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BBC & Sky share F1 TV deal

Despite Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone claiming that it was impossible F1 would move to Sky Sports, it has done.

In May a move to Sky Sports would be "suicidal" according to the F1 boss due to the viewing figures Sky receives from their pay-tv service.

"They have been trying to buy the TV rights from us for a long time but we won't because they are not free-to-air television broadcasters. They are a subscription service." Bernie told the Mirror.

“Sky is doing an incredible job but if you look at their audience figures they are nowhere.

“With these figures it would be almost impossible for teams to find sponsors. That would be suicidal."

Less than two weeks ago Bernie emphasised the point again when he told The Sunday Telegraph: 'It isn't possible that F1 could go on to pay TV, we wouldn't want to do that.'

Instead Bernie was open to discussing terms with ITV and Channel 4 who had already shown an interest in the sport if the BBC were going to drop F1 due to cut-backs and he was also willing to approach Channel 5 over a possible new deal.

But this morning an announcement has been made that from next season and running until 2018, Sky Sports will be the only place UK viewers will be able to watch every practice session, qualifying and race live.

'This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.' managing director of Sky Sports Barney Francis said in a statement.

The BBC, who have cut short their current exclusive deal, will continue to show free practice, qualifying and the race from half of the events on the F1 calendar including the British Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix and the final race of the season.

'We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.' director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater told the press.

'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.'

The deal is likely to anger F1 fans across the country who will now have to pay a monthly subscription to continue to watch the sport.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday July 29 2011

Time: 8:12AM

Your Comments

Gutted, I thought Bernie said it would always be free to air....
good to see Bernie is a man of his word then!
The Fear
Push The Button
With you ptb. Does this mean that the Bernie will have his phone tapped? How can you still do business with scum like this after all the ongoing revelations. It's a shame on the sport we all love
Murdoch took our football, then took our cricket, and now our F1. Nothing is sacred to that odious wretch as has been proved over the last year or so. Unfortunately for me, I can't not watch the racing and football, so I have a Sky Sports subscription. I wish I was a man of ethics and morals to boycot the scumbag, but I love my F1. We all have our weaknesses I guess. I will be watching all the available races on BBC though, they've done a brilliant job since they got the rights back from ITV. I wonder who will jump ship? My money is on Jake and Martin.
I have avoided signing up to Sky for the football and the cricket and by the sounds of things the BBC will be showing highlights or the races "as live" within a few hours so I just cannot justify a Sky subscription, even if I was willing to give them money.
Understand you rocky7. I'm lucky (in a way as I get the impresion that French comentators think they're at an origami contest) as France 2 cover all races badly. Wouldn't it be lovely to see them fall on their ugly faces?

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