So much for keeping F1 free-to-air


Posted on

| Written by

F1 fans in the UK have reacted angrily to today’s news that Sky TV will take over much F1 broadcasting.

From next year, the only way to see a full season of F1 will be to buy a Sky Sports subscription. And they don’t come cheap.

For 12 months of Sky Sports a new user will have to pay £487*. And that’s only if you want to see the action in standard definition.

To see every F1 race in HD next year the price goes up to an eye-watering £610. No wonder Sky just announced annual profits of more than £1bn.

This is surely not what F1 Teams’ Association chairman Martin Whitmarsh had in mind last month when he said: “It’s crucial to the commercial model of Formula 1 that TV coverage should remain free-to-air, and therefore universally accessible, and therefore widely consumed and enjoyed by large numbers of viewers – and the BBC delivers that in the UK.”

It was a hot topic during the recent F1 Fans’ Forum at Silverstone where Whitmarsh told the assembled fans: “All of the FOTA teams believe in free-to-air television.”

The BBC says it will continue to show “half” of the races live. So far three out of a potential 21 rounds have been confirmed.

The upshot of this is clear: for F1 fans, who want to see all 20-odd rounds of their favourite sport, the broadcast is no longer free-to-air.

It is also exactly why the British government should have added F1 races to list of protected events when it last had the chance to do so in 2009.

There is hope for fans yet as the new deal may infringe upon the teams’ contract with Bernie Ecclestone.

Whitmarsh said last month: “Our current contracts require that F1 remain on free-to-air and the teams, through FOTA, are clearly going to safeguard their business interests and the interests of the fans in this regard.”

Let’s see if FOTA do what they said they would and safeguard the interests of fans who want to continue watching F1 as they can this year without paying over £600 to do so.

Thank you for all your comments on the subject so far. Please continue to leave your thoughts below, and do let us know whether you’re a current Sky customer or not, and whether you will be next year.

Several people have asked how to register complaints or contact the people involved. You can contact FOTA here and the BBC’s complaints department here.

*12 months at £39.75 per month plus a £10 set-up fee. HD costs an extra £10.25 per month


Browse all comment articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

615 comments on “So much for keeping F1 free-to-air”

    1. cheers for the link mate!

    2. The deal has already been done. It’s not going to be undone because of an online petition.

      1. You are almost certainly correct Prisoner Monkeys, however if we don’t voice our concerns then the BBC won’t think twice when the contract comes up again in the future. Signing the petition will not do any harm, it only has potential to do good. Just sign it! Lol

        1. This is not the petition you should be signing, the government has its own petition service – and if we get over 100,000 signs – it will be debated in the house of commons.

          We just need someone to make a petition at the following link:

          1. Basic cable or over the air tv does not get F1 access in the USA. I had to spend 15 bucks to upgrade to the next tv package that includes SpeedTV, then spend another 10 bucks to get HD. You are guys are in for a hell of a ride. It only goes downhill, and sooner than you realize, F1 will get less popular in the UK. Sorry to all of you. Good thing I can speak portuguese as well, so I can still jump into brazilian broadcasts.

          2. @F1Andy It’s similar here in Canada. With basic cable we do not get TSN (which is our sports channel) Would have to upgrade to the next package and same as you another package for HD, and it’s more than $25. It really is a heck of a ride. With this struggling economy, and the cost of living that keeps going up, these cable prices are absurd. I personally had to watch the last few races streamed online. Which is probably what I will continue to do. I would be just as angry as the folks in UK. I thought the F1 wanted to get a wider audience? This surely is the worst way to do it.

          3. Just made one! Just waiting for a link now

          4. @F1Andy, yeah, we pay close to $1000 a year for our DirecTV package in HD. I have to say though that while the price is pretty steep DirecTV does a great job with their HD DVR. I can record two things simultaneously, and can set to record from anywhere via phone of iPad apps. The biggest problem here is the 4 races mid season broadcast on FOX. For those of you in the UK, imagine you’d paid for your Sky service, then right in the middle of the summer at the height of the season 4 races are only available to watch free to air, edited, delayed, with little to no pre and post race coverage. That’s basically what it’s like. Sounds like SPEED are trying to work on a solution for next year, so hopefully they’ll do something like Sky/BBC where SPEED will show the races live in full, then FOX will show an edited delayed broadcast.

      2. and the deal can be undone…. this is F1 after all.

        Nevermind that Bernie and CVC are now in breach of other ‘done deals’ that require that all the races are shown on free to view channels….

        I suspect that this will be resolved in the courts…

      3. surley this is not allowed under bbc licencing rules,.imparsialety [sorry bout the spelling] im not paying the bbc any more f1 is the only thing i wach on bbc,so no more pennys from me…..

        1. michaela light
          29th July 2011, 23:41

          f1 is the ONLY tv i watch alltogether and i be pretty annoyed if i cant watch indian race

      4. @ Prisoner Monkeys – we pay our licence fees, we have no choice in that matter unless we want to face legal action. In paying the fee we fund and, in essence, own the BBC. The decision makers at the BBC are trusted by us as licence payers to make judgements on our behalf that are sensible and what we would like to see on TV. If we disagree we have the absolute right to complain in every legitimate way available as strongly as possible.

        A fairer division would have been equal rights for the BBC and Sky. I’m not sure why this wasn’t the case and why the BBC didn’t sign up for this.

        Of greater concern is that, from a certain point of view, it breaks the 2009 Concorde Agreement.

        I believe, and hope that hundreds of thousand of other F1 followers do too, that it ain’t over yet.

    3. Wouldn’t a boycott of F1 this weekend demonstrate more? Tell FOM just what us fans will do if F1 does get taken away (even in part) from the BBC.

      1. It will not work. There isn’t enough time to organise a boycott this weekend, but I think we should try anything to express our dissatisfaction. Today I’m signing the petition, but I’m happy to boycott one of the coming races (but not Belgian Grand Prix).

        1. Hi guys dunno about u guys but am excited bout sky broadcasting races in 2012. Am hoping for a Allen & Legard pairing for live commentary.

          1. I honestly couldn’t disagree with that comment more…

          2. I love adverts so much and love paying high prices so much that I too am excited. I can’t wait to be ripped off while being fed substandard coverage and sold products every 15 mins!

            Or I more likely, I will stop watching F1 and put my interest into something else.

          3. Is this sarcasm? I’m hoping this is sarcasm.

          4. No Matt this is ascerbic British wit in full flow.

          5. LOL!

            Thought you were being serious until the last bit

          6. Ok so which part of Sky’s marketing department do you work for?

          7. @make you probably are already a member of sky, others that can’t afford sky are the ones missing out on what’s meant to be free-to-air.

            @Lee Sky have at least confirmed they will not show adverts during the qualifying and racing. But still not happy its leaving BBC.

        2. Stephen Higgins
          29th July 2011, 13:34

          Why not boycott Abu Dhabi ??

      2. Only if you get the people to boycott who have the special boxes on their TVs that record how many people in a room are watching what channel and then extrapolates it to find a rough figure for the entire population. Switching off your TV will not affect the viewing figures- not even by one.


          As you can see, each viewer with access to a box represents 5000 people.

          1. We need to find these 5000 people, and convince them all to stick it on channel 5 during one of the races!

    4. Done that thanks.

      The real “stinky” for me isn’t just the cost it’s whole funk that syurrounds anything to do with the Murdochs and I for one don’t like F1 (or any other sport for that matter) being damaged by association.

      Maybe too simplistic a view but it’s mine.

      1. Remember as well, even if you can afford sky (which i and many others here cannot) you will have to pay EVEN MORE to watch it in HD. Absolute joke.

        1. I hope the BBC do not clash with MotoGP on their revised coverage as it offers more action and I hope will still be free. For £600 I can almost buy a ticket for Silverstone!

          1. My three day ticket in the International Pit Straight grand stand was £329 this year. For £600 you would just about have enough to put your coat and umbrella on a seat of its own.

          2. again crazy money when you compare it to say world superbikes.

            i know what one id pick for a day out!

    5. I have skysports already but i cant believe that they are selling the rights to sky so much for keeping it on free to veiw tv, its so unfair to all F1 veiwers who havent got sky. I cant believe im saying this but id rather it went to itv sport and have adverts (which i hated when they had the sport ) but thats how strong i feel that it should be kept on free to veiw tv !

    6. Much more useful than signing an online petition that can be just ignored by anyone is to flood FOTA’s email inbox with complaints. Their contact is given above, but here it is again:

      This is the only way of making those capable of doing anything at all sit up and take notice.

      1. John Edwards
        29th July 2011, 15:42

        Done it. Sent one in.

        “Dear Sir,

        I would not normally write to big organisations but I feel if you get enough of these something may change.

        I’m a dedicated fan and supporter of the sport for 20 years, attending 17 races inside the last decade, I’m probably not what can be described as the casual fan.

        I’m utterly appalled how fans in the UK have been sold out. A 10 race coverage on free to air is just not acceptable, F1 is a story over a full season, what use is the story if chapters are missing? Highlights aren’t any good either. What use are highlights? The moment is gone, it’s not like watching a movie.

        I think if this is the direction the sport is going, I will turn my back on it altogether, if I can’t have all 20 pieces of the pie I will go without the pie. Please bare in mind my £600 a year in ticket revenues that goes with it will disappear as well, which isn’t much in itself, but I won’t be the only one.

        Maybe you should be thinking about who makes the decisions in the sport if you don’t the sport will die in the UK no doubt about it.

        Yours faithfully,


        1. John I couldnt agree more with every single word you have written. I too m a hardcore f1 fan of over 20 years and I find this whole think gutting to say the least.

    7. Inaccuracies, no matter how small, may invalidate any actions one might take whether symbolic or not. As F1 fans specifically, we should be accustomed to details making a difference.

      So signing a petition that specifically complains about ads in the Sky coverage, seems a bit silly.

    8. Signed and shared on FB. Well, that’s it then if we don’t get it changed. I can’t afford satellite packages and my interest in sport is confined to motorsport so I wouldn’t spend a fortune for something I would hardly use.

      Is this the thin end of the wedge working towards the END of FREEVIEW??

    9. For anyone interested the BBCs Head of F1 has posted a lame excuse for you to comment on. The excuse is ridiculous but the 2500+ comments are an interesting read.

      1. It’s over 4000 comments now!

    10. Very disapointed, an expensive sport taken away from the common man now even veiwing. I love all sports F1 being my favorite this is a sad day for F1 fans and sports fans alike. The BBC sports personality of the year will become a farce if we can’t even see them on the BBC. SAD SAD SAD.

  1. Time for FOTA to show some teeth, and actually act in the interests of the fans rather than just talking about it.

    1. My parents have Sky Sports, mostly for cricket. To paraphrase the bloke from Airplane! “Looks like I picked the wrong week to move out…”

      But I should be able to access the races from my new place through my ma’s SkyPlayer login. Hooray for grainy footage about four minutes behind the real action!

      1. I used to have Sky Sports 1 for cricket coverage. They then moved some of the matches to Sky Sports 2 (more money). I binned it in the end. I bet they’ll end up doing the same with F1 to make you get ALL the sports channels!

      2. It is funny. F1 adds so many gimmiks (some do make sense), and the reason is often in the name of attracting the ‘casual fans.’ Except for putting ALL the races on sky, I can’t think what else they could have done to better detract both the ‘casual fans’ as well as anybody with any inclination of watching F1.

      3. Hooray for grainy footage about four minutes behind the real action!

        The sad thing is, you live in Britain and you’re having to resort to such measures. I live in Australia and that’s how I follow F1, but I understand it wouldn’t be feasible to show all F1 sessions live on TV over here as it doesn’t have a massive following.

        The UK, however…

        1. It’s live on channel one (and qualy), the analouge channel 10 is gone in my area and will be gone in yours too soon, get a new tv.

    2. Maybe we should set up a fans association – FOFA anyone? :)

      1. This is FOTA’s big chance to grow some balls and leave. The teams don’t need F1, F1 is nothing without all the manufacturers and teams. If Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Mercedes and Red Bull formed their own series they could run it any way they want, and I would follow it!

        1. I’m not sure they would do another breakaway threat. The last one sort of worked, but this time the arguement isn’t with the FIA. I just hope the current concord agreement prevents this deal going through until 2013 at least.

          1. Thing is, there is a huge UK interest in F1, most of the teams are based here and we have 3 drivers racing, as well as top team principles/designers etc. being form the UK. It may not be to do with the FIA but it would scare the pants off Bernie if they all decided to make their own series (unless the issue is resolved). Especially as Bernie said how important it was to keep F1 free-to-air… I’m most interested in the reactions form sponsors, because this will cut the audience figures significantly in the UK….

          2. Matt, I did think whether that would work but money talks, mate. Do we know what the teams are going to get out of it yet?

        2. IVZ totally agree ,without the large teams F1 is a lame duck,

      2. It may have been a joke but this isnt a bad idea :)

      3. I thought of that a few years ago and was surprised to find it already existed. They’re on Facebook (FOFA).

      4. FOFA exists, check Facebook!!

    3. I don’t think FOTA has the power to be anything more than a pressure group. It thought it had agreement from Bernie not to pull this sort of stunt last week, from what I’d read…

    4. Mouse_Nightshirt
      29th July 2011, 15:58

      FOTA, or at least the teams that make up FOTA, now and past, are as much to blame as anyone else.

      For years and years, costs have spiraled onwards and upwards, and no matter what serious methods are proposed to bring them down, they are halted or watered down the point where even a homeopathy practitioner would be proud.

      This in itself has given Bernie the justification to charge more and more for the sport each successive year, which, in turn, prevents broadcasters, like the BBC, being able to fund such coverage.

      I’m particularly upset about what this means for the future. Many a father-son moments have been spent infront of a TV, cheering on a favourite team or driver. I fear that, for many of us, these are moments we will miss with the next generation.

      A sad, sad day for the home of F1.

  2. Goodbye F1.

    1. Indeed. There are many things I worry about in life, and very few things I look forward to and enjoy. F1 is one of those things.

      1. Said it perfectly. I feel like someone has died.

        1. Sad times indeed. It’s easy to say “Just get Sky” but fact is I can hardly afford my rent never mind an extra £600 a year to watch F1.

          Looks like I’ll be watching poor quality streams online or YouTube highlight after the race.

          A sad sad day for F1.

          1. Also say goodbye to casual F1 fans.

            I quite enjoy being able to speak to my mates, who aren’t hardcore fans, about F1. Now though no one is going to be able to flick it on and see what it’s all about.

          2. Amen to that…

          3. That is true. Sky believe it will get more people subscribing to sky sports. All it will do is get even more people streming it online.
            Well said

          4. Also say goodbye to casual F1 fans.

            I quite enjoy being able to speak to my mates, who aren’t hardcore fans, about F1. Now though no one is going to be able to flick it on and see what it’s all about.

            Too true. And now it’s going to hard for potential future fans to discover the sport. It’s a lose-lose situation! :P

          5. Publicise the overseas broadcasters, that will cause a riot over there too

          6. F1 has recently seen the highest viewing figures in years, and all those new fans will no way pay for sky to watch F1.

  3. Thank you for the link to FOTA. I hope your standing as an F1 journalist will help us to communicate how angry we are at this news to the sport’s leadership.

    1. Very true. Keith you will be much more influential than any of us. Do all you can to convey your readers thoughts!!

  4. This has angered me so much. The BBC have been delivering sterling coverage, and now we’re set to lose it.

    1. I’m sorry, I didn’t see the part of Keith’s article where Sky said they were going to change everything about the broadcast. Because they haven’t said that at all.

      It’s likely that this deal has been worked out in such a way that Sky has purchased the broadcast rights, with the BBC putting up some of the cost themselves as they become a syndicated station. This means they will have the ability to influence Sky’s board, and they can use that influence to keep the broadcast the same. Sky would be absolutely insane to compeltey overhaul the presentation.

      1. You may be right, but I cannot afford Sky so the quality of their broadcast is utterly irrelevant to me.

        I cannot watch half the races next year on TV, and thats that.

      2. Yes, well done for missing the title of the article as well, and the main section where Keith addresses the issue of price. Does that mean you didn’t actually read any of it?

        1. We know that the BBC will be broadcasting half the races. So you’re not really losing anything – it’s just being scaled back. Therefore, the post I was replying to directly implies that Sky will change the content of their coverage.

          1. i can only assume you have sky sports? Many of us don’t, and for the majority, it’s because we can’t afford it and that’s not going to change. So for us, we will only be watching half the season of the sport we love, and are used to watching every second of every session live. So can i kindly suggest you let people vent there frustrations without picking up on anything they say that may turn out to be a little factually incorrect.

          2. Not really losing anything? What is the point in watching half the season? Remeber the highlights won’t be on until 23:30 and we are basically worse of than when it was on ITV. We are losing everything.

          3. Not really losing anything? We’ll be losing half the races, those of us ho can’t afford Sky Sports!

          4. Some of us are struggling to pay our mortgage here. I’m not going to get a sky sports subscription. F1 was my Sunday escape, I looked forward to it all week. Watching half the races now is going to seem half-baked to an F1 fanatic like myself.

            the BBC will be broadcasting half the races. So you’re not really losing anything

            Have a read of what you’ve just said PM. Usual senseless comment I’m afraid.

          5. The actual wording of the post you replied to said that we will be losing BBC’s coverage, which for half the races we will. The words ‘change’ and ‘content’ weren’t mentioned. Why should Sky just transplant the BBC presentation and format onto their channels? They haven’t done that with any other sport.

          6. Not really losing anything? We’ll be losing half the races, those of us ho can’t afford Sky Sports!

            And yet, you’ll still have more than the Australian fans.

          7. It’s not only about being able to afford it. For me it’s also about contributing to Murdoch’s fortune. I absolutely despise the man and will not pay a single penny to him.

            By the way, PM, why are you always playing the devil’s advocate? Is it just your hobby, or do you honestly believe this isn’t a negative sign for the future of the sport? Do you really believe everything is going to be hunky-dory?

          8. I wouldn’t be so confident about the presentation not changing.

            Sky Sports don’t spend so much money buying a sport to stick with another channel’s ‘brand’, no matter how successful it is. They have to justify the price of Sky Sports, which means brand awareness is crucial.

          9. do you honestly believe this isn’t a negative sign for the future of the sport?

            I believe that people racing to judge this and whinge about it – especially considering that we know absolutely nothing about the deal (aside from the fact that the broadcast will be shared) – is foolishness. The BBC obviously dropped their coverage of Formula 1 for a reason, and yet most people seem to assume that this reason is sticking it to the fans.

          10. One of the main reasons for watching F1 live is not knowing the result or what is going to happen in the race. Waiting for the highlights and trying to avoid all the pundits who can’t wait to tell you the result is not an option. Let us not forget the famous BBC sportscaster line… “If you don’t want to know the result, look away now.”

          11. I love the “half the races” concept. Let’s push this into the Olympics coverage as well…. The first 2 legs of the 4*400m relay? The first 4.5 seconds of the men’s 100m final.

            Just absolutely ludicrous. The ONLY potential glimmer of good news is that we may not have to endure Valencia!????

          12. ‘Not really losing, anything, just being scaled back.’

            That is the worst attempt at a political statement I’ve ever heard. It’s what I imagine Cameron says before he takes away students money.

          13. Also, I previously felt sorry for you Austalians, but if you’re (just PM I mean, I know everybody else has sense to appreciate things from a different perspective) going to keep cropping up and telling us how you have it worse, my heart is hardly going to be bleeding for you. This isn’t about how we still have more than you, it’s about how we have half of what we previously had.

          14. This isn’t about how we still have more than you, it’s about how we have half of what we previously had.

            Fine. You have half of what you previously had. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ve always had half of what you’re about to get. You say “my heart is hardly going to be bleeding for you”, and yet you’re asking that we do just that for you, despit the fact that you’ll still be getting more coverage, better coverage than anything we’ve ever had. You’re like a rich person complaining about a tax raise despite the fact that your net income is still greater than anyone else’s.

            So I’ll do you a deal. I’ll got to England for a year and watch half of the races on the BBC. You can come to Australia and watch races on a delayed telecast at midnight, with no coverage of practice and qualifying or pre-race show and post-race analysis, commercial breaks every fifteen minutes, and interrupted commentary from the BBC and Sky.

            You don’t know how good you’ve got it – and you’ve got the hide to complain about how you’re losing half of it when some of us would gladly accept what you’re getting without a second thought. Your heart is bleeding? Mine’s retching.

          15. Are you actually from Australia? One HD shows all the races, live.. Sure the ads are annoying and the idiot australian commentators who interrupt the BBC commentary to cut to and from the ads drive me up the wall, but we definitely do get all of the races live and in HD for free.

            I wonder what this deal will do to the Australian (One HD) stream of BBC’s broadcast…

          16. Are you actually from Australia? One HD shows all the races, live..

            But I don’t have OneHD. I live in regional Australia, and a lot of digital content is unavailable, largely because we have to connect a digital transciever into an aerial to pick up anything, but even with a boosted antenna, I can only get about 70% of the signal. I’ve been lucky with the past few races because I do have access to a television that can receive a proper-quality signal, but after Hungary, my access dries up quickly. So I’m forced to watch the races on conventional analogue channels, usually after something like The Devil Wears Prada.

          17. Not the topic to play devils advocate on I think PM….

            The ONE HD coverage might actually be better!
            At least ONEHD are improving. Last race they had a post race show, (short though it was, and in the pre-race show they even had a diagram. A diagram!

            /Course they didn’t seem to understand it….

          18. But I don’t have OneHD. I live in regional Australia, and a lot of digital content is unavailable, largely because we have to connect a digital transciever into an aerial to pick up anything, but even with a boosted antenna, I can only get about 70% of the signal. I’ve been lucky with the past few races because I do have access to a television that can receive a proper-quality signal, but after Hungary, my access dries up quickly. So I’m forced to watch the races on conventional analogue channels, usually after something like The Devil Wears Prada.

            Well thats hardly fair to the australian coverage then is it. I know a few people who live in rural areas in this country and can’t pickup bbc on their freeview, doesn’t mean they make out as though the bbc doesn’t exist!

          19. I wasn’t saying I expect your hearts to bleed for us. I was saying don’t bother posting negative comments. You managed to miss my point entirely. I know Australia have it worse, and that is a shame, but you seem to think we have no grounds to complain, which is ludicrous.

          20. PM, I’m Australian too, and I agree we don’t get very good coverage. But this is the UK, where there are no excuses for poor coverage. And people aren’t specifically concerned about the coverage that Sky will provide, but they are worried about the fact they won’t even have the option to watch it as they can’t afford it.

            Don’t pretend we have it worse than that over here, because we don’t.

      3. bernification
        30th July 2011, 2:51

        PM, if you’re trying to gloat in the fact that we in the uk now have it as ‘bad’ as you do in Aus, then, brilliant, well done.
        And congratulations on alienating yourself to the majority of people on here.

  5. What an awful mishmash of a solution! It’s such a stupid compromise and like all compromises doesn’t suit anyone.

    I wonder how Channel 4, ESPN, Channel 5 and Virgin are feeling about the BBC working actively with Sky (a commercial broadcaster) to keep the rights out of their hands.

    The biggest question I have is whether it will be on sky sports 1 and 2 (which you can access for a fee on digital terrestrial with the right set top box) or whether it will be on 3 and 4 which are Sky and Virgin only.

    I have Sky fortunately with the full sports pack, but that’s not the point.

    1. Well the fact F1 Qualifying is on sat midday and the race 2pm on a sunday – Both of which are Premier league kick-off times I’m going to say 3 and 4.

      Sky Sports has 3.5 million Viewers total. What are the viewing figures going to look like?

      What does this do to the circuits that don’t get shown on the BBC? do they get a discount on the deal?

    2. Do you also have HD?

    3. and you forgot Sky Sports Extra channel that is exclusive to Sky customers only.
      It is not available via VirginMedia.

      1. BSkyB actually own Virgin Media Television.

  6. Don’t fret yet. I have posted an e-petition on the website, which should be avaliable on the 8th august. As long as it gets 100,000 signatures, it will be debated in the house of commons, so we might save free-to-air F1 in the UK yet :)

    1. Ink is dry, no juristiction. Parliment is on recess. The finger has already been well and truly inserted.

    2. How do I search for the petition so I can sign it?

    3. Well if the govenment in the UK started helping the sport as they do in other contries there may be hope. Also remember the BBC is a publicly owned company so the govenment DO have an influence.

    4. Frame it as people v murdock and you may get somewhere!

  7. I just contacted Sky, i know its no consolation but you could get a Sky Go account with Sky Sports subscription to stream over the internet if you cant get sky which is coming next month.

  8. Arrrrrgh. F1 is going to die. Look what happened to Australian Football..

    1. the AFL is fine though?

    2. the AFL is fine though? i could be wrong but that is just my understanding!

    3. Are you referring to the Super League? That didn’t fail because News Corp. were broadcasting it. That failed because News Corp. started their own football league when their bid to but the rights to the ARL was rejected. And even then, the Super League introduced ideas that are now standard in the sport – like video referees, grand finals held at night in prime time, and the ANZAC tests.

      1. Not quiet correct. Superleague did fail because not enough people were willing to pay to watch Rugby League. Not to mention it destroyed the sport. A lot of people walked away from Rugby League when Super League came around. Suddenly the only way they could follow their favourite team was on pay TV. They never came back.

        Same will happen to F1. Why will people be committed enough to watch half the races. They won’t, they’ll just find another form of motorsport to watch.

        1. Sorry. Meant superleague. I effed up there..

        2. Yes, and no on the TV issue. Pay TV wasn’t big enough here in 97 to have any effect, and besides both the ARL and SL had two FTA games on TV at the time – the year before there had been 2 and a half total on FTA, and there’s only 3 today. It failed because it simply couldn’t exist apart, it was destroying the fan base as you said.

          The same won’t happen in F1. The split arose in the league because of a media war between Packer and Murdoch, with the league divided and played against each other by both. F1 is more savvy than that I believe, and the teams are better prepared and better organised. They also hold a lot more power, and have shown they are willing to exercise that power.

          But for the rugby league, News Limited won in the end. They half own the NRL (for now), have their men in charge, foxtel (which they half own) get the pay tv rights for a pittance and they still run a couple of clubs. And the pay tv company that the ARL chose during the divide has been dead for years. Super League failed, but News Limited won. The League community lost – it is only now back to where it was at its peak support in 1994.

        3. Precisely. LMS and ALMS sportscars has more consistent and reliable coverage than F1 will have next year, and it costs a lot less (free, even if the camera angles are limited and the US situation is strange, but there’s always a radio-only commentary option).

  9. Goodbye F1, no point watching the highlights as they miss the build up. An no point watching only a few races as you miss what is going on the rest of the season.

    1. And when I say build up, I don’t mean race build up, but the suspense that is generated as a driver approaches another.

  10. Whitmarsh: “…[the teams] are clearly going to safeguard their business interests and the interests of the fans in this regard.”

    I’ll wager they’re more interested in the former than the latter.

    1. But the former is the later. It is absolutely vital to the interests of the sponsor reliant teams that F1 is consumed en mass.

  11. as i said on the other thread, we need to know what bbc’s interests in this decision are. they may have been more than happy to reduce costs by only covering 50% of the races.

    1. from jake h on radio 1 a few moments ago….
      “it’s probably a money thing”
      “bbc had no option”

      it was not specifically stated that bbc can’t afford to cover f1, but it was implied.

      1. more from fp1. bbc are cutting costs. f1 was part of the cost cutting.

        they won’t cut the crap such as eastenders as that gets way more viewers.

        1. F1 gets more viewers than the majority of BBC programmes.

          1. For it’s timeslot, I’d say it’s about average, but BBC can save money by cutting some of the rubbish they put out later on (Don’t Scare the Hare, Tonight’s the Night, even Total Wipeout has reached the end of it’s run in my opinion)

            Shows like Doctor Who and Eastenders are pulling in the figures, I really hope BBC can salvage the internet broadcasting rights to the remaining 9/10/11 races they won’t broadcast, and put them up on something like Iplayer.

            I’m not what you’d call a ‘Casual fan’, but I’m not gonna want to pressure my dad too hard to be paying £600 a year for a load of football we won’t watch, and about 150 hours of F1 we will over the year, that’s £4 per hour!

            Typical that it’s just when F1 was getting to be interesting aswell…

          2. In the UK perhaps. But things like Eastenders, Doctor Who, and especially Top Gear are syndicated all around the world and bring in huge amounts of revenue.

            F1 can’t be ‘re-sold’, so all the investment is basically a one-off. They can’t even release season-review box sets because Mr E holds all those rights.

    2. I would guess the BBC’s interest is simply that they cannot afford it anymore. No secret agendas I would guess.

      1. if they are short on money, why don’t they cut the crap like eastenders?

        1. Couldn’t agree more Mename!!!

        2. Unfortunately 18 million of our population are as thick as two short planks. That’s why.

          1. And half of those 18 million think it’s a real life ‘fly on the wall’ drama.

          2. That and eastenders costs them considerably less than f1 I’m sure

        3. They could always cut BBC News 24, a service made entirely obsolete and pointless by the internet.
          Or BBC Parliament, which has an average of around 24 viewers.
          Or merge their many other channels which only broadcast for half a day
          Or just get rid of most of it

  12. streetfightingman
    29th July 2011, 8:48

    It’s not free in sweden either and haven’t been for a couple of years. It sucks.

    1. Here in the Netherlands it is free (well, almost – it’s on cable) but it is unwatchable – the pace and content of the commentary is so slow and boring, it takes the whole life out ot it. That is why I watch it on the BBC, where you have the impression that the commentators enjoy the event as much as you do. And we don’t even have the option of paying for Sky here….
      Sometimes I think Bernie has been running some sort of social experiments in the last few years. He seems to have realised that he doesn’t need F1 anymore to be a super wealthy man and is testing the boundaries of the sport’s popularity. Half of the calendar is already run in one of Tilke’s boredroms in the east, making the bulk of F1 fans (who live in Europe) obliged to watch the races at 7am. At such a time one cannot even have a beer and feel good about it. Then there was the Bahrain thing. And now this.

      1. Forgot to mention. What a timing to ask people in the U.K. to pay 5 to 6 hundred pounds a yead to Mr. Murdock to be able to watch their favority sport! Seriouly, Bernie could not be more eloquent in his demostration on how much he cares for the sensibilities of the British fans.

        1. John Edwards
          29th July 2011, 16:05

          £500-600 to a man who’s organisations have tapped peoples phones, ruined English football, ruined the future of English Cricket amongst other things.

          Sky makes a lot of money and makes their sports money.

          I do wonder whether sponsors will look at F1 now and turn away because they are getting less bang for their buck.

          I can only guess the BBC will try and secure what amounts to the European season races and those broadcast in the evening because of the viewership figures and timeslot. My guess is Sky won’t let this happen and we’ll get a pish posh of crap with Sky keeping the good races like Monza and Spa, which they have every rite to do.

  13. I never thought I’d see the day people started complaining that they could not watch Valencia or Abu Dhabi. But, here it is.

    1. I am an F1 fan, i watch all races wether they are good or bad.

      I stayed watching uninterrupted for the Canadian GP and it turned out to be one of the best races this season.

      We wont get things like that if we lose half the races to premium TV.

      1. Oh, cry me a river. British fans get the best Formula 1 coverage in the world. For the rest of us, it’s considerably worse. Here in Australia, we get delayed broadcasts, regular ad breaks, no coverage of free practice and no coverage of qualifying (unless you have digital channels), idiot commentators, and an unfortunate habit of having the evening news report on results before delayed races have taken place.

        So all you’re really getting is coverage that is te same as everyone else.

        1. That makes it ok then????

          1. No, it makes everyone’s reactions a massive over-reaction. All the British racing fans are acting like they’ve just had an arm cut off when there are some of us who have had to make do with one arm for quite some time, and we’re doing quite well for ourselves, thank you very much.

            I’m sorry, but I have no time for the people moaning about how this is the worst thing in the history of the sport because I’m already experiencing limited, inferior coverage. And I’m willing to bet that when 2012 comes around and the British broadcast is split, it will still be better than what we get on this side of the world.

          2. PM…one thing you forget to mention is that you don’t have to pay £600 (over 1000 AUS $) just to watch the sport you love. Now, we do, and many of us can’t, and hence won’t have any coverage for half the season.

          3. Hardly an over-reaction, F1 is a british sport we have every right to be annoyed.

            Imagine whatever crap sport you Aussies created suddenly half dissappeared from your TV stations and you had to pay some foreign country who are only in it for the money just to see the rest of it.

          4. F1 is a british sport we have every right to be annoyed.

            Really? Because I’m seeing a German driver and his Australian team-mate racing for an Austrian team leading the championship in Hungary.

            Imagine whatever crap sport you Aussies created suddenly half dissappeared from your TV stations and you had to pay some foreign country who are only in it for the money just to see the rest of it.

            Please. We did this dance fifteen years ago with the Super League. Not only did the sport survive, it came back stronger as a result.

          5. PM, We don’t pay anything but the electricity bill to watch F1.

            The Brits will have to pay $885 Au (approx) to see it.

            Even when it was delayed on channel nine it was at least free.

          6. No, it makes everyone’s reactions a massive over-reaction. All the British racing fans are acting like they’ve just had an arm cut off when there are some of us who have had to make do with one arm for quite some time, and we’re doing quite well for ourselves, thank you very much.

            Personally if I only had one arm, I’d be more sympathetic to people who need to have one cut off rather than just dismissing them!

            You seem to think that because yours is bad, everyone elses should be too.

        2. My thoughts exactly.

          Try following Formula 1 in the USA, and then you’ll see just how good you have it. I must confess that we do get coverage of FP2 and Qualifying, and practice on Friday and Saturday morning is streamed live online. But we have ad breaks in everything, and event worse, a hanfdful of races each year are shown on tape-delay. We don’t have things as bad as in Australia, but it’s still nowhere near the British braocasts.

          1. PM – Red Bull being main force in F1 currently; based in the UK, designed by a Brit (who’s the most successful designer ever) and run by another Brit (even if Horner is quite annoying!). F1’s home is the UK. And judging from the amount of people from other countries commenting on here, they will miss the BBC coverage too!

        3. Mate, I love the BBC coverage. I always watch one of the many dodgy streamed services. So this will also affect poeple in OZ like me. I can’t abide the fools on One HD.

        4. have you ever wached skys chump car,,thats gonna be bbc hilites,cant wait

          1. PM have you thought that perhaps the reason that the Australian Grand Prix is in danger is because not enough Australians are following F1 and the reason is that the coverage is poor and not universally available. I too lived in a small town for several years in the 70’s and completely lost interest in F1 due to the lack of coverage available, in fact shortly after I returned to the “big smoke” I was totally baffled by what I thought was the stupidest newspaper placard I had ever seen that read “JONES QUITS” made as much sense to me as would have “Smith quits”. By the way, any of you thinking that you are going to get adverts only every 15 minutes are in for a shock when they start with the ads. you will be getting 1 minute of ads for every 2 mins of programming, which means 2.5mins of ads every 5 mins of program.Thats how we have to watch it in the US on SpeedTV,another Murdoch channel.

        5. PM have you thought that perhaps the reason that the Australian Grand Prix is in danger is because not enough Australians are following F1 and the reason is that the coverage is poor and not universally available. I too lived in a small town for several years in the 70’s and completely lost interest in F1 due to the lack of coverage available, in fact shortly after I returned to the “big smoke” I was totally baffled by what I thought was the stupidest newspaper placard I had ever seen that read “JONES QUITS” made as much sense to me as would have “Smith quits”. By the way, any of you thinking that you are going to get adverts only every 15 minutes are in for a shock when they start with the ads. you will be getting 1 minute of ads for every 2 mins of programming, which means 2.5mins of ads every 5 mins of program.Thats how we have to watch it in the US on SpeedTV,another Murdoch channel.

      2. Well said Martin. Seeing 6 cars chugging around Indy was hilarious. Likewise, seeing mechanics floating RedBull boats down the Suzuka pitlane was a bit of colour you don’t get with any other sport, and you can bet that Sky will go to the adverts at this point. This is awful.

        1. Do Sky have adverts mid football match?

          If it stays uninterupted then I might consider trying to convince my other half to let me take out a Sky subscription…

          1. No, but they make best use of the breaks to give as many ads as possible and in the run up to the start. Remember though that F1 has no natural breaks so interrupted coverage is the only way to show adverts.

      3. oh god, remember the itv advert breaks? half the time you would have martin brudle saying “while you were away this happened”

        1. I know, but how I would love ITV to have the rights instead of Sky right now……

          1. John Edwards
            29th July 2011, 16:08

            They are not showing adverts in the race, it’s been confirmed.

            They have no option as long as BBC has half of the deal because nobody would watch the Sky coverage on BBC days.

          2. nobody will watch the Sky coverage on BBC days.

            Fixed. :D

    2. But we will complain if Valencia, Abu Dhabi, and Hungary are 3 of the 10 races the BBC “wins”…

      1. The BBC aren’t competing for the rights to show certain races. They’ll be agreed-upon ahead of time. And if they’re smart, they’ll hold the ten race open to make sure they broadcast the championship-deciding race – which could well be in Abu Dhabi.

        Also, Hungary gets a bad rap. Statistically, it’s the circuit most likely to produce an unexpected result given that a) seven different drivers have won it in the past eight years, and b) the driver who wins the race one year is more likely to have a bad result at the Hungaroring the next year.

        1. Unlikely?? Let’s scroll back…

          2010: Webber (he was on fire at that point)
          2009: Hamilton (got lucky)
          2008: Kovalainen (also got lucky)
          2007: Hamilton (relatively strong that season)
          2006: Button (a wet race, an exception)
          2005: Raikkonen (Kimi being Kimi)
          2004: Schumacher (boring race)
          2003: Alonso (Had a strong season)

          Not exactly unexpected results…

          1. I don’t understand this reasoning. Why did Hamilton get lucky for example? It was a great win in a piece of crap car that was not expected to do well.

            Massa wasn’t a given to win in 2008 either, Hamilton was and then he passed him around the outside at turn 1.

            Wet races are not always unpredictble.

            And “Kimi being Kimi”?

            The point is that they weren’t in the most part wins from pole position, and hence a little unexpected.

  14. We do have Sky here, but not the sports package. We have it because we have Sky broadband and the extra channels are barely any extra and Mum loves her cooking and home makeover programmes. But I won’t be upgrading to the Sports package for F1, because it would meaning paying TWICE as much as we already are.

    1. It’s ridiculous. Just stream it online when you can and the £600 can buy you grandstand tickets to a Grand Prix.

      1. The live streams are going to get hammered next year. I’m sure FOM will do everything in their power to stop us from watching them, however. How can this be good for the sponsors? They want maximum exposure, after all.

    2. Plus to get HD you have to pay extra again on top of the sports package!

  15. £500 for (half) the season? Jeez, I thought we had to pay a lot here in Finland… it’s something like 15€/month here, so full season is about 150€, and the package includes HD channel as well (in some areas).

  16. Current Sky customer who DOESN’T want to have to fork out hundreds of pounds for Sky Sports to see all the F1 races, i have NO interest in any of the other sports available on Sky Sports and am really disappointed and outraged that the BBC has decided to go along with this!

  17. I have to say, here in the Netherlands the analog signal is getting less and less channels, but we have a mandatory set of the three public channels, all the 5 commercial Dutch ones (yeah, they’d not want to be left out); and several foreign ones. Used to have BBC 1,2, but I think now it is only BBC world, 3xGerman, 2xBelgian; Rai Uno (It) and some spanish stuff I never watch.

    So there’s the digital signal, which an increasing amount of people have, and there you pay a few euro’s extra for HD, extra channels etc. Hardly everyone wants that, so increasingly it is a package deal with loads of uninteresting channels to mix with ones you want, increasing average price.

    However, as I mentioned somewhere in the other BBC2SKY article comments, EUR 40 a month gets you about all of the channels, in HD, if you want them. HD by the way costs less and less to add, and has not been more than EUR 10 in the last 5 years, and is now closer to EUR 5.

    1. And all the channels includes chinese, arabic, you name it – maybe even the odd erotic stuff. (Altough I suppose they go separate, not sure – we once had a weird Chinese pron one in our package, odd.)

    2. Hey, here in Noord Holland UPC has BBC1,2,3 and 4. It was a blessing when F1 came to BBC and I didn’t have to watch it at RTL7 anymore. Now this…

  18. What a price! Sponsorship will be devastated!!

  19. As per above, the teams have it in their contracts that all races must be on free to air. I dont think this is the end of it.

    1. I wish you were right

    2. Yeah, pretty sure it’s in the Concorde Agreement, that all races have to be free-to-air

  20. This is pretty bad news. I’m moving to the UK in October and I was really looking forward to the great coverage (compared to the Danish coverage, at least) that I’ve been able to catch a glimpse of sometimes.

    I’ll be studying for the next three years, so there’s simply no way I’m going to pay for a Sky subscription just to watch Formula 1. I guess I’ll be watching whatever streams I can find online.

  21. Heh, and I was complaining a little about the local TV coverage, in Bulgaria. At least it’s free, Sky wants large amount of money … this is outrages for the UK fans, as far as I can see.

  22. I think it’s completely disgraceful that this deal has happened. Cannot see the point of BBC covering half the races, surely if they want to save money they would drop the coverage completely? Covering half the races would mean still having to employ a production team, presenters, commentators, paying for travel to those half races and all the other costs involved in bringing the coverage to the BBC, for just half of the F1 season.

    BBC have really raised the bar with F1 coverage something that every TV viewer in the UK has access to. Sky promises innovation & to raise the bar even higher, but all that will be a moot point if they fill their race coverage with adverts, which going by their other motorosport coverage such as IndyCar, they will no doubt be doing. Then there is the other question of how many people will pay for Sky Sports subscription. I currently am a subscriber, solely for football coverage, but I do not have HD available. I believe BBC were key in pushing F1 in HD this year, but now I and all us other Sky Sports viewers will have to pay extra for something the BBC already gives us.

    BBC want to save money, they should be investing more wisely in quality programming (which F1 is a part of) rather than the dross of reality TV we see on the likes of BBC 3. How many people actually watch BBC 4? Surely another saving would be to axe that channel and move those programs to BBC 2, which is what BBC 2 was set up for in the first place?

    It is clear I am not happy about this deal, but Formula 1 something I have followed for years and will continue to do so reluctantly on Sky next year. Let’s just hope they listen to us fans and don’t have adverts during their race coverage

    1. The BBC won’t axe bbc 3 as it uses it to try and attract the teenagers, and to get them to stay loyal. Why not axe bbc radio 3, and merge it with bbc radio 4?

    2. at least you have the ability to watch it on sky. Spare a thought for those of us who will be missing half of the sport we all love

    3. BBC 4 has some decent stuff on it. BBC 3, however, is 97% tripe, and 3% stuff I already have on DVD (aka Family Guy).

    4. BBC 4’s best programmes get the same peak audience as Sky Sport’s peak programming (i.e. between 1 and 1.5 million), but it hits those peaks less frequently than Sky Sports does due to catering to a wider variety of tastes.

      BBC3 peaks at 0.5-0.75 million, but does so more often than either BBC4 or Sky Sports.

  23. I don’t have Sky and won’t be getting a Sky subscription just for F1. And to be honest, if I can’t watch the whole season, I might not bother following it at all, much as it pains me. I just hope ITV doesn’t get rid of its BTCC coverage, or I won’t have anything to watch!

    1. Try MotoGP! As long as the BBC don’t axe that too. Chumps.

      1. Hate to say it, but I’ve never been into bikes! Though if I get desperate I may be persuaded.

    2. It’s a long shot, but ALMS sportscars? That’s free to watch over the internet unless you live in an area with ESPN3.

  24. I can’t believe it and I bet the team sponsors will be absolutely livid.

    1. The teams cant be that livid as they would have agreed to it beforehand

      1. Like the teams agreed to moving the Bahrain GP beforehand you mean?

        1. I’ve heard on Twitter the teams knew when we knew.

      2. TV contracts are between Bernie and the broadcasters; like it or not, the teams aren’t party to the deals.

      3. LRGP just posted a blog entry on their website which is really full of anger at the decision. They seemed as surprised as we all were at the news.

  25. A stunning 600 GBP a year! No wonder only a few percent of UK viewers have that.

    I understand how the BBC got to this, but to me it just does not make sense from a point of getting coverage of major sports on the BBC.

    Certainly Bernie did not put this to the teams for discussion, or even previous notice. But I fear that they will find that while the contract probably states free coverage of all events, it will not be infringed by this deal. The same was done for football in many countries where the “extended highlights” fully cover any objections agains sports being ppv only.

    Not to mention a new Concorde Agreement does not have to have this and it is very probably, that the noise we have heard about this in recent months had a lot to do with exactly this being negotiated.

    Good luck with the petitions, it would be a real shame to lose BBC coverage for all the races, it was high class and raised the bar for everyone.

    I am in CZ, so its largely irelevant what I watch for BBC. But I know a lot of people in several countries that have BBC and wanted to buy HD coverage to watch this rather than their national broadcaster.

  26. Cancelling SKY ASAP. Dont have sky sports and will never pay for it! F1 is destroyed by doing this.

    1. I admire your devotion.

      I will not be getting sky to watch it out of principle, but to have it already and cancel? Nice one!

    2. Well done Mate. If everyone did this instead of complying it would really send a message.
      Hats off to you.

      1. Seems a bit over the top to me to be honest.

  27. I will not be renewing my TV licence if this goes through. The F1 coverage is one of the only BBC products that provides value for money to me.
    Absolutely livid.

    1. I’m livid because I just renewed my TV license for another year!

    2. So you’ll be throwing out your TV and radio then?

      Because if you don’t renew your TV licence and keep using them then you will be opening yourself up to fines etc…

      1. Yes I will sell the TV. I don’t use it for much else anyway!

        1. I don’t have a TV, its the future.

        2. You need a licence if you have internet though.

          1. Only if you watch tv live – watching catch-up services doesn’t require a TV Licence

      2. Radios don’t need TV licences (as the name implies, it only applies to TV broadcasting). Also, delayed TV through iPlayer doesn’t require a TV licence provided you don’t use a TV card connected to an aerial, but rely on your broadband connection.

        1. I actually cancelled my sky today!

          How in this world do people like Bernie and the Murdoch’s walk around without any consequences? They are disgusting human beings. They are the greedy parasites of this world, and yet people (like me!!) still cough up the money. Enough!
          £1billion profits and they want me to pay £610 for f1 plus £125 to the beeb.
          Let us all pray for FOTA ;)
          Murdoch is scuuuuuuum!
          Hate is not a strong enough word… i could go on………..

  28. I don’t have Sky, but if it actually happens then I’ll have to get Sky. I don’t see any other way of doing it.

    I said on twitter that football works on Sky because you can go down the pub, or a cafe or anywhere with a TV and watch it. This won’t be the same with F1. A lot of the season takes place at the same time as the football season and football will always come first in the UK.

    I’m going to have to start saving to afford it but there’s no other choice.

    It leaves a disgusting taste in the mouth that it’s either pay and watch, or don’t pay and only watch a handful or races.

    Please join in the support on twitter if you can by including the hashtag #F1FansDontWantSky

    1. It might be time to leave F1 behind. Or at least head to for your fix. I’m sure many of us will be doing that.

      1. Agreed. Already use it for the indycar!

        1. Hate indycar

  29. Can anyone tell me what we actually pay a licence fee for nowadays, I think its disgusting that Bernie has sold to the Devil, just to line his pockets more !!!! . Going to loose lot if fans over this I just hope the teams and Fota step in and put it back to how it was !

    A very angry F1 fan !!!

    1. i’m sure the bbc did it to save money

    2. Well from next year the only programs I will watch on BBC are Doctor Who, Top Gear and Spooks. So that’s about 50 hours of TV total across the year (not including repeats).

    3. We get Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing so I am not sure what you are complaining about…. ;-)

  30. Disgusting.. I am disappointed to say the lease

  31. This was horrible news when I woke up to it this morning, and it’s just getting more horrible.

    I was happy to watch ITV coverage with adverts. They changed a lot when they bought the rights from the BBC in 1996. They started showing qualifying live all the time, they had extensive build-up and after-race analysis. There were adverts, in the early days they wern’t always at the track for flyaway races, but in a studio back in London. And sometimes they missed a couple of crucial moments, but out of 10-or-so years worth of races, that’s not a bad hit rate.

    Then the BBC came along, and upped the coverage even more. Good features, the extended analysis forum, red button coverage of the practise sessions. All of this and more with the classic F1 build-ups, extensive web coverage with the iPlayer… and Eddie Jordan… in HD from this year. And no adverts, but hey, thats what my £140 per year went towards, or so I liked to think. I was perfectly happy paying my TV Licence thinking that I’d essentially paid a fee for high quality coverage of F1.

    But not now. I have never and will never pay BSkyB any of my money, even moreso with everything to do with news international coming out of the woodwork. £610 per year for 20 weekends-worth of Formula One that I used to get for near-enough free is far, far too much. And remember, that £610 is on top of the £140-ish that you have to pay in the UK just to use a television set, whether you watch the BBC or not… hell, whether you watch TV on it or not! You could use your TV for nothing more than DVD’s and games, you still have to pay for a TV licence.

    Sure, I’ll get a load of other stuff for that money, but seriously, when was there anything of any worth on Sky? Unless you like the Simpsons, which stopped being good about 15 years ago, or you’re addicted to Football, in which case you would have been letting Sky fleece you for all your money since 1992 anyway, just to pay you favourite striker his £250,000 per month.

    So im my view, that £750-plus per year just to watch Formula One wouldn’t be worth it.

    So I have a few choices now. I can stop watching Formula One altogether. I’m sure that would be a very difficult thing to do. I’ve seen near enough every race live since 1995. I could go down the route I’m surrently employing with IndyCar and GP2… finding an illegal live stream with commentary from some far-flung corner of the planet. IndyCar is on Sky, GP2 is supposedly on Eurosport… neither of which I’m willing to pay lots of money for. Or I could download it after the event, having tried to avoid any news announcements, which is very hard in this day and age, but it’s probably the most likely option.

    Or I could pay £750 a year. Thats not going to happen.

    Cheers BBC for not axing a load of your tripe programming like Gavin and Stacey, Snog Marry Avoid, Eastenders, etc to save the integrity of something you were genuinely doing incredibly well. Cheers Bernie Ecclestone for once again valuing the size of you already vastly expansive wallet over anything else. And thank you Formula One for ultimately letting it happen.

    1. ajokay, this is the perfect comment.

      For me, the BBC build up stuff is fantastic, but its not the important bit – just showing qualli and the race would be absolutely fine with one host and no commentators!

      It’s the fact that others will be watching it and I can’t (I can’t afford anything at the moment, just scraping by!) that gives the feeling of unfairness.

      More and more capitalism. Can’t go back. How am I going to stop my 10 month old daughter watching BBC Three when she gets older by the way? Any ideas?

      1. Put a password lock on the channel on any/all digiboxes in the house and hope she doesn’t discover iplayer…

    2. Just wanted to point out that the following sentence is WRONG: “You could use your TV for nothing more than DVD’s and games, you still have to pay for a TV licence.”

      You do NOT have to have a TV license to watch DVDs or play games. You ONLY have to have a TV license to watch or record television programmes as they are broadcast.

      1. And what about all those channels that don’t receive any of the licence fee? I might still want to watch them, but I still have to pay the BBC so they can make Eastenders and Pints of Lager and Packets of Crisps.

    3. If you don’t get COTD mate there’s something wrong… I personally blame Bernie. Someone said (I forget who) everyone else has had to cut back, so why can’t Formula 1?

  32. F1 has lost one more viewer.

    I have signed the petition and made complaints to FOTA and BBC in hope, but I doubt a business deal of this scale would be reversed.

    There is no point BBC showing just 10 races; the viewers wont even remember that one race in the month and will be out of sync even if they do…eventually completely stopping to watch F1.

    Sky is just going to be unaffordable, and moreover with adverts!


    1. Since I can’t have two dishes on my house, it is impossible for me to have Sky even if I could afford the extortionate fees. A lot of old houses, and those in places with restrictive planning regulations, will have the same problem. I am not paying £120,000 just to watch F1 properly, thank you very much…

  33. Thanks Chris P,

    Signed and I commented in the box as follows:

    “In light of the recent comments by the Chairman of FOTA and the recent disgusting behaviour by organisations connected to the Rupert Murdoch business empire I am strongly opposed to the showing of F1 on BSkB where James Murdoch has been confirmed as Chairman.”

    Anyone can feel free to use this should they want to.

    1. I am truly gutted!!! I have just cancelled my £33p/m sky subscription (no sports package) this week as I do not watch enough of it to justify the cost, about the only thing I do watch on TV is the F1 coverage (all sessions) Like me I am sure the sport will lose a lot of its loyal supporters as many people like me simply cannot afford the astronomic cost of Sky Sports subscription in these harder financial times, especially if you only want to watch F1? I do not want to watch Football/Golf/Tennis or any other sport for that matter.

      Also who wants to pay for a channel package to have to sit through adds during the race, just look at what happened to ITV’s viewing figures compared with that of the BAFTA award winning uninterrupted coverage from the BBC? Just for once can the people who watch the sport religiously actually be listened to and not go down the greedy money grabbing “who cares what the fans think, what makes the most money” route!!! I appreciate the Sky Sports coverage will no doubt be fantastic and in depth but the premium price for the subscription will price the majority out of watching it.

      Are there any plans to cater for the hundreds of thousands if not millions of fans such as myself where we can purchase an “F1 Only” viewing package??? Just look at the demographic of people who watch all the coverage, do a survey on how many hardcore F1 fans who watch every single minute of broadcast how much Football and other sport they want to watch, and I highly suspect that it would be a large majority of “I dont want other sport just F1”?????

  34. Although I already have Sky sports I’m still angry about this – The BBC have done such an amazing job of the coverage I really want to continue watching and listening to the presenters I’ve grown to love. For selfish reasons I actually hope the entire production and presenting team move to Sky.

  35. I don’t live in the UK but I really hope you have success in convincing the authorities to keep F1 free-to-air. F1 cannot be a global sport if it is broadcasted only on pay TV. The sums of money you need to pay for Sky Sports subscription sound very expensive. I probably would buy it if that was the only way to watch F1. But then I could not afford to travel to one race per year anymore, which again would mean a loss for F1. I mean, even the hardcore F1 fans can afford to spend only a certain amount of money for their sport and if they need to spend it just to be able to watch the races on TV, then there is no more cash for F1 merchandise etc. left. So good luck guys, don’t give up.

  36. Highlights? Who wants to watch bits of something that happened 2 or 3 hours ago? No, instead of highlights it looks like live streams for me from 2012.

    1. More like 9 or 10 hours ago…and don’t forget we’ll have to spend those hours avoiding news coverage (at least you’d hope the BBC will do a “look away now” type thing on their news programs before they show the highlights) and staying up past midnight (not an option for me due to work the next morning).

  37. georges10099
    29th July 2011, 9:04

    To me, this have never been a huge problem considering that (thanks to my dad) i do have sky. However, whats going to happen when i leave home in a few years time? looks like a lot of money is going to have to be spent on sky or on fuel so that i can come home to watch the race!

    Also, what has this done to the none-sky owners? A lot. Its not easy finding the money to fund getting sky sports and what will their motive be? Pay £600 a year just to watch 20 races. im sure its only a bit more expensive to go to most races in the flesh! I hope they do something like they used to with the football – some games were put on an extra channel and you paid something like £7 to watch them. Maybe they could do this so you pay, for example, £10 for the whole f1 weekend and you dont have to have the full sky sports package…

    1. Except you’d still need to subscribe to Sky to have the equipment to receive that extra channel.

    2. You could probably go to 15 live races in the UK for that price, provided you didn’t have to stay overnight or drive yourself a long way to the circuit(s) you chose.

      It would be nice to think this move would cause a vast shift towards grassroots sports, but sadly this is unlikely to happen :(

  38. I am incandescent with rage over the ‘free to air’ loosing full rights to F1 coverage. This is the beginning of the end! First BBC has only half then in a few years no coverage of F1. When Sky get hold of F1, they will keep it. The reduced viewing figures that come with pay to view (i.e. Sky subscriptions) will annoy the big sponsors and they will start to leave F1, which will make F1 dependent on Sky (like English Premier League football). It is a sad day for us F1 fan’s. After years of resisting Sky (on principle) I may now be forced to subscribe to watch my beloved F1 Racing.

  39. I still don’t understand why only UK has free to air for F1. Suppose in singapore (where i currently stay),to watch F1 on star sports i need to pay arnd USD20 per month (Although it comes up with other sports packages like tennis,golf but either you take full package or nothing). I believe in most of the world it is similar case. Moreover coverage is not that good & littered with all ads (ofcourse they need to recover costs). But i don’t think free to air is good for formula1 as a sport. What if bernie said entire world can have F1 as free to air & he just milks profit from track fees or so? Bernie starts to give less money to teams & thus companies face more challenges on financial side, starts to reduce head count, quality drops and may be no more F1.

    But Sky prices looks on very expensive side .. 60USD per month is bit too much. Moreover i believe BBC covers races in such a way that it doesn’t show all races in a month, so that viewers need sky service in that month to see atleast one race.

    1. Or the other option is for Bernie to take less money overall and tie fees proportionally to viewers (both in the case of TV and the circuits)? Then F1 would get income commensurate with its popularity and everyone could afford to help it become even more popular.

  40. Gutted, gutted, gutted and furious. There is no way on this earth I am paying Murdoch a penny to watch F1. It might even have been better if Sky just took the lot, at least then I could make a clean break and forget about it. I’ve been watching this sport for nearly 30 years and if this happens this may well be the last, and that really really hurts.

    1. Sorry that was from me, forgot to log in…

      Crofty just read out my tweet! Niced one David!

  41. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
    29th July 2011, 9:08

    Doesn’t affect me in the slightest, I already have Sky in NZ and I had to pay for it anyway so this doesn’t affect me at all and I never got any of the additional pre/after race stuff you guys got it was practice/quali/race switch to rugby. I sympathise with those who are either unable/unwilling to pay the £600 annual subscription fee (similar to what it is back home, I pay $90 (£47) a month currently to get the Sky sports package.

    I know it’s annoying but you have had it free to air for a long time, it was inevitable that it was going to switch to pay tv sometime, and you still have it better in the UK than many of us do outside it.

    1. The economics free-to-air wouldn’t work in NZ because your population is less than half that of London alone! Therefore sponsor exposure system doesn’t work, and you need another form of revenue.
      Also remember that ‘free-to-air’ TV in the UK actually costs £145.50 p.a.

      Then again, I’d much rather be living in NZ ;)

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        29th July 2011, 10:27

        Who wouldn’t want to live here??? :D

        Although, I don’t think you’ve thought it though properly as the majority of qualis and races are on at midnight NZT, which means I only ever watch a few live.

        And true in regards to the economics of it, which is why I don’t mind coughing up the extra to get decent channels and F1.

  42. So, being from outside of the UK, apart from that rather steep price tag, what’s wrong with Sky? It does seem to generate a lot of dislike.

    1. the fact they muscle in on whatever sports they can to increase subscribers.

      they did it with football. tried it with rugby.

    2. Well for me its mainly the price. But its part owned by Rupert Murdoch, and to say that he is unpopular in the UK after the phone hacking scandal here is an understatement.

      1. Yes, I can see there is that, certainly. About the price: I see non-UK members saying they have been paying for years and don’t have the BBC quality (which Sky claims to want to maintain); however, as I said above: I don’t have to pay nearly that much for a lot of tv, and I would like it to be a bit less, so I do think the price is a fair point (also bc. you still have to also pay the quite high BBC license fee regardless).

    3. The fact that the many, many people who have at considerable expense converted to digital using a non-Sky platform (conversion was only free for over-75s and certain disabled people) now find they have to fork out even more to get something they’d been promised would be completely free for at least 3 more years.

      Also, that some of us live in places where the necessary installation work isn’t possible due to planning laws. So even if people like me won the lottery we still couldn’t get F1.

  43. one plus point to it moving to sky, for me at least, is that being a full sky subscriber, i can watch the races on sky go so don’t need to find a tv.

    not much of a plus point, agreed.

    i still maintain that we need to know if this is part of a bbc cost-cutting exercise.

    1. we need to know if this is part of a bbc cost-cutting exercise.

      just said on bbc’s coverage of fp1, that it is part of cost cutting measures

  44. I don’t have Sky Sports not will I be getting it for F1 out of principal. This is a BAD MOVE.
    I will probably either stream it from somewhere or download it.

  45. Welcome to the real world UK peeps. Now you can get a taste of what the rest of the world has had to shove out to watch F1 for ages.

    1. Hey Rob2 – just because your coverage is crap, doesn’t mean mine has to be.

      1. This news article seems to say otherwise. No matter how much you complain on this website, the BBC and Sky wont budge.

    2. Not really logical Rob2. I hope yo and PM never decide to hook up.

  46. Martin Brundle tweets: 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

    1. That’s pretty bad stuff, hearing it half a night before the announcement. Not as bad as reading a tweet you don’t drive for the weekend, but

      1. sigh, enter too soon, sorry. But not very far from it.

    2. Jake Humphrey said on Radio 1 he found out when his phone woke him up at 6am this morning.

  47. TheVillainF1
    29th July 2011, 9:17

    dumb move, enyone with an internet connection will still watch the races live and free in the murky grey zone of interwebz streaming. Viewing figures gonna plummit, won’t be worth it for sky

    1. Al the streams are going to lag out now :(

      1. You’re a funny fellow Rob2.

  48. James Williams
    29th July 2011, 9:19

    HA.. Keith… Get this…. I’m 20, I pay £44 per month for my current Sky subscription. That’s HD, multiroom & standard channels. If I were to add Sky Sports 1&2 – I’m assuming practice would be on 2. I would have to pay £771.

    It’s a joke. This is the end of F1 for me, It’s a sad moment, shall enjoy my last F1 season this year, but after that I shall stop following because there really is no point. I have been watching for over 14 years. Now it’s ending.

  49. It’s not the fact that we’d have to pay, but we’d have to pay for a sports subscription on top of a Sky subscription on top of a licence fee!

    If you live outside of the UK and wondering why we’re fussing over something you probably have to do anyway, hopefully that explains why we’re up in arms over this.

    1. Also, an equipment and installation fee for those on competing systems…

  50. No-one is *forced* to do anything here (well except pay for a BBC-TV license, you’ll get the gaol otherwise)… in general, for the most part, you still do retain free-choice and free-will.

    The ridiculous suggestion of involving the state and parliament to proscribe and restrict the free trade of private property, the TV rights, is an utterly horrific suggestion Keith.

    All that has happened is that the balance of the economics has shifted significantly and you will now have to re-evaluate the cost/benefit, the cost being a very considerable chunk of income, the benefit being the purchase of an entertainment product that you enjoy consuming. Pretty much the same sort of decision you need to make all the time, everyday, it’s just one extra. For brevity, that whole process is usually called ‘being a grown-up’.

    My suspicion is that the (slightly) overblown (and certainly parochial) comment outrage in this thread is more probably just the displaced sting from, with no warning, waking-up to how genuinely peripheral you as the lowly, led around by the nose, punter really are. You’ve probably just not seen it described quite so effectively before, that’s all, as the sport you enjoyed, tells you after all these years, it genuinely doesn’t much care if you keep watching, and it never much liked you in the first place.

    Me, I say you should have seen it coming a mile off.

    Young Calogero: Bill Mazeroski, I hate him. He made Mickey Mantle cry. The papers said the Mick cried.

    Sonny: Mickey Mantle? That’s what you’re upset about? Mantle makes $100,000 a year. How much does your father make? If your dad ever can’t pay the rent and needs money, go ask Mickey Mantle. See what happens. Mickey Mantle don’t care about you. Why care about him?

    Calogero: [narrating] After that, I never felt the same way about the Yankees.

    1. The ridiculous suggestion of involving the state and parliament to proscribe and restrict the free trade of private property, the TV rights, is an utterly horrific suggestion Keith.

      That’s a gigantic over-reaction, it’s been going on for decades with other sports:

      1. Yes, I know full well it has been going on for decades, and it clearly shouldn’t.
        … It is wrong, and always was wrong, and by your attempting to add yet more events, will only help it become even more wrong.

        It is private companies and individuals buying and selling private property, transactions that are nothing to do with you or even worse, the government.
        How about FOM instead ask the UK government to arbitrarily poke around the inner workings and finances of your website? How about FOM decide that your banner ads should be restricted and the rates charged reduced?

        Any restrictions to UK broadcast rights, inevitably reduces their value, the shortfall will not likely be eaten by FOM nor CVC, so rights, and circuit fees in other markets will be jacked-up to compensate for the loss. Your campaign clearly seeks to freeload off already hard-pressed F1 fans in other parts of the planet.

        As this ugly-looking, stitched-together Frankenstein monster of a new UK TV contract stands, assuming no reverses, your choices, as they always ever were, are to pay the sticker price, or not, entirely up to you
        … the market will find its level.
        If enough decide not to, the subscription model collapses, and the UK F1 rights drop to a price that the market will sustain, allowing either free-to-air commercial broadcasters who studiously avoided F1 this time and last time around, or state broadcasters to reacquire them.

        But looking to so crudely ride a coach and horses through the fundamental rights and liberties of others, with state intervention and prohibition, for nothing more than your own self-interested ends is as clearly indefensible as it is short-sighted.

    2. What shocks me is how little Bernie cares about F1’s own survival. He should have known those viewer numbers were critical to its sponsors, which meant they were critical to the existence of all the teams, and also critical to the fees it could extract from TV companies.

      By doing something that he has already been told will drastically reduce the amount of viewers in one of F1’s 4 biggest markets (at best, he will have 25% of the viewers) and also getting over 15.5% less from the BBC, he is effectively telling F1 – in its entirety – it doesn’t matter to him. Unless he’s getting about 5 times more from Sky, it’s going to be a bigger burden for the TV companies involved than before, making them less willing to pay in future.

      Sky has 10 million subscribers total. It struggles to get more than 1.5 million of them to watch anything at the moment. Let’s assume it manages to get 1.5 million to see its races. At the prices the BBC was being charged, $20m will have to be shared between those subscribers, meaning it will effectively cost Sky £13.34 per viewer (or £1.34 per viewer per race) at best. If the estimated million watch instead, that goes up to £20 per viewer/£2 per race. If it goes on a Sky Sports SD package, then Sky Sports 1 and 2 together cost only 25p more per subscriber than the amount Sky will be paying Bernie for the F1 stuff alone. Do you seriously think Sky will tolerate such a poor return longer than this contract obliges it to do so?

      I’ve seen Bernie stupid enough to impose pay-per-view elsewhere, I just didn’t realise he was stupid enough to guarantee the empire he created will collapse on his toes in the next 7 years (unless he knows something we don’t and his successor has to pick up the pieces).

  51. a new user will have to pay £487*?

    Are they crazy?? Where will many F1 fans bring that money from? I think the viewers may drop by a very good amount.It’s time that people of UK should protest.

  52. I think it’s pathetic that I now need to subscribe and pay the murdoch mafia money to watch my favorite sporting event. Not having got satisfaction after trying (okay it didn’t go very far but the intent was pretty clear) the rights to F1 this bloodsucker will now just control the media output for F1 instead..

    What happened to the BBC… get ride of Barbera Slater.. she has done nothing but screw up sport since she was put in charge of it AT the bbc (motogp is a case in point).

  53. personally I can look at this in one of two ways:

    1. Im genuinely livid that this nonsense is being pulled.

    2. this gives me an excuse to upgrade so I can get the cricket coverage.

    swings and roundabouts for me. Im on virgin tv already and their upgrade deal is substantially cheaper than skys own.

    1. …but it does not come with Sky Sports Extra channel on VirginMedia.

      1. Which they’re highly unlikely to put F1 on. Point?

  54. Martin Brundle’s not impressed either, check his Twitter. This is disgraceful. I really hope this is somehow reversed or sorted for next year.

  55. The 2 sports I like now no longer are free to air in the UK.
    Test Match Cricket & F1.
    Granted, both are completely different. But I do not have the money to pay for Sky Sports to follow them. I have stopped following cricket now, except for the odd couple of minutes when I can hear Test Match Special. Now I fear the same will happen for F1.

    Why with so much British involvement in F1, through the history, teams and the fans do we have this situation?

    Would the BBC drop Wimbledon?
    Well why not drop it? Why not show it every other year on the BBC to save money?
    We have no specific industry in Britain for tennis and we only have 1 recognised top 10 player in the world.
    What justification to keep Wimbledon free to air over F1?

    1. Wimbledon’s on the protected list of events and has been since the year dot (which was probably when we last had good British players plural). Unless ITV, Channel 4 or Five offers to help out, the BBC’s stuck with it.

      Last I checked, the Italian GP was on the Italian equivalent list, which from the way I understand the convoluted rules concerning protected sport lists, means that the Italian GP will have to be one of the 10 races the BBC shows.

  56. Firstly – I am totally livid at this news – I don’t have Sky Sports and am incredibly unwilling to pay an additional £40 a month for the privilege – especially given the shady nature of their dealings…for those who don’t know what i’m talking about see phone hacking scandle. However, what are the chances that through the concorde agreement discussions we will see this change? Surely the teams have the chance to put their feet down. Or are the dollar signs too much for them… After all ‘it is a business’.

  57. why should Bernie care. he has already made his money from f1. it’s just the fans that are screwed right?

  58. Really disappointed by this news.
    I’m a Virgin Cable subscriber, but don’t have the sport channels – usually go to a friend to watch any sport I want to, but can’t imagine doing that at 4am for the Australian GP!!!
    Just looked and to upgrade my virgin subscription to sport it will be £22.50/month, or £29.50 if I want HD. Was thinking of upgrading the TV to HD, but might have to spend that money (and more besides) on next years subscription. I can’t imagine not watching every race live and will have to try and find the money to do so, but I am not happy.

  59. and also…
    What happens to the BBC feed that goes out to all the other English speaking viewers?
    Do they now only get Sky feed / commentary or do they get 50% or each?
    I bet they get full Sky to match the adverts.

    That’s a quality drop for those non UK viewers too.

    1. It wont really make much difference. The providers in those countries will simply buy the show from Sky as well.

      1. The viewers wont even notice.

  60. Although I have the full Sky Sports HD package, this still makes me angry. Just out of principle and as a fan.

  61. Now that a provisional 2012 calendar has been released, it’s time to try and guess which races the BBC will broadcast. The calendar looks like this:

    18 March Australian GP
    25 March Malaysian GP
    8 April Chinese GP
    22 April Indian GP
    13 May Spanish GP
    27 May Monaco GP
    10 June Canada GP
    24 June European GP
    8 July British GP
    22 July German GP
    29 July Hungarian GP
    2 September Belgian GP
    9 September Italian GP
    23 September Singapore GP
    7 October Japanese GP
    14 October Korean GP
    28 October Abu Dhabi GP
    4 November Bahrain GP
    18 November US GP
    25 November Brazilian GP

    So, twenty races, but only ten get broadcast on the BBC. We know Monaco, Great Britian and the season finale – Brazil will be shown. But there are seven more events that need to be broadcast on the BBC. Australia is an obvious choice because it’s the season opener. And as Canada and Italy are very popular events, they’ll likely be included, too. Then it gets a little bit harder. If I were the BBC, I’d want to broadcast Bahrain and America because they’re at the end of the season and I’d want to ensure that I showed the championship decider (and also because the Circuit of the Americas is new). So that’s eight. I’d probably want to show Malaysia because, like Australia, it’s at the start of the season and therefore more likely to throw out an unexpected result, and also because interest in the sport (from non-die hard fans) is at its peak at the beginning and the end of the year. As for the tenth race to br broadcast, I’d keep that one open just in case we have someone run away with the championship and secure it before the final block of races to be broadcast. It means the BBC won’t show the Belgian Grand Prix, but it makes sure the high point of the season stays on the station.

    1. I think the BBC has to pick Italy, and the other six will probably be the six races with the next-highest viewing figures.

      1. I think it doesn’t really matter. I can’t see many people wanting to watch half the season, so it’ll be either pay for Sky or stop watching.

        Only my 2p. There may be some who do just watch half the races. I won’t be one of them

  62. TBH I would be happy if it adopted something similar to how the MotoGP is run now. I used to love that on eurosport, then bbc took it away. Eurosport shows it right after the live showing on bbc..
    if BBC could show it after the live broadcast on Sky, I would be happy…

  63. Livid, not going into detail although I hope FOTA can apply some pressure as I wont be watching it on Sky. I dont care if I need to pay whoever shows it in the states to stream it online from there.

  64. I can understand there’s an issue of “paying for F1” but the reality is that you are subscribing to a superior sports broadcaster. Sky’s Premier League and Champs League coverage blows free-to-air football out of the water. In addition, there is a significant amount of motor-sports accompanying the new F1 broadcast in 2012 incl. GP2/GP3, WRC, WTCC, Indycars, Australian V8, Moto GP & others – all with significantly better coverage and dedicated sports channels. Previous poster mentioned the Canadian GP coverage – was that on BBC HD, before switching to BBC Standard def before switching to BBC2? It was a shambles and showed disregard for the sport – with Sky it will stay on Sky, on the same channel.

    We all have choices – would you buy a car to go to Asda once a week or use public transport? Would you buy Sky just to watch F1? Or use it to watch other sports/offerings they have?

    1. So Sky will show ALL sessions with a choice of commentary?

      As for all the other sports they’ll offer, great. I have a life so don’t spend my life glues to the TV. There are a select fews things I watch on a regular basis, F1 was one of those – might be next year, but probably won’t…

    2. Sky’s Premier League and Champs League coverage blows free-to-air football out of the water.

      But this is a false economy if (like me and, I suspect, most other people here) you’re not interested in watching those things.

      Most of the motor sports you mentioned are on Eurosport, not Sky Sports (with the exception of Sky’s IndyCar coverage which is decent). As for the GP2 coverage on Eurosport, they’ve missed the last six live races in a row now so I wouldn’t get too excited about that!

    3. Don’t be ridiculous. The race went on two hours longer than planned – the fact that they kept it on at all is testiment to the commitment that the BBC have. ON Sky Sports it would have been switched over in favour of a football match.

    4. Previous poster mentioned the Canadian GP coverage – was that on BBC HD, before switching to BBC Standard def before switching to BBC2? It was a shambles and showed disregard for the sport – with Sky it will stay on Sky, on the same channel

      No it wasn’t it was on BBC1 and BBC1-HD and then when the coverage changed from BBC1 to BBC2 it also changed from BBC1-HD to BBC-HD.

      So you can guarantee that if the same thing was to happen on a ‘Sky race’ and they’d got a Premier League football game coming up on the same channel they wouldn’t swap the F1 over to make way for it?

  65. Paying to watch is fine by me, nothing is free in life and if you love it that much its worth it. Lets not forget how much it costs to actually go to these races, £300 a weekend puts it in perspective.

    The problem I have is they are going to ruin to coverage unless that BBC team all moves over. I’m going to be sad to see the first class production and presentation go down the drain to be replaced with a jumped up jazzy studio presentation with a few bimbos thrown in as eye candy :/

    If the F1 team actual move to Sky and they don’t stick adverts in the race then I’m not fussed, a shame its not free and we’ll lose the lovely iPlayer but it’ll give me a reason to use Sky Go..

    1. Must be nice to have the money to pay for Sky TV and Sky Sports. Congratulations.

    2. My experience of Sky is an enhanced sport production rather than jazzy studios. Good pre/post analysis and excellent punditry.

      Let’s not criticise it before we’ve even seen it!

  66. Just lost a big part of my life today with this, I love F1 weekends and am not prepared to pay Sky to watch their half baked attempt. Hopefully they won’t have advert breaks during the race but probably will!!! I hope Jake and the BBC presenting team show their disgussed this weekend rather than just going along with it, as it just isn’t right!

  67. Miserable day for F1…utterly miserable.

    1. What’s the alternative? For the BBC to broadcast every race every year, run out of money and force Formula 1 to go entirely to pay-per-view?

      1. Well, they could stop spending money on other programs, or review their business model so that the money made by the BBC commercial arms was allowed to be used to help pay for BBC programs (for example, BBC is cutting the budget for Doctor Who despite it being one of the highest grossing products they well through BBC Worldwide and through DVD sales, merchandise etc because they’re not allowed under the BBC charter to use those profits to pay for programming.)

      2. The alternative is for Bernie to charge what F1 is actually worth instead of what he thinks it’s worth. If Bernie’s not done his sums correctly, that’s a problem he must solve as soon as possible by reducing CVC’s costs.

  68. I’m hoping the BBC go into a movie sharing scheme with Sky. That way I can see 50% of the films and highlights of the others.

    Don’t worry about only seeing the highlights though because “*all* the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

    Who needs to see the boring bit in the middle we only need the start and the finish.

  69. What a load of BSkyB!

  70. Is there anything Bernie isn’t prepared to sell? I’ve wathced every race since I was 5 years old and is no way I can afford Sky. Not that i’d want to give any money to a meglomaniac tyrant anyway, Sad day. Lets hope FOTA do the decent thing and set up their own shop ASAP

  71. I for one will not be paying for sky – £610 would buy me two very good weekend grandstand tickets at a grand prix. Another option is to get a dual feed satellite dish installed. One feed receiving English content, one receiving German content – you can then watch F1 on RTL free to air and live every weekend and if your German is not that good you can listen to commentary via 5Live radio. I have this set up because my wife speaks German and including installation and the digibox receiver I spent a little over £200 – no monthly/annual fees on top.

  72. F1 (Ecclestone) selects partners based on the (ridiculous) amounts of money they are willing to pay. Not on the basis of who is best suited to report the sport to the fans.

    F1 deserves to go behind a decoder and lose it’s fans.

  73. What a disaster!! Would love to knnow how much was Bernie and how much was the incompentent BBC bosses?? I personally have watched F1 for 25 years but will not be buying a SKY sports package. I can see myself going from needing to have my F1 fix on a Sunday, to falling out of the habit of watching it and not bothering with it when not all races are on free to air. It seems strange BBC are giving it up with a year still left to run. A sport can sell out to the TV companies but they lose a connection with the fans, as we have seen with football, Golf etc.. A very short sighted view by F1 in general, and yet I always assumed the entire business model was set up for maximum exposure so I dont think we have heard the end of this….

  74. 2012 looks like the last season I’ll be watching, Sky is not an option and I don’t fancy the prospect of watching F1 when only half the races are broadcast live. I’m disgusted that Ecclestone’s insatiable greed has brought us to this point. The BBC should have just walked away entirely rather than agree to such a rotten compromise.

  75. I don’t have Sky and there’s no way I would pay £487 to see the other half of the season not shown on BBC. I’m disappointed that we’ll a) lose the BBC’s excellent coverage and b) have to fork out a ridiculous amount of money to see 10 or 11 races.

  76. Start emailing FOTA now!!!

    FOTA – Formula One Teams Association

    Rue de l’Arquebuse 12 – 1204 Geneva
    Fax: +41.22.3108205

  77. MUST BE FREE TO AIR. The BBC could well make some money to cover the costs of production by doing a subscription service for the extra ( red button ) feeds, as well as to international audiences. i would pay as a ex-pat. If the sky deal goes through i guess ill update my internet feed to super fast and watch via the many feeds out their, a lot cheaper than a sky subscription!

  78. What do you all think about this tweet
    @byronf1 Byron Young
    If Sky have their smarts about them they’ll be onto @legardj in double quick time.

  79. comment from a sky boss

    “Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans””


    1. To be fair he’s hardly going to say something negative now is he!!

  80. My wife will be happy as I will only be watching half the races next year.

  81. I currently have Sky, in HD, with the full sports package, but I also fund the BBC, as does everyone else in the UK with a TV set, with a TV license which I’m forced to pay.

    Whilst I don’t like F1 no longer being free, and wish it was staying solely on the BBC, it does make the money for the sports package a MUCH better deal.

    Sadly, it makes the TV license an even worse deal (seriously, hard to believe I know)…right now I don’t know which side of the fence to be on.

  82. I am personally appalled at this decision. Yet another sport Sky have stolen. Are they really that selfish to believe that they are the only ones who are allowed to broadcast sport? As for the BBC ‘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.” Do they honestly think that die hard F1 fans like myself will be satisfied with a 30 minute highlights program at 11:30 in the evening the next day?

  83. The BBC have showed the best coverage of F1 along with the presenters and i believe this has helped promote F1. Its totally outrageous that its going to Sky not everyone can afford sky sports and viewings will surely fall. Shame on you bernie.

  84. A very disappointing decision, I have to say.

    Unlike some others, I’m very fortunate in that I earn enough to afford Sky Sports. But with a young family to support and the cost of living going up I simply can’t justify £40 per month just for watching a few more live races. So it’s back to the bad old days of some races live on the BBC, others shown only in highlights.

    My only consolation is that technology has improved enough so that live updates are on mediums other than Ceefax!

    1. I always found Teletext to be on the slow side when it came to F1.

      And on that note, Bamboozle was fun!

  85. badoubade (@)
    29th July 2011, 10:04

    I woke up with the worst news ever. F1 is moving to SKY, to paid TV, to unaffordable TV.
    So my heart sunk, what no more F1? should I stop taking the family out to be able to afford the 60 pounds a month?

    All the F1 fan forums, all the comments that we want the fans to be closer to us, that they drive our business and make F1 what it is today…
    I did believe you, but now I don’t!
    F1 is taken away form me and there’s nothing I can do.
    Martin Withmarsh was the only one urging F1 to stay on Free to Air TV, but no one listens actually.
    BBC in the UK is Fleetwood Mac’ “The Chain”. my heart start pumping when I hear it, then what I do next is turn on my wife’s and my laptop in front of me. One will have the Driver’s view maximized, the other will have the driver’s tracker screen and the F1 Timing screen.
    I will admire the way BBC manages to get drivers and team managers to come and give us their comments. How DC can get access to the Red Bull Motor home, and how Marting and Stephano laughing at the same joke…
    A sad day indeed only surpased by Senna’s death and Schumi’s retirement announcement.

    This is really the first time that cry of anger and not Joy or Sadness.

    So what should I do next?

  86. Only reason I got into watching every race in the first place was the BBCs coverage.

    Sky will almost certainly not match the BBC’s coverage and I will not pay for Sky Sports.

    F1 is the only live program I watch so the BBC will be loosing my license fee too.

    Ludicrous decision.

    1. BBC will be loosing my license fee too.

      getting rid of all of your tv receiving equipment as well are you?

      bbc are making cutbacks. f1 is part of those cutbacks. if anything, sky is the saviour in keeping a 100% live broadcast rate.
      which is better? 50% live and 50% extended highlights or nothing at all? i’m surprised the bbc have committed to 50% live if the axe has sought & found their f1 coverage.

      bernie was asked, during the fp coverage this morning, about the move from a terestrial broadcast. his reply was: “It was not us who made that decision”

      1. Someone has to buy the coverage if it is to be sold – and if it hadn’t been sold to Sky we’d have had 100% until 2014, by which point ITV or Channel 4 would probably have been able to pay a decent fee. Or else Bernie might have finally got the hint that he was charging too much in order to pay off a loan that he would have finished paying 18 months previous to that point.

        Bernie must have signed off the decision at the very least as it would have been contractually impossible for him, as head of FOM, not to have been able to veto any changes he didn’t like.

  87. What I really hate about Sky is the greed – they charge a subscription (like the BBC with its licence fee) but then have the cheek to show ads too… LOTS of ads. If I were to pay a subscription (and let’s face it it’s not cheap) then I wouldn’t want to see a single advert. I’d class myself as an F1 Fanatic but I’m not forking out my hard-earned cash to a scumbag like Murdoch. Sorry F1 but if that’s the way you want to go then your fanbase is going to go down the drain.

    1. One of the folks at Sidepodcast checked with Sky Sports and said:

      “Every second of every race will be live and uninterrupted on Sky Sports so no ad breaks… We will also be showing more coverage than ever before with every race in HD, plus build-up through the week on Sky Sports News HD and on as well as every practice and qualifying session.”

      The cost barrier is still way too high though.

      1. How can they show more coverage than all the on-track action (which is what the BBC does)??

        1. EXACTLY – The BBC show every second of the weekends action so how are sky going to show more? Just because they say it doeasn’t make it true (in fact I’d not believe anything a James Murdoch led company said )

  88. NO NO NO NO NO. After 30 years of support its time to find a new motor sport.

  89. I am not a sky subscriber and although i have followed F1 for more than 10 years, i will not be taking out a subscription to watch my beloved sport. Why? For 1 – i can’t afford it! 2- if i could, i wouldn’t pay for a service i wouldnt use. I dont have time to watch what’s on terrestrial tv most of the time – F1 is my only regular viewing. 3 – i am not interested in any other sport. So to take out a sports subscription on top on the standard cost for sky is ludicrious to me!

    Sorry Sky but your service is just not for me. Bernie – shame on you. So much for making the sport more accessible. I fear i will be among many lost fans next year.

  90. may be should start emailing the sponsers of the f1 teams say thay they will be boygot there products as protest. Bet they would not be happy to have lot of upset punters who are activly avoiding there stuff because of it

  91. If we all chip in £100 we would only need 300,000 people to pay the BBC’s £30,000,000 F1 costs, that’s much cheaper than £600 or £700 pound a year each. or if the BBC are still paying half then 150,000 people paying £100 each would be able to buy out skys share ( fund what the BBC lack )

    obviously that’s not possible but i’m just saying we would be paying 7 times the amount that would be necessary to keep it free to air.

  92. I always thought that BBC stood for British Broadcasting Corporation, yet just this week they spent money on rolling out the BBC iplayer in Europe and plan to also roll it out in the US. Surely a waste of money for a British corporation, if they want to cut costs cut BBC America or BBC worldwide channels that surely get very little viewers and mean very little to those people who do watch. Maybe the BBC should concentrate on providing a decent service and not misting cutting a program that has a mass following

    1. The iPlayer global service is clearly meant to make profit (it will cost €49.99-€69.99 per year for people in Europe to access the service), which the BBC can then put into British programming. The BBC America service was also a profit-maker last I heard, while a lot of people depend on BBC Worldwide for relatively unbiased news.

  93. Sky apparently has over 3 million subscribers, I’d imagine not all of those are signed up to the sports package. That guarantees a huge drop in the number of people watching the races. I’m certainly not going to sign up to a Sky package, especially when it’s run by a company with a Murdoch as chairman.

    On the plus side I was starting to feel there are too many races in a season. I was having to give up a lot of weekends. It looks like I’ll have an extra 10 weekends of free time from now on.

  94. PCRepairALs (@)
    29th July 2011, 10:24

    Through going to see the English f1 at Silverstone this year I have already spent 1000% more on this sport than I have on any other sport. This renewed love for F1 was brought about through being able to watch the sport freely on ITV, then followed by the BBC. If this sport had been aired on sky sports only I would have not recaptured that interest due to neither the money or the equipment to watch the races.
    I believe this will be a similar case for for alot of potential new viewers to the sport that will now not only be left out and not get sucked in, but will also not pick up the interest to want to go and see a live event like Silverstone as I did. I certainly would not be here on this board now with interest if sky were the providers of this amazing sport a few years back.
    This has just cemented the fact that F1 is not aimed at a middle class audience witch scrubs my thoughts that it was trying to remove the upper class image and become more accessible.
    Deeply upsetting day for me, and sadly I will have to sacrifice something to continue my love of the sport next year for financial reasons :(

  95. Juan Pablo Heidfeld (@juan-pablo-heidfeld-1)
    29th July 2011, 10:24

    :'( What a sad day, looks like I’m watching it on online streams. Don’t pay to help the Murdochs!

  96. I don’t have Sky.

    I can’t afford Sky – and I would think long and hard about it even if I could as I dislike the Murdoch empire.

    The BBC coverage has been outstanding.

    Viewing figures have been at record levels – but the BBC, like our Government, have now chosen to give away the family silver because of poor financial management and an unwillingness to make cuts where they need to be made.

    As usual Joe Public is the loser.

  97. As long as people pay to watch F1 on decoded channels it will be good business for F1 to follow this path and money, more than passion, will be the most important part of the motorsport.

    Why not giving SKY the finger — take the beginning of next season off, do someting else and/or use only the free options to get your dose of F1. You can read a book, play a videogame or mow the lawn while glancing on the live timing at on your laptop or iPhone from time to time and then read all the reports on internet or follow live feed during the race.

    Watching the races in a sportsbar, drinking a beer and eating snacks is also a good choice and even more economical than paying £600 for SKY.

    I´ve given VIASAT the finger here in Sweden for years now when they “stole” my F1 with their money from under my nose and still enjoy F1 throught the free channels, especially on internet and I feel like I have a lot of extra time. I don´t think you will miss the practise sessions when they will be free too watch.

  98. I’ve emailed FOTA, signed the petition & made a BBC complaint.

    We need to do more though. Boycotting races must be the answer. At the end of the day everything hangs around the sponsors, without the fans there are no sponsors, without sponsors there is no F1.

    I will NOT be paying for sky just for F1, ads every five minutes and substandard tacky commentary. This is such a sad day for F1. I never ever thought I’d say this, but I won’t be watching F1 next year :-(

    Oh Bernie what have you done!

  99. Sorry, I mean “I don´t think you will miss the practise sessions when they won´t be free to watch” I mean in the last sentance.

    1. We can still listen to them through Five Live. It’s just that there’ll be no pictures or visual positions (important for me because Live Timing hasn’t worked all season on my computer) to use, and as the Five Live people frequently get distracted from the action, it could be quite a problem!

  100. I have Sky but I won’t be upgrading to the Sports package. I’ll listen on the radio, use a pub or search for some dodgy foreign feed using a VPN or proxy if needed.

  101. Everyone should take this opportunity to send emails to both FOTA and the BBC via the links handily provided here. FOTA especially as they are probably the only ones with the (small) ability to change this deal in any shape or form.

  102. My only hope is that the teams kick off an the BBC is given the rights to show the live stream on iPlayer…

  103. Can some one confirm that this will be next season’s coverage, as I thought the BBC’s contract ran until the end of the 2013 season?

    1. 2012. The BBC screwed us.

  104. 40,000 British people employed by F1 paying £130 each in BBC Tax comes to…


    F1 needs protecting. Write to:

    Department for Culture, Media and Sport
    Your MP (especially this!)
    Newspapers (non-Murdoch…)

    1. Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.

      Ask your MP to make F1 a protected event like the last Government failed to do and cite some of the obvious reasons why. Use as a really easy way of contacting your MP.

  105. I guess BBC will have the less popular races on. Basically I will have to subsribe to sky at £60+ a month to watch HALF of the races. F1 is dead in the UK. Why would anyone watch through a season, when the chances are, the championship decider will be on SKY?

    F1 has just lost its UK causual viewers as well as potential future fans, who previously could grow their interest over a period of time.

    I have no intrest in football, so why would I watch sky for the other 6 days of the week?

    Money always destroys in the long run. Some people just cannot get enough money!

    It is such a shame, as the BBC coverage has developed into something really good. I guess I’ll make the most of the rest of the season, then find other things to do on sunday afternoons!

    1. Basically I will have to subsribe to sky at £60+ a month to watch HALF of the races. F1 is dead in the UK

      You don’t HAVE to shell out, there is no gun to your head. People who bend over and pay are idiots. If no body subscribed to SKY they wouldn’t want F1. It’s the few weak minded (and wealthy) people who are destroying sport for the common man.

      You have a choice but choose to help SKY to get away with it. It amazes me the way people just accept injustice, no wonder SKY makes Billions in profit every year. Talk about Sheeple.

  106. Well this is the last season for me then. Was a big fan of F1 as a kid. Lost touch when I went to uni and got back into it a few years ago. That wouldn’t have happened if it was on sky. Don’t love it enough to pay for sky as F1 is about the only TV I watch.

    Not interested in watching just half the races on the BBC either. What a mess. At least I’ll have more time on the weekends now.

  107. This is just a disgrace, Bernie once again shows the fans his middle finger!

    I have been watching F1 for many years now, while I was at school, nobody really watched F1 between ’97 and ’07 I was considered a bit of a nerd for liking F1. Since 2007 with all the Hamilton hype we have alot more people watching F1, especially those that just watch it casually, now thanks to this deal, those people won’t tune in, and wont pay to watch.

    I had sky whilst I was at university, we split the cost between the 6 of us sharing the house, We had the basic package and that wasnt really value for money as we hardly watched it.

    As im still living at home, (and still looking for work thanks to the recession) we dont have sky. My dad was thinking of getting sky so he could watch the rugby, but we don’t watch enough tv to justify paying for sky as we only ever watch bbc for the F1 and the odd crime drama, the rest of the time we watch dvds!

    I dont know what I will do, probably end up watching the ones BBC show live and their highlights, or try and find a good streaming site, but i like to tape the races and re watch them from time to time, and cant do that with streaming sites. Because I cant afford to spend £600 a year just so I can watch F1, Unless I find a job that will allow me to throw spare money at sky!

    I am upset about this. I love F1, and as an F1 maniac I enjoy escaping into my bubble on a race weekend. Once again we the fans are loosing out while Bernie is laughing all the way to the bank. For petes sake Bernie your money pot and F1 will die without the fans!

  108. Got to thank BBC and Sky for giving me back 10 weekends a year for the next six years! After 11 years of not missing a single Grand Prix – I’ll be doing other things on the Sky only weekends. I’m disgusted after all the claims that F1 would remain free to air.

  109. Not willing to subscribe to Sky Sports just to watch F1 races, so it will be bye bye to F1.

  110. Seeing as the only things I really watch on TV are F1 and Newsnight, I’m not going to buy a 30 quid a month sky subscription for one race a month. I’ll just reluctantly watch the rubbish late night highlights thing on BBC3 or wherever they hide it. I might even try and find a live stream from another channel and use the 5live commentary.

    However, I can’t really understand how Sky expect they are going to be able to improve the coverage. The TV images are supplied by FOM and so Sky aren’t going to be able to make any improvements. All I can imagine is them taking advantage of their digital platform to offer slightly more choice of what we can see, things like a dedicated channel where we can watch the entire race from Liuzzi’s on board camera. I imagine Sky subscribers will be thrilled at the thought of that.

  111. Yeah, majorly ****** off. I watch every race on BBC HD, but won’t pay for Sky.

  112. Fully support the BBC as I pay a licence fee but looks like next year I will be searching for good quality streams for 1/2 the races. It’s yet another downward spiral.

  113. It never ceases to amaze me that football fans will pay more and more to follow their sport each year without much protest. So many posters here are saying they’ll stop following F1 rather than pay for it, which begs the question, are football fans just stupid, or are they more passionate about their sport that the average F1 fan?

    1. Etiquette forbids me from answering that question as it is currently phrased.

      1. Actually most football fans won’t watch Sky either – Champions League final got 7 million more viewers on free to air over sky. (8.5m v 1.5m).

  114. What veiwing figures do sky sports get – suppose Football would be the best for them?

    1. 10 million subscribers – 3 million Sky sport subscribers

      1.5 million is the most viewers they ever get.

    2. Answers courtesy of BARB:

      Pick TV (Sky’s outpost on Freeview) got a peak of 338,000 last week, 404,000 the week before and 380,000 on the first week of July. Not bad for a repeats channel.

      Sky 1’s peak last week was 771,000 for “Lie To Me Season 3”. The weeks before it was 899,000 and 921,000 respectively for “Hawaii Five-0”.

      Sky Sports 1 peaked last week at 248,000 for “T20 Cricket: Lancashire v Warwickshire”. The weeks before a similar match between England and Sri Lanka attracted 322,000 and 520,000 viewers respectively.

      Sky Sports 2’s peak last week was 154,000 for the Superleague rugby. A T20 cricket match was the peak the week before with 196,000 viewers. The first week of July? Er… 96,000 for WWE.

      Sky Sports 3 peaked last week at 162,000 for WWE – bizarrely that was 2am on a Tuesday! Nothing else seems to break the 35,000 viewer mark, possibly because you can’t buy it when you first get Sky at the moment.

  115. I’m a Sky customer but I am about to get rid of Sky Sports because it is too expensive for the amount of sport we watch and Motors TV, Eurosport, BBC and ITV seem to cover the vast majority of my households sporting needs. I am a HUGE F1 fan. I’m as interested in the technical development as I am in the actuall races but I’m not going to pay £600+ to watch a full season in HD. I see live viewing figures in the UK being less than 30% for races on Sky.

    Does anyone know where you can view races online. Happy to pay for the stream as it will no doubt be cheaper than SkySports and I’ll only pay when I want to watch. I’m actuaally interning in a Paarliamentary office so if I see any of those petitions, I’ll make sure they get high priority.

    I think we should all write to our MPs about this. Five unique (no matter how short) letters or emails to an MP is all it takes for them to raise the issue with the relevant minister (Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport). Ask them to make F1 a protected event like the last Government failed to do and cite some of the obvious reasons why.

    If people are interested, use as a really easy way of contacting your MP. It will take you two minutes but if everyone on this thread was to do so, we’d get somewhere.

  116. Disregarding the fact that I probably cannot afford Sky at all. Where I live we actually cannot receive it, too many tall trees, protected woodland (not ours), in the way.

    And as I am not into soaps, films etc. I guess next year I will pay for the increases in electricity and gas by not renewing the TV license.

  117. I’m not a Sky subscriber, and don’t intend on becoming one.

    I’m very disappointed at the announcement that the BBC will only be covering half the races, and to be honest, I think I’d rather stop watching the sport altogether than just glimpse half the season.

    I think it is a very sad day for the sport in the UK, and hope FOTA can force Bernie into allowing the BBC or SKy to show all of the races on free-to-air.

  118. (@)
    29th July 2011, 11:03

    Well I guess I’ll just do something else with my weekends now.

  119. This has ruined my day and F1 in future for me. Im so angry after all that was said about free to air. I only follow F1 so its simply not viable for me to pay for SKY, and out of principle I wont as have been with SKY before but left due their overpriced terrible service.
    BBC should be ASHAMED for entering a deal like this with SKY. What do i pay my licence for??? it appears nothing now as i dont watch Eastenders.I really hope SKY’s ratings SUCK. Looks like ill be watching highlights from 2012 for half the races at least.

    KEITH CAN YOU PLEASE SET UP A PETITION FOR US ALL TO JOIN, let Bernie know what we all think about this.

  120. this is NOT confirmed, however all of the comments on bbc this morning have suggested that the coverage by them has been cut back to save money.

    if indeed this is the case, the ones to bitch at are the bbc. sky are, at a cost, allowing f1 to still be broadcast live in the uk.

    it’ll be interesting to see how many of the “i’m not watching f1 any more” brigade will still be watching this time next year, even if the free coverage is cut back to what we’ve been told today.

    1. If Sky hadn’t offered to buy the contract, the BBC would have had to maintain it until 2014. Therefore Sky are the ones who made the loss possible.

      However I blame Bernie because ultimately he will lose out on this. The sums don’t even work out for Sky, so there’s little chance of a renewal in 2018. With nobody wanting to cover F1 at Bernie prices, he will either have to drastically drop his fees or face being unable to sell F1 to one of its four biggest markets – and facing the consequences from other markets refusing to listen to him any more.

  121. use to contact your MP and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP.

    1. Sorry that was meant to be a reply to another comment!

  122. As much as I whole heartedly agree this is a bad idea, whinging here will not get us any where.
    EMAIL :-
    She is the Director of Sport for the BBC and tell her how you really feel.

  123. Bernie Ecclestone – 18th July 2011

    “It isn’t possible that F1 could go on to pay TV, we wouldn’t want to do that”

    That’s a U-turn so big, it could form a new corner at Monaco. That said, I suspect it was more like, “we wouldn’t want to do that, but I do”.

    Bernie Ecclestone – 18th July 2011

    “It isn’t possible that F1 could go on to pay TV, we wouldn’t want to do that”

    That’s a U-turn so big, it could form a new corner at Monaco. That said, I suspect it was more like, “we wouldn’t want to do that, but I do”.

  124. God I hate Bernie Ecclestone.

  125. im lucky enough to be a sky sports customer but im still outraged at this..

    coverage will be crap and add breaks every 10 minutes will totally destroy viewing. what a joke

    1. the only way this can be resolved is by making whatever sky sport channel they plan on showing the races on, a freeview channel.. that i doubt will ever happen

      1. Pick TV (owned by Sky) already is, and gets better viewing figures than some of the Sports channels. However, that would require Sky to forego some potential profit – or at least mitigate some of the loss.

    2. Apparently no adverts, from the editor of the sky sports website:,19528,12433_7066182,00.html

      1. Where did it say ‘No adverts’. I could not find any evedence that there will be no advert breaks during the race.

        1. It was in reply to comments, not in the main article. However Keith’s picked up a different source now which appears to confirm the “no adverts” status.

  126. “BSkyB to return £1bn to its shareholders”

    How about returning our sports to us at affordable prices?

  127. Since Martin Whitmarsh gave assurances that their contracts require free-to-air, and with his position within FOTA, I think an email to might not go amiss.

    1. According to Autosport, the news was a suprise to him too and he’s started looking at the detail to see if it violates the Concorde agreement.

  128. Bernie OMG I hate you aaaaahhhhhh.

  129. Football is now abandonned by sponsors, so they now rely upon sugar daddies from Russia and other weird places. I can’t see a manufacturing team like Ferrari getting adopted by a Russian oligarch.

    1. The reason foreign investors are buying EPL clubs is because it’s the most popular league in the world – Sky played a big part in helping it get there.

    2. So that means in future all F1 teams will have to be owned by billionaires like Force India because there is no value in any other form of organisation?

  130. This deal will kill F1 in the UK.
    Either show all the races or don’t bother…people follow a season of racing not individual races.
    Pathetic and what I’d expect from Bernie.

  131. Can someone help? If I’ve read it correctly we won’t even be able to watch some races on the tv! They will be broadcast on the BBC Wesite! Don’t know if I’ve read it right.

  132. I’m deeply disappointed, almost enough to make me want to switch off for the rest of this year.

    Maybe if I pinch myself?

  133. this is a discrace boycot watching has fota got an email adress we can flood with complaints

    1. Chris williams
      29th July 2011, 11:59

      the only email for fota i can find is this one

      so spam away! ive already sent one!

  134. This deal is disgusting.

    I’m presuming BBC have still paid a substantial sum for their little bit of rights? As sky are showing every race this basically means the bbc are paying to advertise something for sky.


  135. I’m very sad to hear this. It’s the end of what was a fantastic era. The BBC coverage had always got such personality and was run with a flawless fluidity that was a joy to watch. Dating back to the days of Murray Walker and then seamlessly transitioning to the current setup.
    I’m definitely not supporting sky in ripping the soul out of this excellent service.
    I’ll watch it while it’s run by the BBC and then move on..

    You won’t see a cent of my money Sky!!!

  136. I can afford Sky, but don’t subscribe as I don’t wish to pay money to the Murdoch media. I have felt for years they have too much influence in this country and therefore have personally avoided purchasing their services.

    So I won’t switch to Sky, I will probably start to lose touch with F1, and will slowly stop following it all together. Is this what FOTA want? What about various heads of teams stating their contracts meant F1 races must be free to air?

  137. This is a strange one, certainly.

    First of all, I’m surprised that the BBC are willing to act almost like a preview service for Sky: “Watch some F1 races on the BBC, but if you want the full thing you’ll have to buy a Sky subscription”.

    Then there’s the awkward situation of having two channels covering the same race at once.

    Are they going to use the same team? If not, it’s a waste of money. If so, both could have their teams at only half of the races, which would be disadvantageous from the point of view of developing the regular, deep contacts within the sport.

    And then there’s the question of what it does for the sport’s profile in Britain. I can’t see how this is positive from that point of view.

    Ecclestone’s claim it could increase the audience seems total fantasy, as unquestionably far fewer people will be able to watch every F1 race in 2012.

    1. And I guess the BBC would hardly be allowed to “compete” for viewers with Sky, as this would be government supported distortion of competition!

      Guess the BBC will do this kind of “transition” as it sounds better for the guys on top, and drop out at the end of the year.

    2. There’s the money perspective as well – paying almost 500 Euro or whatever per year is not a handful amount of money.

      In Bulgaria, it’s still free, but you never know …

    3. Keith any ideas what this means for channels that use the bbc coverage like Onehd or setanta Ireland?

    4. Expect race start times to change to fit in with ‘Super Sunday’ football.

      1. Whatever “deal” the BBC have set up it is obviously to avoid any penalties from Bernie for not keeping to their contract.

        Is it on from next year or after the existing contract runs out?

        1. according to the press releases, it starts next year. this adds fuel to the bbc not having the funding for f1 perception.

    5. Also interesting will be to see, what will be on the red button access. Some are reading into the statements by the BBC and SKY that red button will be showing everything live (like 5live will)

  138. How can someone make a sport that already does not have a lot of fans like soccer and the rest, a lot less available?

  139. Also there is another way at looking at this change in coverage.

    So if the viewing figures dramatically drop I also honestly believe it will affect the economy and culture of Britain and other countries which have access to the BBC’s F1 coverage around the world.

    Just to use me as an example (I know not everyone is like this, but I’m sure a few are like me)…when I was a kid I grew up watchng formula 1 with my dad. I came from a not particularly rich background so was lucky enough to be able to watch f1 on the beeb for the price of a TV license. Watching F1 got me into cars and motoracing. From then I was adament I wanted to work with cars when I grew up. Went to Uni, got a degree in engineering, and now work at an engineering firm where some of our research is going towards alternative fuels for automotive vehicles. Now I’m not saying I’m saving the world, but F1 basically got em into engineering for a good cause. I’d imagine there must be another substantional number of people out there who have got into their profession based on growing up watching F1. what good does Eastenders do…oh wait it teaches people how not to behave in society…right…

    And now making people pay for it (I knew motoracing was a rich mans sport but this rediculous) is taking it away from some people where wathcing could influence there lives and what they do with them. I know it sounds a bit ott but I actually believe that it isn’t.

    Keep F1 with the Beeb.

  140. So, half the races gone from free-to-view tv…viewing figures overall will be down so sponsors will look at exactly what they are getting from the teams, driving down the cost they are prepared to pay. Teams will lose money in the longterm, so this is just been very shortsighted. (The same has happened with commercial TV, one reason that ITV is now struggling)

    Don’t have Sky and won’t be getting it just to watch F1, even though I have been a massive fan for years. Sky has just posted record profits, ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated!

  141. Oh dear, the BBC is going to return to the coverage it had during the 1970s next year.

    I’ll sign the petition. Copy what was chanted at Kay Burley: “Watch the BBC!”

  142. I wonder if the main Advertisers, like Santander, at F1 races realise how much coverage they are liable to lose in the UK

  143. keith im sure you never got 265+ comments on an article this fast.
    its a drama! might have to watch F1 on the dutch tv next year… what a shame.

  144. I do think some people are overreacting in these comments because of their initial anger at the announcement. I am not happy but those suggesting things like Eastenders should be dropped instead should get real, I loathe the programme but it gets 15/16 million viewers consistently and it just isn’t going to happen. They need to cut money and F1 is by far the most expensive sport.

    The coverage on BBC of the race and qualifying itself has been excellent but I personally can’t stand the pre race build up most of the time, they’d be better off cutting this I mean who wants to see Fernando Alonso doing magic tricks like last weekend? I like Jake Humphrey, DC and Brundle but Eddie Jordan gets on my nerves.

    My biggest moan is not the money, we already have sky sports because my Dad can justify it as he watches the football, test cricket and rugby league season, but the fact that Rupert Murdoch and BSKYB are monopolising yet another sport. Surely Murdoch is the most disliked man in the UK at the moment? And Ecclestone won’t be far behind judging by some of these comments.

  145. One major issue here is the fact that you can’t just pay Sky for F1 coverage only, unless I have that wrong. You have to buy the whole sports package (which includes all the crap I don’t watch like football, etc). Unless they unleash ‘Sky Sports 4’ for motoracing only, which you could suscribe to alone, I’m not going to even think about paying for a bucnh of sports I dont watch JUST so that I can glimpse F1.

  146. McLaren are going to be a big loser. They are entirely sponsor backed and i reckon Vodafone won’t like this new deal, nor will the others (boss, Hilton, Aigo etc.)

    A complete shambles, something only the british broadcasting industry is only capable of. The last of the great british sports has become the final corporate event . Would someone like Lewis Hamilton, who raced on a tiny budget from the back of a small blue van, ever got to know his hero Senna if he couldn’t have afforded to pay a subscription? Would he have found the necessary inspiration to get into british motorsport? I contend that he wouldn’t have, and we wouldn’t have seen a world champion that we see now.

    So long F1, sorry I can’t afford/don’t want to pay to be interested in you any more.

    1. Let’s not blame the BBC too much for this. They didn’t have to take it off ITV’s hands in 2009 but they did.

      I personally blame this and subsequent governments that have not protected F1 as free to air – what it does to inspire young engineers and how it shapes the backbone of the motorsport industry cannot be underestimated, as well as all the sponsors.

      But don’t expect the teams to be that bothered once they see what Sky will pay them just like the premier league football clubs.

      Sad times indeed.

  147. The BBC gets about £3.45 billion a year in license fees, they have 4 channels, Sky get an average of £30 for 10 million subscribers so about £300 million a year and they have 6 channels that show content they make. So how come at roughly 10% of the BBC’s income can Sky afford F1 and the BBC can’t?

    Totally and utter rubbish to blame it on costs.

    1. Advertising.

      1. you think Sky make £3 billion a year in advertising? Doubt it and anyway Sky have said *coughs ,yeah right* they won’t have ad breaks.

        Martin Brundle is not happy i know that much, don’t expect to see/hear him on Sky sadly.

    2. BskyB made a £1 billion profit last year. They announced their figures today. If they have 10 million subscribers paying £30 a month that’s £3.6 billion a year (I think) plus they have advertising revenues too. They’re a private company too (not payed for by tax payers) so they can spend their money on whatever they like (e.g. F1, football, cricket), effectively forcing people who like sport to get sky in. Where as the BBC can’t and have to listen to people who like Eastenders, local radio, the archers and the parliament channel.

      1. Yes my mistake, the average is £30 a month not a year, but they make and invest in a lot more expensive shows that the BBC ever has so one still has to wonder why it’s so difficult for the BBC to keep F1 as is.

        The BBC is a public funded company that repeatedly ignores what the public wants to do as they please. Something now right with that. F1 has got the BBC and average of 3 million viewers per race on a Sunday afternoon, somehow i don’t think that many will tune into Cash in the Attic re-runs!

        1. Unfortunately I think its a case of the BBC management looking for something high profile to cut so they look as though they’re “sharing the pain of the cuts” (which is apparently popular right now). They then go to Bernie, tell him they can’t afford it, want a cut price deal etc… Bernie/Murdoch then get talking and come up with a deal, then talk to the BBC about a few cut price races and highlights to comply with the concord agreement. That means almost everyone’s happy. Bernie gets even more money (probably), Sky get another blue ribboned sport exclusively live, the BBC cut costs while still claiming a good deal. The only people that aren’t happy are the millions of fans who either don’t want or can’t afford sky, the sponsors who’ve paid for mass market access and the teams (I hope). But as long as Bernie and Sky get some more money who cares about anyone else!

          1. Look to that move to Salford £900 Million – thats money that they will never see again.

          2. And Sky when it realises it’s going to make a loss from the F1, and Bernie when he discovers that suddenly his prize contract is going to be worthless in 2018 and the other TV people will take note accordingly, and F1 when the massive 2018 cuts become necessary due to the cascade effect…

  148. Formula 1. Why oh why do you keep shooting yourself in the foot?
    You just had the most exciting and close championship in the history of the sport yet you decide to add gimmicky technologies like DRS so you can appeal to the ‘casual’ viewer but then you go and put half your races on pay TV in your biggest market, the ‘casual’ viewer is not going to pay 600 pounds to watch F1 and in your pursuit to capture the mainstream audience you alienate your die-hard fans.

    I live in Australia so have had to put up with rubbish coverage for my F1 life but I am glad it is free.

    With this deal what happens to the countries that use the BBC’s worldwide feed, will we be recieving an international Sky feed (with their own commentators or the BBC’s) or will we in Australia have to cringe through an entire race listening to the three dimwits Beattie, Rust and Baird/

    Not something I was expecting or hoping to read today. :(

  149. How low would the viewing figures have to be before Bernie admitted this was a mistake?

    What I see happening, over the next few years is that Sky will struggle to get viewers, people will use the BBC for the races they can and the internet for others. In a few years, internal pressures will result in the BBC dropping F1 even more, possibly entirely. Around the same time, on the back of finding its subscriptions haven’t really grown, and with sponsors moving away due to the low viewing figures, Sky will also drop F1. So, come 2015, maybe sooner, we, the British fans will have at best highlights only, at worst no coverage at all.

    By then of course, noone will care because they’ll be watching it on the internet and Sky will be going down the MPAA route and trying to shutdown the internet!

  150. I’ve been watching F1 since 1986. The current BBC coverage is the best ever. I will not pay Sky. More than that I am sick of the direction F1 is heading, further and further away from the essence of racing. Drivers not allowed to defend positions. Drivers given penalties for touching other cars. DRS and KERS prefabricated passes. Engine standardization,

    To make a point, I have more than enough money to pay for a TV license. It’s the quality that I’m losing interest in.

  151. I can only encourage everyone to start looking at a service like StreamTorrent (, so those of us who have previously enjoyed the BBC coverage can still stream from somewhere other that Sky.

  152. This is about the same amount it costs me in the states to have HD picture and coverage on Speed for a full year of F1. And that’s with adverts!

    I’m sorry I simply don’t have a ton of sympathy. Modern sport requires payment to follow, even if the change will ruin my streaming choices on race weekends.

    1. Personally, paying 500 pound (~EUR 600, ~USD 850) a year extra on top of the legal license fee (lower here than in UK I think) for F1 would mean I could spend that money on going to a race or two – which is rather more interesting.

      For me, there is certainly no other sport that is worth it; and I would like to have other motorsports included for that price.

      Modern sports requires money, maybe, but in NL, if you follow Football/soccer, tennis, Olympics, not to mention cycling or ice-skating, you don’t pay extra. If you don’t want them you just suffer when they impinge on your tv programme, and you know your license fee is being used for it.

      I would like for those to to behind a pay wall sometimes, for the joy of not being bothered with them. But that’s about the only upside of it. Hardly ever is commercial coverage better, just more hyped and souped-up.

      Somehow our digital providers can’t seem to just let you rent a channel for a day/event, let alone at short notice. They want you to subsidize the other things they show you – I thought that differentiation was an advantage of competition. Guess what, it does not work, the offerings get worse and only the prices increase, not quality.

      So I would rather have it in the hands of our public channels, at least they have an accountability to a government I can vote for.

      1. Sorry, somehow I lost the closing bold after *extra*.

  153. I am absolutely disgusted by this. I have been an avid Formula 1 fan since I started watch as a child (in the late 90s) and now I will only be able to watch 10 races a year as I cannot afford Sky. Hopefully FOTA will be able to sort something out for us fans as this goes against their contract with the dwarf.

    Here’s a quote from Tony Fernandes on Twitter

    “I’m as confused as all on sky deal. Just saw on my twitter the unhappiness.”

  154. It’s bad for F1 in the UK no doubt, i have Sky and Sky Sports but as i do i know the coverage will be passable at best, it will never match up to what we have now.

    If it goes well this is what will happen in 2018, home races on Sky will be on normal sky sports channels, all other races will be Pay per View.

    One thing though, just thank god it isn’t Eurosport who won the rights!

  155. For all those wanting to write to people to display their feelings, I recommend this guy:

    Lord Davies of Oldham

    He has spoken in the past of sports rights on television, and even about Forumla One.

    He can be contacted using the website mentioned previously:

  156. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    29th July 2011, 12:29

    F1 stopped being broadcast in Ireland in 2004, so I had to get a satellite dish which cost €400. Now I have to subscribe to sky! Why is F1 so hard to follow.

  157. This is heart breaking for me, I’ve been watching F1 as long as I can remember (I can remember bits of 1997 onwards, and I’m only 19). I just simply can’t afford Sky Sports, besides I’d rather spend the money Sky Sports costs on actually going to the British or Belgian Grand Prix next year!

  158. I was really disappointed when I woke up to this news this morning. I’m a huge fan of the sport and have been following it ever since I was a child. In recent years I have lost interest in football so paying for the sky sports packages for only F1 will not be justified. Looks like I will be saying goodbye to F1.

    A really sad day for F1 fans.

  159. any one up for setting up a streaming club?

  160. Please continue to leave your thoughts below, and do let us know whether you’re a current Sky customer or not, and whether you will be next year.

    N.B: Sky Sports through VirginMedia does not include Sky Sports Extra channel.

    You need to switch your whole bundle / service to Sky to get the FULL Sky Sports package.

    Given that they are showing all sessions on Sky you can guarantee that some will get shifted onto Sky Sports Extra.

  161. It’s just insane from F1’s point of view. Interest in F1, from the casual fan at least, will begin to decline. A number of my friends were just beginning to be won over by F1 on the beeb and were watching a few races. Now the fact that it has gone to sky, combined with the fact they don’t have sky boxes, will mean that they will be much less likely to catch a race, and will be likely to gradually lose interest. There will also be a number of hardcores that i’m sure won’t be able to afford the transition.

  162. Sold down the river by Bernie. All that BS about free to air! I suppose it will be, however not live and not complete.
    I’m not bothered who screens it but I won’t pay any extra as a sky customer. It’s the beggining of the end of F1

  163. Well this is just crazy! so lets get this right. BBC will host 1/2 the races so you will only have to watch 10 on sky. That at 600.00 per year is £60.00 per race :O in what possible way can they justify this? Admittadly for me it wouldnt be so bad as I have Sky allready but not sky sports but sky sports it appears next year will be £23.50 extra per month that still works out close to an extra £30.00 a raace for me. :( i certainly will not be paying the extra for sky sports.

  164. Sky’s 2009 results show revenues of £5.359 bn from 9.4m customers. £4.184 bn comes from subscriptions. They spent £1.7 bn on programming.

  165. Absolutely disgusted by this news. I am a student at university and from a home where a TV subscription isn’t in our monthly budget. My dad has been an F1 Fanatic since I can remember, and for the last 4 years or so we have watched every race together, unless I’m at uni when I watch it on the BBC website. A TV licence is all we need to do this, and of course we pay that.

    Now suddenly, we have to pay hundreds of pounds for something that, quite frankly, is not worth that kind of money. Whilst F1 will always have my interest, we cannot justify paying hundreds for a subscription to something that is on a few hours every couple of weeks, and for just half a year. And think what my mum/his wife would say if we told her we were spending £400 a year on something she already doesn’t like!

    Sort it out F1. Or you are commiting suicide.

  166. I do wonder what the long-terms effects on the sport in this country will be. Just as the BBC has been getting F1 audiences rising in this country, they have quite possibly gone and ruined it.

    I imagine that the increase in viewers has been partially due to casual fans tuning in just because it’s on. There’s no way these people will pay for Sky subscriptions to follow a sport they only have a passing interest in, so will most likely just lose interest in the sport.

    As has been shown by this comment thread, there are plenty of true F1 fans who are either unwilling or unable to pay for Sky, so won’t be watching at least half the races, and again there will be those who will stop following the sport completely if they can’t watch the whole season.

    As audiences decline, the BBC may show fewer and fewer races live, with F1 eventually disappearing from free-to-air TV altogether.

    There are enough die-hard football fans in the country for it to have successfully made the switch to pay-per-view TV, but I’m not convinced there are enough proper F1 fans. Yes there will be those who will shell out, or already have Sky subscriptions who will keep watching, but overall I think the audiences will nosedive and F1 will end up becoming a minority interest sport in the UK. Very sad.

    1. People keep making a comparison with football, but sky broadcast far more football than the BBC ever could, and so brought something extra. What extra are they going to bring to F1… coverage of more GP’s or qualifying ???… a far more relevant comparison is with test cricket, where viewing figures were arround 4m when on free to air, now they struggle to get 200,000 on sky.

      This could be a killer for F1 in the UK

  167. The BBC receives £3.5 bn from the licence fee and has total income approaching £5 bn. £2.5 bn is spent on programming, of which £1.1 bn is spent on BBC 1.

  168. We have Sky HD Subscription already, but not Sky Sports. But we WILL NOT be paying extra to watch F1. If this goes ahead, then F1 will lose fans in their thousands, if not millions! Very Sad!

    1. I agree 100% I’m in the same situation

  169. Not a SKY customer!
    I used to only subscribe to SKY to watch American Football so i know what this all feels like… but the people who ran the NFL had the genius idea of streaming every match (sky only played 4 of 8 each week) live & On Demand for $230 (just over £140) for the full season in HD as standard as well a dedicated 24hour american football channel! & archived all previous seasons shows on the streaming service (about 3 years worth)so £610 is a touch over priced, as most motorsport fans will not give a stuff about watching football or rugby or tennis… those sports do not have engines! F1 could learn a lot from the NFL’s online service. SKY need to go away and leave this beautiful sport alone, it dosent require an OTT set of graphics with a blockbuster voice over telling you mundane facts over and over for dramatic effect.
    And F1 could also learn from SKY’s coverage of A1 racing (haha remember that? no? beacuase it’s terrible and SKY claimed they would make it bigger than F1 with the ‘Full sky sports treatment’ what a joke)… compared to The BBC’s F1 coverage SKY’s A1 was like watching CCTV of a circuits car park with your mums insight as to what was happening.

  170. Just wanted to iterate my disgust at Bernie, Sky and the BBC:

    1. Bernie’s greed led him to Sky because obviously couldn’t extract enough money from the BBC.
    2. BBC are not passionate enough about sport other than Football.
    3. Sky just for being Sky. Extortionists. £610 a year?!

    This is a slippery slope and soon F1 will only be on Sky. I just hope the drop off in audience figures makes the sponsors pull out, screwing Bernie and Sky back.

    1. Sky optional £610 for 160 channels, 50+ in HD
      BBC forced £150 for 6 channels, 2 in HD.

      Which one is extortionate again???

      1. Have you looked at most of the 160 channels?

      2. To be fair, if you want to enjoy Sky you’ve also got to shell out for the License Fee.

      3. Which channels would they be
        BBC News
        BBC Parliament
        BBC Redbutton

        Not forgetting the National variations for Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales. Then there’s the regional variations for Yorkshire, North West, North East etc.

        Then there’s the 5 national analogue radio stations, plus the digital ones like 6Music, and then all the Local radio stations

        And that’s not including the BBC World Service.

        The BBC say that £7.96 per month goes from the licence fee towards the TV channels

  171. Maybe a workaround to this messed up situation is for fans to only take into account points scored from the BBC races to crown an unofficial world champion, and constructors champion, and just pretend that the season is 10 races long, and that all the races shown on Sky are just testing seasons.

    1. This is the best idea I’ve heard all day!

      1. COTD for sure

  172. Sky 1 : 0 BBC Licence payers
    29th July 2011, 13:22

    I recall much tub-thumping and self-congratulation when it was announced that the BBC would broadcast all F1 races live, we cheered long and loud that no longer would we have to endure the advert interruptions to ITV coverage. Well BBC … what splendid custodians of free to air F1 coverage you have proven to be. I’m no great sports fan but F1 is very much my ‘thing’ and in common with most other fans I make a point of watching every race. Additionally, as someone who spends several months abroad each year unable to access iPlayer because I’m deemed to be in the wrong place, adding this drastic curtailment of F1 coverage simply makes my £145 a year licence fee look an even poorer deal than it is already.

    ITV … all is forgiven!

  173. As an American who loathes the American F1 coverage, can I still download the Sky feed just as easily as I could BBC or iTV? ;)

    1. Good call!

  174. I have never bothered to sign online petitions or send e-mails complaining before but I defiantly will be on this issue.

    If the powers that be in F1 want to make any claims about caring for the good of the sport, helping the fans and not just wanting to increase their bank balances they must keep all coverage on BBC.

  175. Honestly, this doesn’t affect me that much, i’m already a Sky Sports customer via Virgin Media.

    I won’t be cancelling any contracts I have and I don’t care enough about the News International situation for it to alter how much I want to view my favourite sport. I know people are angry but not signing up ‘cos you can’t afford it is fair enough but not signing up ‘cos of Murdoch is just a bit silly in my opinion. Why jeopordise something you love for someone you think so lowly of? Too much irony for me.

    Anyway. Devastated, genuinely, for the people who won’t be able to follow the sport as easily as they have been able to do in recent years, it really is a shame.

    I hope this community still thrivs and i’m sure it will.

  176. I consider my licence fee to be my subscription to watch Formula 1.

    When Sky took control of broadcasting premier league, (i think it was called 1st division football at the time), i ceased to follow Football.

    I have no interest in watching half a formula one season, so unless the deal changes, i will be getting rid of my Tv and will no longer pay for a Tv licence. It’s the only thing I watch that has any interest to me.

    Don’t buy The Times, Don’t buy the Sun, cancel your subscriptions with Sky….Without mass consumption of Murdochs offerings, he is NOTHING.

    1. I won’t buy The Sun. But that’s ‘cos it’s a rubbish tabloid, not that it’s owned by News Corp ;)

  177. sjsutton (@)
    29th July 2011, 14:05


  178. Complain online to the BBC Let them know what you think. It stinks. Funny how they can find the money to show all the other carp on saturday nights.

  179. Hi everyone!!

    Here is a copy of an e-mail I have just sent to FOTA. I’ll copy any response I get here too.

    Dear FOTA,

    I appreciate you will be inundated with correspondence regarding the recent Bombshell surrounding the broadcasting format of Formula 1.

    I would like to offer a personal perspective which I feel sure would be echoed by the majority of fans that have been loyally digesting Formula 1 coverage in the UK for many years.

    The issue is multi-faceted.

    I have not missed a single broadcasted lap, be it racing or otherwise since 1994 and I began watching on and off well before that. I am passionate about Formula 1, when I read the news this morning I felt like someone had switched off a life support machine.

    This may sound melodramatic but let’s put this into perspective. Formula 1 is the kind of sport that evokes loyalty, passion, fascination, hope, despair, enjoyment, frustration and Intrigue.

    As fans, people have their favourite teams and favourite drivers. As such, the emotional roller coaster that the teams and drivers experience is shared by the fans. I’ll give you an example.

    When Jenson Button climbed out of his Honda in the pit lane after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2006 my emotions were utterly uncontrollable. I had been waiting for this moment since Melbourne 2000. The image of Jenson’s helmeted face, wide eyed, arms outstretched to share the joy of his and his team’s first victory vindicated my staunch support of Jenson. I always knew he would do it despite all the naysayers telling me otherwise. It was a pay off for the emotional investment I had made in the sport up to that point. Every hair on my body was stood on end and I had tears of joy rolling down my cheeks.

    People don’t just watch Formula 1, they invest their time, money, heart and soul into following the sport that they love. Could it be that Bernie Ecclestone is out of touch with this crucial aspect of the sport which makes it connect with so many people? I feel that this move will be interpreted as a cynical move to try and force people to pay heavy subscriptions to watch Formula1 and I don’t think it will work.

    If you can afford SKY you already have it so I doubt the average 6million BBC F1 viewers will be heading off to SKY to subscribe en masse.

    Also, who will watch avert riddled SKY broadcasts during the races that are broadcast by both SKY and the BBC? The BBC’s format i.e. fun, fresh, whitty, friendly, professional, in depth and above all, included in the price of the License Fee has been a major factor in widening the appeal of Formula 1 in the UK. Pulling the rug from under the stalwart fans could be insulting enough to make them turn away from the sport that they have been loyal to for years and the newcomers will most likely feel less attached to the sport and as such less concerned about ceasing their viewing.

    I am personally adamant that I have no intention of lining the pockets of Rupert Murdoch by obtaining a subscription to SKY. He has been proven on a number of occasions to be nothing but a demon of greed, caring nothing for the thoughts and feelings of the public who prop him up with their hard earned money. He is a living breathing effigy of the very type of character whose actions led to the global economic crisis. It’s the mega rich wrangling the little guy into a corner to sap every last penny and then using those pennies selfishly and recklessly to their own end.

    Would it be too much for the teams to consider a similar display of loyalty to the fans on this occasion and stand in the way of the new TV deal?

    Kind Regards,


    1. Why are you so loathed to line the pockets of Rupert Murdoch but are quite happy to get so emotionally involved in a sport run by a similar sort of character in Bernie Ecclestone?

      1. Because it’s sport. I love the sport and Bernie won’t be around forever.

  180. Sorry I don’t know how to use quotes but I just read this from Martin Whitmarsh

    “I don’t know how many homes in the UK have Sky, but it is a pretty high proportion.”

    Now I don’t know the figures either but I would class a high proportion as 70%+ and I am pretty certain it isn’t near that level at least not with the people I know.

    The top brass in F1 will all be well off and probably all have the full Sky package as standard so I fear if it maybe a case of some of them thinking that because they and their circle of friends have Sky then so too must a lot of people but that is defiantly not the case.

    Here in the UK there were plans to phase out cheques by the end of the decade which were thankfully reversed recently. I can easily believe some people hardly ever need to use cheques now and so may think they can be finished, however most small businesses use cheques for the majority of their transactions.

    1. 40% of homes (10 million subscribers) have sky of which 3 million subscribe to skysports.
      That’s a 85% drop in available eyeballs to watch your Vodaphone Maclaren Mercedes run around for 5 1/2 hours every race weekend Mr Whitmarsh.

  181. just listened to the interview with bbc’s barbara slater on their website. biggest load of bs i’ve heard for saying “we can’t afford it”.

  182. It’s bad enough that Indy is on second rate SkySports2,3 or 4 depending on the weather. It’s “free” so long as you effectively subscribe to SS1&2 @£22.55 a month. Coverage is equivalent to 80s F1….. over the phone, from a shed somewhere in the UK.

    You can guarantee F1 will move around the skysport channels, so you won’t just be able to subscribe to one of them – and then another £7 a month on top to watch in HD – just taking the p1ss

    All this money to view 10 races – B.O’S! (Paul Calf)

    Save your Money, buy a holiday instead and see a race in real life HD!

    Unfortunately, Murdouch and his wife Bernie own the world!

  183. How can you lose F1 in a country where it’s so important? The first GP was held there. Also, there are many fans in the UK. I hope people will find a way to see the races not broadcast on the BBC, and I hope F1F will remain a meeting place and help people remain updated when they can’t watch a race.

  184. As much as I love F1 there is no way I can justify the expense of Sky to watch a full season. The annual costs aside, I live in a listed building and would have to apply for planning permission (which I think would cost £150, and may or may not be granted) to put up a Sky dish.

    Sadly, the golden age of free TV coverage for F1 is over – R.I.P. F1.

  185. And even if I do watch the few races on BBC, what kind of coverage is it going to be?? I bet Brundle, Humphry, Coulthard et al will jump ship to Sky….

  186. All this anger, I feel the same – there’s no way in hell I can afford Sky Sports. However, I can’t see any real direction for the anger here!

    I’m angry at Bernie, surely he could’ve negotiated a better deal for the BBC, in the same way concessions are made for the classic teams and circuits. His greed has cut away the viewerbase and i’m sure the teams can’t be happy.

  187. Ecclestone, FOTA and the other top brass in F1 always go on about improving the show, I phrase I personally dislike, but what is the point of improving F1 if you are going to limit the people who can watch F1.

    If I had to choose one thing which would do the most damage to F1 in the UK including technical regulations or even Bernie’s stupid sprinkler idea it would be hard to easily think of something worse than taking F1 off free to air television.

    F1 is the most popular it has been for years in the UK, mainly due to the on track action but also because of the excellent and comprehensive BBC coverage, so I suppose it wasn’t surprising that Sky wanted it.

    Sky has done this thing with American TV shows such as 24, Lost and House in the past. Terrestrial TV shows the first few series and they gain a fanbase then Sky buy the rights in a mega bucks deal.

    Some have said that the English Premier League Football has done well even though Sky has always had the live rights and only the highlights on free to air TV, however I think that is a totally different case.

    Football is the most popular sport in the UK and even with the Premier League not live on terrestrial there are still Champions Leagues, the FA Cup and England matches live on terrestrial.

  188. f1 is the only reason I have a tv license! Don’t watch any tv except for each race so I suppose I’ll just hang on to iplayer

    1. you need a license for iPlayer…..

      1. You need a licence to watch live content on iPlayer, true, but not recorded content.

  189. Well there’s a result for Murdoch, get shares in BSkyB, it may cover your subscription. I’m kidding – I forsee the slow death of F1 from now on – it’ll go the way of Cricket. I’ve got £600 but the hell I’m gonna line Murdoch’s pockets with it. BBC is a monopoly but at least it’s owned by us – Sky however isn’t. If F1 was a rock concert – Sky would be a ticket tout – and would be breaking the law, how can they get away with this?

  190. Devistating for the sport

    Does feel like someone has died.

    The only ray of light i can try and take is the premiership went to sky and it survived and got much much stronger but have a really bad feeling about this one

  191. I have been a quiet “F1 fanatic” for a few years but I’ve come out of my observer role to say this is appalling!
    I don’t have -and don’t need- Sky. And will find ways of watching F1 online (maybe via proxy on Italian TV, since I’m originally Italian).
    However, if social media can bring the Chinese government to apologise for its actions, and if the hundreds of comments on this website are representative of public opinion, we certainly can try and do something…
    Has anybody started a Facebook campaign or similar to put pressure on FOTA to adhere to their (supposed) commitment to (full!) free-to-air TV?
    I’m not expert on that but I’ll help!

  192. Wow £600 a year is crazy. I live in America and I thought paying $7 a month for my F1 sports package was a lot. I feel really sorry for the F1 fans in the UK.

  193. Nice one Beeb. You should of let it stay on itv instead of ripping the fanbase to shreds.

  194. @Francesco
    Renting a proxy a everything is a fraction of the cost of what Sky wants. I think I’ll also follow the proxy path

  195. Relax its only half of the season

    1. In case you hadn’t seen this place is called F1 Fanatic. Half of a season isn’t enough for fanatics.

    2. The BBC should just cancelled the rest of races being shown in 2012. There is not much what point for viewers watching a selected amount of races live.

  196. UKfanatic (@)
    29th July 2011, 16:34

    when you are an F1 fan, you dont watch races, you watch championship therefore you have to watch all races to get the full experience, theres no half season thers only full season, in the same way theres no half people, what they are doing is making people spend 600 £ to watch something they would pay with taxes and im sure form much less, but that was nationaly excusable

  197. Just Submitted this to the BBC and Fota

    Complaint type:General BBC


    Complaint category:Not Enough Coverage

    Complaint summary:F1 moving to Sky from 2012

    Full complaint: Surely this is a joke? Who wants to watch part of a season? I wont be subscribing to sky to watch F1 and wont be watching any coverage unless i can see it from the start to the conclusion. Normally i watch all practice sessions, qualifying and the race religeously. You probably don’t care but by the looks of the message boards and Social networking sites petitions etc. you will be bothered soon they are calling for boycotts. You have the power to do something about this. If you really care about the future of the sport in the UK home of motorsport and majority of teams please consider taking some action or i feel this will be the start of the decline of Formula 1 in the UK. You have made and epic error of monumental proportions assuming people will watch the odd race. A race can’t be taken out of context its an evolving sport through out the season and each race needs to be viewed in sucession.

    Receive a reply:Yes

    Contacted us before:No

  198. Just sent this email to FOTA, now off to write a complaint to the BBC:

    Dear all,

    Although I am probably not in the target market for any of the sponsors anyway, as I have hardly any disposable income, I just wanted to register with you my annoyance with this deal and the way it was brokered in the face of everyone and their dog promising “us” fans that F1 would stay on free-to-air. I would therefore be very happy if you could do as your chairman Mr. Whitmarsh suggested you would and do whatever is in your power to get this deal undone.

    Specifically, while for the TV stations involved, CVC, perhaps Mr. Ecclestone directly and even the FOTA teams this might be a best of both worlds kind of scenario, for anyone but those who already have a Sky Sports subscription it is pretty much the worst. Already the BBC has stated that “F1 will stay on the BBC until 2018 instead of 2013”, carefully yet purposely neglecting to mention the tiny detail where they will only be showing half the races in a year. So people who want to watch the whole season, will have to pay the full subscription fee for the other half of the same season. I doubt there are many if any other shows on ppv which cost ~£50 per race that works out to or even the ~£25 for those that have Sky but not Sky Sports.

    As a result, while overall income might indeed improve as I’m sure is forecast by those involved with making the deal, I think viewing figures will drop drastically. Which flies in the face of all the “let’s do what we can to entice the casual fan” rule changes brought in over the past years. I am sure you are already aware of how the Internet Rage™ has launched its attack of hyperbole and promises to never pay Mr. Murdoch and his Newscorp. a dime have been coming thick and fast not just from those casual fans but also those who profess to have followed F1 religiously for decades.

    I respect that on a commercial level it needs to make sense for the teams to compete, as well as it needs to make sense for CVC to organise the races and the sponsors to put forward money towards any and all of the aspects. But it saddens me that in the name of economic growth, my pastimes are becoming more and more expensive and indeed (partly) inaccessible while my wages don’t appear to be keeping up.

    In closing, I would like to reiterate my hope that you will be able to make a stand against the direction this proposal seems to take F1 coverage on UK TV and I wish you continued success in your endeavours and exploits, whether I will be able to watch the results on TV or not.

    Regards, me

  199. Where’s the funeral for f1 being held? Anyone know…? Oh that’s right it’s at sky’s headquarters…

    F1 is dead.

  200. Let’s start acting:
    Petition @: It’s already grown by 200 signatures in the last 1/2 hour (5961 so far).
    Facebook page: (thanks to Stuey).

  201. it’s time to change to streams if necessary which is unfortunate

  202. I will be University so I doubt I would have much time to watch most of the races but I am digusted to see Sky owning the rights of hosting the races.

  203. martin whitmarsh said “I don’t know how many homes in the UK have Sky, but it is a pretty high proportion.” say if that were true and 50% had sky but that doesnt mean that all that 50% are F1 fans does it? I bit the figure of F1 fans who have sky sports is as little as 10% maybe even less.

  204. I have an alternate take on the whole F1 on the BBC deal. Take a read and let me know what you think:

    1. I’ll say it nicely (and this coming from a guy in Asia who’s already watching F1 from a Murdoch network): you should never be happy at other people’s misery. Just because it’s happening to you doesn’t mean other people deserve it too.

      1. What I am saying is that it’s not a bad situation at all, given that I have been watching sports like this for two-and-a-half decades. If you call this misery, you may want to re-think your definition of the word misery.

    2. Your argument doesn’t extend beyond ‘we don’t get the same quality and access to F1 coverage so nobody should’ or ‘it’s not fair!’, before describing your painful personal experience with sports broadcasts. There is no argument against free-to-air or in favour of paid-tv present at all.

      Particularly this extremely cynical line stands out:

      My response? Welcome to American sports viewing, my friends!

      Instead of just ranting on, you could have bothered to write up on idea behind free-to-air policy, something found in many European countries for a large variety of sporting events.

      Most of Europe is more used to a culture where not everything is for sale to the highest bidder and we tend to consider more things to be public good, rather than private equity (in terms of access, not commercial exploitation).

      All you manage to do however, is whine about an issue you clearly do not even attempt to understand.

      Last but not least, proofread and spellcheck your rants before uploading them as articles.

      1. American sports viewing – ha you get NBA – NFL – MLB – NHL all free to air – what do you think would happen if they all disappeared onto PPV?

        1. And as for all of those free-to-air sports, it may be true that each of those leagues has some free-to-air events on each week. But the NFL is the only one with the bulk of their games on free-to-air TV. the other leagues play so many games over the course of a week that you could never put them all on free-to-air TV.

      2. The unedited version of that was the one that wound up getting posted, which was a mistake on my part.

        As for the painful experience with sports broadcasting, I can’t say I have had any painful experiences…well, apart from watching the Giants melt down against the Eagles last season :( I’ve probably seen just as many great sporting contests as you have- some on free TV stations, but many on paid stations as well.

        I’ve grown up in a culture where not every sporting event is on free-to-air TV, and somehow, I have had just as enriching of a sports viewing lifestyle as you probably have had in Europe. My point is simply that it is not the end of the world if a sport you love winds up on a TV station you need to pay to access.

        But my main point is this: F1 on paid TV in the UK isn’t the end of the world for the sport. Many other fans put up with far less in terms of quality for their F1 broadcasts, and we still follow and love the sport just as much as you do.

  205. you cannot put F1 and the premiership in the same bracket. football is the most popular sport in the world and if you dont have sky you can go down the pub etc but none of the F1 races will be on in the pubs because there will always be football on at the same time.

  206. themagicofspeed (@)
    29th July 2011, 17:25

    I absoloutley cannot beleive this is happening, it’s a disaster for F1 fans who dont have sky.

    Im faced with the prospect that this is going to be my final season, after which if i can’t watch every race i don’t want to know.

    Rupert Murdoch and Bernie Ecclestone together are the media equivalent of Hitler and Pol Pot on speed.

    Greedy, stone hearted ******** who couldnt care less about the fans. I sincerely hope now that the FOTA breakaway series threat goes ahead, as for those of us without sky its our only hope.

  207. And BBC complaint filed as well. For what good it will do:

    To whom it may concern,

    It saddens me to hear that you have opted to not even complete your running contract to provide coverage for F1 in favour of splitting coverage with Sky Sports. Of course us fans do not have access to all the ins and outs that lead to this decision, but surely you must realise the repercussions to us who want to watch not half the season and what _someone_ thinks are the highlights of the other races?

    You will undoubtedly have made some savings brokering this deal, but you leave it to the fans to recoup those savings by making us pick up a subscription to Sky Sports. Which at £487 a year minimum is not exactly a cheap proposition and that’s before we take into consideration any personal objections some might have in paying Mr. Murdoch after his recently exposed exploits.

    What annoys me specifically about your announcement and the way it was worded, is the insincerity. “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.”? Really? You are happy to provide half a season in a sport where one race in 20 can turn the whole championship upside down? You are delighted to give viewers half a season’s view of a sport that hinges on the tiniest of details and will naturally attract those who are interested in being kept up-to-date on all of those? Pleased to be helping a competitor’s station rake in £487 a year minimum from the same viewers who could be watching it on your station for the price of a licence fee?

    And on that subject, how many people do you expect to watch on BBC one week and Sky the next? You will literally be competing with Sky on the quality of your coverage? How much money are you willing to or will you be able to throw at that? And what will happen if you lose that fight and people will decide to just go with the coverage that they are paying £25 to £50 per race for anyway? Will your “good deal with BBC Sports” continue its downward slide?

    I realise the ink is by now probably dry, so there isn’t much to be done about this anymore, but I wanted to let you know how unhappy this will make me and many more like me who can simply not afford an extra £487 outlay from next year onwards.

    Regards, me

  208. A-Safieldin (@)
    29th July 2011, 17:34

    This is exactly how boxing became an obscure sport, where once the likes Ali, Frazier, and even Tyson were household names all over the world, and I come from Sudan no one has even heard of HBO here, today no one knows who Klistchsko is or Amir Khan. Boxing is completly inaccessible and has been rendered obsolete to sponsors, F1 will sadly become the same. In the days of Schumacher and Ferrari it didnt matter if ITV were sole broadcasters as only one name showed up in the papers the next day. Today there’s a new winner all the time, F1 has no ambassador it will be lost in the back pages of newspapers and magazines…. just when things were looking up.

  209. If this about money, then why doesn’t the government allow the beeb to use product placement? ITV said that it would raise about £100 million, and the bbc is in desperate need of money. Product placement need not affect the quality of programmes either, it just might involve people from eastenders casually name dropping and flashing a few items. Not a lot to make a load of cash is it?

    1. BBC UK opening up to ads? Will. Not. Happen. People who pay license fees would ask why they’re being asked to pay if they’re going to get commercials anyway.

  210. scoobiesnoop
    29th July 2011, 17:49

    I use skyplayer or ‘sky go’ as they are calling it now courtesey of my sister but I reckon I will get the ‘this program is not available to skyplayer customers’ message. I thought Bewrnie liked what the BBC was doing?? Surely Bernie isn’t being wishy washy like usual is he?? Have you noticed how Bernie says ‘no’ on monday and the says ‘yes’ on tuesday?? The guy is so full of doo doo its painful. I think its a very misguided decision to go to sky and I think there wil be serious debate in the near future for sure.

  211. £610 for 10 races in HD is £61 per race. A general race entry fee at many of the circuits is not much more than that, Italy for example is £72. So we are now expected to pay almost as much to see F1 on TV as live….. and that is expected to boost viewing numbers…. madness.

    1. Compare that to the football coverage that most comentators keep trying to compare it to. Sky shows nearly 400 live matches per year, i.e. about £1.50 per match…. £1.50 to £61 how can they be comparable

  212. I am really angry and disappointed on behalf of all those fans out there who will be unable to afford to pay for Sky. I have an acquaintance who is F1 mad, but cannot afford to pay for a Friday general admission ticket to Silverstone, let alone a year’s Sky subscription to watch a sport he loves and I am sure there are thousands of people out there in the same situation. His highlight and the closest he will ever get to an F1 car is the Renault World Series free event, when he goes to camp making it as cheap as possible. Whilst I understand F1 is a business, as everyone keeps pointing out that if there are no teams there is no F1, I think they should also remember that if they alienate the fans attendance is more likely to drop at the races and the drivers will end up going to circuits with the attendance levels we saw at Turkey last year and some of the other long haul circuits. Will they think it is such a good deal when Silverstone doesn’t sell out and merchadise sales drop off as well? At every GP I have been lucky enough to go to we have met fans from the UK, they will travel to watch the races, and I am sure account for quite a high % of the ticket sales at most of the races held. We met some Scottish guys in Monza a couple of years ago who averaged 6 races a year – lose that and it will soon start to have an effect.

    I am sure that we will be fed some rubbish about it still being shown on free to air, which it will be, but not the full season, not live and only a handful of races.

    Shame on you F1 – I am very disappointed at the way the true fans have been treated.

  213. Steve Hodgkinson
    29th July 2011, 18:12

    I have watched F1 for the last 25 years and have enjoyed the last couple of season’s. I can honestly say that if this go’s ahead and I am only able to watch 1/2 a season live I will unfortunatly be no longer an F1 fan.

    Same old story money ruins it for the average guy in the street..

  214. this is not right at all ppl may have sky but it costs a fortune for sports the pubs will have it on but there not going to be open for all the rases not to metoin practice and quali i hope the sponsers pull and let FOM get the kick in the face it needs

  215. I think it’s a very significant development that Bernie has now promised Whitmarsh that the BBC will show their ‘non-live’ races in full, not just highlights.

    This means that no-one really misses out, and while it’s not convenient trying to avoid spoilers, at least everyone gets to see every race for free. These days, it’s easy to watch qualifying and practice online through streams.

    1. where did you here this at mate?

    2. Where did you hear this? Full race delayed by a few hours?

  216. This is outrageous. In the time of a global recession, where income, if you’re fortunate to have and keep your job, is declining at the same time that food and electricity prices are rising, to have to find an extra £400 or £600 is too much. As I understand it, the BBC’s licence fee is just being frozen. The MoD is making cuts and the armed forces are shrinking, nurses, teachers, and workers of all professions are losing their jobs or on pay freezes, and yet the BBC, of all things, suffers no cuts.

    Forget Rupert Murdoch, whom the BBC, as a rival, has been carefree in its criticism, the real monopoly, the real problem, is the BBC. If you don’t want to read The Times or The Sun, you don’t have to: you can buy another newspaper. But if you want to watch TV, you have to pay the BBC in excess of £150 a year whether you watch BBC channels or not. This practice was justifiable in the 1970s when you could count the number of channels on one hand. But now there are about 900 channels on UK TV. I do not watch the BBC very often (essentially, only for F1 and Wimbledon) and yet have to pay the license fee.

    I am a Sky customer, but on the most basic package. I don’t get Sky Sports. As a matter of principle, I will not buy Sky Sports, even for F1. I’m going to find a pub that will broadcast F1 – or other ways of seeing it without paying…

    F1’s audience in the UK will plummet. This would be a massive problem, given how important the UK is to F1: many of the teams and drivers are from or based in the UK, as are the sponsors who target UK and other viewers. F1 is, currently, a big earner for the UK economy…

    Finally, F1 is about the fans. Not the millionaires. It’s the father-son Kart team; it’s the bleary-eyed Brit who gets up at 6 am to watch a race from thousands of miles away. It’s priceless.

  217. I hope Virgin viewers with the sky sports package are not going to get screwed and I trust that viewers will not be restricted to a HD only channel to watch the race on pay tv (i.e. I hope sky gives an option and broadcasts the race on a non-HD channel as well)…

    1. 1) We need a poll on here to see how many people like this sky take-over?

      2) We need a poll on here to guess just how long it will take sky to go back on their word and plaster adverts throughout the races?

  218. I couldn’t care a tinker’s toss about what happens in Australia Mr. prisoner monkeys!

    The argument is purely about british TV.

    Just because your coverage in the outback is rubbish it does not mean ours has to be!

    1. Actually no Jonty, Australians have a vested interest in this issue as our TV network purchases the BBC feed. So what affects you, affects us.

  219. Last point I wish to make: This now means that F1 is now shown in most major markets by NewsCorp. SPEED/FOX in the US, ESPN Star Sports in Asia, ten/one HD in Australia, and now, the UK joins Germany and Italy under the Sky banner. The only major markets left outside Murdoch’s control are Brazil and Spain.

    1. A minor correction: ten/one HD in AUS is run by a Murdoch who left News Corp. No longer an employee, but still having a strong connection, no doubt.

  220. So the BBC has stuffed us and lost F1, what a disaster it means we will now not see most races, why has Eccalstone 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 on no use top 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?


  221. Rest assured ladies and gentlemen of the F1 persuasion.
    If I am successful enough in my bid to buy F1 by rounding up all the fans in the world, getting them to buy a share or two, convincing the teams to join my merry band of followers and not deciding to sell out when I am old and grey and rather well off then our sport will be in safe hands.
    When I haul my lazy butt out of bed, I’ll have a long think about how my masterplan is to succeed, until then maybe someone with more gumption than I will take the lead.
    I think my odds of succeeding are pretty good, say evens?

    1. Bernie = Money Grabbing Old Git.

  222. I guess a whole lot more people are going to suddenly discover The Pirate Bay dot org. UFC, NFL and many other high viewership sports are already on it.

  223. Haven’t time to read this now, but suggest we all go to the BBC Sports Editors Blog and leave your explict, but polite, comments there.

  224. As a student who cannot afford sky this is a huge blow, but i can afford the internet, so just means F1 will become pixelated stream, or wait to download it. Have to say tho that if i could afford it i would get it.

    1. ^2nd to that.

      Except I wouldn’t download it… I’ll just wait for the official F1 highlights… Or even the BBC one in the evenings

  225. Well this is just a complete disaster really. It going to cost me £30 to get Sky Sports a month and £40 if I want it in HD. We already pay a lot a month for a non-sports Sky HD package. I’m a student with two more years at Uni to go so no way I can justify that kind of price. Its not as though I’ll be paying to watch the whole season either as 10 races are on the BBC for some reason so whats the point of shelling out £40 extra a month for 10 races?

    I really can’t work out what this deal is about? Why does the BBC have 10 races? Now I love the BBC’s coverage as much as anyone and of course I’ll watch the live BBC races but why will anyone want a very expensive Sky subscription for only half the races? So much for keeping F1 on free-to-air TV. What makes this blow all the easier is the realisation that increasingly in F1 its not all about winning but about money and profit. Nevermind Bernie some of the pretty depressing comments from the likes of Adam Parr just shows that these people don’t give a **** about the fans.

  226. Presumably the extra content that sky will suposedly be having its telephone calls between Adrian Newey/Horner or Dennis/Whitmarsh when they hack into their viocemails.

    I mean, what else could the possibly add which the BBC doesn’t cover?

  227. I follow 2 sports – F1 and Professional Road Cycling. Now Sky are poaching F1 I shall from the end of 2011 cease to follow it after 39 years ! I simply refuse to be held to ransom by the Sky Pirates.
    Unfortunately Sky also now sponsor a professional road cycling team as well so I guess it’s only a matter of time before we lose ITV4’s excellent Tour de France coverage as well. I would rather have no televison at all than contribute to Sky’s obscene riches.

  228. There have to be online options where live streaming of all F1 races is available for no cost.
    Someone must know the links to post up.
    Sky can stuff their £450

    1. Can anyone tell me of another sport that regularly gets 10 million viewers! The BBC continually panders to the minorities with its programming decisions and has once again shot itself in the foot. Viewing figures on sky are likely to be 10 times less than on the BBC, sponsors will be asking themselves whether or not to continue in F1 as it does not make commercial sense. Look at whats happened to boxing with pay per view etc. Forget the sky subscription treat yourself and visit Spa or Monza I have been lucky enough to see F1 races at both venues which are fantastic.

  229. I have just read that 5live will still have their commentary live for all races… surely the bbc can provide the live feed on the red button with 5Live commentary (like they currently do for the free practice sessions) for the races that they aren’t going to show live on TV, that way we could still watch the races live. The 5 live commentary is good, but I prefer Jake and the rest of the bbc team. If I had to switch to 5 live commentary on red button for half the season and the other half with Jake, Brundle and co, and still see the races live, id be prepared to do that rather than pay for sky and end up with a rubbish commentary just to line Bernie’s already deep pockets.

    1. I’m not sure Sky would be too happy with that idea Ben ;)

  230. Jeffrey Powell
    29th July 2011, 19:58

    I am old enough to remember when most F1 races were reported in the Telegraph and only the Monaco race was regularly shown on TV. I will watch the ‘BBC races’,and whatever highlights they show (GOD WILLING). It has been great to watch the coverage over the last few years ,but it allways seemed to be to good to last.I can only wish to SKY SPORTS all the luck I normally wish Fernando to beat Lewis in every race.That should see them bankrupt by the end of 2013.

  231. This is seriously bad news!!

    If as a result of this short sighted change, uk interest falls, which it inevitably will in these straightened times it will mark the beginning of the end for one of our only remaining industries, motorsport valley. This will open the door for the emerging economies to steal the jewel in the crown of motorsport from under our noses. F1 will become a Chinese domestic series. Can’t wait.

  232. I remember this diagram from the Guardian last year:

    Take a look at the sports section… it’s absolutely tiny. That’s pretty much all I watch apart from my daughter watching CBBC the odd time. Incredible!

  233. Let’s hope Bernie gets done for bribing Gribkow-SKY. Stick him in the same cell as Murdoch. Two of the worlds greediest old women can then rot in each others arms.

  234. This is a ridiculous decision. How on earth the teams, sponsors, bernie and co. feel this is a good decision for F1 is beyond me. People are going to switch off in droves and other fans looking for the best english language coverage in the world will be hamstrung by Sky.

    The logic of splitting the coverage or having simultaneous coverage is just confusing too. The fantastic BBC team should form their own company and set up an exclusive on-line HD service with the backing of some big names. Even with a minimal charge, thousands of fans will contribute. What this will mean in practice is people using dodgy VPN connections, illegal streams and other work-arounds and doing anything to avoid Sky.

    It is a terrible day for F1 coverage, and I fail to see how the BBC can stand by and accept the terms, financial pressures or not. This is not going to end well and together with the tarnished reputation of Sky/News Corp, it will be fans who will suffer, either tolerating the bits and pieces they can find from the Internet, or by following other motorsports altogether.

    Keith, as this entry is one of the most commented ever on F1Fanatic, it might be an idea to send multiple links/hard copies to all the individuals behind the announcement today.

  235. F1 Fans opinion is very clear – we can’t afford £600 every year to be able to watch every race and shouldn’t have to.

    Maybe BBC should re-negotiate with FOM and or FOTA / F1 Team Managers to see if an alternative agreement could be reached. Maybe the BBC could look at different ways to raise the extra funds it needs to keep it exclusively – there could be various options here – including an additional fee to be paid to BBC in some form – would F1 fans be prepared to do that to keep BBC coverage I wonder (better than £600 to Sky?)

    I think the very best we can hope for is an agreement for BBC to show the full race after live broadcast from Sky. Real shame that we won’t keep F1 as it is now.

  236. I dont understand this line that the teams seem to be turning out about it broadening the audience.

    Everyone has the BBC, only a small portion of people have Sky Sports. Those that have Sky Sports will always have the BBC. All this will do is cut viewing numbers.

    Adam Par said if we love the sport we should pay for it. If we look at it from an exclusive race point of view. we are paying £60 per race! We have to assume that if you do not have Sky currently you would only be getting it for the F1, as I would be so that is the very real cost for one race to us.

    What F1 does not realise is it is no longer competing with other sports for our attention, by going down this road it is competing with feeding and clothing our children. That may sound a little mellow dramatic but for many this will be true.

    Look at it from a less mellow dramatic stand point and you can say in the summer, we can have two really good days out with the family, or have sky and watch the 1 exclusive race they have… which one are you going to pick… has to be the family every time… no matter how devout you are.

    I am gutted, annoyed and betrayed by this, I am more so by the pathetic spin being put on the situation. F1 fans are thinking men (and women) and will not be persuaded that only getting half of the races will improve the experience as one BBC spokes person had the cheek to try and tell us.

  237. Let’s not sanctify the BBC here. For all the quality programming they do produce, they subject us to an awful amount of utter dross; Chris moyles, rob brydon, radio 6, channel 3 etc etc. Axing any one of these alone would likely cover the cost of f1. Or perhaps a few savings in the coverage could be made; losing Jake Humphrey, eddie jordan (‘chief analyist’, oh please.) and sarah holt would be a start since none of them add anything of any substance whatsoever.

  238. Bernie now just another Murdock puppet.
    I wonder what Murdock will tell Bernie to do next?
    Don’t feel hurt by these comments thou Bernie, you’re in good company, David Cameron and most of the politicians, Rebecca Brooks and a large portion of journalists in fleet street and beyond, a chunk of the metropolitan police force, but no surprise there, and hosts of others still cowering and hoping it won’t stick on them.

  239. We pay to see F1 right now, thru our license fee! By the BBC cutting the service to only 10 races, we are still expected to pay same for our license for a lesser service. Then also will need to pay sky for something we pay for already through our license.

  240. The whole thing stinks. For every GP I watch practice, Quali and the race and the forum on the BBC. It perpetuates my interest in the sport. I dont want to watch half the races live and I dont want to get Sky either just for F1. If I cant watch every race the whole season I probably won’t bother with it and won’t get a ticket to Silverstone either. This change will mean a big decrease in viewing figures for the BBC, and sponsors and GP ticket will be a disaster for the sport.

  241. The one positive out of all of this! Lewis Hamilton will get more free time to train etc when there will be no sponsors left to please!!!

  242. Bernie’s just been on BBC 5Live and said he *thinks* the contract allows the BBC to shop a full rerun rather than highlights of the races they don’t cover if that’s what the BBC want to do.
    I can’t say that makes much difference to me.

  243. No chance BBC will be able to show full re-runs, Sky will probably change start times to suit them like they do in football, Monday night F1 race perhaps!!!

  244. I am going to make 2 points. The first is that we can all agree that the BBC has done a fantastic job with there coverage, and they love doing it. THe deal they just signed has kept them involved in broadcasting the great sport. It is ofcourse diasapointing that they only get half the races but they are still involved so the website and all the threads will still be there.
    my second point today is that even though i said all that about the BBC i still think it was trhe wrong decision to go to a channel that is not free. the sport will loose fans, which is a very sad fact to take in after breathtaking adiences this year. I think Sky Sports will do very well developing the sport for the paying customers but the non paying will be missing out. The true fact is that Sky Sports will never have the friendly and strange attmosphere that the BBC team with Jake Humphrey, David Coulthard , Eddie Jordan and finally Martin Brundle have will never be there. That is why i think Sky will never match the success that the BBC have.

  245. I can see the pay per point of view in some respects but surely from a business point of view for the advertisers with the teams and circuits, this cant be a good thing. Taking your audience down from around 10 million to less than one million, yes pay per view pays bernie, but losing sponsors who wont get a penny from pay per view, bad move. The sponsors get their cash from the audience only, if you drop that audience and with the UK being one the the worlds leading markets for mobile networks aswell, cant see big players wanting to play anymore. Same goes for the car makers Whitmarsh was hoping to bring in, again we are a big big market for them, to say less than a million of us will watch their cars going round a circuit is no incentive. Oh and concorde runs to 2013 as i understand so at the moment, i am sure it breaks the terms set by the teams.

  246. Anytime News Corp is around it is like keep your back close to the wall and hold on to the wallet

  247. This is a disgrace and I am disgusted at F1 for allowing this to happen.
    Clearly Bernie has not done this for fans of the sport but for money.
    Those without Sky and no wish to get Sky its a huge disappointment.
    Now we are potentially being forced to become Sky customers. There isn’t a choice in that Bernie.
    The BBC F1 coverage has been fantastic why change it.
    Perhaps the BBC also need to move with the times as an organisation.
    If this was cut as part of the 20% cuts then why not introduce pay per race and keep it on the BBC.
    I would prefer to fund the BBC, despite the principle, rather than Sky.

    Again disgusted.

  248. I spoke to jake at silverstone, it was the first thing i asked him, at the time then, he said he wasnt aware of what was going to happen but hoped they kept it, but he clearly wasnt expecting the answer this soon. I also spoke to an itv presenter who informed us there was word that channel 4 were looking to take on F1 and were very very interested. So the deal between bbc and sky seems most unfair on the viewers but it suits them down to the ground, similar to the deal for football, back handers somewhere maybe? Either way was lose out as always.

    1. Jake Humphrey is clearly more concerned with his own ego and career progression than what is best for F1.

      I for one won’t be surprised to see him to follow in the footsteps of the similarly narcissistic Adrian Chiles and make the big money switch.

  249. I have always believed in voting with my feet

    I for one will certainly not hand over any of my money to sky

    as if im going to freely hand over money to someone who’s just tried to mug me

    I urge every one to do the same, turn F1 into a toxic hotbed, sky makes loss equals F1 on free to air tv

  250. infact lets start arranging mass boycotes…

    don’t by F1 tickets, merchandise or visit

    if all they care about is money…don’t let em have anything

    the only way to get F1 back on free to air is to try to kill it off

  251. to all those saying about sponsors. why would the sponsers leave?? we are just a little island with about 6 to 10 million watching F1 they have the rest of the world to advertise to so they couldn’t give a flying **** about us and neither does bernie or the teams..

  252. What needs to happen is people who are currently sky subscribers to cancel their subscription now in protest. If enough people do this for the good of F1 fans in general, then Sky may pull out of the deal and leave F1 with the BBC in order to stem the mass-exodus of subscibers. That is, if people really care, they would make the sacrifice.

    I have already persuaded three poeple to give it up without a second thought who are not F1 fans. If you are a Sky subsciber or know anyone who is, try to persuade them to do the same and hit them where it hurts, The pockets!

  253. Just watched the interviews with whitmarsh and horner, seems as though they’re pretty pleased with all this… there goes any hope we have that FOTA may have fought our corner!!

    1. Martin Whitmarsh’s positive comments were made while he was under the impression that the BBC’s non-live races would be shown in full, but just deferred by a few hours.

      In Bernie’s interview (on the BBC website) he admits that was what he had told the teams, but after later reflection thought that an edited hour-long highlights programme would be better, and more likely.
      (BTW, interesting interview – Bernie looking even more shifty than usual.)

      So maybe Whitmarsh would like to reconsider if he’s so pleased now that it rather looks like he was manipulated into saying something positive based on the inaccurate information he’d been given?

  254. F1 will be dead in 10years.
    In our house we all sit round the TV on Sunday afternoon to watch live F1 race. We cannot afford SKY and the interest will soon go with only watching a race every 4 weeks !.
    The next generation in our house (and i assume many other houses) will not be exposed to the F1 and as a result will not become fans like todays generation.
    Sad day for F1
    We will not be attending Silverstone anymore neither. The interest will be gone – We normally spend £1,000 on race tickets for the whole family to go.
    So what remains on Free to Air TV to watch,, oh yes -the other day i noticed womans golf was on – Great. I wonder if we can all get into that !! (Not !)

  255. Dar4Ferrari (@)
    30th July 2011, 0:20

    sky will ruin F1…their coverage will be all surrounding lewis hamilton all the time….it will be one dimensional…and without the charachter of EJ and brundell…..probably no grid walk…the drivers will hardly speak to some sky prune…..i can’t see sky improving on anything the bbc have in place they have an excellent rapport with most of the drivers and gain incredible access as a result….i have sky hd…but i will be tuning into bbc for those 10 races….this is a sad day for the worlds greatest sport

  256. I’d like to see the costs involved with how the BBC run at the moment. I’m sure I could cut their running costs by 20% or so – and I’m not an accountant, I can just see the waste.

    All they had to do was amalgamate the commentary teams, drop the Fan Forum, reduce the pre-quali build up by 30 mins, cut the salaries of the top 10 earners by 10-20%. That’s just a start. I would say dropping MotoGP as well. I dont think the viewing figures justify the expendature on that.

    I wonder if the BBC considered cutting back rather than stepping back.

  257. I heard that we can get sky sports on top up tv on freeview. Cheaper than the sky package.

  258. I’ll sign any petition or email you want me to. For this is just the beginning, if we don’t fight it now then it will be easier for them to move ALL races to payTV. Then charge more to access those races etc etc. And if British fans are getting shafted, then that is just a forewarning of what is to come to Australian fans, as we purchase the BBC feed. Plus I will not contribute one penny to that slimeball Murdoch. Anyone know where I can watch it online?

  259. The New Pope
    30th July 2011, 2:36

    For USA fans, will they still be on Speed TV?

    1. Short answer is yes. They work with FOX, which is also a Murdoch property.

      1. The New Pope
        30th July 2011, 4:29

        Well, it is a bit of a relief to us here. We just started following F1 two years ago and now we’re hooked! We usually end up taping the races on Speed, because they air really late at night, and then watch them (skipping commercials) the next morning. We have to pay for cable to get Speed, which sucks, but it is what it is. If we want the NFL, the NBA, F1, and the internet, we gotta pay! I certainly sympathize with you guys in the UK though. I don’t like having to pay for it either, but I’m relieved if we can still watch the races. We really love this sport!!!

  260. bernification
    30th July 2011, 3:10

    Hello, my name is pm, and as I can’t watch F1 live and free, I don’t think any of you should, despite the fact that the whole agreement between the teams and the commercail rights holder stipulate that should be the case in the uk. I know best, and I will take my ball home if I don’t get my own way and win.
    Once the sponsors leave, and the teams can’t fund it, you can watch ten minute seasons of monster trucks on your own pm.
    Let’s just hope Murdoch and Ecclestone get a nice cell together, befitting such canniving lyers as they are.

    1. bernification
      30th July 2011, 3:12

      Sorry mods.

  261. anto the irish
    30th July 2011, 3:45

    im not paying a sky bill just to watch F1.nor did i to watch the football.everything thats show on sky is dirt bar some of the sports.,,skysports go f@@kyourselfs

  262. When I moved to the US, BBC coverage was limited to an extended highlights show with Murray and James. Here we had full coverage but with ads. I actually thought this was better than the beeb and told the US crew as much when I bumped into them at a race. Since then, things have gone a bit downhill here as ads became more prevalent, repetitive and intrusive. So I watched BBC live streams this last year+, and they were frankly the best F1 coverage ever seen on this planet. Added to that, the racing and competition has been spectacular recently. Now you’ll have delayed highlights or pay TV for half the season. This all makes this new deal a significant step backwards and all the more disappointing.
    However, the new deal is still better than 95% of F1 coverage since 1950. Small comfort, I suspect.

    1. bernification
      30th July 2011, 8:04

      Yep, but it’s 2011.
      And Ecclestone, who has lied and gone back on his word continually to maintain control of the commercial rights of a sport that he has put in hock to own, and payed bribes to attain, now sells ,against agreement, to a loathsome public enemy number one type figure, who increasingly owns more media, and turns out to be a similarly corrupt character, who has a reverse midas touch.

      In a couple of years, when the teams are sick of getting the revenue left over from CVC servicing it’s debt, and sponsors have left in droves, as there main markets are not seeing any races (their names), maybe fota might ‘man up’ and realise what could have been. But they will have lost me (I have watched since the 70’s) and many more.

      Will casual fans pay £600+ per year? Will they hell.

  263. In the Telegraph today Bernie stated that the BBC “may yet do the whole race deferred” but I think its up to the BBC to make room in the schedule for it.

    Please please BBC at least do that. PLEASE.

  264. This is completely ******. Sorry keith but if ever there was a time for letting fly this is it.

    Originally I was a MotoGp fan and also loved F1. Now because of the incredible BBC coverage and only because of the BC coverage, I am an F1 fanatic.

    I love the BBC coverage of the entire weekend.

    I am in OZ and could watch in HD on ONE but I don’t, I watch the streaming online in low res because the BBC is sooooo good.

    This is bad for everyone.

  265. Jez
    The worlds economy is about/is to go into freefall we as a country are living beyond our means and the BBC need to make cuts. Wake up and smell the coffee you muppets. At least you can still watch whether at home on BBC or sky or of course walk into numerous pubs in every town buy a pint and watch.
    We should all be a little less self centred and more grateful for what we DO have.

    1. I don’t know how many pubs will show the race while the footie is on, let alone how many pubs will be OPEN during the races occurring on the other side of the planet.

    2. Er this deal has been done to please Sky and the BBC not us, it could have gone to Channel 4 and still been free for us all, instead Bernie grabbed the money he could and the bbc kept something they should of for the fans let go.

  266. F1 is the greatest sport in the world (IMHO). So, that means, YES, I will be purchasing a Sky subscription.

    I purchase a $4 coffee every day (during work days). That is $80 per month spent on coffees (20 x 4). This just means I will have to put up with instant coffee. A small price to pay. Especially with more information being broadcast eg team radios and selectable helmet cams.

    1. I don’t get it, someone blackmails you and you willingly pay them. No wonder Sky pull this kind of crap. People have the power to shape the world. We can bankrupt Sky if we all pull together, and possibly reverse this. But no, muppets will just roll over and pay and sing Sky’s praises.

      It makes me wonder what happened the British spirit? Oh yeah, Its dead it died a few generations ago, . Now we just have spineless sheep.

      1. How on earth is anyone blackmailing me to subscribe to Sky? It’s MY choice to subscribe and no-one is blackmailing me to do so. I’m buying a product, same as I do in the supermarket every week – people need to get a grip on the reality of this situation!

  267. Such a shame, I live in Holland and we have F1 live for free on the Dutch tv and also used to receive the Belgian coverage, but I always watch the show on the BBC purely because of the quality of their program, an immense shame to hear that from next year me and many others will not be able to enjoy this any longer for the entire season.

    The commercialising of F1 over he last 10 – 15 years is really ruining it. I miss the time when I could watch the races on BBC and all the practice sessions that used to exist in the 90s on Eurosport.

    Cost cutting rules are also turning F1 into a series that reminds me of Indycars with chassis and engines which are almost all the same. In F1 there are different engine manufacturers but they are nearly all the same, gone are the days when one could recognise an engine by its sound for example, I understand cost cutting is necessary but this is not the right way. Look at Le Mans for example, look at all the different varieties the manufacturers bring in to the mix, and they manage it a whole lot better than F1.

    Real shame, commerce ruins the sport.

  268. Allow me to clarify the situation. Sky is a company, a profitable company because PEOPLE make it so. If you disagree with this deal than do MOT give Sky your money. If everyone (fat chance) cancelled their subs tomorrow, Sky would start to broadcast free to air. Why? They would then have to rely on advertising revenue only. Sky blackmail the public by acquiring popular TV shows and sports, then sell them back to the public at a huge mark-up. Rather than put up with it, BOTCOTT them. Realize that YOU pay Sky’s wages, YOU can call the shots.

    But no, the British way is to moan about how bad it is and give them stupid amounts of cash and then justify it by becoming Sky fanbois singing its praises of how great it is. You all deserve to be ripped off. Sky is laughing all the way to the bank. They are already planning next years increased sub-fees. Which you will gladly pay.

    PS. I’m starting a company selling air, only £5 a can. Any takers?

    1. So many inaccuracies where do I start!

      I have a choice – subscribe to Sky or not. There is no blackmail.

      If I own a TV, I HAVE to pay my TV licence that funds the BBC.

      Sky have announced price-freezes on all subscriptions for the next 12-months.

      The only thing you did say that was correct was if you disagree with the deal, then don’t subscribe – like I said, choice.

  269. I have been an avid follower of F1 for 20+ years, never missed a beat, spent shedloads going to Silverstone on numerous occasions too.
    NOW I will regrettably stop following F1, this BBC/Sky deal is a royal rip offfff, FREE TO VIEW is the rule and always has been, NOW it will cost what ?? £40+ to get carp SKY + sky sports 3, SHAFTED that’s what they have done to the loyal followers.
    NOTE to dishonorable Ecclesone, you may think you are theee man in F1, but you are nothing, yes NOTHING without us, it is the viewers and circuit spectators that makes F1 and nothing else, YOU have SOLD us out you greedy little muppet, I PRAY now that the F1 teams DO fight you on this through their FREEEEE to view policy and should they fail to get this overturned then PLEASE, PLEASE stick it to your muppet leader and set up a new breakaway F1. leave the clown with nothing, that is the usual result of GREED bernie, GREED !!!!!


  270. Just watched the build up to quali and guess what! not one murmur from the BBC F1 team about the sell out to Sky, looks like the Murddock gagging machine is in full swing, nice going guys, this is one ardent F1 fan that will not be watching again, just sick of all the BS we are expected to swallow.

    1. BBC being spineless as usual. To not even mention it like that is another kick in the teeth from the BBC.

  271. F1 is the one sport I am fanatical about…and I do not have or want Sky, I would be devastated if it left the BBC as it is the spiritual home of the sport from the British fans perspective.
    If the Beeb can strike a deal that keeps all races in full I am ok with not seeing them live but edited highlights would not be anywhere near as good.

    Free To Air F1 must continue…it is truthfully the only reason I need a TV, I could live without anything else on the box quite happily…

  272. Surprising what you get in Formula 1
    Not what we expected at all!

    How to destroy F1 in the UK.

    6 million fans sold out and outraged by The BBC, Bernie, FOTA and the sponsors of all the teams who will now be shunned. Their images leave a bitter taste. Couldn’t enjoy the coverage just now. Watching a terminal patient… Feel I’m switching off already. What’s the point of my commitment if it won’t be repaid?
    Also Why should anyone have to pay twice to watch the series!!? The BBC should withdraw and save the money altogether, cause how can you pay so much for something that isn’t worth watching, judged by the people who are complaining in all the comments?

    I do not have Sky
    I will not be getting Sky… ever.

    Sold out!

  273. I know people probably won’t read this comment, but I feel like I need to get this off my chest.

    Being a Canadian, I’ve been subject to some terrifyingly horrible F1 coverage. Of course, it was never free-to-view either, which made it worse. I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK, particularly when BBC still had the rights to F1, and even back then it was so much better than what I had. In 2009 when BBC got the rights back, I started hunting the BBC streams online and FINALLY I had the F1 coverage I was longing for. I loved it so much that if I could have paid the TV license fee, I would have 5 times over. I even considered paying my grandmother’s license fee on her behalf as my way of thanking BBC for their F1 coverage (I brought it up to her, but she misinterpreted my intentions…)

    Now, what’s the point? As one of the few devoted F1 fans that also watches the PL, I have to say that the Sky comms are utter ****. Not too long ago, they were at the center of the sexism scandal when a certain comm made derogatory comments towards a female linesman in a PL match. The thought of these people in F1 makes me sick to my stomach. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do next year, I feel as if someone announced that hockey in Canada will only be aired on digital cable. D:

    1. Ooh, look another non-UK resident watching BBC coverage free of charge!

      BTW, UK licence fee is approx £150. Times 5 = £750, get Sky, save money and get a better product!

      1. Thanks for not bothering to read my comment.

  274. I have absolutely no intention of cancelling my Sky subscription. I want first class sports production, covering a wide range of sports including a superior range of motor-sports, who continue coverage uninterrupted even if the event overruns.

    Let me know the alternative location of the above and I’ll consider it, until then leave us sports fans to enjoy our sports coverage and quit this senseless campaign against Sky – they are just doing business and providing a service to their customers.

    Vent your anger in the right direction – at Bernie for selling it to subscription-based service in the first place and to the BBC who are stuck in the dark ages and should have been commercialised a long-time ago, giving them the financial clout through advertising to genuinely compete against Sky.

  275. The point is not everyone can afford Sky Sports! Do you think people with less income than you don’t deserve to watch sport? Nice perspective there, mate.

  276. Right, here is the solution: Go to lidl and buy one of those cheap metronic satellite boxes that also come with a satellite, buy two “SCART to composite leads”(only seven pounds in tesco), point satellite to hotbird 6, tune in frequency for RTL(free to air german channel that broadcasts live F1), plug scart into freeview box and connect just the two audio cables to the tv (not video), connect scart to metronic satellite box and connect just the video cable to the tv, put on RTL on the satellite box and put on radio 5 live on the freeview box, there you go!! F1 coverage with 5live commentary (i know its not as good as DC’s and Brundle’s but it’s something :)

    1. Ya das ist gut…

  277. Incredibly sad day for F1. In my opinion this is the beginning of the end of f1 in he UK, the final nail in the coffin. There is NO WAY in times of recession people are going to fork out up to 600 pounds to watch the F1 races. I certainly am not, and if I am not (and i have watched every single qualy and race for the last 20 yrs at least)nor are the less “hardcore” f1 fans. As for new fans, less exposure means less new fans. As for the teams and thier sponsors its also less exposure so less business, so every1 looses apart from Bernie and the BBC director fo F1. Absolutely dreadful. I will not watch half the races on the BBC and as for the highlights they are not the same s highlights of a programme. I hope they reconsider the decision because right now the sport is in massive danger—–forget DRS, KERS, and other ways to attract fans, the fans will be gone…forever!!!!

  278. After 34 years I am finally through with F1. I will not be getting sky, I nearly quit the sport after the own goal at the brickyard/Indianapolis but stuck it out through all the crap of late, but this is the sport being hijacked for greed and I for one (of many as it seems) will not be a party to it.

  279. We have to remember one thing here people, F1 has always been free to view in the UK, since the start. We have never had to pay to watch, so this will be very first time in its history that it goes from our free screens, as most of the teams are based here i cant understand how they and the people working for them are not upset about this. They will have friends and family who wont pay for SKY and who until now have been able to watch them on tv on one way or another, that will no longer happen and we are led to believe they and us will be better for it?

    1. Oh and another thing, next see’s the new race in america in Austin Texas, i was looking forward to seeing that one, but i feel now it wont be a live BBC event, so us without Sky wont get to see it, which is a real shame.

  280. No point watching F1 next year, don’t have or want SKY and would need to lock myself away for half the season so as not to hear the result before the highlight on the BBC (highlights not a full rerun. Should have left it with Itv or let it go to another channel.

  281. The thing that really gets my goat is that the BBC in their infinite wisdom have the audacity to tell me what’s in my best interests as an F1 fan. What’s wrong with asking the 6million viewers
    (10% of the population) imagine how much of that figure is adult men tv licence payers I bet the percentage is even higher. Anyway thought some of u might like to see the official email reply from the BBC.

    Dear Mr Parsons

    Thanks for contacting us regarding the BBC’s rights to broadcast future seasons of ‘Formula One’.

    We understand you are unhappy that the BBC won’t be showing all races in future seasons due to the sharing of broadcast rights with Sky.

    We know that Formula 1 has an extremely passionate following in the UK and that some fans will be disappointed that not all races will be available exclusively live on the BBC from next season.

    We are operating in a very tough financial climate and in common with all areas of the BBC, BBC Sport is having to make significant cost savings over the next few years in order to operate within the constraints of the licence fee settlement, therefore we have to make some difficult choices.

    We believe this deal represents good value for money for licence fee payers. We retain live coverage of half of the race weekends and we will have extended highlights of the remaining races so we are pleased that all of the action from Formula 1 for the next seven seasons will remain on BBC television. Online coverage of the race weekends that we broadcast will remain the same, and we will carry all the news and reports from the rest of the season. Radio coverage will not change whilst the most popular races – the British Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix and the final race of the season will continue to be broadcast live on BBC One.

    We would like to assure you that we’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily for all programme makers and commissioning executives within the BBC, and also their senior management. It ensures that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.

    NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services

    1. @ Scribbler – Yep I got the same reply. At least they spelled your name with a capital “P” not a lower case “b” like on mine.

      To quote Vic Reeves “Very Poor Indeed”!

      1. Yup, I got the same reply as well. Rubbish. But at least they responded, or something?

  282. Sky are always after new subscribers and obviously moving popular programming from free-to-air to subscription only channels is their business model. Bully for them. I’m not a Sky subscriber, and I won’t be next year either. Much as I love F1, I am prepared to miss out rather than give in and fork out £500 next year. I can’t afford it anyway. Most likely I’ll try to organise something with the local pub.

Comments are closed.