us, the fans, something totally unacceptable.

They should’ve either:

1) Walked away and let ITV or Ch4 pick it up

2) Done a deal to let Sky show it live but run it “as-live” (unedited) with a 2-3hr delay (to get cheaper rights)

3) Grown some balls and negotiated

… what little we’re being told right now is the worst of all scenarios.

And that brings me to another point – the lack of clarity about what the BBC will actually show next year is only making this situation worse. Us F1 fans thrive on stats, data and facts. We’ve been given very little – hence all the emotion.

Sort it out BBC!

Michael Roberts

This is the first sensible comment on this post. People need to grasp that the BBC don’t want to cut down their F1 coverage but they don’t have a choice.

Rupert Richardson

Is there a way to watch another country’s free-to-air broadcast on the Net? Who else does it in English, I wonder? (I can get into Italian TV, but…)


You can always point a dish at 19.2E and watch it free to air from RTL (Germany), for English commentary, listen to radio 5 live at the same time. Even after installation costs, this will be far cheaper than Sky. This is my current plan.


This is not a good deal for f1 fans, this is about short term money for Bernie and the teams. I for one will not and cannot afford to pay 300-500 pounds to watch the 10 races not on the BBC. If I can only watch half the season, its like watching half a football match, I will not spend my life avoiding the media and internet so as to avoid the result until I’ve seen the highlights, I will just follow live timeings on site like and see the odd race on BBC.

With the lack of funds, I am sure the current line up will either go to sky or get split up as some follow the money and others look at their overall BBC career, and this will be the team both on and off screen, in the long-term the content will not be the same. So in two years time when the BBC viewers are down in the 2 – 3 millions will they drop it altogether in the next round of cuts.

Shared production facilities, who’s ob will it be? If sky are covering it all, surely it will be theirs, so will they get first say on its use, and in the back to backs are they really going to want to leave it set up for the BBC to work on their output once sky is off air.

I would rather pay a 5 or 10 pound annual subscription to bbcf1 and help keep it on BBC, if all or most of the10 million viewers did that the 20 – 30 million the beeb are looking to save could be raised. I would rather do something like that, and it is much more affordable to the millions of us who do not have and do not want sky or cable.

As I said at the start, this is a short term money deal for Bernie, it is likely he will be out of F1 in the next few years, either as result of his age or a take over. BBC had the rights until the end of 2013, why was the deal not done to keep it on the BBC in full until then, but show it on sky with exclusive rights to HD so it had some appeal to them. I think too many assumptions have been made by fota and f1 over the willingness and ability of the fans to pay for following the sport, and many millions will stop, so long term it is f1 that will loose out.

So I finish with the question, is sky looking for the rights, be they exclusive or shared in any of the other countries on the list, and is this not just a covert way of Murdochs take over of f1 rights.


We are being fobbed off again. These people really don’t care about LIVE sporting events and the excitement they create. We are not interested in highlights.

The fans need to get control of this and drive the teams and the F1 management back to a more realistic approach to treating fans prperly


As long as us Australians still get to see the action on free-to-air on One HD!

Was in UK last year, BBC’s coverage was superb, glad to see that although they’ve drastically cut back their coverage, it will still be treated with some respect.

And keeping the same commentary team is a no-brainer, for continuity, but who the commentators may be is anyone’s guess!


should have read on, sorry, you have it posted.


It’s like the BBC have dropped f1 like a hot potato… Don’t we as licence fee payers get a say? Time to stop the beebs stranglehold monopoly, I rarely watch the rubbish they churn out these days. Still angry over 24 hours after the announcement.


what a mess.

have you seen ben galop’s explanation on the bbc website?


I think this new arrangement will be a lot better than everyone thinks, SKY are not in it to run F1 into the ground, I am sure they will make a good effort of it. This way Bernie is catering to the hardcore and casual fan in the best way.

James, typo third paragraph free to air should read pay TV I think.


Will I be able to subscribe to Sky’s F1 coverage from the USA?


This is not a good deal for f1 fans, this is about short term money for Bernie and the teams. I for one will not and cannot afford to pay 300-500 to watch the 10 races on the BBC. If I can only watch half the season, its like watching half a football match, I will not spend my life avoiding the media and internet so as to avoid the result until I’ve seen the highlights, I will just follow live tidings on site like and see the odd race on BBC.

With the lack of funds, I am sure the current line up will either go to sky or get split up as some follow the money and others look at their overall BBC career, both on and off screen so the content will not be the same. So in two years time when the BBC viewers are down in the 2 – 3 millions will they drop it altogether in the next round of cuts.

Shared production facilities, who’s ob will it be? If sky are covering it all, surely it will be theirs, so will they get first say on its use, and in the back to backs are they really going to want to leave it set up for the BBC to work on their output once sky is off air.

I would rather pay a 5 or 10 pound annual subscription to bbcf1 and help keep it on BBC, if all or most of the10 million viewers did that the 20 – 30 million the beeb are looking to save could be raised. I would rather do something like that, and it is much more affordable to the millions of us who do not have and do not want sky or cable.

As I said at the start, this is a short term money deal for Bernie, it is likely he will be out of F1 in the next few years, either as result of his age or a take over. BBC had the rights until the end of 2013, why was the deal not done to keep it on the BBC in full until then, but show it on sky with exclusive rights to HD so it had some appeal to them.


Why won’t all parties concerned treat the fans with some respect and just give us the facts. Am I being naive, surely, with a deal of this financial magnitude, all parties should have a full understanding of what they will (or will not) be doing and I would have thought that the nature of the TV coverage by any party would have been agreed by now. I accept that the concord agreement may hay some impact, but fundamentally this is a done deal so why the mixed messages ?

Moving onto the nature of the coverage F1 is a global sport, so the BBC showing the full race / extended highlights at a fixed point in time every race day is going to be a challenge for the fans to stay away from media sources before the programme, Remeniscent of the Likely Lads staying away from the TV before a delayed football match ?

The SKY coverage is surely going to be the most lucrative from a potential presenters perspective, so will we see a migration of talent from the BBC to Sky? It’s generally accepted that the BBC,s coverage of F1 is the best it has ever been. HD is now a given, so it’s the quality of the supporting coverage which is of paramount importance, I can’t see the BBC being able to maintain this now ?

Advertising during the race? Unless a major season sponsor has been acquired, how can Sky see this as a good deal if they are prohibited from showing adverts during their coverage?

I still maintain that this decision marginalises the average F1 fan in the UK and from what i’ve observed over the last 24 hours, there won’t be a rush to subscribe to Sky.

So many questions!!


Finally something logic said on the matter. I was skeptical how SKY would accept to let BBC show the race entirely later on, it makes no sense for them.

Now it’s clear. The sharing of resources is something very strange, maybe the 1st time it happens in any sport.

Anyway, wait & see.


Only a full race is acceptable. Anythimg else is criminal. Go Martin Whitmarsh


Why does F1 do this?

Always announce conversational news on a Friday, fans up in arms, teams treated like mushrooms, nobody concentrating on the racing, teams and Bernie have a pow-wow, more confusion.

I realise there is an outside chance that this is all posturing, but it really does make F1 look like amateur hour. For an industry that seems to pride itself on it’s professionalism, it doesn’t half get it wrong.

I just wish that the BBC got rid of a lot of techy gimmickry, dropped the fans forum and just cut expenses from the show if it meant I could watch all the races on BBC1.

James – Thanks for keeping up the reporting on this subject and all the the others. You’re the number one stop for my F1 news.


After the German race the BBC had Whitmarsh and Domenicali on straight after the race Which other broadcaster commands this clout ? With the presenting split then this is diluted the big names will go elsewhere.

F1 is one of the UK’s major industries it is larger in Great Britain than anywhere else in the world ITS BRITISH ITS GOOD lets not spoil it keep F1 on the BBC


I understand it only concerns UK fans…in many countries you need to pay to watch f1 and it is a simple reakity for people. Here in Poland we never had a quality analysis or coments. Comentators are reading Glamour to get updated on recent facts about f1. You folks have been spoiled by BBC and super quality broadcasting, commenting and analysis…

I definitely feel your pain…but f1 is all about money.

On the other hand, I am in Budapest for a race this weekend…logistics is terrible, organization is a complete farce…a complete waste of money. Never again in my life I will go to watch f1 live! TV offers so much more and it is so much cheaper!


I will really miss the buildup & qually. I even use the BBC website to watch most of the practice sessions. Half of the fun is the other stuff running up of the race so I think next and successive years will be off to Shelsley Walsh or Prescott hill climbs at the weekend rather than watch half a season of F1. I’m not sure how they believe the viewing figures will increase, I certainly feel they will drop like a mass of titanium and carbon fibre in a ocean of engine coolant. I will hopefully enjoy watching the rest of the season as it’s likely to be the last season I (and my son) will get to see.


And so what will this mean for those of us downunder in Australia?

Is this the beginning of the end for us?

Will we *have* to get paytv to see what we see now for free?

Will this mean less people will get to see F1 here?

I know some fans who just don’t bother as it’s on too late here before a work day the next day. Maybe they may see a highlights show on Monday night but the rest of us who are big enough fans to stay up late on a Sunday will lose out.

Is this the way the sport wants to go?


If we can’t get near to live and certainly complete telecasts of the races you’ve lost me!

Bernie and Rupert have the same values. Money above all else including morality, certainly the fans are way down the priority list. Mind you the FIA is doing its bit in seeing off the fans with electric pit propulsion and canopies and reduction in HP. F1 is not green never was never will be. What a load of nonsense. Bernie and Rupert are just greedy buggers who will see off the Sport in return for the mighty dollar(though that may be an oxymoran now)Bring back Can-Am .


it just gets worse and worse


I used to live in London, during the BBC days prior to the former ITV coverage.

Then I moved to Japan to find delayed coverage starting at around midnight (typically, for euro time zone races. very unproductive monday mornings after race weekend)

Sunday evening was off-limits to internet, because you might see newsflash as to who won the race, so that the fun will be spoilt.

At least in Japan Fuji has exclusive rights on terrestrial, so watching regular TV at around that time was safe. No reporting of results of the race on other channels until the race is over.

I loved F1 enough to decide and pay monthly subscription to see it live and without ads to reck and miss that crucial pit stop moment.

600 quid sounds scary compared to Japan. Is that confirmed? If pay per view is available, and as long as service and quality is noticeably different, there would be less complaints, I think.

Freemongers will always complain. I will only complain IF I DO NOT GET WHAT I PAY FOR!

Same for everything else in life.


Just to add…

It sounds like a stupid thing to say, but trust me. BBC COVERAGE WAS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE FOR IT TO BE FREE. Trust me. No ads or interruptions. Good lead up to the race, good commentary team…You have it all!

Compare that to Fuji terrestrial, and like ITV days, CM to ruin the crucial moments…


Yes – but of course the BBC is not free, is it?

Maybe you weren’t responsible for paying it at the time you were in the UK, but our “Free” BBC channels cost £145 a year, or £12 per month if you prefer.


Sorry, yes you are right. Indirectly I was paying for it. I remember TV license being a lot cheaper than that back then (which I did pay yearly)

What I should have said is that there were no exclusive payment to watch F1.

Whether I am not watching BBC or NHK (Japanese equivalent), for me to have a TV set at home, there was no getting away from paying annual license fee. Wrongly, I assumed it to be rights to have a tv at home.

I agree with the 2 replies above that for value for money, beeb coverage is unlikely to be improved upon by pay


Why do you say BBC is free, BBC is not free, you pay for it in a licence fee, which you will still have to pay to watch sky, you will just be paying for an up graded service. it’s a bit like paying for a first class ticket on a plane, the economy one will still get you there, you will just get handed a more basic service an have to wait until all those who can afford to pay for the premium service have boarded, unfortunately, I think sky offers more of a Ryan air service so paying the extra might not get you on the plane but not the service you had come to expect flying a premium airline, and I’m sure you won’t get as good a service as you did with the beeb. sky is all about making money for it’s shareholders. It will be paying a premium to show f1 and I am sure will not spend as much on production as BBC. I have worked for both BBC and sky and sky is run much more by the bean counters where until recently BBC was run by the creative types who have more passion for their output, this unfortunately dose not help when money is tight.


Any comment about what is being reported in the British papers, that C4 offered the same amount of money as Sky, and B.E. went with Sky?


Maybe you could point out to Mr Whitmarsh that although there is no premium to pay solely for F1 on sky, the fact you have to pay a subscription charge for a channel many don’t have or want is a premium in its self and one of a substantial amount!

I have watched Formula 1 ever since I can remember, but if it does move to sky and the BBC only show half of the races live I will no longer bother. The fact alone that i am feeling this way deeply saddens me.


I’m from Portugal, and I think I speak on behalf of millions outside UK, when I say I prefer to watch the BBC F1 transmission, rather than the national channel

On BBC, we get not only qualifying and Race with great and witty commentaries from Martin Brundle, good entertainement from the other 3 stooges (I say that in a good way), but also a great insight at all the technology involved, not to mention the pilots emotions.

Bernie sometimes has crazy ideas (like sprinkles on the track) but usually those are left behind.

Unfortunatly, it seems this one won’t


But do you (‘millions’) pay the licence fee?..


Thank you James, As always you provide us with useful information.

I am deeply upset and angered by this, we the fans loose out again, when will Bernie learn, without the fans there is no future in F1!!

The only winners I can see here are Bernie and the Murdoch’s, and those who already have sky tv with the sports package. Bernie has effectively put up a solitary finger to the most loyal of F1 supporting fans. Some of us can not justify the cost of sky tv, through cost, recent events ect. I could afford sky but at a push,but why should I pay in the region of £500 to set up a sky subscription, when all the tv I watch is the news and Formula 1? I pay my license fee, and I feel that is acceptable, due to the fact that I only watch the news and F1, I can ignore all the other pointless drivel we are given on tv and not be bothered by it. But to pay sky all that money with all those channels and only have something worth watching for a weekend every fortnight is riddiculous!

I have read on many forums and comments that people will stop watching F1 after this season, well I can’t do that, I can’t just drop it and stop watching F1. I love Formula 1, its part of me, and has been since I was a very young boy! Part of the thrill of watching F1 is to watch it live, and I dont get the same build up of tension and raised heartbeat as the lights go out on the grid by watching a 75 minute or so edited higlights! I just feel so cheated, like many others, especially after all Bernie’s talk that it has to remain on free to air tv! will he ever learn… No. but I can see viewing figures next season fall, and fall hard! the casual viewers will not tune in season, many are not prepared to pay vast amounts to watch f1 on sky as we are in a recession and every penny is looked after. and who would tune in to the BBC at 5-6 pm for highlights, for many people that’s meal time, and for others they would complain; “where’s my antiques roadshow?” and the BBC would most likely push the highlights to a late evening slot so it wouldnt clash with something like that awful celebrity dancing show! F1 viewing at a 10 year high, I can see that, 10 years ago nobody talked about F1 but me and a few friends,now almost everyone talks about it, next year it will be at a 10 year low! Once again, we get a raw deal! going to a grand prix is pricey, and now watching a full season live will be expensive too! I know this has alot to do with the BBC’s efforts to cut costs, and they should smell the coffee, and look at the viewing figures! We get so much rubbish on the BBC, they surely could have made up the savings elsewhere by cutting rubbish reality shows ect and BBC3/4 and put on re runs of their old comedy & drama shows perhaps? Without F1 on the BBC there is nothing else worth watching and makes the licence fee unjustified!

I’m a betrayed and angered F1 fan who will have to make do with 50% of a live season, and the other 50% a half hearted “oh well here you go, here’s one we made earlier” attitude! But having said that and being a die hard f1 fan that has only missed a few races over the past 25 years, will have to find a way to pay for sky!

Thank you Bernie, and thank you BBC big wigs!!!


still not impressed. This is like afl in australia, only f1 fans loose out here.


James, after reading the hundreds of comments that came in overnight, it is clear that the UK viewers on your site are very disgruntled over this decision. What % does the UK viewers make up of the overall worldwide F1 viewer market?..

It will be interesting how the rest of the world outside UK/Europe feels about this change. In Australia as you know, we take the race feed (with ads, god bless them) on ONE HD. How this will change, one is to wonder, however i see Austar or Foxtel getting it on their Sports Package and maybe Ch 10 going back to a delayed broadcast? Hopefully not!. Prior to ONE HD all our races were delayed anyway, except for Oz and some selected Asian GP’s (and USA/Canada at 3am). So the impact may not be much outside UK which you say is 60% of your followers?.

Hopefully we will still see yours and TC sections somewhere here on TV.

As a long time F1 follower i will continue to follow it no many what, as i think many others in the UK will also ‘when the dust settles’.


should have added …’the race feed from the BBC’


This is just insanity! Do they really expect people who have been watching this sport for 40 years to be happy to pay to watch HALF the races in a season, with free access to the rest? It just simply won’t happen. FOTA must put their foot down – Their audience for sponsors is going to decrease dramatically. I would have been happy with this deal if it had been shared between BBC and ITV say, or even C4 or Five, but this is a deal that just simply will not work.

I am disgusted.


Full, unedited delayed coverage of the entire flag-to-flag event and nothing else will do. F1 fans are sophisticated enough to filter out what is important and unimportant. Broadcasters tend to filter out what brings them the least money.


I really hope all parties understand the terms and conditions that they enter into…i.e Whitmarsh and the FOTA group. Cause you can bet your bottom dollar that Bernie has been through the fine print to sniff out a loophole in the Concorde.


Interesting post. Really wish this wasn’t happening though!

Jamie Cornford

It just keeps getting worse and worse I have been looking and the cheapest sky sports package is going to cost me £40 a month. Thats £480 a year that’s if it’s on sky sports and not a new pay per view channell. So I have been priced out of silverstone each year and now I am being priced out of the enjoyment I get from the sport, I seriously think that the BBC got viewing figures up and did great coverage and think it is a dark day for f1 as they are far to interested in money than the fans that love the sport. We have two British drivers near the top of the standings and Paul di resta up and coming and shod be proud of them as a country but now I am not going to be able to watch them live. To be honest at the end of this season I think my tv license will be used as toilet roll and posted back to the BBC. I can’t wait to see the rubbish they put on instead of the race re runs of some rubbish. Thank you Bernie for making the sport even more out of reach than it was already just remember you will never conquer America without having a race there this is the time that the Concorde agreement fails and top teams walk away and start up there own series on normal tv.

A very hurt disappointed and upset lifelong F1 fan


Still dont like it. I have only missed 4 races live on TV in the last 30 years. Cant afford sky sports so looks like I am going to miss 10 a year now.

Its not good

Darren Shepperd

So we are not only losing most of the live racing but also the great pre and post race and forum parts too.

Talk about selling your country down the river.

The one thing we still excel in and the BBC cant get rid of it quick enough.

The bets are that come 2012 we wont even have the poxy 10 live and however many bits and pieces the BBC deem to put on. since when has the bbc ever thought of those who pay their wages or supported the best of Britain? Instead it would rather put on unlimited repeats and crap such as beast benders and other banal shows.

The BBC has let down Britain once again especially with it doing the deal with the murdochs after the way they have treated us here in Britain.


This seems more like a face-saving exercise for the BBC, perhaps it would have been better for Channel 4 or 5 to have had a clear run at producing the entire season, although I was not even that keen on them taking over.

How long before the BBC gets tired and pulls the plug entirely – I’m sure most people would happily have accepted cuts to the analysis or having commentators in a booth in London in exchange for the entire season being shown free-to-air. No-one remotely interested in the sport will wait until 6pm to watch the race – if you can’t afford Sky then you will simply log onto the internet or listen to the radio whilst doing something else – if I already know the result then I won’t watch a deferred race or overly-long highlights. It also does not state which channel the BBC will show extended highlights on – highly unlikely that they will be on BBC1 at peak viewing time on a Sunday, BBC3 more like which is hardly likely to increase viewing figures.

What really hacks me off about this is that a few short weeks ago, F1 worthies were running about shouting from the rooftops that F1 on pay TV would be bad for the sport, unlikely to happen and not desirable, yet a deal must have been well on the road to completion when these pronouncements were made. This is sadly just indicative of the cynicism, deceit and contempt with which F1 treats it fans…

I really hope that if the BBC has to make cuts then it will save David Croft & Ant Davidson as they are the best thing that the BBC have brought to F1 coverage. If Sky had any sense then they would poach them…


Still poor though isnt it. If you want to see every race in HD in 2011 it costs you your licence fee. In 2012, it’ll cost £600 more. Thats the cost of 2 people going to Silverstone for the weekend…

BBCF1 has 6m viewers, Sky only has 10m subscribers in total, sport even less. 650k is the expected viewing figure I heard.

You can bet that Monaco and Silverstone aside, BBC will be left with all the middle east 6am races etc while Sky laps up the prime time.

In fact, when races clash with football, they’ll be punted onto SS3 & SS4.

I dont think the sponsors will like it. The fans certainly do not.

I will either cease to watch it regularly, or watch on, ahem, live streams online.


This is thoroughly unfair, there are many of us who do not have Sky, some can’t receive it, some, like myself will not give a red cent to the megalomaniac Murdoch. The BBC has lost out on so much live sport, and as I don’t like golf, snooker or darts, I’m stuck with edited highlights. Where’s the excitment in that! Extremely disappointed. I know SOME will be shown live, but as you know, Formula 1 is a year long battle, and ALL GPs count.


Just want to add to the mountain of comments elsewhere. What a horrible mess.


What Ecclestone is not understanding is that fans may be willing to pay to get better coverage … it’s just that they’re not willing to pay that money to Rupert Murdoch. If the BBC asked for an extra £2 per licence fee I would be happy to pay it to maintain F1 coverage on the BBC, but having followed F1 fanatically since 1982, sadly this is the end as I’m not going to be paying money to the ..[mod] at News International to continue watching the sport I love.


Hi James,

You’ve probably watched more races than I have so you must know that sometimes races are classics and some are dull. If Sky ends up with all the classics (based on 2010 they could easily have had Turkey, Korea, Germany and Australia) what would I,the BBC licence fee paying student who pays £145.50 to only watch F1, feel about this?


James Smith


So with a sky subscription at 40 pounds a month, were you to subscribe to sky just for f1, you’re basically paying 40 pounds each to watch 10 grands prix live as opposed to extended highlights a few hours later. Surely only the most hardcore fans will do that.

And according to the survey on this site, which represents hardcore fans, only 8% say they’ll watch the races on sky- and presumably the majority of those already have sky.

Maybe this will be another ‘flat 4 engines’ or ‘axe 6music’, ie, they’ll be enough fuss that it won’t end up happening. Recent events have shown that Murdoch doesn’t always get his own way…

Tom in adelaide

What a mess.

In an age where F1 should be doing everything in its power to appease fans, it has dropped the ball. The whole model for the sport is fundamentally broken.

Where is the next generation of F1 fans is going to come from? F1 can’t compete with other mainstream entertainment (read – video games). Not with insane ticket prices and pay t.v broadcasting.


Eh? Shared facilities?

How is that going to work? Come on, it’s all a load of spin and bollocks. Sky? Really? Oh man. No no no no.

Very disappointed with this.


I love how BBC is all “Shared” when really its getting SKY’s sloppy seconds.

SKY have it all and in a pathetic attempt to adhere to the concord agreement BBC get to show some delayed rubbish whoop de doo.

When will OFCOM decide having 1 broadcaster owning near enough exclusive rights to the EPL,SPL,Championship,La Liga,CL,Internationals,FACUP, Youth Cups,Cricket, Rugby League+Union, Golf, Darts, Ice Hockey, Boxing,Nascar,Speedway,INDY Cars and NFL is not competitive, is not in the viewers best interests,



HD £10/m

BBC License £15/m

Total £65 a month or $105

Direct TV USA – FullPackage inc ondemand movies/sports and Multiroom! $80


OFCOM did rule that it wasn’t competitive. Unfortunately their solution was to “force” Sky to allow their packages to be sold to other platforms just as BT. The unfortunate thing is the pricing isn’t at all competitive.


What an IDIOTIC deal from BBC and Bernie !

Will the BBC show half Eastenders or a film, prime time, then the other bit some time later ?

There is VERY little I watch on BBC.

Can I pay HALF the TV licence fee ?

NO ?

OK then, I will pay NOTHING AT ALL.

While I just might pay per view for F1, I will NOT pay Murdochs monthly FAT fee for all the other rubbish they peddle !

WHY doesn’t the BBC do the sensible thing, cut down on the presentation and just stick to the race and commentary, we can get all the other chit chat online…, like here!

Otherwise I will just make do with what I can get online.

Very angry !


one time F3 driver


Once again, fan’s lied to while others count the money. Why am I not surprised. Bernie should not treat fans like idiots, if you say this

then sell the coverage to Sky, no one can take you seriously.

Does Bernie really think more people will watch when you just show them some crippled highlights of a race? Where are all the people who don’t watch now, but when the coverage deteriorates and/or becomes more expensive will suddenly become die hard fans of F1?


If we can still have the same commentary team then that’s pretty good. What still bothers me about all of this is, a taxpayer funded organisation thinks its a great idea to ditch a sport pulling in record viewers.

F1 on the BBC may have been hemorrhaging money, but now the BBC will be hemorrhaging viewers.


Thing’s just seem to be going from bad to worse. I wonder what this means for Australian fans?

At the moment we only get ad-ridden bbc coverage, frequently interrupted by inept Australian commentators, that gets delayed every time the AFL (football) is on at the same time.

Since we don’t get Sky down here will it be resold on Fox Sports?


I was wondering the same thing. Given that the BBC are selling their coverage to other English speaking countries, it would seem fair to assume that this revenue stream will now disappear.


That’s a bit harsh. Since channel 10 introduced One HD (a sports only channel) F1 coverage has been excellent.

Best F1 coverage in Oz for a long time.

If you remember the days of channel nine’s co erase – they we shocking! Channel 9 used to delay races up to 5 hours, playing the races around midnight to 2am. You would have a very sleepy and disinterested Alan Jones sitting their zombie like ( no disrespect to the Australian F1 champ) and a overly enthusiastic Daryl. Those were the dark days when the Australian GP would be delayed until 10 pm that night for Australian viewers.

One HD gives us a 3 day coverage when the Aus GP is on which is a lot more than we used to get.

To answer your question, F1 coverage in Australia shouldn’t be affected. One HD purchases the rights to broadcast F1 and uses sponsor advertisements to recover some of ( perhaps all) of its losses.

Which begs the question, why didn’t the BBC just start showing ads to recover some of it’s losses or give the UK audience the option to pay. Seems like ppl are willing to pay, but just not to the “evil empire.”


I’ll admit the coverage is much better than it was, a whole other level in fact, but, it doesn’t change the fact that the Aussie commentary team add nothing to the viewing.

Just look at Daryl, I’m not even sure he knows anything about F1, generally he just restates something DC and Brundle have said, and often he’s misunderstood what’s said, and states the opposite.

Generally it’s left to Rusty to pull the show along, as he seems to be the only one of the pair who knows what he’s talking about.

As for the coverage, I don’t know if you noticed, about 3 races back, the broadcast was delayed by an hour so they could show the AFL, I ended up streaming the race online instead. Qualifying also regularly get’s delayed to make way for other programming.

And the ad placement is horrendous. Often I’ll have a stream playing on my laptop so I can catch the action while OneHD cuts to an ad break. Silverstone. My god. How many overtaking maneuvers were lost to ads I don’t even know.

Regarding BBC ads, as James Clayton has stated and from what I hear from my relatives, There seem’s to be an annual “tax” that Brits have to pay in order to watch um free to air. This apparently goes to funding the BBC, so they don’t need ads.


BBC is a state run -c-h-a-n-n-e-l-, sorry, tax that everybody in the UK has to pay for regardless of how much content they watch. In return for the generous donation of our license fee, BBC have to provide content add free.

Like many here, the only thing I watch on BBC is F1; so with F1 gone, I have to pay the equivillent of a new TV set every year just to be able to watch the other channels (yea, no opt out; you have to pay the fee even if you never watch a single BBC program).


I really hope so, I cant afford Sky so seeing F1 in its full a few hrs later on the beeb would be ok.

I get the feeling someone is lieing though, there are plenty of places on the net I can watch Sky streaming without paying, I’m afraid thats what I will be doing…


The scheduling around live EPL games will be intriguing for 1pm BST starts. Either qualifying will be up against the Saturday EPL lunchtime game, and/or the race will be up against the first leg of Super Sunday or the 4pm immovable game in the case of 5pm starts for the US and Canadian GP.


That’s a really important point.

James: do we know which Sky Sports channel will carry F1? SS1 and 2 are available on other platforms (cable, BT Vision) but SS3 and 4 are not. Could it be that with all the football schedule clashes F1 will be stuck on the satellite only SS channels, limiting the audience still further?


SS3 and SS4 are available on Virgin Media cable.


That’s not what the original point was. At least whatever Sky Sports channel it might be on, you’ll be able to see it via Virgin


But SS3 HD & SS4 HD are only available on Sky. It’s SD only on Virgin.


Not in HD though


It figures really, F1 with all its dirt in recent years is going to be controlled by the most tainted man in the UK for years.

I wont be funding the Murdoch empire, and the BBC, thanks for nothing!

25 years of watching it this will be the last season. BTCC, you have me, lets go!!


I have been a massive fan of F1 since the 80’s, I am currently out of work so can’t afford a sky subscription. I have watched every race live for the past 25yrs, delayed highlights just won’t be the same. I can understand the BBC’s reasoning for this but todays news is a tragedy for the sport.


I’m in exactly the same boat as you Simon, I’ve been watching F1 from the 80’s and no way can I afford Sky. I got no problems with the BBC showing some races a couple of hours late, but if it’s only highlights I’m giving up on F1.


Have sky took on showing GP2 also?


And how is this a clearer picture? Seems to me james that fota, bernie, bbc have not listened to the fans, when this goes ppv and the viewing figures drop and sky bail out, how many teams will collapse?


Sky have tried showing F1 before, haven’t they?

A multi-camera feed where the viewer chose what they wanted to watch in the 90s. They had Damon Hill as a their host.

This time round they’re giving the terrestrial broadcaster enough races to keep up general demand and taking enough to make their supposed premium service look more essential.

They’ve got it wrong before, they’re not infallible. They may not make enough to cover their costs, but on the balance of probabilities I don’t dount that they will.


I still hate this as should all F1 fans.

Fans still have the power here we need to stand together and make FOMA take notice.

F1 needs fans and lots of them for the business model to work so the fans have real power if we turn off for one race.


Chance of not knowing the result by 5/6pm for any fan of F1 = low

Chance of me not bothering to watch highlights (Not even the full race??!!) = High

I mean really, why would you bother given you already know the result from TV Neews/Twitter/Blogs/RSS/etc?

How about cutting the first week of wimbledon or maybe rounds 1-3 of the open, djust do a here are the results program, 10mins and be done with it!

If you need an idea of what Sky coverage will be like check out Tony Jardines interview where he states “F1 to get ‘the full treatment'”

and follows this up with cutting insight about when Lewis won the WDC in 2007……O boy I can’t wait.

/Rant off.


For those who ask how you can avoid the result until the highlights are shown at 6pm: it can be done! I and a group of friends have been doing that for the past 5 years! We take it in turns to record the race, then get together for a ‘race-viewing and pizza’ session at 5pm. There’s nothing like watching a race with a group of friends, especially when you are all part of a fantasy formula 1 league and your driver overtakes theirs.

Will it still be worth getting together to watch a 75 minute program, which will equate to coverage of every other lap? I seriously doubt it. I can live with a full rerun at 6pm, even on one of the alternative BBC channels (or even red button), but half a race just isn’t worth it.

The only small silver lining is that I won’t have to spend the day avoiding the TV and radio. Surely the BBC wouldn’t be so stupid as to announce the result in any of their news programs before they have shown the race, even if it is just the highlights?


You are kidding right..?

There’s a news broadcast just before Match Of The Day each week, and yes they give you the results you are just about to watch the highlights of… of course they warn you to look away, but it can be annoying when your SKY+ recording has caught the end of the BBC News when you’re about to watch Match Of The Day and you just get a glimpse….

You have done well to avoid results, but it seems almost impossible to me. Just avoiding the BBC News on TV won’t stop the result coming through on any of the following:

Twitter, Facebook, text message, email, BBC Homepage (not even the news, or Sports news page), any other large website that carries news feeds of any sort – Virgin, Yahoo. News websites (obviously), radio news bulletins, etc.

And i can only attempt to avoid those if i stay in. What if i go to the pub, the cafe, a mates, the shops…..

Seems too much like hard work.


really? you could just stay in, read a book, watch ANY channel apart from BBC during the news, even go on 99% of the internet, just don’t go on any sport or news websites, and don’t check your social networks. And when you go to the shops, where is the result anywhere? Unless you have the fastest local newspaper in the world it’s not a problem. Plus for the majority of races the gap between the actual race and the repeat will only be a few hours. I’m absolutely gobsmacked the amount of people just having a strop and insisting they’re never watching again, obviously huge fans.


” Surely the BBC wouldn’t be so stupid as to announce the result in any of their news programs before they have shown the race …”

They already do! I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to record the F1 programme only for the BBC to blab the results … and without any warning!


Dare I mention Match of the Day? You have to do *very* well to avoid knowing the football results if you want to watch MOTD in ignorance.


It’s hard to know how to react. I hate having to avoid finding out the results in the football before watching highlights or avoiding finding who won the GP before watching it on iPlayer. the same problem will occur here… but a 75 minute show doesn’t sound bad

John Paul Velasquez

I have skysports already but u have to say the set up and the BBC team r second to none – any idea if Jake Humphrey will be offered a joint job with sky/BBC I will miss having the full BBC coverage it’s 10 races now but what will it be in 2013 8 races I hope not !!

Disgruntled viewer

Have you seen the motor sports coverage on Sky, it’s utter rubbish. Three guys in a studio watching a live feed. They have two possible anchors and they are both worse than Jim Rosenthal (it’s that bad).

They cover Indy Car and speedway at the moment, both poor. They used to cover A1 GP and Nascar, again the same poor studio set up.

The coverage of Nascar was great towards the end LOL. They moved the races around, putting them on different channels each week and some of the final chase races were shown on the red button … All without warning and with total disregard for their viewers. Sky have no idea when it comes to motor sport. Can’t wait for 2012 LOL


I’m not sure BBC staff are allowed to work for other channels at the same time?..


Jake is already in line to present the Olympics on the BBC next year. I can’t see him giving that up. It’s only a matter of time before he is lead sports anchor (or something similar) for the beeb. Remember, he is a BBC guy, not just an F1 guy. I always get the feeling that although he obviously loves F1, he is not in it for the long term like Martin Brundle for example.


This sounds like a win for everyone.

Apart from the viewers.


loll, indeed.


Plus 1


We’ve been sold out to Bernie and Sky’s greed. I’ve not read a single positive comment about this on the BBC website, but who cares what the fans think. We need to keep billionaires happy before the impoverished fans


So the BBC could show the full race a few hours later but will choose not to? That, or an online offering might have been the only plus points on this otherwise dark day.


This is a very good question. Bernie was interviewed by David Croft yesterday (it’s on the BBC website) and he stated that BBC have the option to show the full race deferred but that they did not have to take this up if they wished not to. I, and I’m sure many others, would like to know if this is true as it would represent another slap in the face if true. The trouble is there is no one in F1 or the BBC who you can currently trust to be honest and forthright about this as everyone is in backside-covering mode.


You can understand it from the BBC perspective.

It would be hard to commit 3 hours of broadcast time to a race that they know is dull, when everyone knows the results anyway.

Nowadays it’s nearly impossible to avoid seeing the results, unless you plan to wake up minutes before the broadcast. So there’s not really an argument that they’re catering for hardcore for F1 fans. They expect those fans to be watching it on SKY or at the pub….

The BBC show will be aimed at a general sports fan, who likes to see a bit of fast paced action, overtakes (not bothered if it’s KERS, DRS, spent types versus fresh) and British drivers doing well.


Sigh, what a mess.

“It’s crucial to the commercial model of Formula 1 that TV coverage should remain free-to-air, and therefore universally accessible…

I think it would be very sad, and most unwise, if the BBC were to disappoint so many millions of British sports fans by axing it, and that’s why I don’t believe for a moment that they’d seriously consider doing such a thing” – Martin Whitmarsh


Interesting to hear what Martin Whitmarsh will say regarding the- is it highlights or full race coverage. Whitmarsh said that he repeatedly asked the question and Eccleston told him it was the full race although deferred. Have Sky stepped in and objected realizing that less will sign up if they can still see the whole race on the BBC.


The only good solution is for this not to go ahead, I can’t afford 300 a year for sky to watch 10 races… And to be fair highlights are just bobbins. Looks like be been priced out of F1, cheers.


It isn’t £300 a year. It’s a minimum of £40 x 12 = £480, or if you want to enjoy it in HD as we currently do, it’s £50 x 12 = £600. for just 10 missing races, that is £60 per race.


total madness, how can they expect people to pay all that money just purely to follow F1, i don’t watch any other sports and can’t even dream of shelling out £60 per race, wtf?


If it is £600 per year, isn’t that the cost of a Silverstone ticket for the full weekend? And doesn’t the BRDC get to keep gate receipts? So, if we don’t get Sky we can put the money towards going to the Grand Prix instead, see and hear the real cars live, and put money towards those who run British Motor Racing (and are hated by Bernie) rather than Mr Murdoch & Ecclestone.


The assumption that viewership will grow because of the ‘prime time’ slot is a massively risky one.

They are assuming currently viewers will either watch live on SKY, or watch the highlights show and that additonal viewers will get sucked in to the highlights.

I don’t believe this will happen. A certainty is that viewing figures on SKY will be siginicantly lower than they currently are on the BBC. This is because a percentage of viewers simply won’t buy SKY. The big assumption is that these viewers will automatically watch the ‘prime time highlights’ and the viewing figures will be supplemented by casual viewers. However, I think it’s alot more likely a large percentage of fans won’t be interested in a ‘re-run’ programme, and especially not one that isn’t even the full length race.

Viewing figures will fall, sponsors will leave, followed by teams, and the sport will become a part of history.


To justify this prime time slot for the highlights the BBC will have to seriously dumb down the coverage. Expect The Lewis & Jesnon show and very little else. Forget getting any in depth technical insight on reg changes or strategies.

The only alternative is the show goes on air much later (post peak prime time) and they target the F1 fan audience over the floating armchair audience.

James, there is a bit of a white elephant in the room on this story. Are you pursuing a role within the new SKY presentation team?

No-one would blame you if you were, but it would be good to know as if you are completely out of the mix, we can take your views on this as being totally objective.


A highlight programme won’t be of any interest to real F1 fans. I certainly won’t be watching it. I guess they are hoping for casual audiences.

I can’t see how watching a highlights programme and not being able to follow a full season is in any way going to generate any long-term support or interest for the sport though. Part of the thrill of watching live races is the anticipation of what could happen. I can’t see the fun in watching highlights and it will be really difficult to avoid seeing/hearing results in between.

There’s absolutely no WAY I’m signing up to Sky Sports and I’ve cancelled my basic Sky subscription now too. I will find alternative means of watching races live. If for some reason it’s not possible, I know I will ultimately end up losing interest in F1 altogether.

It’s basically a real kick in the teeth for loyal, long-term fans who want to see all the action live.


Exactly! I doubt Songs of Praise got 6 million in a similar “prime time” slot on a Sunday


I still don’t really have an issue with Sky showing F1, just so long as the BBC aren’t affected. No-one complained about Eurosport’s coverage in the 90s. It’s the fact that only half the races will be live on the BBC and that the BBC have treated us like mugs at best which has got me furious. As I have said on Twitter, I’ll almost certainly not watch F1 to anything like the same degree next year with only half the races live, if I do at all, and I can’t even be bothered to watch too many more this season.

The BBC’s attitude to the fans stinks something awful. I have never sent a complaint to the BBC before yet I’ve sent two in the last 24 hours! I hope everyone involved is happy — they’ve lost one fan, and I’m sure many more will follow.


I am many others felt the same way. Watching the qualifying I was filled with a sense of “I don’t care any more”.

They were talking about Kobayashi and Perez driving next year. Just 2 days ago I would have been exstatic about that. Now I just feel “good for them”, because I will not be watching.

Formula 1 has shot itself in the foot many times. This time they’ve shot themselves in the head.


I was COMPLETELY the same. Every time they mentioned next season I just couldn’t care less.


Almost all of us agree. We seem to be speaking with the same voice.

The most striking thing is the sincerity of the real fans stance. We ARE prepared to pay a premium for the sport we love. We would probably pay double if we knew the money would go in large to the teams or developing feeder series, thats for sure.

We are NOT prepared to have the BBC give us the equivalent of a scrubbed set of hard tyres and have Sky running on S-Softs at our expense.

FOA/BBC could stream it. BBC should have simulcast rights online, without a doubt.

The argument rages on. Great lap by top 2 today.


But don’t think your complaint will be listened to. I once had cause to (politely) complain about a technical issue with the iplayer. A simple fix for a BBC bloke with a mouse. And you know what-this fix never happened despite a ‘we thank you for your feedback….’ email. The BBC treat us as mugs despite our ransom fee, this debacle is yet another example. Don’t kid yourself that a few thousand emails will change owt,the BBC do what they want uproar or not.


It’s as much for me as anything else. I know that I won’t make any difference, but you have to feel like you’re doing SOMETHING at least.

Read Martin Brundle’s Twitter lately? He’s not pleased. Hopefully people like him who might have a little influence will stand up for the fans.


Is it only the race highlights for BBC when it’s not their week? Or will they show quali as well.

Really it all depends on whether BBC broadcast the full race. If the do I will stick to BBC, if they don’t I will have to find another method to watch the full race. But it wont be sky.

Any idea on projected viewers on sky as well? Has to be ~1m?


Given the fact that Sky Sports 1 has a 0.5% audience share (see latest figures, and that is people who are actually watching the TV at that moment) I would put it around 300-500k max…talk about exposure…


Sponsors will not be getting their anticipated ROI with audience numbers like that. Many will probably walk.


Back in the 60’s the BBC would stick three fifteen-minute slots of motor sport on in Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon — to fit round the horse racing and football. They would then say, “no one is interested in motor sport”.

Then back in the 70’s the BBC would show a half-hour ‘highlights’ programme on BBC2 at 11.30 on a Sunday night. Based on the viewing figures they would then say, “there isn’t much interest in F1.”

Remember that during those periods there was virtually no sponsorship of the teams. What Bernie needs to realise is that without free-to-air, live coverage, sponsorship will go away. The BBC does need to make savings, so Bernie should drop the fees to make coverage financially viable for the BBC. OK so he won’t make so much money but get real, Bernie, times are tough; we all have to accept a drop in income during these times. That’s what we, the punters are all doing — why should you be any different?


Another possibility: Whitmarsh was told one thing, and the world another 🙁


There are already over 3000 comments on Ben Gallop’s story that say the BBC has seriously underestimated the strength of feeling among viewers.


Im wondering if all the millionaires who made this deal realise what its like for normal people in this country? Do they really think everyone can afford to spend the extra money on Sky and Sky Sports each month to watch the Grand Prix? Its not exactly cheap and as most of the country are either on a pay freeze or have been made redundant I cant see them all rushing out to buy it somehow?

Im very disapointed in this deal! I dont want to watch the highlights I want to watch the whole race! And I want to watch it for free!

I also quite enjoy the BBC’s coverage before and after the races and now it seems we wont get that anymore either! 🙁


If the production is shared then we BBC license fee payers are subbing the SKY coverage.

That doesn’t seem fair, unless they offer to put the entire race on iPlayer (or something similar thats available to all UK households) as a compromise….. that could work out well.

Highlights are rubbish, we all know that. You will rarely see anything other then the ‘top 4’ and the drivers of a national interest.

Internet forums will just be even more tribal with fanboy wars, etc..


I believe this is a serious mis-calculation by all parties involved.

As a life-long fan of some 40 years, I have already become slightly dis-interested in F1 due to this matter. For the first time yesterday, I switched off the practice session. Today, I am typing this during 3rd practice. Just as Lewis (my driver) is on a flying lap.

Frankly, my interest is waning in a sport that I have loved for my whole life, because I feel cheated. Not one of the parties involved gives a hoot about me, or people like me.

I know that next year will be different, now, and that is affecting my interest this year already. I am not just spouting words when I say that I will not just watch half the races live next year, because I will not. And given that I won’t pay the extra for Sky Sports then I guess I won’t be watching F1 at all next year – my passion for this sport can’t be done by halves.

So what does it matter who’s fastest in practice? What does it matter if Lewis pips Vettel to pole? It mattered to me last week, but it matters less today.


If I was running another motosport series – any other series – and reading this thread, the words “gap in the market” would be jumping off the screen. ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5… Dave, even: prepare for motorsport bigwigs you’ve never heard of offering deals you can’t refuse come Monday morning.


You ‘re not the only one. Just watched qualifying and not a mention from presenters. THAT really annoys me – no explanation and no reassurance.

It was clear from some of the remarks that they are well aware of feelings – but seems they have been stopped from talking about it – they have their job to do, so I don’t blame them.

Well, I have watched F1 since early 80s, and I have seen most races since then. But this news, and the manner in which the BBC / FOM is ducking it, is leaving me somewhat distanced from the sport I love.

So Bernie, I (like many others) won’t pay £600 to watch all races live, and I don’t see watching half a season as having any point.

Thanks F1 for the excitement over the years. Thanks to the teams, drivers, sponsors and presenters who made it possible. But for me, after 30 odd years, it’s time to move on.


you mean avoid the results for a few hours to watch a 75minute highlight program dont you…they arent showing the race


well instead of throwing all your toys out of the pram and abandoning the sport you claim to love, why don’t you just avoid hearing the result of the race for the few hours before they show it again? It’s not a huge hardship, and if you actually liked F1 surely it’s the obvious solution? Stop being dramatic


Martin Brundle made a sly aside to DC about which driver might be in the dole queue in front of them next year during Q1 when discussing Torro Rosso potential drivers next season, but that was the only reference during the programme, they are obviously under orders not to mention it. Yo can get Sky Sports for £39.75 per month, free install so not quite £600 a year, more like £480.


Brundle made a quip about him and DC lining up in the dole queue next year (honest)..


Exactly my thoughts.

It is a pity but It looks less interesting to see the BBC show now.

Now Ernie contradicting what BBC says about full race or highlights.

Where is FOTA now? Do they get big money from Sky to accept the deal, maybe time will tell.

Very sad weekend F1 fans has been betrayed.


I completely agree!

I’ve been obsessed with F1 for the last three years because the BBC coverage has been so good, but already I’ve lost enthusiasm for the qualifying today. The damage has been done and the rot setting in… I won’t be tuning in to the races next year, maybe just Silverstone.

(and I already have a sky subscription…)



Anyone else noticed that the New F1 deal explained by Ben Gallop has disappeared from the BBC F1 home page? Can’t help but think that now they have over 4000 comments, they a sticking their fingers in the ears and screaming ‘nanananananananaaaaaa’ until we go away.

No chance.


What is worse they have clearly instructed all the commentators and presentation team to not mention the new deal at all.

In fact they don’t even appear to be allowed to mention it by name, as though it were Voldemort or something. They are really getting upset with us viewers for our reaction.

And reading the official f1 site you would think the most glorious thing to ever have occurred has just occurred with no negatives at all. It is a load of rubbish.

Thank you James for providing the *only* site that is prepared to mention and discuss the things that really matter to the fans.


Did you honestly expect any less? Is any business or organisation going to let their representatives speak negatively about them – especially when the person speaking is doing so to millions of people around the world?


Yeah, in the whole 3 hour show today all the BBC could manage was an off handed comment about one of the drivers being ‘in front of me in the dole queue next year’. No info. given to the public at all !


It’s fallen off the F1 home page but it’s still on the website:


Poor old Ben Gallop. He is really the last person to blame for this. How is it that folks are so ready to attack the BBC, even after the extrordinary efforts it has made to deliver a fabulous product for as long as it could afford to do so.

I think it is simply that they have the integrity to publish their audience feedback in real time.

But how many would write their complaints to the real culprit, Bernie Ecclestone, if he ever had the courage to make his organisation equally open, I wonder.

Perhaps it is time for a campaign to measure the opinion of the general public. So, James, why not make your next online vote along the lines of “Who do you blame for the partial loss of free to air rights to F1 broadcasting in the UK: Eccelestone, Fota or the BBC?”


Actually Gallop is to blame. He’s the one responsible for having driven up F1 coverage costs and for contaminating BBC sports coverage with far too much ruddy football.

Why isn’t the BBC covering more motorsport and not less.


We don’t pay anything to Bernie. We pay £145.50/year to the BBC.


Conversely, I think we must all attack the BBC. Sky would never have got the rights to F1 without allying themselves with a terrestrial TV station. Therefore, if the Beeb had let the rights go, it could only have gone to another terrestrial station such as channel 4 or 5. It’s because of their greed that we now find ourselves in this situation. I for one would have much preferred watching F1 on channel 4 or 5 with adverts than the half-arsed compromise we’ve got now.


I’ve no idea of the in’s-and-out’s of the contracts, but i would say the BBC have been played for suckers by Bernie – he has got them showing some sort of coverage in order to keep the current concord agreement valid.

The whole business model of F1 is to ensure that as many people as possible watch it (for free!) to ensure that the sponsor can count on as much exposure as possible. Soon as you start limiting that exposure you loose fan base and sponsor think twice. Now Sky will sub the business as they potentially loose sponsorship $$’s.

For the BBC to think this is a good deal is simply retarded – it still costs them, makes Sky’s life a little easier and rubs salt in the wounds of the fans. Considering the relentless amount of utter drivel that the BBC tends to pump out, the mere comment of trying to save money for something that is one of the most viewed and awarded contributions out there is a massive piss take.


The Olympic legacy already claims its first victim, thanks for the extreme overspending BBC and your top heavy senior management on vastly inflated wages.


I concur with that-they could have spent a lot less on the production that nobody wants. The F1 show was being edited as if they were producing a mini hollywood film each week. They spent WAY too much on the production that simply wasn’t necessary or added anything to the coverage


to be honest as long as they keep the commentary to a high standard, very preferably with Brundle then I don’t really mind. I don’t really watch the pre-race bit, and Eddie Jordan’s constant need to have a loud simplistic opinion on everything drives me up the wall. And @Yomi, you’re right, all that movie trailer booming voiceover over rubbish is just a bit embarrassing, and can’t come cheap. And least getting Coulthard to do 2 jobs is economising


I totally agree.

The only silver lining in this mess is that we will all be spared the nonsensical ramblings of Jake Humphrey…and if we’re lucky…Eddie Jordan.


Last I looked it was starting to knock the door of 4000. It’ll all fall on deaf ears, but I do like the fact that I couldn’t find a single ‘Well done, good decision’ post.

Thing is, you just know they will be sat there saying ‘It’s only 4000 viewers, pah, they don’t know what’s good for them’.

Personally, if I had 4000 customer having a pop at me, I’d be cap-in-hand apologetic about it even if I couldn’t change the outcome.


Thanks Mr Whitmarsh brilliant job! How can anybody be confused about live to air broadcasts! BBC is the company we the TV watching or rather owning general public, pay a huge amount of money every year for their tv licence! so why should I pay for sky as well, remember we are in a recession, and many people cannot afford extras!

I would just like to thank the BBC for ruining what is my beloved sport, and has been for over 30 yrs, now i’ll have to take up knitting on a sunday afternoon, instead of watching f1 on the goggle box! If its due to being too expensive, I bet the BBC show every minute of the OLYMPICS!!!!!!!


they will know it is often less than 1% who will actually bother to write and complain so they are probably working on 300-400,000, but I bet nothing will be said or done.


Additionally ladies and gentlemen – see this petition which has 15000 signatures in 24 hours and counting.