BBC and Sky in new UK F1 deal until 2018

The BBC and Sky Sports have agreed a new F1 deal to last from 2012 to 2018 – and it will mean that only half the races will be shown live on BBC. All will be shown on Sky Sports, however.

The BBC will have the British GP, Monaco and the end of the season, and will also show practice and qualifying from those races. It will show highlights from other events. Sky will show all races and sessions. Both companies will broadcast in HD.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC. The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.”

“With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence fee payers.”

Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD. We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

The BBC may well be relieved if it has lost the likes of Canada, which while getting a lot of viewers filled up a huge evening prime time slot.

There will no doubt now be a musical chairs game among commentators and presenters as some BBC folk lose their jobs, some go to Sky, and ex-ITV people such as James Allen and Louise Goodman have a chance to return.


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85 responses to “BBC and Sky in new UK F1 deal until 2018

  1. So we now have to get Sky to watch all of the races? How many fans will this put off?

    • Voyager

      Me. I will not pay Sky to watch F1. I’ll do something else. It is a shame as the BBC has be doing a fantastic job for the last few seasons but I’m not paying even more to sit on my sofa.

      Good luck to the teams, but I think by 2018 F1 will be very different from today, diminished and desperate for finance, supporters and attendance at races.

    • nativebreed

      I believe the “Say No to F1 on Sky” campaign has already started on

    • Bogget

      SKY and Bernie Ecclestone KILLS F1 in the UK

      So the BBC and Bernie Ecclestone has stuffed us and lost F1, what a disaster it means we will now not see most races only highlights, why has Bernie Ecclestone allowed this, does he not like the fans does he not think we are important? I dont have SKY and will NEVER have SKY, i dont watch any other sport so sky is of no use to me what options do i now have? Why would F1 do this to loyal fans, i cant believe how they would do this to us? why does Bernie want to KILL F1?


  2. Stu

    How can this be fantastic news?? Losing live coverage on terrestrial tv is a big blow to a lot of F1 fans in the UK.

  3. D

    Hah, honestly Adam, this will generate plenty of comments today without scaring people with the prospect of James Allen returning.

    He was so well loved that the BBC confirmed he wouldnt be involved in their coverage almost before the ink was dry on their contracts, Sky arent silly enough to sign up a commentator who would send a large percentage of their potential viewers running away in panic!

    Lets see what Sky will do about adverts, paying to see coverage thats interrupted by adverts constantly has never worked for me – their US motorsport coverage being the perfect example of just how bad it can be! Cant imagine theyll be willing to go up to 2 hours ad-free, sadly.

    • It scared me half to death this morning, the suggestion of JA, LG and even Blundell…. dear lord no! My love for F1 has increased substaincially since the commentry has become less biased and frequented with less stupid questions.

      On the plus side I have to say (as a sky sports subscriber) they’ve done wonders for football and cricket coverage. The commentry in the cricket coverage is the best of any sport bar none. F1 on BBC included.

      I think we’ll see Martin Brundle go to sky, and possibly DC too. But my real hope is that Crofty, Ant Davidson and Chandock end up there too, as their commentry is the best in F1 at present IMO. Whilst discussing commentry some weeks ago it became clear that ex-professionals are great as they give insight into whats going on, and in F1 DC does a great job of that (given he raced in F1 recently).

      For reference I believe Sky have promised that races will be ad-free.

  4. Toast and Marmite

    And once again, the BBC shows just how ‘committed’ it is to sport…..

  5. Michael Collins

    So how is this going to play out in the colonies? Currently OneHD has practive and race live. I don’t subscribe to Pay to View and am not sure if the colonies have Sky TV to select.

  6. Ade

    Showing half the races live??? What are the BBC thinking???

  7. Simon Benedict

    This all makes Bernie Ecclestone look like a massive liar.

    He’s been banging on for years that F1 will never be on pay TV.

    Journalists like yourself should hammer him on his apparent hypocrisy at the earliest available opportunity.

    It’s a disgusting mess.

  8. IainT

    Absolutely terrible news, Bernie has lied to the fans and gone after the money. I can’t afford Sky and was enjoying the BBC coverage.

    I can see that the sponsors will not be happy to lose the audience

    • Simon Benedict

      I totally agree about Bernie lying.

      And I find the attitude of many journalists (excluding Adam, who is great) pretty disgusting when it comes to Bernie.

      They’re too quick to write his constant bullshitting up as “cheeky Bernie, what will he say next?” when they should be calling him on his constant public dishonesty.

      Equally, the confirmed story of Bernie’s outright corruption in paying off a German banker has been all but buried.

      There was a small mention in Autosport, but you had to hunt for it.

      Bernie is a conman from another era. The sport needs rid of him.

  9. B

    ‘the full Sky Sports treatment’ …..sounds like a threat.

    F1 is now primarily on pay per view in the UK. I thought the teams were opposed to that?

    And it’s a deal between SKY and the BBC – presumably the F1 rights holders are on board as well.
    Oh dear.

  10. Pete

    this is a complete disaster for F1. the sport will lose a lot of dyed in the wool followers and Sky will do what they always do with sport, downgrade the experience and reduce it to the common denominator. Real shame for the sport.
    Drivers will be in F1 classed Bumper Cars next…

  11. Jah

    I am devastated by this news – Sky win again!
    How many more tv shows will get hijacked once made popular on terrestrial TV?
    I have followed F1 for years and do not want Sky- I’ve seen it and is 95% a waste of money (unless you like adverts and cheap US “B” Movies)

  12. Dave Myers

    This is an absolutely lamentable decision. I have to echo the sentiment above that I doubt James Allen will be returning to a commentating role. I read his blog site and it’s about as illuminating as a black hole. Ben Edwards might be a more logical choice for Sky, but I don’t care because I won’t be forking out. Looks like I’ll be tuning in to Crofty for half of the season!

  13. Simon Benedict

    I think we’ll come to regard the BBC coverage we’ve had since 2009 as a golden age of Formula One coverage, especially this year with Martin Brundle as lead commentator.

    Here’s what Brundle just said on Twitter…

    Martin Brundle
    BBC/Sky/F1 2012+. Found out last night, no idea how it will work yet I’m out of contract, will calmly work through options Not impressed

  14. Josh

    Completely disgusting decision. I hope advertising revenue drops, the teams complain and the deal gets quashed. I thought there was an agreement to only show the racing on free-to-view tv.

  15. Xeostar

    Great just what we need, Sky with more sports to use as leverage to squeeze more money from everybody.

    Also is it just me or is a deal to get half the races is totally and utterly pointless. If you’re a F1 fan you want to watch all the races and you’re forced to get Sky. If you’re not a F1 fan then you’re not going to watch half the races on the BBC anyway. Nice work BBC thanks. My suggestion would be cut the fringe low rating Radio and TV broadcast and put the money to keeping popular events.

    Well I guess that’s the end of my time as an F1 fan over.

  16. bertybassett

    this is just stupid cost cutting measure so the bosses at the BBC can still be paid 800K a year.

    I will NEVER buy any Sky services, I will just turn to the internet and find illegal streams to watch F1

  17. seamus

    Very sad news. I live in France which has free practice on pay tv [eurosport] and quali and race on free to view. Dont do pay 2 view so will be watching on French tv with sound off and 5 live LOUD on the PC ! Can we have a petition – worked when silverstone looked like losing the GP a few years back.

  18. Sebbio

    The government have ripped the BBC budget to bits and this is the result.It was inevitable in todays financial climate.

    • Steve

      How suprising that in this difficult time for BskyB, it got some help from the UK Gov… like blasting the BBC budget; so all good stuff would end elsewhere… oh dear. Thanks David Cameron.

  19. This is terrible news. I dont & wont have Sky. if Beeb only show half the races I will be far less intersted in F1 in general. The beeb will justify culling the team as they dont need so many reporters. MB(from above) will probably go, Jake will be moved to Olympics & footie, EJ wont be kept, Lee Mckzi will go to Sky(if we are lucky), i still wont watch sky. For me, F1 will go the way of UK football, i wont watch it anymore. Might mean more money for the teams which I can appreciate, wil mean more money for Bernie for sure. Sad day for all british F1 fans 😦

  20. smokestack

    Absolutely disgusted about this.
    I have been an F1 fan for more than 40 years and even had the immense pleasure of working for two top teams many years ago. The coverage provided by the BBC has been of the highest standard and has been a pleasure to watch after the dullness of ITV.
    I do not have Sky and would not be able to afford it in any case. What would be the point of not watching all the races??? As much as it pains me to say, this could well spell the end of my time as an F1 fan.
    Very very disappointed. Let’s hope the teams via FOTA are able to scupper this crazy idea.

    • Sam

      Martin Withmarsh has already stated that if the balance was good for the teams (aka more money), it would be quite ok for them… not very optimist on this one 😦

  21. Mark

    It’s terrible news. Watching the highlights is a very poor substitute for seeing the entire race, those race weekends not covered in full have been ruined for me.

  22. JGS

    What an absurd decision. I don’t want to see half the races, I want to see all the races! Paying an extra £20 a month to Sky to see them really sticks in my gut. This is terrible news for F1 and will surely lead to many sponsers leaving the sport.

  23. Pedro Duarte

    The BBC must be out of their own minds!!!!!! How do they expect people to only watch HALF the races?????????????
    F1 is as popular as it is now because people could watch it for free!
    This is awful news for the sport! :((((((((

    Nobody will agree with this decision unless those who work for SKY or those sight shorted minds at the BBC that tried to save money. Fools!

  24. Colin

    An absolute disgrace. Maybe we can get Cricket back on the Beeb!

    May all your satellites be doomed.

  25. Mark

    F1 will be going from something like a 21% audience share to 0.9% (if it’s on Sky Sports 1, 0.4% for 2)! Fairly sure sponsors won’t be pleased with that so I hope Sky are paying the teams enough to compensate for that, otherwise the field might thin out a bit (which may not be a bad thing but all the rumours about Renault it would be a shame to lose them or Williams who also seem to have a lot of rumours about being broke).

  26. Shane

    Bernie Ecclestone “LIAR” should be the headline in all the tabloids and especially on the BBC website. What do we get instead? The BBC trying to convince themselves that this is a good deal for them and it’s viewers…what a joke! If you’re going to broadcast F1 show the whole lot or don’t do it at all. Obviously they’ve run out of money to show TV programs that people actually want to see what with all the new buildings, re-locations and salaries that the beeb have forked out on! I’m not even going to get started on why F1, being predominately based in GB, should always be free to air…and I mean ALL of it!!! Sad day indeed.
    Guaranteed at the end of 2018 F1 will ONLY be available on SKY.
    Nice one Bernie and nice one to the BBC for a complete waste of the TV license fees…

  27. rupe

    Annoyed, but BBC have really overdone it lately with humpries and jordans brainless jabberings. And DC and Brundle are a bad combination. Just seems like jobs for the boys. Half as much may be bearable.

  28. BlimBlam

    One word… Gutted

    I don’t have sky and never intend on doing so… The current BBC coverage of F1 is the best it has been for many many years… It’s not just the competition between the drivers that keeps us interested.

    Moving to sky, like with many popular shows, only works to isolate the viewers… And ultimately ends with less interest. Hopefully the F1 Teams can add some weight to get this agreement overturned.

  29. David Myers

    Found this petition on Facebook, so please sign.

  30. Richard

    What are Sky’s commercial reasons for the deal? They are spending a huge amount of money for effectively 10 races that aren’t on the BBC. How many new subscribers are going to enrol with Sky simply to watch these – I expect most fans will either wait for the highlights on the BBC or look for an (illegal) feed online.

    The BBC has done OK out of this though, cut their costs but maintained a presence, they keep the good stuff and lose the logisitically difficult, the boring and the awkwardly scheduled.

    Sky won’t presumably sign up BBC personnel en masse, its not their style. Brundle and DC would be logical signings (particularly in view of DC’s Red Bull connections which is tricky for the BBC) but I would have thought that their commentary style isn’t Sky’s style, they’re more likely to want someone who bigs it all up a bit more (Charlie Cox maybe?). Someone recognisable off Sky will get their presenting job and the rest will go to people already known in motorsport broadcasting, such as Jennie Gow.

  31. Mick

    Oh well, after 25years without missing a race, I’d better make the most of my last year of watching F1. I will not be subscribing to Sky and I will not watch half a season. Disgusted with this botched arrangement.

  32. Chris

    As a life long (nearly 40 year old) F1 fan, thats very sadly the end of it for me.! I am never going to give Sky any more money than they already get from me by subscribing to sky sports. If you have ever watched F1 in a foreign country, you will know its nothing without fantastic comentary. The now brilliant BBC team just gets better every race and now they have to be split up in all likelyhood. All this, along with Bernie making race venues ever more corporate, concrete and expensive has just lost me as a long time supporter.

    I shall sadly miss it but I wont be bullied into paying to watch it on tv.

    All I can hope is that like the British Grad Prix farce, it gets overturned before the damage is done..

  33. Frank

    I’ve watched F1 since James Hunt and Niki Lauda were racing and now we get half the season broadcast live.

    I’m interested to know which races are to be broadcast on the BBC, they seem very coy about mentioning which races will be available to viewers who do not wish to shovel money into the Murdoch coffers.

  34. Alan Shepard

    I have no problem paying to watch a sport that I love, I object to being forced to pay a licence fee to BBC and having no say in what my money is spent on!!! Scrap the licence fee now and let us spend our money on what we want to watch…

  35. Like so many other people living outside the UK we enjoy watching English language coverage of F1 through BBC’s iPlayer. So that’s it F1 Sponsors – you are about to lose a (significant?) proportion of your 600 million TV viewers. I think you need to have a quiet word with Mr E.

  36. Richard

    Bernie Ecclestone says that this will increase the viewing figures. Well. Obviously. People who would not watch something that’s free will definitely watch something they have to pay for. Stands to reason.

    This is terrible news. Given the amount of money that the BBC waste daily, surely they could’ve done something. They are saving £25 million a year with this farcical decision. Isn’t that about the same as 5 big-name presenters? Perhaps they could charge an extra 10p a phone call vote when they air “quality” programmes on a Saturday evening.

    I won’t pay £40 a month to Sky to watch 10 races. A years subscription means £48 per race. That’s three times the price of most pay per view programmes. Yes, I would get a bunch of football and other sports but I couldn’t give a hoot about those. I’d rather take my £480 and go to watch every BTCC event live.

    I’ve been watching F1 for 30 years plus. Since the events were live I’ve never missed a single one. I even scheduled my wedding in February so that I wouldn’t miss a race. If fans like me leave the sport I’m sure those 10 million viewers the BBC brag about will tumble.

  37. j.o'reilly

    ever since i first heard rumblings about sky sports in f1, i could sense the inevitable…as has been pointed out in other comments,we were then lied to by the silver haired fox from the seventies…adding to the misery and dejection of losing our beloved sport to the ubiquitous murdoch empire…
    then for the bbc to announce that to watch less than half the season is a triumph for the viewers, only adds to the sense of farce and disrespect to the people who are genuinely very passionate about their love for the sport.
    i’m a massive f1 fan… never miss a race but this seems like the death knell….unless you’re in the minority of people who have any spare cash left when all the rest of the bills are paid…
    i’m very hacked (no pun intended) off about yet another example of corporate greed depriving us of something that we’ve watched and enjoyed for free for years……
    this decision plainly stinks….
    reverse it.

  38. john robertson

    This is such bad news BBC should be ashamed. Might be a good idea to organise an on line petition!

  39. Mick

    Interesting manouvering from Bernie after such fierce fan reaction – Still details to be sorted. BBC may show full race later, rather than highlights – I guess I could grudgingly live with that rather than give up on the one sport I follow.

  40. Alan Goodfellow

    Allow me to put my own spin on the announcement since the BBC themselves have been very quick to try and dress this up:

    ‘Times are tough, we need to cut back as our license fee money has been frozen. You lot still have to pay the same 145 quid a year for half the product you want to watch because we still need to line the pockets of our over paid executives and presenters, we still need to spend a squillion pounds on a two week, one off, event next year and we still need to fund an unnecssary move from London to Salford. We also need to keep relatively useless channels such as BBC 3 and 4 on air. (Hey, Top Gear and Two Pints of Lager repeats have to go somewhere, right?)

    In these tough times, you lot, who must still pay us this 145 quid or go to jail, must now shell out another 600 quid a year, or nearly 50 pounds a race, (on top of the £145 quid you still have to pay us, mind) to watch the other half of the product we shall now refuse to show you in order to perform the aforementioned unnecessary things. The races we will show shall also be available from your £600 subscription because, despite the cost cutting, we thought it would be worth while to show some of those races live and at the exact same time anyway in order to make your 145 quid seem like it was at least worth something.’

    (Up) Yours,

    The BBC


  41. Dan

    The reaction to this is very interesting from an American point of view. I have to buy cable, buy the sports tier, buy the HD tier, and buy the HD sports tier just to watch F1 (in HD). For all that I also get commercials every 8-10 laps. But as a bonus we get taped delayed races on free HD four times a year. Four!

    How much of the global audience that most sponsors are after located in the UK?

    • If you are talking about Speed you get a ton of other motor sport, 365 days a year, as well – that won’t happen in the UK, it will be just the 10 races that are not on BBC.

    • Leigh O'Gorman

      Out of curiosity Dan, do you have to pay a TV license in the US as well?

    • Martin,UK

      The figures i’ve seen say F1 gets 600 Million viewers. Thats not per race that the whole season.

      The BBC is apparently averaging 6 Million people a race in the UK multiply it by 20 races and that seems to suggest that we amount to 120 Million of those viewers or 20% of their whole audience.

      Theres a lot of maths about this whole fiasco that just don’t add up for me.

      The BBC are saving £5 per viewer per year (allegedly)
      For the viewers to have the same coverage next year will cost on average £385 a year (if you include %age that already have Sky and the %age that have sky sports)

      Sky has paid £25million for 20 Live races, all practice sessions and qualifying.
      BBC paying £15million for 10 Live races and a highlights package.

      BBC are “saving” £32 Million by getting out of existing contract for 2012-2013
      BBC are now tying up £105 million over next 7 years for highlights & to stop other terrestrial broadcasters having a chance to bid.

      Formula 1 Management gets extra £9million a year in new deal over the £31 million BBC were paying.

      Yet Bernie has promised all teams an extra £1million each under the new deal. So in essence Formula 1 Management is adding 3 million of its own money to push this deal through.

      So the teams will lose money through sponsorship being less valuable as there are a smaller numbers of Live viewers, the £1 million from FOM isn’t going to cover the shortfall. The FOM is losing money by incentivising the teams to accept the deal, the viewers lose out massively and the only people to gain are Sky who stand to make huge profits of which the sport is going to see a piffiling amount.

      So my question would be, whats Bernie up to? Whats his angle? positioning himself for removing Free To Air clause from next Concorde Agreement? If so why sell it to Sky for so long, so cheap?

  42. lewisthebass

    Another ludicrous decision. Ecclestone’s silver tongue has convinced the teams that the F1 audience will increase with the BBC/Sky deal. Ha. That’s a joke. And shame on the BBC for not showing the courage to negotiate a fair deal for its viewers.

  43. It’s tough news to take right now since there are a zillion unknowns. Who’s going to head their coverage? Who’ll be in the commentary booth? What happens to those of us in Canada that love the BBC commentary that we get on TSN? Martin Brundle not knowing what comes next does not feel promising (

  44. MikeJT

    It’s time that the teams went their own way. Martin Whitmarsh said a few races ago that F1 MUST remain free to air. This is just the beginning of Murdoch making a play for F1 and gaining full control of it, and therefore rights control / broadcast etc. It’ll be interesting to see if the same sponsors remain in the sport because I for one will be turning off F1 at the end of this season. F1 has always been about the fans but not any longer. Lets see how Bernie copes when there is a max exodus of those fans.

  45. Dot Kewley

    I first heard the news at 05.30am today and my blood has boiled ever since! I have looked forward to watching F1 all week, early starts to get everything done so as to have time to enjoy my beloved sport. Sounds sad but at almost 60 yr old I am allowed to indulge myself in a passion that has spanned 48 yrs. I never miss any part of a GP weekend and whilst I could never aspire to drive an F1 car, I did take part in the RAC rally years ago. Many years ago I spent my happiest hours in midge ridden forests, freezing cold, covered in mud and getting up close to motor sport, ask where is the RAC rally now? what killed it? the answer is what we face now!
    I will not subscribe to sky sport on moral grounds, on a practical front, my small cottage, circa 1475, in a conservation green belt, is not allowed a “sky dish”, therefore my choices are limited. Watching half the races will not satisfy my thirst for all that is F1, sadly I will have to say goodbye. I wish the teams and drivers could do something but BE appears to rule all except his ex wife…………………

    • Thanks for the comment, quite a few people have noted that they can’t have or are not allowed to have a dish. It would be interesting to know what % of homes can’t get Sky even if they wanted it.

  46. Errol

    What an absolute joke. I now pay £145 a year for 12 episodes of Top Gear if I am lucky. Time to visit the streaming sites for me, I just feel sorry for all those who do not have access to the internet or do not have the know how or inclination to find their sports by other more underground means

  47. scott

    Who wants to watch half the frickin races?

  48. Marnix

    The deal itself is horrible but what is even worse is that Bernie, the BBC and Sky are treating us all like idiots by trying to convince is this is actually a fantastic deal. Surely, it is not. I mean, how will this ever lead to more viewers? People who aren’t watching now for free (more or less) on the BBC, will not pay to watch on Sky.

    And I expect that some of those who are watching on the BBC and do not have access to Sky, will not get a subscription for those ten races, nor will they tune in to the BBC for just half a season. I mean, who can expect to make do with half a season? That is no season at all.

  49. Mark

    Well, the wife has been moaning about me abandoning the kids and domestic duties every other weekend, March to November fo a few years. As we don’t have Sky and can’t afford it, looks like the wife has won! Can’t see the sponsors being happy at declining numbers of viewers – I’d guess it will at least halve, with knock-ons to Silverstone attendance, etc. Oh, woh!

  50. There’s an online campaign to try and show support for the coverage – spread the word!


    I agree with those who say that BBC simply cannot afford F1 anymore. And even if it could, it cannot justify spending that much money on (how much is it, by the way?) promoting somebody else’s business.

    Nothing that concerns the developments of the past two decades is surprising in any way. To paraphrase somebody else: Sports is just too interesting a business to leave it to the sports-people.

    Our views are distorted by treating F1 as a sport. We shouldn’t. If we treat it like a big multinational business, suddenly everything falls into place. The good old F1 fans have become cash-cows, just like the fans of all other sorts of events that have gone ‘commercial’.
    I wouldn’t blame the BBC (F1 TV rights shouldn’t be that expensive in the first place), nor is it just a greedy Bernie Ecclestone. That would be far too simple, and many people even have the delusion that with BE gone everything would be remedied.

    No. And -surprisingly- all that money didn’t even improve the show. Fans of F1 should see themselves like those who like Apple or Starbucks: They could get something similar for a lot cheaper. But it doesn’t have the same brand-value.

    Money has never been in F1 to improve the show. Money is in F1 to become more money.

  52. Mike

    As someone who will still get all races for free on RTL Germany, i am very sad about this nonetheless. The BBC commentary is the best there is, so good in fact that i obtain the BBC broadcasts to watch them instead of our local broadcasts. I can only hope that Sky can produce an equally impressive commentary.

    P.S.: Some say that with enough searching you can acquire the races in HD quality from the internet.

  53. Just Very Very upset at the news, at Bernie’s U-turn and at the bleakness of the next 6 years. By the time the full F1 season comes back to free-to-air Button, Alonso, Massa, and obviously Trulli, Webbo and Barrichello will have all retired, most of the other guys on the grid will have been replaced.

    If I go back to it in 2019 I guess that Vettel and Hamilton “might” provide some continuity but it’s more likely that my interest in the teams, drivers, and the Piranha Club will have waned to the point where I just won’t bother.

    Sad days indeed.

  54. Menno555

    Disgusted is not strong enough for this sell out deal. 99% victims because of this and 1% who will benefit.
    On the BBC there is a blog message from the head F1 BBC, Ben Gallop. In less then 2 days over 5500 (and still counting rapidly) reactions. And guess what? All negative. See

  55. Bob

    Just a little perspective from the US; you’re lucky to have any coverage on ‘free’ terrestrial TV, let alone ad-free, we have no live ‘free’ coverage here (only 4 summer races shown delayed on FOX). We have to have a mid-level cable or satellite package (~$75-$100/mth) to get the live SPEED coverage, and that’s with advertising during the race. Of course, if you didn’t subsidize the BBC with your high taxes and lowered the tax, more of you could afford the SKY coverage. But I do commiserate with what you’re losing, just understand you’re aligning with the rest of the world :(.

  56. KateB

    Just to add insult to injury, some journalists have been cheerfully proclaiming that F1 fans can go and watch races in a pub, as if this somehow makes up for losing half our free to air live coverage.

    F1 fans are not exclusively male. As a woman in her 30s I wouldn’t be comfortable going to any of the pubs with Sky Sports near my house (on the off chance that they might be showing F1 rather than football). I can’t have a Sky dish on my house either.

  57. Paul

    BBC have no loss in income , a freeze only. This decision just does not feel right. After the scandal with news corp and the owners of BSKYB are there any questions that need to be asked around this deal? Barbra Slater has a lot to answer for, as this deal in Television terms makes no sense especially given the current ratings.

  58. Jon Wilde

    F1 BBC -SKY Sports – My take

    I’ve experienced mixed emotions with respect the the recent announcements from the BBC and Sky Sports for 2012-2018 F1 coverage. The first emotion is that of frustration, born out of how the situation has arisen where the BBC are unable to meet the financial obligations of an existing contract. It has been well publicised that since the David Cameron came in to power has has met on numerous occasions with the Murdoch’s, (majority shareholders of BSKYB, i.e. skysports) it could be said that the announcement of fixing the TV licence fee (BBC funding) for a period of 6 years was borne out of meetings with the Murdoch’s. Whilst this fixing of fee may have been perceived as positive by the public, it in effect meant a budget reduction to the BBC of 20% making agreements such as the F1 deal simply impossible to honour. In my opinion the Murdoch family / group pressured the government into reducing the financial power of the BBC in order to facilitate their own companies ability to grow. The F1 deal can be seen as one of these areas of growth. Had the licence fee not been in effect cut, F1 would have remained on the BBC until at least 2014. There is a feeling of admiration that the Murdoch family have the strategic sense to obtain the rights to F1, and increase UK entertainment presence in such as way, but the sense of admiration is curtailed by the sense of fear that a company has such clear power over the government of a country I was proud to be a citizen of. In light of the ongoing scandal surrounding the Murdoch group I remain hopeful the company will be split up for dishonourable actions and the decision makers be held accountable. The decision makers without any doubt are the Murdoch family.

    Beyond the political aspect of the announcement there is a sense of upset, the BBC have produced an outstanding level of coverage, a package which meets the expectations of the hardcore F1 fan and that is light enough for the casual fan to engage with and enjoy. I have doubts that a commercial production will be able to achieve such a balanced package. My hope is that if there are no changes to the current deal, in order to minimise costs BBC and SKY agree a deal that the current production team provide the package for both groups, with additional features available to SKY. It would seem illogical to have two competing service providers for the same market attend the each GP and would serve only to diminish the package available to the viewer. I don’t want to have to switch between BBC and SKY for interviews with certain teams or drivers, or have interviews cut in half so the same person can give input to both providers. I can imagine the reality for 2012 and beyond for the BBC will be Jake in a studio based position for highlights, similar to that of MOTD, and that DC and Brundle, or similar, will be hired by FOM to provide British commentary available to countries with a requirement. SKY and BBC will then have 1-2 passes for personale to do interviews over a race weekend.

    Whilst I have given my perspective on the reality of how I see the SKY / BBC coverage panning out over 2012 and beyond, my hope is for much more, I would love to see increased weekend coverage from SKY, with dedicated channels to the entire weekend of sport, including GP2 & GP3 (and I guess Porsche) in depth access to all teams and to driver team communications (available to all from 2012 either way) I would like the viewer to be treated with the respect the BBC has offered, and for the forums for viewer opinions to remain.

    Having lived outside of the UK for the last 4 years, I’m used to paying for BBC services, and have a genuine appreciation for the quality of service provided. I will pay to see F1 on SKY, out of curiosity and F1 obsession. Having said that I’m curious to see which 10 races the BBC won’t show live. I hope it’s the European season. (excluding British and Monaco) if this proves to be the case, I’ll cancel the SKY subscription and drive to the races, general admission to the European season would be similar to a year of SKY sports.

    2009- 2011 some of the best F1 races of my life, presented by the BEST F1 coverage the sport has ever seen.

    Separate note, but I think BBC World posted profits of 114 Million GBP in 2010, surely they could have bid for the F1 deal?

  59. Mark Gentleman

    Disappointing but inevitable, F1 is too high profile for the BBC to be spending money on while cutting everywhere else.

    No-one has mentioned that you have to subscribe to Sky sports for 12 months, subscribing for each race as required isn’t an option…

  60. Dot Kewley​k/petitions/57
    This is the link to sign the epetition to keep F1 free to view, please sign it if, as all the responses show, you disagree with the sky take over.

  61. This is a very bad deal and certainly not the best. I hear CH4 were interested in broadcasting F1 since finishing Big Brother they have 40M to spend. Did they have a chance to negotiate? Estimates state Wimbledon costs the BBC 50M for 2 weeks coverage with just over 7M watching the men’s final. F1 costs the BBC 40M with race day figures from 7 to 10M. Why keep Wimbledon as it makes little sense with F1 you get 10 months of viewing figures 10x7million viewers.

    I’ve heard arguments saying ‘great the BBC are saving 40M on something I don’t like or watch’. This is not a ‘real’ argument as I don’t’ like or watch Eastenders, Traffic Cops, Holby City, and that crap Saturday evening program hosted by that American guy. They not get rid of all these?

  62. DALE

    I will never pay to watch sky thanks Bernie

  63. well, seems its working, viewers dropping off, popularity dropping, hope in 2018 it gets back to bbc who will then make it popular again until greed takes it away from them again

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