BBC/Sky F1 deal ‘took 48 hours to arrange’

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Sky Sports managing director reveals how quickly they arranged their F1 deal.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 Sky deal done in 48 hours (Sport Industry Group)

“[Managing director of Sky Sports Barney] Francis revealed that the rights package agreed from next season for Formula 1 was a done deal within 48 hours of the first phone call.”

Stefano Coletti via Twitter

“I’m happy to finally announce that I’ll be testing with Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi.”

A postcard from India (ESPN)

Keep an eye out for the misspelled Pirelli sign.

Michael joins McLaren for final races (Autosport)

“His original deal meant he could have been forced to sit out until March next year, which would have left him with very little preparation time ahead of the 2012 season.”

F1 diary: Indian Grand Prix (Daily Telegraph)

“Jarno Trulli is out on the track, too, and laps us about three times on his pushbike, but we complete our tour more quickly than Sebastian Vettel: we overtake the world champion between Turns 11 and 12, where he’s busily making notes about kerb heights and suchlike – evidence of his boundless appetite for detail.”

Tamara Ecclestone banned by dad Bernie from using his F1 name for business (Daily Mirror)

“No amount of pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top could stop some footage being binned for her new reality show, and plans for a new shampoo, after it was deemed unsuitable for association with the F1 brand.”

James Allison – “This is the first Driver in the Loop Simulator at Enstone” (Renault)

“Although there are a host of problems with using a real driver in place of a mathematical driver model, the real driver brings a capability to the simulation that cannot be matched by a computer model. The reasons for this are complex, but a simple explanation for this is as follows: It is not yet well understood precisely how a racing driver controls a racing car when the car is close to the limit of tyre grip.”

The return of the Formula 1 posters? (PJ Tierney)

“After much thought I’ve considered the option of putting some F1 posters back in the store, and am wondering what you all think.”

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

Comment of the day

Guilherme is not impressed with claims Yas Marina is “one of the best circuits in the world”:

While I think the hotel looks quite nice and is a impressive engineering work, I can’t help but think that it is completely out of place. In fact, this whole aproach of staging a race near or around marinas and impressive buildings turns me down. Some years back the only race to have these features was Monaco, and know we have Valencia, Singapore (ok, we can barely see the water at night, but still), Yas Marina and Yeongam was supposed to have a marina too and a entire city built around it. And know we will have Port Imperial, and if I’m not mistaken the Sochi track will be quite close to the Black Sea.

Only Monaco used to have these features, and it is valued because of its history, setting and uniqueness. Trying to despearetly replicate that classic scenary in every new track is not only boring, but makes it look ordinary.

I don’t even look forward to these tracks anymore, and with every year my love for Spa, Suzuka and Interlagos grows bigger and bigger.

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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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65 comments on “BBC/Sky F1 deal ‘took 48 hours to arrange’”

  1. In one word;


    1. Thats regarding the BBC/Sky TV Coverage deal lol

  2. A very worthy COTD.

    1. Thank you! :)

      And thanks Keith too, it was a nice little surprise!

      1. And thanks for writing that @guilherme, very much to the point and a hugely accurate desricption of the obsession with staging an atmosphere there will never be in many of these places.

    2. @hohum Yep, great comment. I don’t think we should be too hard on the new tracks though. The price of hosting such an event is astronomical and organisers need to do their best to ensure return on investment. History is not something you can buy overbought.

  3. It took 48 hours to get a crapy deal I have sky and don’t hahaha

  4. Cracking COTD. It does no harm for a racetrack to be humble.

  5. COTYear maybe! Hits the nail right on the head. You do have to wonder though, how can these new tracks be better? Disregarding the layouts, these tracks are built in brand new landscapes where there is no history and if so it has been flattened to accommodate the new facilities, only street circuits and our favourite classics can duplicate the awesome surroundings we have all come acustomed to.

    1. Wow, thanks for that @funkyf1 !

      Regarding how they can be better, I think the track layout must be taken into account. I say that because, honestly, the Buddh circuit is really uninspiring in an aesthetic sense. The track is really fast and flowing, particularly the last sector, I give them credit for that, but this formula of kilometre-long straights between very tight corners and a bunch of corners clustered together to make a fiddly sector is being overused, and in the end I feel like I’m looking at the same track again week in, week out. I little variation would be very welcome.

      Regarding buildings and surroundings, it shouldn’t even be an issue, but sadly they have been just as abused as the track layouts. Natural features are just not present on new F1 tracks, and they are becoming so rare that when we have a race at Spa or Monza we realize how beautiful they are. It is a bit like living in a really big metropolis for so long and then getting impressed at a plant in a vase, because you rarely see something green!

      Just look at this picture. Ain’t it wonderful? No fancy buildings, no marinas, no painted run-off areas. Just lots of tarmac winding through the natural landscape, simple as that. And this is arguably the most loved track on the callendar.

      In short, some variation in track design, buildings and surroundings would be greatly appreciated, and if the race track actually takes precedence over the embelishments, then certainly most tracks would be remembered by their unique, yet simple features.

      1. @guilherme – the problem with that is that Spa has a natural personality about it. It’s in the middle of a forest, and it’s got a half-century of history attached to it.

        Compare that to Abu Dhabi, which is built on an artificial island in the middle of the desert. It doesn’t have a history to hold onto or a forest to weave through, but it does need a personality, so the organisers went in for the fantastic architecture. And if you look at pictures of the actual city, you’ll see that the skyline is dominated by an impressive skyline, so the architecture at Yas Marina is consistent with the city it is built in.

        In short, some variation in track design, buildings and surroundings would be greatly appreciated

        It already exists. India is very different to Abu Dhabi, which is very different to Spa, which is very different to Singapore. No two circuits are truly alike.

        1. Nice to see a positive take on this for a change @prisoner-monkeys (went tough guy with the name, eh!).

          I think part of the problem is exactly this

          which is built on an artificial island in the middle of the desert. It doesn’t have a history to hold onto or a forest to weave through, but it does need a personality

          Its an all to common mistake made in architecture, but also in entertainment currently. If something does not have “personality” create it by going flashy.

          Only that does not work. You do get admiring looks at first, but atmosphere, or personality, just cannot be made that easily and that is what each/most new tracks are missing.
          In a way, that is why Singapore works pretty well, it has immediately got a bit of that with the nightlife (being a nightrace and first to have the F1 Rocks concerts). India looks like it could create something alike for itself with a unique spirit to the race, because of enthusiastic fans.

          The problem for Bahrain (sorry @LAK), AbuDhabi, China, Korea, Turkey (even Malaysia after all these years) and Valencia is that these tracks will probably never get the same spirit.
          If you add to that the fact these tracks are just like sticking the same scalectrix parts together in a different way, I just do not see how that is a bright outlook.

          I do hope that the COTA circuit can prove it is possible to make a circuit in the middle of nowhere that is both challenging to drive, offers great racing and aquires a superb spirit of its own (music loving, BBQ for Ausing? Would love that).
          India seems to have scored on 2 of those points, which certainly is an improvement over many of the recent additions.

      2. Many racetracks have visibly pleasing buildings around them, For example, Melbourne’s cityscape background works well. The problem is that these ultra modern buildings they like to have the track highlight now, are, well, ugly.

        I mean, just look at the abba dabbi hotel on it’s own….
        Not exactly candy to the eye is it? Even those ultra modern giant grandstands that are oh so common on the newer tracks are ugly. I’d rather take Spa’s ones any day.

        If I had one line to explain to Tilke and the other designers responsible it would be,

        It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it. And with buildings. This is always true…

  6. In fact, this whole aproach of staging a race near or around marinas and impressive buildings turns me down.

    If you can have an impressive building, why not have an impressive building? Sure, circuit layout should come first, but you know what I think of when I see the fantastic shapes of buildings? I think of Ken Adam, the legendary production designer who made the famous hollowed-out volcano in You Only Live Twice and the “Liparus” tanker and “Atlantis” set in The Spy Who Loved Me. And that’s what I see in Formula 1 – that larger-than-life, James Bond quality, and all of it in glorious high definition. So why should we settle for bland and basic architecture to go with the racing?

    1. Heh, I needed a read at the first sentence to recognize you @prisoner-monkeys, not sure about the new name, but good luck with it.

      Sure, circuit layout should come first, but

      Well, I’m glad it comes first for you, but if you look at Abu Dhabi, can you honestly say that they didn’t design the hotel and harbour stuff first, then the great big set of straights.and then set about connecting them, throwing in the funky pitlane exit?

      Great architecture is a nice addition to spice up the view and give an atmosphere, but without a good track it is a waste of a lot of money. They might better have used all of the money to build even greater buildings instead of using some for the track.

      I think it all points to the racing not being the first concern, but the event – and Bernie Ecclestone encourages that.

      To be fair, In Bahrain I do believe the racing came very early, but somehow they just didn’t get a great job done, perhaps partly lack of experience by Tilke with a desert environment.

      I have hope that Austin will be different because in the US the racing does have to come first if F1 is to make a splash.

      1. I think it all points to the racing not being the first concern, but the event – and Bernie Ecclestone encourages that.

        Huh? Bernie Ecclestone has no control over that. He has no input on the circuit design.

        1. Bernie Ecclestone has no control over that. He has no input on the circuit design.

          First point, you are right. At least no official control.

          But to state Bernie has no input on circuit desing, denies all the times Berie has spoken out about what he wants to see from a track and the fact he always advised new venues to go with Tilke in the first place.

        2. Bernie still has grand – and often irrational ‘visions’. Think about Korea and how that (hasn’t) worked out, and I’m sure he knows exactly what he wants for New Jersey too. He’s already got his skyline. I think that’s what @bosyber meant.

        3. Bernie has indirect control. He doesn’t tell people what to put in, nor does he have any control over whether a track gets Grade 1 certification (the technical requirement to be a F1 circuit). However, everyone who commissions a circuit knows that he gets the final say on whether a track joins the calender or not and on what financial terms, and since he’s known to like glitz and glamour, that’s how they build. It’s really just an attempt to flatter the power-brokers and it’s not 100% clear if it even works (beyond a certain point).

  7. How can the organizer didn’t see that Pirelli sign?

    1. PIRLELI lol. They must of fixed that for the race I’m sure.

  8. Fast move!

  9. Dont be surprised in 48 hours much can be discussed. Lets do the math:

    The life of BBCs Boss in the 48H before the British GP

    Sleeping: 8+8= 16H
    Eating: (1+1)x2=4H
    Snack time:(0,5+0,5)x2=2H
    Time to fake that you are doing something at work:2×2= 4H
    Staring at nothing:2×2=4h
    48-30=18H left

    After the basics this deal still has 18h

    The negotiation:

    Phone call showing interest: 4H
    Arrange meeting (picking the right place to eat):2H
    Gossip (Convincing themselves that F1 isnt an popular sport in Britain) :4H
    The deciding moment (yes): 1 sec
    Signing: 2.3 sec
    Burocracy to bypass FOM parametres:4H
    Watching FP1 and FP2:3H
    Time to brag: 59min
    …announcement: 56.7 sec

    This leaves us with 48-30-18= 0H left

    And thats how you sign an multi million £ deal.

    1. Time to fake that you are doing something at work:2×2= 4H


    2. If this isn’t exactly how the deal went down I’ll be amazed, given how shady everything’s been made to look.

    3. And Bernie wants to convince us that without him Formula 1 would be nothing? Not very hard to replace him…

  10. By conducting the Grand Prix, India has — given the fiasco of the Commonwealth Games — shown that it does have the ability to host a world-class event.

    1. correction … Shown that Indian corporations and its private-sector clearly have the ability to host a world-class event.

      The case for any Indian government contribution to success is much less clear. In fact its perversely obstructionist bureaucracy and attempted tax and duty extortion attempts only tried to derail and sabotage the race. Perhaps the directly stated contrast between fiasco and success will prove illuminating for Indian public policy going forward.

  11. The Skygate now looks even more cynical. Well if the average TV spectator could earn the annual subscription fee amount in just 48 hours, then there probably wouldn’t have been so much furore around that deal.

  12. sorry for wrong english,but where to download sky germany full races.i am german living currently in ireland,so bbc coverage is big problem.give me download links for full sky germany coverage of races.any links for indian gp?

    1. They’re not available for download. Not legally.

      1. everybody downloads bbc races after the race,why is this illegal?

        1. Because the footage is sold by FOM for a specific country to allow showing it live and reruns, as well as edits.
          If you download the idea is you infringe on their right to control when and how often you view it. Not to mention that the BBC footage is paid for by the UK licence fee, so anyone not paying that is not allowed to watch.

          Not saying I agree or like how it is, but this is what makes it an illegal stream or download.

          1. Think you only need a tv license for live tv after an hour or something like that it’s free (or free-er) to watch tv. I don’t understand the rules but that is why the bbc iplayer asks if you have a tv licence when trying to watch something live and doesn’t if you are watchin somethin from the previous day or earlyer in the day.

        2. Because the BBC provides a legal download method through the iPlayer, for which it will already have paid Bernie a supplementary fee over and above the “base” rate. Nobody knows how much that will have been. In any case, only people in the UK at the time of download can legally do a download through iPlayer because of geographical restrictions enforced by FOM and reinforced by the BBC.

          As far as I know, Germany hasn’t made that additional payment and therefore can’t offer any race for download.

          1. But if the bbc have to pay even more for that right. Why can anyone even those who don’t pay a license fee download it?

            doesn’t quite make sense the bbc has to pay more for something, the result is people who pay nothing get it free? :P

            and this isn’t just f1 it’s all bbc tv

    2. @Schumacher What’s wrong with the BBC coverage?

      1. no nothing wrong,i am here for office work,so bbc feels diffrent,plus english is difficult to know.i am used to sky germany in germany…..

    3. I live in Ireland as well and can get BBC races. What you need is a set-top box for your TV. Sky and UPC are subscription based, but there’s free alternatives where you buy the box and that’s it.

      Unfortunately there’s no Red Button with the free version but I get everything I need from the main broadcast anyway.

      1. i am here for office work for 1 year,so cant buy set top box.i will leave ireland in next august.i live in quarters….

        1. Depending on what city you’re in there’s often a sports bar that will sort you out for F1. When I stayed in Dublin on the weekend of Spa there was this pub at the top of O’Connell Street that broadcast the race.

          Sure, it was in German but I had 5Live on the iPhone to listen to.

  13. Keith or PJ is their anyway to get a hold of the Artwork for those posters like I mean if you can crop something on the back that says it’s unofficial I’m sure that would do fine. I would be willing to buy them for sure, as a fellow artist they are amazing pieces of work and not to offend Keith, but something I look highly foward to seeing on this website when a race weekend starts up. Just amazing and I’d love to own copies one day to put up in my home.

      1. Yeah, as mentioned in the blog post I’m planing on making “stripped down” versions in the hope that FOM will have no problem with me selling them.

        At the moment I’m thinking of these 5:


        As well as a potential “digital edition” of iPhone wallpapers.

        1. To be honest I was just going to frame them and hang them up in my house. I would also be willing to do an art swap with you if you don’t ever get back to selling…

          1. You got a website up where I can see your stuff? I might do a swap.

  14. With regards the sky deal, I’ve just bought a dish to get rtl and I recommend anyone doing the same that does not wish to give Murdoch more money. If you’re in the UK, B&Q have a decent deal on a Ross Sat kit for 25 quid. Seems to have good reviews although admittedly I haven’t set it up myself yet. Still, its definitely worth a shot when I think of the alternatives.

    1. Something to be prepared for on RTL is commercials, Lots of commercials & Some very lengthy commercial breaks.

      I was in Germany earlier this year & some of there Ad-Breaks were ridiculously long & in the modern style of F1 with more action, The races became ridiculously difficult to follow because you were missing big chunks of them.

      If you just want to watch the races then go the RTL route, However if you don’t like long Ad-Breaks or actually want to be able to follow them then I woudn’t consider it.

      1. This is where having Radio 5 audio comes in handy. It means you don’t have to learn German and can keep some sort of tabs on the situation during breaks.

  15. My sources (the internet) say that a Raikkonen/Williams contract will be annouced in Adu Dhabi. Funding for the signing seems to have come from Qatar.

    1. Got a link?


        Using Google Translator:

        “Williams F1 team announced on Wednesday made a letter of intent with Qatar transport company with Mowasalatin. Williams F1 simulator technology will be utilized in the future Mowasalatin driver training to improve road safety, passenger comfort and fuel efficiency. Williams is expected to more news qatarilaistahojen with the agreements concluded. Williams is known to negotiate with the Qatar National Bank, a massive sponsorship deal, which would allow the hiring of Kimi Räikkönen’s team. There were rumors that the contract would be up to 30 million euros. Of this amount, 15 million would go to hiring Räikkönen. Williams is located in Qatar science park, which is developing and commercializing the Formula One from originating from the technologies.”

        And this is for the announcement

        Kimi Raikkonen and the Williams F1 team announced the agreement between the F1 race in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the context, to a recent rumor. Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is driven about a week after the 11 to 13. November. Williams is expected to make public in Abu Dhabi, a major sponsorship deal, which would allow the hiring of Räikkönen. Williams is known for at least negotiated the Qatar National Bank. Williams has previously been found from the next season’s drivers announced prior to the closing race, which is run in Brazil in late November.

        1. Poor Rubens :( He will end up driving a HRT… (and saying this will be competitive bla bla bla haha)

          1. Now this is actually where things get silly if kimi came back for the f1 version of peanuts a couple mill ok thats great he’s has his mid-life crisis and decided he wants to come back to f1.

            Paying the guy 15 million for a team who last year (if not this year) were apparently stuggling to get money to be on the grid seems ridiculous. Since when did frank williams *ever* pay that sort of money for a driver anyways.

            The deal should be more like 2-5 mill for kimi 25+ for williams they need the money to make the car better and kimi is the one desperately needing f1 after finding out what the rest of the worlds racing series think of him not the other way round.

            He will also probably be slow and rash with decision making after 2 years of wrapping wrc cars around trees

    1. There was similar article in yesterday’s round-up ( -

  16. Rosberg visiting Ferrari’s factory on Maranello also seems round-up worthy. It’s up on Bild.

  17. The link to Coletti’s tweet has disappeared from Twitter now – curious. Glad to see him testing in F1 though!

  18. presuming this is actually about the Sky F1 deal , does anyone know anyone who will actually taking up a Sky subscription to watch ?

    personally I shall watch the races that the BBC covers on the BBC , some on french terrestrial digital when I am in france , the rest on RTL on astra 19.2….the extra kit costs about the same as 2 weeks subscription to Sky

    the only reason that Sky took this deal on board was to get extra subscribers …I have a feeling that they are going to have a nasty shock when they find out how few they get

    maybe the 48 hours will also be the notice that the MD gets when he is sacked this time next year

    1. I’ll be watching on Sky, though I already had it for years before the deal was made.

      1. I’ll be watching someone elses sky through a live net stream. No subscription paid.

        Wont be bothering with half the races the bbc decide to broadcast probably at a much reduced production budget and missing at least parts of their crew. Brundle will almost deffinetly be on sky with david croft and ted kravitz.

      2. Already have Sky & the Sports package (Have done since 2004). Recently upgraded to the HD pack to be able to continue watching F1 in HD next season.

    2. I have already brought a Sky subscription to watch F1 next year.

      Im looking forward to there coverage :)

  19. Given the F1 commision is gathering today to discuss renaming of some of the teams as well as the definition of what makes a team a constructor today, this article by James Allen about teams working together and the miraculous improving form of STR since Red Bull clinched the championship for Vettel is very interesting

  20. 48 whole hours, eh?

    Good to see that BBC chiefs took the time to fully evaluate the implications of this deal on their schedules, audience shares, return on investment, public obligations, quality of service, existing outlay, public perceptions, and staff Morale.

    For Sky’s part, it shows how visionary they are when, having received a phone call to say “hello, we’ve just spent tens of millions, hundreds of screen hours, thousands of man hours, considerable skill, effort and inspiration into building up this package into record belong regular audience figures with a significant skew towards the coveted upper middle disposable income bracket, would you like to be handed the whole thing on a plate for a pittance, along with any of the world reknowned BAFTA winning staff we’ve managed to annoy by ditching them with no discussion or notice in an embarrassing and public fashion?”, they managed to rustle up a couple of lawyers and a biro.

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