BBC could drop F1 as it seeks £35m saving from BBC Sport

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    The BBC says it needs to save £35 million from its sport arm and expects “the loss of some existing rights and events”. Will F1 be among them?

    £35 million will be saved from the BBC’s TV sports rights budget. Meeting this savings target will be tough, particularly given the high levels of inflation in the market. We therefore anticipate this will lead to the loss of some existing rights and events. We have already made some tough choices which have contributed to the savings, for instance around the Open Golf. However, we have also recently secured a series of important rights – including Wimbledon, Premier League highlights, live coverage of Euro 2016 and 2020 football championships and Six Nations rugby shared with ITV

    More here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/bbc-savings

    Iestyn Davies

    Interesting. I guess that despite their aims to cut costs, it still seems to me that they are extravagant. They could cut back the number of pit reporters, from having a ‘big name’ presenter, dual commentary teams specifically for TV and Radio etc., which is good for quality of course, but not if costs are the main concern.

    Bernie will want to keep F1 on free-to-air no doubt, as viewer numbers are falling. Maybe a compromise would be F1 moving to ‘MOTD’ style highlights instead of half the races live? There’s also other FTA channels..


    I hope not, I can’t stand French commentators.


    If they have to find 35Million, it makes sense to drop F1 as they are only showing a handful of the races live and there is an alternative for the fans, albeit a paid service. In Australia we have the same setup, Ch10 sold the SkyTV broadcast rights to Foxtel and have been showing the BBC telecast on Ch10, with only a handful of them live.

    In any case, Bernie wanted this to occur and he has his wish. In a couple of years, only die hard fans will be watching, and those that can afford to flick over when they’re not binge watching the latest tv series.


    I hate to say it but this would probably stop me watching the races and I say that as someone who likes the modern races and hasn’t missed more than a couple in the past 10 years.

    I understand that the BBC, sky and f1 are businesses but for F1 this simply can’t make sense long term, at the moment sky are getting more money from less viewers but with no way for new viewers to see races without satellite and a large cost the audience can only ever shrink.

    I’ll still follow F1 but alot of the appeal is watching a full live race and I can’t justify £900 for that instead of free.


    No, me neither. I’ve been using NowTV to get the rest of the races live, and it’s a painful expense, especially when it means I can only watch it live and not on catch-up if I miss it. But to pay for a whole season like that just isn’t realistic I’m afraid. It’s going to be hard to find a way to carry on being an F1 fan.

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