The ’BBC to stop broadcasting F1 live’ rumour

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    It’s almost two years to the day since the BBC announced it would no longer screen every F1 race live. Since then it was probably only a matter of time before rumours surfaced that it would stop screening F1 live altogether. Here’s the starting pistol:

    When the Sky deal was announced the BBC confirmed a new contract to show F1 until 2018. But it’s not uncommon for such arrangements to be changed: indeed, the last two F1 television broadcasting deals in the UK were curtailed or altered before they reached their final year (ITV in 2008, BBC in 2011).

    The requirement to broadcast some races on free-to-air television is believed to be enshrined in the Concorde Agreement. But of course, that ran out last year, and the sport does not currently have a commercial agreement in place.

    It would be dreadful to see live F1 disappear entirely from free-to-air television in the UK. Viewing figures fell by over 12% in 2012, the first year of the Sky deal. Since then Sky have increased the price of subscribing to the F1 channel to over £500 and it’s expected to rise again before the end of the year.

    Lucas Wilson

    Oh great…

    Now what people who can’t afford SKY supposed to do?


    My fantasy in this situation (completely un-realistic) would be you can stream the race on F1 website for free or for a very very small fee, it would be so cheap as the feed would either have no commentary and therefore is just a visual feed (the major problem with that is you could use the radio for commentary) or they do what happened with the WEC with the 24 hours of Le Mans when they didn’t use the world feed but had a camera showing the cars pass down the pit straight and then at other times just had on-board cameras.

    GT Racer

    Not heard anything official regarding this although did heard some speculation when the BBC announced the FA Cup deal last week.

    @sozavele, Live F1 online streaming direct from FOM is complex because of the broadcast deals. Many broadcasters pay for exclusive rights, The Sky/BBC deal give them shared rights (Including online).
    If BBC pull out of there Live races then Sky would hold exclusive live UK rights & if FOM wanted to start an online video service they would have to renegotiate the contract with sky to remove the exclusivity clause.


    Oh great…

    Now what people who can’t afford SKY supposed to do?

    The same thing the millions of football and cricket fans who can’t watch matches or the ashes live do – watch the highlights.


    As said, this was to be expected (if not now, eventually), but extremely disappointing if true. The BBC bought back the rights to show the FA Cup from 2014-15 last week for £50m, which makes this rumour more convincing.


    They should have a live streaming service. The NHL has an app where you pay a fee per month to watch all the matches. Why dont FOM do this for the live sessions and races via Xbox or Internet. Although knowing FOM it will probably be more expensive e.g. Live timing app.


    Bit of a bummer if true, although not entirely surprising, as they almost killed it off putting Suzy Perry in as presenter anyway. Since Sky have been sharing with BBC, I welcome the extra material that is on the F1 channel, but find the race coverage drole, Simon Lazenby just does not fit for me, so I still watch the race live when BBC do it, and the highlights even if have watched the race live on Sky. So to hear this might all be coming to an end is completely gutting!!!


    That’s a shame. This year I’ve watched all BBC-aired races on the BBC, and the others on RTL Deutschland (both of which are not my first language :P), and the difference in coverage is night-and-day: RTL is quite acceptable, but the BBC picks up on so many more things.

    On the bright side: it does make the sport less of an ‘en masse’ sport, which is basically all I’ve been asking for the last few years. Hopefully this will inspire the FIA to stop making decision based on what the crowd ‘wants’ see (*cough DRS *cough tyres) and give the sport back to the ‘true’ fans, namely those who are willing to pay vast amounts to watch twenty races per year.

    Fer no.65

    Tough, really tough. Considering the UK is probably THE center of F1 (all the teams and all), it’s a shame.

    I understand your frustration. Here in Argentina we got to pay for F1, and the broadcast itself is beyond rubbish…

    Streams are one solution… if you’re willing to give away picture quality in order to watch races live…


    There are so many illegal online SKY F1 streams, which a lot of people will turn to.
    I really hope this turns out to be false; this is the top of a slippery slope, and it is forseeable that the BBC will cease to show F1 races at all and that’ll leave SKY free to jack up the price even higher.
    The Concorde deal had better involve a clause demanding FTA F1 in Europe


    The BBC, once again, spitting in the face of sports fans. Perhaps that should be their new slogan.

    To be fair, though, this is just a rumour. But I am still nonetheless livid over them giving up the MotoGP rights, and to be honest, the BBC doing something like ditching F1 wouldn’t surprise me. Shame on them.

    Chris H

    Rumour? It was probably announced in the past several days but buried under all of the BBC’s coverage of a certain birth.
    I wonder if there will be a slick “the skys coming down on us” from the commentators at Hungary again this weekend? I miss Brundle!

    This is becoming a deja vu, but seriously, I will (try) and reserve judgement until an official announcement (if there will be one), but my stance if this goes ahead is that I will just turn away from the sport I plan my entire life around. I refuse to be treated like sheep and herded towards paying £500 to watch 20 races, and being treated like that, I don’t think I’d even bother spending my time setting up a stream. I could easily afford Sky now I am working again, I just refuse to buy it out of principle and that will never change.

    This “deal” has already cost the sport millions of viewers…this would will cost the sport a LOT more, particularly of the casual nature.

    Just a thought…I wonder how much of a jump in viewers the BTCC has received since the $ky deal took over? (tried looking, but can’t find anything).


    I’d like to think this is just a rumour and that the teams would object to it. Seem to remember thinking the same last time around though…


    Funny how there is a rumour and every suddenly believes it.

    Funny how this is coming during the season that the BBC’s contract was due to end anyway.

    They wouldn’t renegotiate their contract to only dump it when their original contract was due to end anyway. It makes no sense.

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