BBC/Sky F1 deal satisfies Concorde Agreement

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Sky’s deal to show F1 in the UK appears to satisfy ‘free-to-air’ requirements.

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Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 accepts no going back on Sky deal (Autosport)

“High level sources have revealed that the wording of an Appendix in the Concorde Agreement relating to the broadcasting of the sport states: ‘The Commercial Rights Holder may not permit Formula 1 events to be shown only by pay television in a country with a significant audience if it would materially adversely affect audience reach in that country.'”

Unimpressed Brundle in line for Sky (Daily Telegraph)

“The deal has angered many fans either unable or unwilling to subscribe to Sky, while there is clearly discontent among the BBC’s F1 production team. They were only told about the deal – by the BBC’s Head of F1 Ben Gallop, who flew out to brief them in person – after it had been announced to the stock market on Friday morning.”

Martin Brundle on Twitter

“Not looking for sympathy team, just answering million tweets asking what’s happening. Simply don’t know yet. Truly sorry so many fans upset.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One TV deal ignores fans old and new (The Guardian)

“Would it have been too much for a sport as rich as this one to have come up with a plan that allowed the BBC to keep its coverage but for the sport to make slightly less money? Sadly, F1 and Bernie don’t do those deals.”

More is less (FanVision)

“Okay, the BBC argue, we will show highlights and half of the races. Sorry, but that will not be good enough. In fact, it won’t work. The key to the BBC’s success this year has been the superb behind-the-scenes stuff and on-the-case news items. You can only achieve that by being part of the scene on a consistent basis and striking close personal relationships. You can’t do it by being here one weekend and gone the next. It’s half-cock; unprofessional.”

McLaren (TheFifthDriver) on Twitter

“Please ignore reports. Jenson Button’s site has been hacked. Being fixed.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Hungarian GP – Fry: “Strength in depth at Ferrari” (Ferrari)

“The front wing we tested here was not intended for use here, but we might introduce it at Spa or Monza. As for the rear wing, it did not perform as expected and we are not running it here. However, we understand the issues we had with it and therefore it will be used later in the year.”

Hungarian GP – Conference 3 (FIA)

Lewis Hamilton on the Hungaroring: “It’s one of the best tracks we have on the calendar and it’s a fantastic city. The weather’s always good, great crowd and whilst you don’t have too much overtaking it’s a great place to race, so I think that’s probably why it’s quite a historic circuit for us.”

Mark Webber: “It’s a pretty tough car to work on…” (Adam Cooper)

“The decision for Sebastian to change rear suspension was done very, very late last night. I’d already left the track. I don’t have a problem with that. Obviously that was a call that was made. It wasn’t really on the radar to do it, to be honest.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Monkzie joins the thousands of you who’ve voiced displeasure at the BBC/Sky F1 deal:

I am so disappointed by the whole situation. The amount of misinformation and so-called ‘clarifications’ throughout [Friday] didn’t help matters either.

I’m disappointed by the initial announcement which means that I have to pay 600 per year if I wish to continue to enjoy F1 the way I do now with my licence fee.

I’m disappointed that Martin Whitmarsh has made an apparent U-turn in ‘cautiously welcoming’ this move.

I’m disappointed that Bernie conducted another classic U-turn in that he said he would never sell to pay-per-view because it said in the Concorde Agreement that viewership must be free, and was central to F1.

I’m disappointed in the BBC because they reneged on their contract to continue their excellent exclusive coverage to 2013.

I’m disappointed in the BBC because of their U-turn lies when they say that this is good for F1 and support this claim by saying that the free channel (i.e. BBC) had the greatest viewing figures in ten years.

I’m disappointed in FOTA because of their silence so far in this issue. Am I optimistic that they will speak up? No, because ultimately, money talks.

I’m disappointed because this makes the rumours of the SKY consortium eventually buying over F1 more credible.

Will I get Sky? No, I just can’t justify the cost.

Will I settle for the BBC’s deferred coverage and highlights (which will be far worse quality, not least because of the absence of a pre-match show, the F1 forum, and the inevitable break-up of the current fantastic commentators and presenters)? Yes, I have no real choice.

Thank you Bernie, you had a great product and most importantly you were marketing it brilliantly. Shame you just broke what didn’t need fixed.

From the forum

Apologies to anyone who saw and was misled by a story published in error on the site yesterday. The article was on the site for around five minutes before being pulled. More information here:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to EGC!

On this day in F1

The German Grand Prix was won by Niki Lauda on this day in 1977.

But the race is perhaps best remembered for Hans Heyer’s attempt to join in despite failing to qualify, as covered in a recent instalment of Your Questions Answered:

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...

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122 comments on “BBC/Sky F1 deal satisfies Concorde Agreement”

  1. Both ITV and Channel 4 were in negotiations with Ecclestone about taking over the F1 rights and the F1 boss said that, if necessary, he would have asked Channel 5 if it wanted to make a bid. However, all of these stations are direct terrestrial rivals to the BBC whereas BSkyB is the main player in the pay-per-view arena. It explains why, according to Ecclestone, “the BBC brought Sky to us with the idea of a joint contract.” Likewise, when asked whether he felt it was a shame that a terrestrial broadcaster would no longer be showing every race live he said “it was not us who made that decision.”

    ESPN F1

    This is despicable of the BBC, as is brushing the whole debacle under the carpet out of sight and earshot.

    1. If they expect me to pay my licence fee after driving F1 to pay TV then they are mistaken. If they no longer wanted to fork out they should have given it up and let a rival take it. Is this how all sporting contracts will work in the future- the BBC buying the rights at a high price, simply costing others out of the market, and then splitting the costs and coverage with pay TV?

      Despicable is the right word. I’ve often defended the BBC, and possibly would have regardless of this deal if it wasn’t for the fact that they were unwilling to see the public get free coverage from a competitor.

    2. spinmastermic
      31st July 2011, 1:18

      Can someone create a website/webpage listing all the sponsors in F1 so we can boycott them? Might put a stop to some of this greed.

    3. I agree, for me this is definitely one of the most disturbing aspects of this affair.

      Here you have a compulsory, taxpayer funded, state broadcaster directly interfering with and rigging the market; playing favourites and providing cover-fire for one specific private commercial broadcaster. Deliberately cutting-up and helping to freeze-out commercial rivals of that platform, closing down the game and not allowing anyone else to effectively compete with more ‘accessible’ bids of their own. That kind of interference is effectively restriction of trade.

      One crude state-monopoly cynically in bed with a pay-TV quasi-monopoly is indefensible and shameful behaviour. And it’s not the first time, they both have form here, with this sort of stunt.

      In all the banal, trite and predictable “Murdoch Empire” and “FOM/Bernie” shrieking, not nearly enough attention has been paid to the way BBC management acted cynically in such narrow self-serving self-interest to restrict choice, to prevent free-competition, and therefore to deliberately and wilfully seek to screw-over us, the poor punters.

      1. Lets think about this… viewing figures are, I think, between 3.6 million and 6 million. The BBC have saved £25M a year by reducing coverage to 50% of the races. The TV license in this country is £145.50. Lets say 5 million license holders refuse to pay next year… Wouldn’t that mean the Department for Culture, Media and Sport lose £727,500,000 a year? That’s £4,365,000,000 over the six year period from 2012 to 2018. Trouble is… can we get 5 million F1 viewers working together to do it?

        1. So, you’re going to refuse to pay the £140 license fee, in order to reduce the BBC’s funding. Great plan! With the £1000 fine they’ll give you, They’ll be able to buy the F1 rights back! such a noble sacrifice must be encouraged!

          1. I intend to pack my aerial up and post it to DCMS in March 2012. No £1000 fine. I don’t watch much on TV apart from F1 and Top Gear so no great loss there because I don’t want to see half a years racing and Top Gear has been a bit off-track in the last season. I would now prefer to save my £145 and go and see a race live.

        2. BBC aren’t even saving £25m a year. I read that it was closer to £16.5m, a figure which could be eliminated by around £1 extra a year on top of the £145.50, or by getting rid of some of the other channels the BBC don’t really need. And if the BBC split the coverage with Sky, but still show every one of the practice, qualifying and race sessions, they could save further costs (like with many football games which are broadcast simultaneously on several channels). There are many many many programs and services the BBC offer which cost less than F1 and that are less popular and important that they could get rid of instead.
          Also, if you work out the maths, you can see that F1 has more than twice the viewers on average than the whole of Sky Sports, and nearly as many as the whole of Sky. Working on this, only around 1 in 20 F1 viewers will be able to watch all the races. And that’s on the assumption that F1 viewers are equally distributed on Sky sports; whereas it’s more likely the majority of Sky Sports viewers are football fans more than F1 fans, so that figure is even less. BBC and those in charge of F1 need to realise that this is going to decimate the viewing figures and popularity of the whole sport in the UK

          They must revert this mistake NOW

  2. Thank god jenson is ok im not religious but just thank something!!!

  3. jose arellano
    31st July 2011, 0:19

    you brits are making too much about this. for me f1 its been pay tv since forever, and im talking pay tv with the worst comentators ever. AND adverts

    1. The BBC wasn’t free, it cost 150 quid a year.

      1. And, of course, you still will have to pay that as long as you have a tv, right? So Sky is on top of that.

    2. Well then my friend. The problem isn’t the Brits making too much trouble but you and your countrymen not making trouble enough about your injustice.
      A first step is denying paying those leeches. If all people did it they would have disappeared and you as many others with similar problems in their countries wouldn’t have this problems.

    3. I think from a fan’s point of view you’re right, but if I were a team owner or sponsor I’d probably be feeling differently. Any motorsport that isn’t covered on free TV can only hope for a small fanbase in the UK, that’s why LMS, WTCC, Indy/NASCAR, WRC etc are hardly ever talked about apart from amongst hardcore petrolheads.

      Obviously we still get highlights on the BBC, which frankly is enough to keep a reasonable viewerbase, but they’re bound to lose at least 15% of viewers in the UK (including Sky) I’d guess.

      In short, I think that if someone is incapable or morally against paying for Sky then they will have to make do with highlights, or find some illegal stream. It’s unfortunate but you cant get everything you want in life for free :)

    4. were making too much out of this? the sport was born in this country, why should we pay? Its one of our exports.

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        31st July 2011, 8:58

        And my country exported one of the greatest drivers who setup one of the most successful teams, McLaren, yet I still have to pay.

        That argument is weak, and truly doesn’t help your cause

  4. As an F1 fanatic, I feel so let down and uncared about by the sport. All the focus is on new and potential, casual fans who don’t really care about the sport and us real fans, who follow every minute of every session and follow all the stories online, including staying up for the round-up everyday, even over the winter period, are just forgotten about and brushed aside. I can only assume the sport thinks we will continue to follow it no matter what if it means that much to us, but in their fantasy world where money is at such high levels it means absolutely, they fail to realise that in the real world, many of us can’t afford to pay £600 (£60 per race!), and that for us; the real fans, a 75 minute highlight show is useless!

    1. **absolutely nothing

    2. +1
      Never mind the months where there isn’t any F1 on, you still have to pay because it’s an annual contract.

      Choose not to pay.

    3. You know what i find troublesome? That you not being able to afford it isn’t a trouble at all because the demographic that can’t afford it has already being put into their calculations and they don’t give a shιt about you.

      They would have cared if you where one of those who can pay but doesn’t. Then you are a potential customer that they can’t win over.
      And by your post it seems that if you had the money you would have payed and not care about getting taken advantage or about the other people that will be in the position that you are now(not being able to afford it).
      It will be good to have known that you will have refused to pay as a matter of principle even if you had money simply because you don’t like this pay-TV leeches and their existence.

      1. Don’t worry, for half the season (whilst not at uni), I am a potential customer who will not be won over, although admittedly only due to my dad’s complete lack of interest in the sport and utter distain for anything SKY! Whilst I share the same distain, my love for the sport would probably have led me to give in if i could but who knows.

  5. Let’s just say it’s a good thing Autosport don’t allow comments. How can Kolles say it’s fantastic to either pay money you don’t have, or loose half the live race coverage and half the coverage of the rest. And as for Hembery, who seems to think we got the BBC coverage for free…

    Also, why does Autosport tell us more about the BBC plans than the BBC did today during the hour of build up to qualifying ?

    1. I guess it’s because the production crew on the ground know as little as we do.

      1. Apparently Brundle was quite in the dark for a long time as well.

        1. loved his comment “we will all in the job centre queue next year”

    2. well I suppose it is in keeping with their dictatorial attitude. Their head of F1 put up this statement.

      However after what is getting on for 6000 comments there is still no reaction from the BBC apart from to take the blog links off the BBC site (almost as if to pretend this whole thing never happened). They are also deleting all posts that directly criticise the BBC management which is kind of worrying. So it stands to reason that they silence the F1 presentation team too.

      Oh and they have just bought another lame talent show for a cool £22m!!!!!

      The BBC have made this decision just after parliment has gone on holiday which is also very cynical. They have also not once confirmed or denied the rumour that ITV, Channel4 and Channel5 were in line to bid for the rights before the BBC brought sky into the deal! Their silence on that matter speaks volumes.

      1. apart from to take the blog links off the BBC site

        apart from to Really? Which ones? (And yes, you do detect more than a hint of self-interest in my question…)

        1. Now that is interesting. Better keep an eye out I thunk.

        2. The following one

          Now this is slightly strange as it is a post by the Head of BBC F1 about why the decision was made (a very lame excuse as it happens) This was on the bbc f1 homepage until the comments reached around 2000 at which point it disappeared! You can still get to it via the link though so has now reached over 6000 complaints of which any that criticise the BBC management are deleted. I am currently refining my continuously deleted post in order to narrow down exactly what the problem words are to I can take them to OFCOM as a complaint against the transparency of the BBC.

        3. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I also seem to remember more links on the page referring to the story but the only one still remaining is the original announcement which you can’t comment on.

  6. I await the viewing figures for the first sky exclusive race next year with anticipation. I say this as given that currently only 2m people have the sky sports package, even if every one of these people tuned in to the race the viewing figures would still be well down on the 7m of BBC. With any luck this will contravene the part of the concorde agreement stated above which says audience numbers must not be negatively affected. This in turn could finally make FOTA wake up and smell the coffee to realise that their sponsor exposure and therefore ability to maximise sponsor revenue would be well down.

    I hold out little hope for this however. What are a few million fans in the UK to the teams who are currently eyeing potential 50 or 60 million fans in developiing markets like India. Either way, even if the teams did start a mini furore over this next year im sure Bernie would soon shut them up with the promise of “sky high” satellite tv income.

    1. If viewing figures for the first sky race are significantly lower, then it would suggest that the deal is at odds with the very paragraph they are hoping to wriggle through on at the moment.

      1. The Sky viewing figures HAVE to be lower because there are only 3 million subscribers.

    2. With any luck this will contravene the part of the concorde agreement stated above which says audience numbers must not be negatively affected.

      It’s likely (though unconfirmed) that the BBC will broadcast the first race of the season because it’s the first race of the season. in such a case, I’d bet that audience figures will be calculated on Sky viewership and BBC viewership added together.

      1. That sound like what they would come up with to satisfy the words of the agreement.

      2. Clearly, yes; that Fanvision column was interesting, and quoted a highest viewing figure of under half a million for Sky Sports, a cricket match. To get the multi million average of BBC, they’ll really need those BBC shown races to get max. viewers and need enormously increase subscription – and for that, coverage, most likely.

    3. I don’t think it can affect the concorde agreement, which says that f1 must not only be shown by a pay tv station. As long as the BBC shows some races as well from what I read here it should be in accord with the agreement

      1. exactly, Bernie found his loop hole.

        1. Found, or put it in for such purposes?

          1. Probably the latter, but of course it’s only him that sees these loopholes, and the F1 team bosses can’t read through the lines and Bernie wins yet again.

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

    Sums up my last point beautifully. No Colin, we are REAL fans. We LOVE getting up at 4am to watch an F1 race!!

    1. although interestingly, it appears that Colin Kolles is under the same impression as Martin Whitmarsh that the whole race will be broadcast rather than highlights.

      1. Waking up early for the season opening fly aways is one of my favourite expiriences of being a big F1 fan. Given that BBC will be highly unlikely to choose one of these races at non peak time to be among their 10 live broadcasts, this ritual will be sadly missed by many next year who will be forced to watch chopped up race clips shoved into a cramped prime time schedule 12 whole hours later at 6pm.

        On the subject of what races the beeb will choose, i sense something like this:


        I say these particular Events as they are either, seen as significant by fans (belgium, italy, monaco, brazil, britain), based in europe for cheap costs (germany, spain), or take place at a time ideal broadcasting wise for the BBC (Usa, Canada, Singapore). This also gives the bbc quite a good spread across the year. The only real notable large gaps will be of course the grouped early asian flyaways of early and late season.

        1. Yes, that seems somewhat likely.

          And missing the early flyaways means those that depend on BBC will be out of touch with how the season started.

          Similar for the later fly-away races: in many a season have those races been very tense because they determine if the championship goes until the end. Imagine missing those, and then watching the last two races with nothing to play for because both WDC and WCC have been decided two races ago.

          I am Dutch, and have other means (but with ads) to see the races, but I really don’t see how this will in reality help F1 audiences.

    2. Yes and regardless, it was previously replayed in full at prime time- on a weekend, prime time for sport is afternoon, not evening. But the option was still there to watch it live, and many still did.

      1. By this I mean that I just don’t believe that Sunday evening is the ideal time for watching sport- other than the occasional race in the Americas it just seems a little strange not be watching Sunday sport in the middle of the day.

    3. The problem with a highlights show is that it is exactly that, highlights. Ooh look there is a pass, there is another and another.

      But you’re given no suspense, no build up, no indication about how this move has been defended against for how many laps.

      1. Just realised i picked 11 races above. Scratch germany off that list then as BBC would want the best spread over the year and Germany is straight after the British gp.

  8. Keith, it would be interesting if you could create a poll asking people if and, if yes then, how people will be watching F1 next year. Options like 1) On BBC, 2) On Sky, 3) won’t be watching anymore 4) will cancel my license fee and won’t watch.

    1. I’d like to add illegal streaming websites to that list that contribute nothing to any company.

      1. +1
        That would be my choice ;)

    2. James Brickles
      31st July 2011, 11:29

      Option 5) My Dad has a satellite that can get pretty much any channel around, find one that can broadcast F1, mute it, and listen to Radio 5 live commentary ;)

  9. Now I really miss the days when RTE used to broadcast it. Lackadaisical Irish commentary and flicking between it a ITV when ads came on.

  10. another interesting point – the BBC “can’t afford” to pay £45 million for F1 which brings audiences of 7 million. However, if we look at last nights BBC 3 schedule we see “Geordie finishing school for girls” – a program that attempts to turn educated, employed young girls, into chavvy, stupid little sl**s. Then we have “the pranker” – a program involving a man dressing up and p***ing people off in an at most mildly amusing fashion. Then “World’s craziest fool” – Where Mr T commentates on video clips that anyone who is pathetic enough to want to tune the program, has already spent hours on youtube watching.

    So there we have 3 programs with combined viewing figures that come nowhere near even a fraction of those F1 draws. Cancel these 3 programs and a few others like them ( like “Don’t scare the hare” – and shoot the guy who thought that could ever possibly be a good idea!) and then, only then, tell me wether you can afford F1 anymore and i suspect the answer will be different, as will the levels of respect people have towards you!

    1. And of course not forgetting Snog Marry Avoid, 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Gavin and Stacey, and all of the rest of the ‘chav comedy’ that fills BBC3 to the gills. And don’t get me started on Eastenders, Casualty, and the like…

      1. I hate those programs as well, but I suppose those working class fellows (at least a few) pay their license fee too.

        I dont think the BBC would suffer too much by dropping BBC4 and improving the programming on BBC3 (perhaps running it all day), but in the end they’re always going to be under pressure to save money. If they cant justify spending what they do on F1 now, they cant justify spending it after they cut all those shows, or otherwise saved money, either.

        1. Surely you mean the other way round. Scrap BBC3 except for the F1 highlights for those who missed the live broadcast, there is nothing of substance on BBC3. With BBC4 there are periods when it broadcast decent factual programs.

          N.B. Your brain actually needs less energy to watch soaps, and similar programs, that to sit alone in an empty room.

          1. Well yeah, I was thinking more of the numbering system than their actual content, it’s not like they could have a BBC4 but not BBC3

    2. BBC3 is on the firing line for being cancelled entirely already.

  11. I think we’re just going to have to man up and take this on the chin. Yeah it sucks that F1 is no longer free to air, but that’s the nature of capitalism, the whole “£600 to watch F1” figure seems a bit simplistic as well because SKY sell an entire package. As far as I’m concerned the only problem I have with all this is that I’m going to have to go to the sports bar to watch the races (Lancaster University campus) and there’s no guarantee that they’ll be showing the F1 instead of the Football on a Sunday afternoon. If they show Football instead of F1 in the pubs then SKY, the BBC and F1 fans ALL loose out from this whole situation.

    1. The BBC entered this deal to prevent other terrestrial broadcasters from showing F1. I would prefer to watch on C4 with adverts than to only get to see 50% of races next year.

      So for me, this is the end of F1.

      1. “Thanks for funding our enormous egos and excess with your hard earned cash during these slash and burn times, now shove off and leave us to waste it as we see fit. If you want to watch F1 next season one of the most despised media moguls on the planet is waiting for you with open arms – oh yeah for an extra £600 per year…

        This is the best deal for license payers, oh no sorry going to ITV, C4 or 5 would be best for them, it’s actually the best deal for us, deal with it – now where’s the champagne – and my pay rise?” – BBC

  12. Chris Yu Rhee
    31st July 2011, 1:23

    At least you will be able to watch F1. In Korea, the satellite company, SKY, dropped ESPN Star Sports (after 8+ years) without warning or notice of any kind. Now there in no way to view any kind of racing in Korea.

    Welcome to the land of “The not quite right.”

    Does ANYONE know of a pay-to-view service for expats in Asia?

    1. That royally sucks man, you really have no-one that shows it even though the country hosts a Grand Prix?

    2. The commercial channels here that are free-to-air also regularly drop shows that don’t have enough of an audience – more than once did I start enjoying a series just in time to find out they dropped it when I switch on for the next episode.

      Market doesn’t work very well in a lot of cases for the viewer, since most money comes from advertising.

      But it sure sounds like the Dutch situation is much better than yours. Success finding good coverage!

  13. “if it would materially adversely affect audience reach in that country”

    apparently in the US, that “if” is satisfied by the number of fans already subscribing to speed. i imagine the 4 fox-broadcast races are just filler for rupert’s flagship station, since there are no other sports aired at that time, the show is worse than usual and draws in few fans.

    1. Yeah, I doubt the FOX broadcasts are doing anything to draw in new fans. They’re so poor compared to the races on SPEED it’s frustrating. Some of the producers have said on twitter that they’re working on a solution for this for next year. Hopefully they’ll do something like Sky/BBC and show the race as normal on SPEED, then the edited race time delayed on FOX. If showing the race on FOX is intended to bring in new fans, there’s no reason to force the existing fans to watch that abbreviated coverage. I won’t hold my breath, but I will cross my fingers…

      1. there won’t be a solution until priorities are adjusted. right now, it goes like this:

        1. nascar
        2. paid programming
        3. original (unwatchable) content
        4. all other motorsports

        as a captive customer of the largest cable company, speed hd isn’t available to me, while i pay a fortune and get blistered with ads. i would have gladly paid a subscription fee for the bbc show online, with the native broadcaster getting a cut of course. meanwhile, bbc america gives me nothing but star trek: tng :P

        1. This morning I watched the show live on SpeedTV without my usual half hour delay on tape which I use to FF the Ads ( usually takes two thirds of the race to catch up wit live broadcast) and I could swear the the ads took more time than the race today.EG.”replay to cover overtake or spin whilst in ads, car comes into pits, 2 cars going through a corner, commercial break” ad infinitum. In one 15 minute period I lost count of ad breaks, I think it was 4 but it may only have been 3 ( that was from 0859 to 0914 ). Something for you in the UK to look forward to!

        2. At least for the rest of this season you can go to, open a private UK based VPN account, and watch the BBC coverage online.

          It costs 10.00 dlls a month. I just told the cable company they can take their renewal offer and stick it where the sun can’t reach it.

          Next year who knows… if online streams are as bad as this yearl I’ll probably have to go back to them.

  14. I also think that this move will encourage illegal viewing skys coverage not only through hacked boxes but also via downloads over the Internet for those who can’t afford it.

  15. Well Sky have got me wrapped round their little finger on this one, there’s no way i’m giving up watching the sport i love, so i will have to pay. to be honest it’s not that bad, at least if i get sky i will get the football as well so i don’t mind too much. I’m suprised so many of you just will just willingly give up watching f1 because now you have to pay..It was going to happen sooner or later, let’s get real.

    1. at least if i get sky i will get the football as well so i don’t mind too much

      I’m told that Sky Sports is the best place to watch football – they’ve got higher production values than anyone else. So if that’s true, I’d say there’s a lot they can do for Formula 1, even if it might not seem like there is much that can be bettered right now.

      1. But from what I saw of it, it is not actual better tv, just better entertainment. I for one don’t care to have it “entertain” me if that means less intelligent coverage.

        There’s a reason I don’t watch the gushing on RTL Germany, and it is exactly those stupid things in-between good observations from Lauda (when he isn’t bashing a non-German).

        Some of those BBC gridwalks with only uninteresting stars do make me switch though, RTL at that time will show the track and drivers getting to the grid :-p

      2. I have seen football on Sky, BBC, ITV, Setanta and TNS and not one of them was any better than the other. Evem if I trusted them to do it, there’s little they can do for F1 that the BBC couldn’t, because the only problem with the coverage right now is the useless add-ons, stuff that belongs on Top Gear (and would improve the depth of that failing programme) not stuff they don’t show.

        1. ITV is the worst…. Adrain
          chiles. why just why?

          I dont think ITV or C4 had the money to pay for F1 in reality (not £40 mil) so this is probably the best of both worlds. But if the BBC show the full race later on, thats a pretty good result overall.

      3. What is the point of boasting about your coverage if the numbers watching have dropped from 10million + to less than 500,000 in the case of football?

    2. I will not pay for Sky, even though I could probably afford it for this simple reason.


      If I’m paying a subscription to a TV channel, I do not expect to then also have adverts stuffed down my eye sockets every 15 minutes.

      I realize that they have announced that the race will be uninterrupted, but that’s not the point, I’m talking about the whole Sky deal as a whole.

      I’m not going to buy Sky just for F1, it will be for other programming as well. If they dropped the adverts I would probably consider it.

      But to pay for TV, and have adverts. That takes the ****, and anyone that thinks that is acceptable are idiots.

      1. Presumably you’ve not read this, then?

        Sky to show F1 races without adverts in 2012

        1. Keith, please read my entire post. It’s not the F1 deal, but Sky in general.

          If paying for TV meant I didn’t get ads, then this would be OK, but getting Ads on top of having to pay for it is disgusting.

          And you would still have ads during the pre and post race coverage for F1.

          1. Yes and don’t forget the deal lasts beyond 2012, once they can dip into your bank account each month expect to see ads followed by more ads, after all what choice will you have.

    3. Most people don’t want to put 600 pounds down the drain so easily… For most people it’s a heck of a lot of money.

    4. have to agree, did we really think that F1 was going to stay free-to-air when the Beeb’s contract ran out in 2013? Sky dominate sports broadcasting in the UK and without legislation preventing a move away from free-to-air (like with the FA Cup, Wimbledon, etc) it was really only a matter of time. Sure there’s the Conchord agreement, but there’s always loopholes (particularly when Bernie’s involved) and do you really think that ITV or C4 could compete with BSkyB?

      Those not willing to subscribe to Sky, while understandably quite angry, should be feeling somewhat lucky that F1 won’t be disappearing completely for the next 6 years at least.

      Me, I’ve got BT Vision already and Sky Sports 1 and 2 is only another £12 a month or something. Sky have just put up a dish for my block of flats as well so I’ve been thinking about signing up anyway. I actually can imagine the coverage improving under Sky, as I reckon they’ll have a lot more leverage over FOM to improve their production (let’s get splitscreen replays asap please). Yeah it’s expensive, but that’s just how things are.

      If Sky Sports (or ESPN) can get Indycar, GP2 and/or GP3 it actually starts looking like an alright deal.

  16. If the tv licence fee was optional allowing us to choose whether we paid or didn’t pay to watch the BBC, do you think they’d have considered losing the fees of 10million viewers? No, I think not, but because of the unique way the BBC is funded, by blackmail, we can’t legally watch tv without paying the licence fee that the government gives to the BBC. We also don’t get a say in
    what is put on our screens!

    1. I am going to contact my MP on this one. This move to Sky is because the BBC wanted to cut costs, and didn’t consider more logical cuts. Bernie’s action only ensured the agreement drove through the loopholes effectively.

      As the BBC has forced us to go to Sky to watch our favourite program then I see no reason why I should be forced to keep paying for the BBC.

  17. So, Bernie found a loop hole in the concord agreement. Despicable.

  18. I think this hoax regarding button’s twitter shows why ferrari banned it for their drivers. Its so easy to spread rumours. I hope Kieth apologises for bashing ferrari for their decision.

    1. It wasn’t twitter, but his website. And the main reason anything gets hacked is due to people choosing rubbish passwords.

    2. It had absolutely nothing to do with Twitter and I stand by my criticism of Ferrari 100%. It’s utterly gutless of them not to let their drivers use Twitter.

  19. That Webber interview from Adam Cooper is interesting, not just for the insight on how difficult the Red Bull is to work on, but also because of Mark’s listing of everything that didn’t go right for him when it counted (stuck behind Button on outlap, who needed less pace for tyres to heat, no practice with KERS+DRS so didn’t realise he only used KERS, forgot to DRS, etc.).

    Honest, yes, and good that he knows why he was so much behind. But he is also beginning to sound like he doesn’t believe he can regularly put it together.

    I can’t really blame him if you count how often the problems with the car were his this season, and not Vettel’s. On the other hand, when Vettel had problems, he didn’t usually let if affect him so much, and that might be the real reason Webber is a bit defeated.

  20. Nice bit of info in that Ferrari article (bragging?)

    “Some corners we are hot blowing and in others we are cold blowing and for us it is possible to switch from one to another quite easily, whereas other teams have to use their car one way only, whereas we can switch quite easily between the two depending on the corner.”

  21. I too was a sky hater then i did the sums, what i was paying for internet and phone to BT i now pay £15.00 extra and have all sky sports and unlimited phone not a bad deal i say.

    1. Fine if you like football, I can’t stand it and certainly don’t want to be paying for F1 coverage when it’s not on. In a way I’d rather paying a few quid per race !

    2. OldEarl – so you’re now proud to be signed up to the scumbag hacking organisation called sky WELL DONE

  22. Off-topic: There is a administrative button in the article (Quick Edit).

    1. Fixed the link, thanks.

  23. James Brickles
    31st July 2011, 11:37

    I know it’s from a website that I don’t like but even F1’s most popular figure isn’t that keen on the BBC/Sky deal

  24. F1 remains free to air??? How exactly and it satisfies the Concorde agreement because it isn’t exclusively pay tv?

    WRONG, Sky are already plugging the 2012 season as “The only place to see every race live and exclusive” Seems to me like the teams needs to re-read the deal.

  25. why dont any of these people realise that the only reason F1 has been doing so well is because of the whole package bbc were offering. the race the comentary and jake ej dc. aswell as access to the teams and drivers etc etc. the viewing figures will be less than half what they are getting this year. if i do watch it next year it is going to be a live stream while listening to the 5 live coverage.

  26. Sorry this is not strictly on topic and a rather long rant but I have to say it. Lets look and see what the BBC could do if they really want to save money.
    The Channels – BBC News a rolling news channel all day long and two presenters. If you watch for 15 mins you’ve seen all they have to offer, then repeated and repeated and repeated, boring and unnecessary, if you watch the news at 6 or 10 you’ll see what you need. If there is any extraordinary news such as 9/11, a tsunami the budget etc it will be on instead of normal progs anyway. GET RID
    BBC Parliament – Who watches that its boring, useless drivel, I’ve clicked into it whilst scanning the channels, half the time there’s virtually no one there, if its important it,s on the news. GET RID
    Children’s TV – They have 2 children’s channels, totally unnecessary and could easily be amalgamated into 1 GET RID 1 channel
    BBC 3 and BBC 4 – although there are some good progs on both channels in the main its just rubbish as has been stated on previous posts on here. Amalgamate and GET RID 1 channel, there would still be some rubbish to make a days viewing.
    BBC 1 – The news – Do you really need 2 people sitting on a couch or behind a desk to read the news, I seem to remember a time when one person could do this quite well on their own but today they need 2 plus a separate person for regional news plus another for the weather and another for your local weather, yes 2 weather reports one after the other. Then they send roving reporters across the country for no good reason to stand near the spot of a news item only to repeat what we’ve already heard from one of the 2 presenters in the lead in to the story, which most of the time isn’t a story at all but something to fill the space they have available.
    I haven’t touched on the radio stations but i’ll leave that this will be long enough as it is. If they can’t figure out all this is unnecessary and where to save money then I think they should do the decent thing and resign, but of course they won’t.
    This is just a very quick and superficial look at the waste of our money by the BBC and an in depth look at the waste of resources would no doubt reveal millions of pounds that could be saved not to mention unnecessary personnel behind the scenes.
    This is not just about Formula 1 it’s the BBC in general and I for one think the management, top brass and all senior staff who have allowed this flabby, top heavy organisation to be in this position should be sacked.
    By the way BBC if you need help in sorting out this shambles I’m available at short notice, please have a large revolving door installed at the exit from the premises before my appointment, it will be needed.

  27. To continue the rant another example i had to listen to the Open on radio 5 live was working so could’nt watch TV. There must have been 5 commentators on course plus Chris Evans !! on practice ground. But still i had to listen to John Inverdale talking to his friends about what they got upto in the house the previous night what they were having for dinner, how they were all looking forward to the BBC BBQ that evening, it was endless drivle interspersed with a comment on the golf.
    The BBC has become the Big Buddy’s Club

  28. Fair comment about the BBC deal, similar thoughts crossed my mind. I think most broadcasters would struggle to pull that off but for the BBC it will be almost impossible to satisfy hardcore fans.

  29. BBC team are towing the bbc line about it being a good thing. bbc forum jake talks to british fans and one shouts we dont want it on sky and jake just brushes it of and ignores him and moves away.

  30. Does anybody know if Sky are going to do a weekend in the style of BBC, pre-show, race, podium, press confrence, post-race informal interview, it would be a shame to loose out on all of that and just have the race, the weekend would not feel complete. Also, hosts/commentators, any ideas?

  31. Just thought, as Radio 5 Live a covering all grand prix on radio, can we watch all of them live on the red button like we can now with practice sessions?

    1. Doubt it. I would expect that sky would have / want exclusive rights for broadcasting live footage.

      As I understand it, it’s on the red button because the BBC have the rights to broadcast the sessions, but don’t have “room” in their TV schedule to make a proper slot for this.

  32. IMHO, a bit of an own goal. I can’t see people (who are only into F1 and don’t already have a Sky subscribtion for watching other sports) forking out £30 per month just to watch half a year’s worth of coverage.

    Of course the audience will dwindle and the team sponsors / advertising will not reach as many people; they will lose out in the long-run. It’s a trade off and I think Bernie Ecclestone made the wrong call, for immediate gain.

    I think the BBC will also miss out and lose viewers, because a number of fans will lose interest in the season because of the fact that they feel they’re not properly in tune with it, have missed out on the action and that they can’t keep up. F1 has always been about the ups and downs over the whole season and races are usually taken in the context of how the season is going and how it will pan out in the end.

    You don’t have the same interest in a novel, if you’re forced to skip chapters, even if a brief recap is provided at the start of each chapter that you’re able to read. Next season will lose its momentum with the fans.

    I think the BBC coverage has been excellent, from Brundle’s commentary to Eddie Jordan providing a little humour (at his own expense). Sky will not be able to match it.

  33. the-muffin-man
    31st July 2011, 16:52

    I may be in the minority here, but Brundle does seem to only have one script – if I hear him say the track is a living thing one more time I may be forced to start a bring back James Allen campaign!!

    1. They like to talk about the cliff a lot too. I think it would be great if an F1 race actually had a cliff in the middle of the track,

  34. To The Sponsors of f1

    I am formula 1 fan I have been since I started watching it in the late 80s as a teenager. I have been Ferrari fan, a McLaren fan , a Honda/Brawn fan , a Williams , A red Bull fan and have lot merchandise with team logos. And now an angry fan. F1 is not football we will not follow our team to the ends of the earth. It is extreme l unlikely that I will pay £32 a month just to watch 4hrs or (2hrs) of TV a month but I may watch it on dodgy stream of the internet or I may point the satellite at rtl and watch it there or perhaps you will prefer me to watch it on my android table with data from the f1 or perhaps you would like me to sell my f1 merchandise on eby to fund my sky subscription.
    .I would like to congratulate the managers F1 on creating a situation where not only do I know which sponsors on the cars. I also know which sponsors to black list. My Santander(Ferrari/McLaren) bank account will be closed, my Vodafone(McLaren) contract will cancelled, I will not buy car new or second hand from Renault , Mercedes of fiat. I will not change my existing Pirelli tyres to my car to another set. I will not use mobile(McLaren) or shell(Ferrari) oil, I will not buy an Acer(Ferrari) or hp(Williams) laptop with Amd(Ferrari) processers. I will not drink red bull. And I will not use any other products I spot advertised on the F1.
    There is potential 5million other people with the same vendetta. Hope the sponsors’ enjoy spending many millions of pounds to convince them to avoid their products.

    1. I completely agree.

      Personally, I think that FOTA should flex their muscles as many people would expect in this devastating situation.

      I do, however, think that we, as the fans do have some pulling power if we were able to band together and boycott the sponsors and the whole Sky F1 programme. But will this happen?….It would take a hell of a lot of planning…organisation and dedication.

      Maybe F1Fanatic can start things off?

      1. Yeh – Breaking News, Murdock the multi millionaire owner of News Corp International buys the fan blog of Formula 1 called
        F1 fanatic so it can shut it down!!

      2. I think bernie has show the teams a few quid as a result of the ‘new’ deal. They are happy that they have a bit more budget so they can now refine their front wing for a gain of around 0.00001 of a second.

        I was a diehard f1 fan, but this just sums f1 up. Fota is really just a herd of sheep which would walk off a cliff if there was a pile of cash on the beach below.

  35. Its not the money for me at all its this:

    1 – The BBC and Bernie trying to feed us all a pile of rubbish about how its a great deal
    2 – Not personally wanting to ever give Murdoch money…if it was another pay-per-view company / channel I might have taken it on the chin
    3 – Bernie’s u-turn obviously has nothing to do with the trouble he is having in Germany (which may have originally started because of Murdoch getting the dirt on him and feeding it to the German authorities)

    notice the usage of “may” in 3 :D

  36. Two Options:

    1)Lidl Satellite kit for £60 pointed at Astra 1 to get German RTL on mute with R5Live.

    2)Internet Stream. As its FTA in other parts of the World this is easy to find.

  37. I believe Ecclestone is ill and have just done a little research into what this might be.
    Greed is the first thing I looked at and although it’s used as an everyday word it’s much more sinister than I first thought and worth a look on the net.
    But I believe he has Pathological Narcissism and hear are some of the symptoms, see what you think –
    An unrealistic sense of superiority,Pursues power at all costs, lacks normal inhibitions in its pursuit, Concerns limited to expressing socially appropriate response when convenient, devalues and exploits others without remorse, Lacks values, easily bored, often changes course, Traumatic childhood undercutting true sense of self-esteem and/or learning that he/she doesn’t need to be considerate of others.
    What do you think, can we get him certified ?
    Applies to Murdock as well

    1. That all reminded me of Sepp Blatter….

  38. Thats alright then. I would hate to think that bernie/f1 would not be able to show f1 on tv as a result of any kind of greed.

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

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

  40. Gavin johnson
    9th March 2012, 21:09

    The only people who can do anything about this is the companys who advertise on the cars. Instead of 9 million people watching the race it will be 1/2 million at best. But it would be better if everyone boycotted any company they see on a car then the teams will do aomething about it

  41. Derrick Jones
    12th March 2012, 18:17

    I think it’s disgusting what about the elderly who struggle as it is with costs. An elderley person who used to love F1 will now have to get Sky if they want to continue to follow F1, or just watch 10 races Big Deal. The BBC 1 coverage was very informative. R.I.P

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