back to article Murdoch muscles BBC out of Formula One driving seat

BSkyB has snatched the full Formula 1 broadcasting rights from the BBC, which had been the exclusive channel showing the live races since 2009. It's a deal sure to upset fans of the Beeb's recent slick coverage of F1, which has won bumper TV ratings. BSkyB will – from the start of the 2012 motor-racing season – broadcast …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Read about it on the Beeb, and was appalled at their cheery reporting of what is essentially crap news.

    I only watch one sport on TV: F1. And BBC's coverage is amazing.

    And now I either miss half of the races (sorry... I mean watch the highlights. Gee. Great), or give Murdoch money.


    1. Marky W

      Master Plan

      A cynic (e.g. me) might suggest that the beeb losing most of F1 to Murdoch, whilst still funding the utter crap that spews from BBC 3 (and often BBC 1) is steering public sentiment towards paying a larger license fee in the future.

      As I said, only a world-weary, misanthropic cynic would think that could possibly be true. It would, however, explain the cheery reporting.

      1. Chris Miller

        How budgeting works

        Clearly some folks have never had to manage an operational budget (lucky them). When asked to reduce your expenditure, the trick is to identify something that will cause an almighty stink, if eliminated. If you're the Marshal of the RAF and the MoD come looking for cuts, you make sure that the Red Arrows are near the top of the list and the politicos soon back off.

        The Beeb would love us to think that any cost savings can only be achieved by cutting their popular programmes and not in any way by eliminating the unbelievable layers of 6-figure nepotistic chair-polishers they employ, no sirree Bob!

        1. Anonymous Coward


          I've managed operation budgets. The difference is that I managed them properly, instead of politically. Big difference.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          On the contrary, lots of us have handled budgets and know how the game works. That's why we are kicking up the required stink.

      2. Munkstar

        Well some of it is but ....

        Family Guy crap!?

        1. caz



          That's all.

    2. Greg 16

      BBC free?

      To be fair, at least you now have a choice of paying for it. A choice that you don't get with the TV tax for the state owned BBC.

      F1 is the only thing I watched on the BBC - not exactly great value for £150 per year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Well the option of paying more at least.

      2. Essuu

        You speak of value ?

        Based on the price quoted here, with pricing starting from £31/mth or somesuch, £150p.a. for F1 is actually pretty good value compared to £372+ p.a. with Sky.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          not cheap

          you forgot that sky are rejigging the packages in september 11 (Sky sports packages are likely to merged as they are doing with entertainment packs) , and to watch in HD will cost you 10 quid more a month. All in all to watch every sport on every package that used to be free on all platforms now costs 60 quid, not forgetting you can only watch it in one room. Multiroom is extra again. Currently to watch everything movies/sports costs in 2 rooms costs 90 a month, thats 1000 a year approx. So put that in good value pipe and smoke it.

      3. tiggertaebo

        Maths Fail

        Except of course to watch it on Sky you still have to pay that £150 a year PLUS another £360 a year to Sky. Care to explain how that is going to be better value for money?

        1. Greg 16

          Maths fail

          There are other ways if you actually look instead of crying. BT vision has SS1 & 2 for £12.99pm. Sign up through quidco and get £150 cashback. Oh and you get all the other sport as well.

          1. Rob Beard

            BT Vision

            But BT Vision also requires you to have a BT phone line and BT Broadband. As an ex-BT Vision customer, I liked the service but the broadband wasn't that great. I'd take it again if there was the option to have the BT Vision box without the BT broadband.

            Oh well, maybe Youview might offer some subscription services at a lower cost than Sky... but then again probably not.

            Isn't Sky Sports also available on XBOX Live too and online at a lower cost (albeit not in HD)?


      4. Anonymous Coward

        gutted by greed in incompetence

        "at least you now have a choice of paying for it. A choice that you don't get with the TV tax"

        internet, so long as it's not live or "virtually live". it's all licence free...

        "state owned BBC"

        is it? really? bit of an iffy statement IMHO.

        I'm personally gutted. there is no way i'm paying Murdock and a licence fee for less. and the promised hacked to death BBC coverage is worse than useless.

        I'll be of looking for a web feed, I don't think I'll be the only one.

      5. Ian Moffatt 1

        Don't understand the logic here

        I can never understand the logic behind comments like this. Whatever your choice of TV provider, you'll still have to pay a licence fee. If you choose to go with satellite or cable you'll just pay more to watch programmes that only require a TV and aerial to receive.

        Don't forget the BBC does more than just TV. Everyone should listen to Stephen Fry's speech on the subject from a couple of years ago.

        That all said and done. I would sooner the BBC spent the money on F1 (which I don't watch) than waste it on drivel like EastEnders or brain numbingly tedious Celebrity Chav Show Jumping On Ice Karaoke.

        And whilst we're on the subject of BBC handing out money. I'll decide which charity I'll donate to thank you very much.

        I'm no fan of that idiot Ross either.

      6. Anonymous Coward

        @Greg 16

        So, do you think you don't pay for ITV? Even if you never watch it? SOMEBODY pays for all those adverts and it sure as hell isn't the advertisers hoping to lose money on the deal!

      7. Frank Bough

        Yeah, that makes sense

        So now you're going to pay £150pa plus £50 per MONTH to get the same thing.

        I thought Murdoch was supposed to be on the back foot?

    3. Chronos

      Balls, indeed.

      Bloody $ky. That is all.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Sign the petition

      It will probably make no difference, but surely it can't hurt...

    5. Naughtyhorse


      what hilights?

      alonso passing vettel into the first corner...

      then vettel winning th erace


  2. Jim 15

    "10 year high" is because of the quality of BBC coverage

    "The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments".

    Prepare for 2012 to have TV audiences at a 10-year low.

    1. Alister

      ...words out of my mouth

      Exactly what I was going to say - F1 viewing figures will drop next year, I guarantee.

      With the Beeb, not only did you have a good team presenting (who may migrate to sky, I suppose) but the best thing, which carries the most weight with viewers NO ADVERTS.

      After the pain of the ITV years, where they once even went for an Ad break on the last lap, if I remember correctly, it's no wonder viewing figures increased when the Beeb got the franchise.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Screw you, Bernie. Screw you.

        I think that the new deal comes in for 2014, so no immediate panic.

        But yes: I hated F1 under the ITV coverage. It blew goats. The BBC coverage is amazing and has even got my misses interested in the sport.

        1. Shaun 1


          Nope, starts next year

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          BBC F1

          Absolute kudos to the BBC, and Jake Humphries, for their F1 coverage.

          Great Practice, Qualifying and Race coverage, in depth articles, features with the drivers and the teams, great banter between the presenters and there seems to be goodwill to them from the likes of the Red Bull boss (who even roped in the Ferrari team boss to an interview at the end of the German GP) and McLaren bosses. Martin Brundles pit walk is interesting sometimes getting last-minute insights, interviews and some genuine laugh out loud moments, and his commentary (along with Coulthard) is knowledgeable.

          It has got my missus into F1 too!

          ITV managed to balls the whole thing up when they had it.

          From the coverage when it suited them in the schedule, the horrible moby soundtrack instead of fleetwood mac, the constant advert breaks (as someone else mentioned - last lap!), the presenters who seemed to have been plucked from football and boxing coverage and thrown a script, the ambience of being in a studio that could've been anywhere compared to the BBC boys floating round the pit lane, and the less said about James Allen the better.

          Sky will no doubt pepper the coverage with advert breaks and swoosh-in banner adverts for tonight's football.

          Wouldn't be surprised if the BBC cut resource funding to F1 either, less funds for presenters / features / F1Forum / broadcasts, so they end up with the best staff from the current coverage moving to sky, and ending up on BBC with a poor ITV-style coverage. Maybe this is Bernie/BSkyBs long term plan?

          1. Hayden Clark Silver badge

            Jake Humphries?

            Sorry, but he's not the best part of the BBC coverage, by a long shot. I'm really fed up with his "serious, frowny" look when telling us anything. Any interviews he does are just bum-clenchingly awful.

            Bring back Martin Brundle!

      2. AndrueC Silver badge

        In theory shouldn't get adverts on Sky either. At least they didn't have them last time they carried it.

        1. Captain Scarlet


          Well they always have adverts in football, BSkyB will want to make money out of it, I think they will have more adverts i.e pre-FIA broadcast but not sure about during the race.

      3. Tony T 1

        Not happy.

        Surely the worst ITV ad break was the one during which Mika Hakkinen won the world championship?

        1. Naughtyhorse

          it;s all very well slagging of ITV

          but BEFORE itv took it the beeb had F1 for decades and with the singular and notable exception of one M Walker the coverage was APALLING.

          live races getting bumped for snooker

          horse racing

          even fucking bowls for crying out loud!

          the only races you could guarantee seeing live from start to finish were the ones taking place on the other side of the planet.

          so ad breaks were a pain for 5 minutes here and there(and a few breaks were horrendously positioned), better then 40 mins of edited highlights on monday night on BBC2 - and thats your lot, which is what we used to get.

          It will be a shame to see it go to sky, like many i will not be following.

      4. Frank Bough

        They don't care if audiences dwindle... long as revenue is up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How many people will buy a SKY subscription off this?

      Just a thought. This only makes money for SKY when people buy subscriptions as a result. It seems like a pretty poor deal for SKY subscribers really - i mean think of it this way - you are paying that premium (probably £30 ~ £40 a month) and only getting half the races that the great unwashed (i.e. me) won't get live.

      So seriously, would you the best part of £400 / year for 10 extra races?

      So i'm guessing that people who already have SKY sports will watch the extra races there, but i'm not sure that anyone who hasn't already got it will pay the extra... and surely that is where SKY are looking to get their money back.

      BTW, I don't have SKY and as I do not want to give murdoch a single penny i won't be getting it either..

      1. CmdrX3

        No new subscription for me

        Not a chance in hell. I will download it and watch it before I pay for a Sky sports subscription just for the priviledge of watching 10 races.

        Fuck you Bernie, you greedy little fucking oiik.

    3. Can't think of anything witty...


      i think that this might well be Bernie testing the water with sky... if people still watch it on the BBC as opposed to paying the extra for sky then maybe he'll figure out that completely selling the rights to sky would be a really bad move for viewing figures.

      and i think that is probably (one of) his main criteria.

      By the way - who thinks that next years championship should be decided solely on the basis of the Free to air races - with the extra "demonstration events" on sky not counting to the points total...?


  3. Anonymous Coward

    Oh well, there is still the Radio

    where I'll be able to listen to the races. I certainly won't be forking out the inevitable premium that Sky will charge for their broadcasts.

    Anon because I was once a Sky subscriber and I don't want a deluge of sales calls from them (or Virgin for that matter)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have They Not Hacked You Already?


      With all those fearless helpers for the NOTW now out of work will they will be busy working for Sky now? So will they find you anyway!

  4. al89


    What a shame, Just as the viewers were on the up, the sport was starting to gain popularity, and the BBC coverage was really taking shape the call of yet more money pulls Bernie towards Sky.

    I would have taken a return to ITV and adverts over this as no way will I join sky and pay an extra subcription to sky sports to watch it. I'm still getting over my last ordeal with them.

    Just have to enjoy watching the race the bbc dont show a few hours after it finished.

  5. Dave Bell

    The must have given it up!

    So we have a contract expected to end in 2013 and it ends early?

    Either the BBC was hit by a break clause they couldn't fight (and how could that happen) or they didn't want the rights.

    OK, I'm not devoted to F1 but I can see they do a good job. Maybe they have discovered just how big a hassle the Olympics will be, next year. F1 or the Olympics? I'd vote for F1, but that would be so unpopular with the politicians.

    1. Danny 14

      not really

      there will have been a mutual consent. i.e. they didnt have the money to fight BsB in 2013 contract negotiation so they struck a deal now.

    2. Shaun 1

      BBC have been talking for a while now about not renewing the deal

      at the end of 2012, and potentially pulling out at the end of this year.

  6. Christopher Rogers


    The F1 coverage has been excellent. Now it will be a bit shit. Sky for Footy, BBC for F1.

    1. Velv


      If Sky have any sense at all, they will do a deal with the BBC that the current F1 team will continue to provide the commentary, coverage and comment, and the only thing Sky will provide is the broadcast medium.

      Over 40 countries currently take the BBC feed as their licensed coverage - don't fix something that isn't broken!!!!

      Can you see Jeff Sterling doing F1... I think not.

      Lee McKenzie - fwhoar :)

      1. SteveBalmer

        New presenters for Sky F1 coverage confirmed.


        Can't wait....

        Seriously, what the fuck, F1 is dead in the UK now. Thanks Bernie you greedy fuck.

      2. Annihilator


        "Over 40 countries currently take the BBC feed as their licensed coverage - don't fix something that isn't broken!!!!"

        Which countries are these? The "feed" is generally created by FOM and is the same the world over - the BBC get the same feed as everyone else.

        1. GettinSadda


          No, FOM feed is pictures and sound with no commentary. Commentary and extra shots are added by the BBC and this combined feed is taken by a number of countries. MB mentions Australia as one recipient at times, so I assume this is "One HD"

  7. melt


    Such a shame; the BBC's coverage over the last two years at least has been absolutely fantastic.

    It's going to be very difficult to keep that going. I'm certain that Sky Sports won't be able to generate the same feeling.

    I'll be watching on BBC, and I guess i'll have to find a motorsports-friendly pub somewhere that my friends and I can adopt on Sky-only weekends.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      not a good plan

      dont support sky

      and dont support dipshit landlords who support sky

  8. SteveBalmer

    How many F1 fans will want to watch some races?

    Answer: NONE.

    Sky know this, just like they know that F1 fans paying for Sky Sports premium subscriptions won't be interested in any of the other stuff on Sky Sports...

    The only outcome will be that this deal kills F1 in the UK... Viewing figures will plumet, as I certainly won't be paying for Sky Sports to watch a race every other weekend...

    I wonder what happened to Bernie's promise?

    "It is all rubbish ... Formula One is not for sale. And anyway, we would not sell to a media company because it would restrict the ability to negotiate with other broadcasters."

    Still not that it matters, as the sport will be in turmoil soon anyway, as Bernie will be in jail on corruption and bribery offenses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How many F1 fans will want to watch some races?

      >I wonder what happened to Bernie's promise?

      Formula One has not been sold to Sky so his promise is still intact.

  9. BRYN

    Well thats me not watching F1 anymore

    Congratulations to Bernie Ecclestone and co. You have lost me as a customer. I will no knowingly give Rupert Murdoch or any associated company 1 penny.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Well thats me not watching F1 anymore

      I'm sure Bernie will find solace in counting all that lovely money from Murdoch.

  10. Ol'Peculier

    Fell like Marvin.


    How come the Beeb gets to show half yet Sky get to show the lot? IT was only in May that the poison dwarf was stating that viewing figures on Sky would make the transition to a non-FTA channel "suicide"

    Even Jake sounded a bit pissed off on Chris Moyles this morning.

  11. M7S

    Didn't you see the warning signs a few weeks ago?

    "the BBC will broadcast half the races live alongside qualifying and practice sessions.....saying it would help keeps costs down."

    A bit like only broadcasting half a season of Dr Who, neatly interrupting a story arc.

    Oh, wait a moment....

    Also, as heard on Radio2 this morning: "Which Half?"

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Which half?

      perhaps they will show every other frame.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Would that be odd?

        (or even)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Now THAT would be an example of why lawyers are useful.

        Write in the 'only show half the races' bit into the agreement and just send out alternating frames.

        Even better if you can persuade Sky to broadcast it in 3D so your 'half the races' becomes one eye's worth of the full race...

  12. Matt Brigden

    Thanks a lot !

    I for one dont have Sky and refuse to pay to have it . So much for the beebs pledge to keep F1 accessible to everyone .

  13. louis walsh's toilet


    "all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers"

    errr...... half of the action dear.....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You have watched an F1 race, right?

      A few laps of exciting driving, plus another 30-40 of them going round, and round, and round, and round.... :-(

      1. Naughtyhorse

        why all the downvotes?

        I've been watching for 40 years and for the last 20 the previous commentard is about right - 10 minutes of intense excitment in about 2 hours of endless round and round - thats why the commentary team are vital.

  14. nichomach

    Can we now have an evil Murdoch logo, please?

    Seriously, this is absolutely bloody dire news and I can only assume that this inane Slater woman doesn't actually like sport (or certainly F1) that much. "Delighted" to lose half the rights? The stupid, smug, self-satisfied cow. "delivered significant savings"? Yes, by screwing the audience.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      What does 'evil Murdoch' have to do with it? I can't have been the driving force behind this. It must have been the existing rights holders (the BBC) looking for a way to get out. I doubt if any of the Murdochs were even personally involved. They employ a lot of staff for dealing with things like broadcast rights.

      It may even be that without 'evil Murdoch' we'd have nothing. Maybe FOM would just have given up providing coverage to the UK.

      1. John G Imrie

        What does 'evil Murdoch' have to do with it?

        Lets see, over the past 4 months or so the Murdoch press has been claiming that F1 is too expensive for the BBC, and that it should go in total to Sky.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Down


          The press are just the press. They don't make policy.

          All you're pointing out is that in this case they appear to have accurately described the situation and correctly predicted the outcome. Are you saying that Mr. Murdoch is evil because his newspapers print factually accurate and useful information?

          Get a grip, son.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Actually Andrue.....

            ....I think you'll find that much of the thrust of the News International hacking investigation is that Murdoch uses his illegally-gained knowledge of people's private lives and conversations to push policy in the direction he wants it to go.

            Let's hope he has finally got his comeuppance, as this will get worse as only the top layer of scum on the cesspit has yet been drained.

            As for F1 effectively leaving the Beeb, well as an F1 fan of only 40 years standing, I've this morning binned all of my F1-related online and magazine subscriptions and will no longer be bothering with F1 at all as if it's been tainted by Sky and Murdoch then the sport has a death wish.

          2. Anonymous Coward

            Its for profit innit

            Do we pay the BBC a licence fee without complaint and get excellent coverage like current F1 or do we pay to Murdochs profit making machine where all the money is syphoned off to the greedy shareholder.

            To me it is a no brainer, I would prefer unbiased reporting and scheduling with the BBC any day.

            Of course you could listen to the Governments spin and cause us to question the BBC while allowing at the same time the Government friend Murdoch to benefit with his plans.

      2. tath

        Re "I doubt if any of the Murdochs were even personally involved"


        It would have been the guy that runs Sky that dealt with all of this, what's his name again? James something iirc

    2. Rob

      Bad choice...

      ... and the reason for the significant savings was to keep the other crap channels like BBC 3 and BBC 4 alive with medicore content.

      1. David Perry 2

        Didn't the Director General himself say that... was possible a channel could be axed? I don't have freeview yet (switchover next week will force me to sort an aerial out) but BBC3 is good for some random and repeated stuff I gather, whereas noone has any praise or dislike for 4. So it can go.

        1. DominicT

          Hey, leave BBC4 alone - it's great

          @David Perry 2 said "noone has any praise or dislike for 4. So it can go."

          Well, maybe not in your experience, but BBC4 is easily the best channel the BBC produce. Intelligent, thoughtful programmes that would never be made by the likes of Sky. It's *exactly* what the BBC should be doing. Better than they get rid of sport, soaps and the other mindless, mass-market crap that Murdoch is happy to churn out before they ditch any actually decent TV.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Sky? Mass-market Crap?

            Sky may produce some mass market crap but for a serious period of time now they have been one of the biggest funders of arts in the UK.

            Obviously the only reason for this is that Sky are completely evil and are only interested in the arts to try and get more educated, middle class subscribers

          2. Shades


            BBC4 is a massive drain on the "Unique way the BBC is funded" and for what? Take for instance the week of the Canadian GP: The F1 race (alone) pulled 6.6m viewers, the ENTIRE TOP 10 of BBC4s programmes for that same week pulled in 3.2m viewers! BBC4s annual budget is £55.3m and their average weekly viewing figure is around 8m people.

            And last time I skipped past BBC4 some dreary bloke was talking about a road in the middle of no-where having "lost its confidence" and how it unceremoniously ends before its final destination because another road merges with it. Okay, I admit I watched a few minutes of it but only to make sure I wasn't imagining such tripe having been "Uniquely funded"!

            1. Jared Hunt

              To all those suggesting BBC4 should be axed

              Ah yes, the old "I don't watch it, so why should anyone else want to?" agument being trotted out I see. We as a nation are privileged to have a broadcaster that is bound by its charter to produce programming that doesn't neccessarily appeal to the lowest common denominator. There's a significant portion of the population that isn't interested in soaps, imported US sitcoms, and the umpteeth edition of Britains Got Talent!

              Besides, 8m people is a pretty good viewing figure for £55m when you consider that BBC1 has a budget of £1.2 BILLION for 47m weekly viewers on average, ITV1 £850m for 38m viewers and channel 4 £600m for 35m viewers.

              8 million entertained boffins and nerds for £55 million quid. I say that's a bargain.

        2. Burch


          BBC4 often has themed music nights on Fridays. I have no interest in F1, but accept that others do. The BBC is not the bad guy in this, even at a time of trouble for Murdoch's business, the BBC bashing continues. If you don't want Sky to take over all sport, then refuse to pay the tax-avoiding scumbag.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        BBC4? Crap?

        Are you mad?

        BBC4 is one of the last bastions of decent informative and intelligent broadcasting.

        It's my favourite channel and I'm far from stupid.

  15. James Smith 2


    What an absolute pigging disaster for British F1 fans.

    I refuse to pay for Sky, let alone shelling out for Sky Sports as well. Murdoch can go swivel. To watch this on Sky, will cost £60 a month. 2nd option is something like BT Vision or TopUp TV, BT I think are currently selling Sky Sports 1 & 2 channels on Freeview at a loss, total will be around £20 a month.

    BBC F1 coverage has been fantastic, the presenting and commentary team have matured well together over the last couple of years.

    I really hope this agreement is either revised or dropped altogether :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I refuse to pay for Sky"

      Get over yourself. If you like F1 as much as you make out, you'll pay for it.

      You could always club together and outbid Murdoch next time the rights come up.

      1. ed 8

        "I refuse to pay for Sky"

        Your missing the point sky want 30-40 quid for the sport 1 and 2 package then your are getting an inferior experience with adverts and probably some bargain basement presenters who are doing it.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Stop ranting

          1. Anonymous Coward

            for one year only

            So next year is safe, bu not teh tear after. and then only so long as you only watch the race, there won't be any build up just adverts,

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Well, well.... predictably anonymous, coward.

        Grow a pair of balls and post as yourself.

        Those of us that love F1 know exactly how this is going to pan out, it isn't going to be pleasant.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You think I love any sport enough to hand Murdoch £300 a year, and have it cut with commercials?

        I'm passionate about F1, but not passionate enough to fund that scum-bucket.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Google cardsharing

      ..I'll say no more!

  16. Tegne

    I'm glad I fell out of love with F1 many years ago.

    F1 is one of the few sports that Britain are actually good at and now it's been taken away from much of the general public by greedy capitalists. Shame on you Ecclestone.

  17. Justin 9

    Did you miss that.

    F1 will be awful to watch on sky.

    How it will happen.

    What was that Hamilton and Vettel battling out in to the last corner with 3 laps to go.

    Cut to the 50th commercial break of tosh.

    Welcome back with a clip of a red bull and Mclaren being lifted out of a gravel trap.

    Back to the dark days of ITV F1 coverage.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      No adverts

      Sky didn't interrupt with advertising breaks last time they carried F1. Admittedly that was pure 'pay per race' so not quite the same thing. Do football matches get interrupted on Sky Sports? Does anything? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports so wouldn't know but I'd /assume/ that events are shown uninterrupted unless there's a genuine break eg;half-time.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        thing is...

        footbalists work for 45 minutes, then take a breater (cant have the poor dears getting out of puff) then do another 45 minutes stint.

        F1 is 2 hours in which mostly nothing much happens, but sometimes incredibly exciting stuff happens, and no one can predict when.

        which buggers up the advertising schedule

    2. alcopops

      Apparently no ads

      They have said on their website:,,19501_7066689,00.html

      that there will be no ad breaks. Still, doubt the coverage will be as good as the beeb though.

  18. Trevor 3

    This news really saddens me

    BBC had the best coverage of F1. They put a lot of effort into it, put a great team together, and delivered.

    I love that sport. I love doing the 2 hours of maths, watching the live timings PIP with the action, watching the cars, the noise, the constant squabblings between team members and teams themselves.

    I love the glitz and glamour of it. The technology of it. The people who present it, the drivers, the teams.

    And now I have a choice. The "highlights" and half the full races, or buy a SKY package.

    Thank you BBC and Bernie, for ruining my weekends, my hobby, and my sport. Thank you very much.

  19. SkippyBing

    Cash strapped BBC?!

    My arse are they cash strapped, maybe if they didn't insist on employing the cretins responsible for BBC 3's output they could put the savings into Formula 1 coverage.

    Does anyone know if there other ways of watching the coverage? Some sort of web cast?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      cough - SopCast - cough

    2. Burch
      Thumb Down


      "I'm not interested in anyone else's tastes, just so long as can watch cars going fast".

      1. SkippyBing

        Not so

        I didn't even imply that, I haven't suggested cutting all sorts of things I don't watch like Eastenders, Antique Master* or One of the infinite cookery programs they put out. What I'm suggesting is the home of Two Pints of Lager should stop pissing money up the wall by producing inane crap. It's not as if they couldn't move the few decent things BBC3 shows on to 2 or 4 and save money, hell if you insist I'll buy box sets of Family Guy and they can save money there as well.

        According to the figures recently put out BBC3 costs £115 million a year to run which considering that it only broadcasts half the day and is mostly repeats seems a bit of a waste...

        *I actually thought this was a spoof when I heard it being trailed, but apparently not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget

      What about the epic waste of money moving to Manchester, and kicking IT partners out of a project that was about to deliver savings, only to take it all in house and start from scratch, saving nothing and costing 10s of millions of licence payers money. I wish the pay tv lot did a non BBC version so I could save my 150 sheets and spend it on pay per view.

  20. Simon Cresswell

    Total disaster

    What does Bernie think he's playing at? He may want to get into bed with the Murdochs but this is sucidal for the sponsers.

    Or COULD be if enough people kick up a stink to them - and FOTA

    FOTA already asking questions (but could be a smokescreen) and Brundle has tweeted he is "not inpressed". Does this mean he won't jump ship?

    Let's see how committed he is, shall we?

  21. iGoto

    Formual 0.5

    Total and utter bollox. What kind of a nonsense deal is this? Ok, so BBC might have British and Monaco GP secured but it's just such utter shite that I honestly don't have an emoticon or indeed the vocabulary to express myself....

    Thin end of the wedge.. once Sky is in, it'll never EVER back out. Enjoy this season people for we are about to witness the last true great free-to-air TV sporting event of our generation. Such a sad day.

  22. Nigel Brown

    No need to pay Murdoch a penny.

    There'll be plenty of links to live feeds from around the world, just need to tune into Radio 5Live for some halfway decent and hopefully English commentary.

  23. MrCheese

    Thanks Anutie

    Many Thanks for your sickening betrayal of those responsible for your all-time high ratings and to the FIA: do expect your ratings to plummet, F1 still isn't so popular that casual fans are going to pay for Sky to see it, just the dedicated ones and maybe not all of them.

    Are British sports fans ever going to be able to watch their sportsmen and women for free again (and I'm talking all sports here, not just F1), F1 covereage is virtually all the TV I watch.

  24. kevjs

    £400 per annum...

    So £400 per year to the morally bankrupt News International for nothing more than the F1, or pop down to Maplin, spend £40 on a b-grade FTA satellite system to watch RTL and listen to the excellent five live commentary...

  25. ph0b0s

    F1 goes subscription

    Great, this is the first time F1 has not be freely available to standard licence fee payers. This maybe a great day for the Beeb and Sky but for consumers it is a dark day indeed. I hope the F1 viewing figures drop by as much as they deserve to....

    Another reason I paid the licence fee just disappeared. If I was not such a rolling news junkie it would be toast.

    1. Mme.Mynkoff


      It's all Pay TV now, only with some Pay TV, we have to still pay but there's nothing we want to watch.

      There's no point in a compulsory TV tax that doesn't even get us the basics.

      1. farizzle

        ^ ^ What this person said ^ ^

        No point in paying into a license fee structure if the actual stuff you want to watch is outside of that structure...

        Time to get off our arses and off to work - maybe BBC's F1 coverage caused Britain's recession? There can't have been much work getting done from Friday to Sunday evening during the F1 season for the last two years..

        How long has that recession being going on for now?

        Getting my coat, off to work as my weekends have suddenly become available!

    2. Jedit Silver badge

      It's better than that

      The Concorde Agreement, which is not yet up for review, requires that Formula 1 races cannot be exclusive to pay channels. Ecclestone has broken that agreement, and now every team in F1 has the right to withdraw.

      1. IsJustabloke

        I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

        yeah cos thats gonna happen....

        1. Naughtyhorse

          watch this space...

          you never know.

          the poisoned dwarf has plenty of enemies up and down the pit lane

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    break clause

    I was interested that brundle implies he was out of contract!/MBrundleF1

    so maybe there was some sort of break built in.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    F1 charges a lot for broadcast rights for its races. I'm glad the BBC1 are not going to pay it, maybe then they can spend their money making good shows like Horizon and not on that shitty boring sport. What Ekkelstein should do is move all the races out of Europe and put them in the countries he really cares about, like China, the Middle East, India, and Eritrea. Britain is a tiny market and losing BBC fee payers will not worry F1 one bit. Ekkelstones is a greedy money grabbing midget commoner whose death I am really looking forward to. I think Apple should buy F1 incidentally.

  28. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Annoying decision

    I do subscribe to Sky but only one pack at the moment. I think it's unlikely I'll subscribe to Sky Sports just to get F1. If they do a pay-per-race like last time (including all the support races and stuff so that I can make a weekend of it) I might be interested but £20pcm just for one sport is silly. What really annoys me at the moment though is the way that all the parties involved are claiming to be happy and portraying it as great news.

    It isn't great news.

    Perhaps it's better than it might have been but why can't they be honest. Admit that we nearly lost it completely on free TV and that this is the best /compromise/ they could come up with.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Me too...

      Title says it end of F1 for me too.

  29. Valerion

    Pissed off

    It was bad enough when it was on ITV but at least you could watch it. No way am I giving Murdoch any of my money.

    F1 will now get a LOT less popular, which is not exactly good news long-term for the sport, is it? It suffered with a lack of intereseting drivers and crap ITV coverage, only in the past few BBC-years has it improved again.

    Short-term gain, long-term loss. And I though Ecclecake was smart.

  30. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    There is no possible comment.

    Not once the at the beeb can say with a straight face that half the races = all the action.


    And like so many others, Murdoch isn't getting my money. Another viewer lost, Bernie.

  31. seicosid


    So, after the excellent coverage of F1 by the BBC and the fact that we can watch ALL the races and qualifying (and practices on the red button) FOR FREE, and with a 10 year high viewer rating, it's moving to Sky Sports.

    What the hell are these people on???!!!!???

    Who wants to watch only some of the races? Did Sky think by doing this, everybody will immediately sign up to Sky Sports.

    DELUSIONAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's the only thing that comes to mind...

    Bernie, you have failed Formula1 fans!!!!

    DISAPPOINTED, to say the least!

    1. King Jack

      Sadly yes

      Yes, even though it boils down to blackmail, idiots will line up to subscribe. These are the same folk who in 2 years will be singing sky's praises but moaning that the subs are increasing. Well you have justify being a fool.

      For the record i HATE Sky and they will NEVER see a penny from me.

  32. ColonelClaw


    Here's a quote from a Sky PR drone on this wonderful news: "We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment"

    So that would mean masses of adverts, an overload of tasteless graphics and sound effects, and second rate sexist commentators?

  33. MJI Silver badge

    19.2e kit required

    I will be buying it and hoping I have room for another dish on the back wall.

    Do I need a new receiver or will my Humax HDR pick up RTL?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Surely no new dish needed?

      Afaik you don't need a new dish in most parts of the UK, just a twin arm (not the right name) so you can have two separate LNBs, and any sensible industry standard (non-Sky) DVB-S receiver should be OK for RTL (and a whole load of other channels too).

      Go, RTL.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    F1 is dull and seems to be getting duller. If they cut the races to a third the length they are things would be more interesting, but even so it would still be blander than many other series because of the tech involved.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    F1 has been an expensive bore fest for at least a decade now. The BBC should go back to showing stuff like the BTCC which is what real motoracing is all about, not a bunch of overpaid primadonnas following each other in a procession for 90 mins, the winner decided by who does the quickest tyre stop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      It *was* an expensive bore-fest, which is why I ditched it for nearly ten years. But now it's better than ever, and I'm back into it. As is the misses, who up until this season had zero interest in motorsport.

      There's tons of action, plenty of 'takes, interesting politics, tight racing, some great and charismatic drivers, and brilliant BBC coverage by people who know what they're talking about.

      Come back and actually give it a watch.

    2. Hairy Spod

      Touring cars lost it in the 90s

      If I wanted to see random results predermined by weight penalties, I'd watch someone rolling loaded dice all afternoon.

    3. The Cube

      BTCC? Seriously? Are you mentally ill?

      The BTCC has been nothing but a clump of shitty little chavmobiles for years. You can see exactly the same thing on a Saturday night in any Essex Halford's car park.

      The only way you could make the BoringTwatmobileClusterofCrap more interesting is to buy a couple of main battle tanks and have them drive round the circuit the other way at the same time at least then the world would have a few less chavved up Vauxhalls.

  36. Dodgy Pilot

    Erkle ?!

    Given the BBC's usual incompetence, when they say that the Beeb will show half the races, is it a safe bet to assume they'll show the first half of each race?

    I love paying my licence fee to fund the beeb, oh yes. no, really I do. honest.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well I'm not watching half a the season.... I won't bother watching any of it... I've watched races with cars with 6 wheels, giant fans on the back, ground effects, Brabham, Tyrell, Hesketh, James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, Monza 94... everything... but looks like no more... very sad day.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I go back further than you, I watched the BBC Eurovision races from back in the early 60s, when Coopers and Lotuses competed with the sharknose Ferraris, Monaco, Monza, the original Spa etc. But, though I have a Sky sub, it doesn't include Sky Sports, and it's not going to. Yet another viewer lost.

  38. Annwyn

    This is not a good thing...

    Can't understand why the beeb are so cheerful about this.

    Also curious about Bernie's statement duing this morning's free practice:

    "When asked whether he felt it was a shame a terrestrial broadcaster would no longer be showing every race live he said: "It was not us who made that decision"."

  39. Jim 59


    I studied TV as part of an electrical/electronic engineering degree in 1988. One day, the lecturer, Mr Hutton, said that satellite TV (encryption) was the first time in history that a consumer technology had been used to the detriment of the consumer, ie. to simply take way something they already had - football in that case, F1 now.

    Some F1 wonk on the radio today says we can all watch it down the pub. Great, encourage the fathers of the nation to spend 3 hours in the pub every other Sunday. That'll help.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Another one bites the dust

    Another sport disappears (ok, half in this case) off to a place where those who a) value decent coverage, and b) don't want to hand any more cash or clout to Murdoch just won't follow. While F1's revenues may not suffer, I'm pretty sure many of its less dedicated followers will move on to something else.

    I've never understood the beating the BBC takes over its sports coverage, which in almost all cases I think is excellent. Sky's coverage on the other hand always has the air of a slightly breathless tart wetting her knickers because Take That have been spotted in the local chippie.

    I shared a house years ago where someone else actually paid for it, and the Sky coverage of the Cricket world cup at that time put me off for life. The clipping of the beginning and end of overs to squeeze in ads (whats the fee for then?) killed the atmosphere, frequently missing wickets or great deliveries/strokes. Commercial TV is more "innovative"? Anyone who remembers ITVs coverage of the 1995 Rugby world cup probably shares my allergy to innovation in sports coverage. ITV crowed about it for weeks in advance, then had to start rewriting the whole setup more or less the day of the opening match due to the switchboard catching fire from the volume of complaints - vile doesn't begin to do it justice. By the end of week two they'd cobbled together something that was vaguely palatable provided you'd been in the pub for a good while before kick off and didn't particularly like rugby.

    Screw Sky, screw F1, screw Ecclestone, and sure as hell screw Murdoch. Like my father 60 years ago I'm reduced to cricket on radio 4. When the greedy fuckups that run the game finally put paid to Test Match Special to hand the exclusive radio rights to a consortium formed by exiled middle eastern dictators and Russian oligarchs and fronted by some too-clean-shaven sporting has-been in a suit, I'll give up on that entirely and devote my sporting energies to following Synchronised Fly Swatting.

    Fuck 'em.



    Can I downgrade my my TV licence to a cheaper package now please.

  42. Paul Hayes 1


    This is going to be a total disaster for F1! Who on earth wants to watch half the races?!? It's unbelievable that the BBC's announcement is trying to put a good news spin on this.

    Now F1 coverage is subscription only, I'm not paying for a full sky sports subscription to get F1.

    Viewing figures in the UK will plummet. ITV coverage was bad enough with adverts all the time but this just takes the biscuit.

    1. Tim Almond

      Half the Races?

      The thing about F1 (unlike most sports) is that it's not about the race, but the season. Losing half the races means that I'll probably lose track of what's going on and give up with it.

      And as I've just ditched my Sky+ box, I'm not paying £32/month just for F1.

  43. Steve Crook

    Lipstick on a pig

    So losing half your coverage is a good deal?

    What really baffles me is that the terrestrial broadcasters won't cooperate to buy the rights to this sort of stuff. I'm sure it would be more complex contractually, particularly if they shared 'talent' in the commentary box.

    But, for example, what's stopping C4, BBC and C5 co-operating on the home international cricket? The first two agree to share the live coverage (alternate matches) and C5 get the highlights. They use the same commentary/production team which would cut costs for them.

    Even if they didn't win the bid, at least they'd make Sky have a nosebleed outbidding them.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Trying giving the right person a nose bleed

      >Even if they didn't win the bid, at least they'd make Sky have a nosebleed outbidding them

      Because of course Sky are ecstatic about having to pay vast sums of money when sourcing their material so deserve to be punished. How about we give FOM the nosebleed (much like the Premier League) for being greedy bastards. I'm pretty sure Sky would love to join give them a good kicking as well.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Which Channel?

    Which channel will it be on?

    I assume it will clash with footie on SS1 a lot of the time so I would assume SS2? Or will they be a total pain in the arse and mix and match it between channels so I have to subscribe to fucking both of them?

    I could live with £12.50 a month extra - £20 extra, not so sure..

    Bernie. You're a wanker. Simple as.

    1. Steve Crook

      Just don't spend the money

      The more money we hand to Murdoch the more his organs will protrude into our lives :-)

      Someone earlier in the commentary thread pointed out that people are (apparently) happy paying through the nose for things that they used to be able to watch for free.

      Just don't be one of them.

      1. Greg 16
        Thumb Down

        things that they used to be able to watch for free

        So are you a TV tax evader, or do you know of some sneaky way to watch TV with out paying the BBC TV tax?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "So are you a TV tax evader, or do you know of some sneaky way to watch TV with out paying the BBC TV tax?"

          You watch it on iPlayer after it's been broadcast. The license only covers broadcast TV.

          1. Greg 16


            Luckily for you they will still be shown on iplayer after the race next year, so this story shouldn't concern you at all.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              another title

              "Luckily for you they will still be shown on iplayer after the race next year, so this story shouldn't concern you at all."

              I thought they're only showing the races that they air live on iPlayer. If they're still showing *all* races on iPlayer then you're right it's not so bad for me.

              I rarely get chance to watch live as it is, but it has helped me to become a black-belt in the art of not finding out who won.

        2. Burch

          Tax evader?

          You mean like Murdoch?

        3. Steve Crook

          Free in the sense that...

          You still have to pay the TV tax if you watch a Murdoch tentacle. So in the cost equation, it sort of cancels out :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Which Channel?

      In relation to this news I will be watching on SopCast

  45. Tom 38

    I'm really angry about this

    For the past 2 months, FOTA have been banging on about how they could not even consider F1 not being Free To Air in their major markets, since a lot of their income is derived from advertisers - and advertisers will pay less if it is only shown on subscription channels.

    I actually already subscribe to sky sports, so it's not going to affect me that much. However, I can't get 'real' sky in my flat (I only have one sat feed, sky hd requires 4, sky+ requires 2,), so I have Sky player, so I won't be getting these races in HD, nor will I be able to record them, nor pause/rewind, have to turn my computer on and pray silverlight doesn't crash for 2 hours.

    The 'revolutionary' features Sky will offer will be similar to BBC - the main feed will be identical, since it will simply be the same 'World Feed' offered to all broadcasters, and we'll have perhaps some more car feeds (again, not for me and my streaming though). I guess this year will be the only season I get a complete HD race archive.

    I also don't buy this 'we had to do it or they'd have got the lot' argument. FOTA simply would not accept F1 solely on Sky, so Sky had no chance to whip the rug from under the BBC. More likely is that by allowing Sky this deal, they avoid ITV getting the rights, although even that is tenuous - ITV are more skint than Auntie.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Half arsed

    Who at the Beeb thought up the half the races idea? How bizarre. By all means save money by showing just the highlights but this is neither one nor the other but, as the comments show, is upsetting nearly evryone.

  47. Daniel Voyce
    Thumb Down

    Not happy about this

    I don't really watch sports, so have no need to purchase Sky Sports at Exhorbitant prices.

    BBC coverage was awesome, the pre race build up was in my opinion one of the main reasons so many people got hooked into the past few years - highest viewing figures in 10 years - for it now to move to a paid service?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "BBC coverage was awesome, the pre race build up was in my opinion one of the main reasons so many people got hooked into the past few years"

      You nailed it there. I've only been into Formula 1 since mid-way through the 2010 season after constant pestering from my brother who insisted I'd love it. Turns out he was right and what got me truely into it was the pre-race/qualy build up.

      For someone new to the sport the build ups give insight into F1 tech, the teams and the cars.

      The BBC F1 team are like James, Richard and Jeremy on Top Gear, they all seem to work well together and I fear if not in that combo, just won't have that edge.

  48. Bassey
    Thumb Down


    Like many others I have been a huge F1 fan for many years (since the very early eighties). It is one of the highlights of every-other weekend and my kids are both great fans now too. One of my big concerns with this move is the damage it will do to the UKs leadership in F1. Bar Ferrari, all the teams are based in the UK. All the drivers have homes here (albeit domiciled in Monaco for Tax purposes!) and the Universities around Silverstone and Brands Hatch dominate motorsport research across the world.

    By removing F1 from the public conciousness there will be few younger people wishing to get into the sport and we will lose another or the increasingly few things we are good at.

    As for my interests in F1. That is now at an end. Perhaps, if a significant number of people refuse to watch, they will get the idea but I doubt it. Bernie is only interested in selling the rights for the maximum he can get and UK based sponsorship of teams is virtually zero so I doubt it will bother them as they chase the asian and middle eastern viewers.

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Driviiing driiiiving!

    Oh please, it's not a sport, it's a bunch of twats playing with expensive cars and bribing each other. This is good news, the BBC shouldn't be spending money on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Are you just jealous that you're not good enough to drive one of humanity's greatest engineering achievements? You sound it.

      Say what you like about the suits, but if you can't appreciate and respect what the drivers do then go to YouTube and watch a Monaco lap.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    Beeb shoots self in foot!

    BBC F1 coverage was the best. Great team, great coverage, insight and analysis and the 'red button after show' often bought up great interviews such as the one with Adrian Newey.

    So now, BBC viewers will dwindle, Sky will gain a few die hard supporters but won't come anywhere near the BBC viewing figures, and sponsors must already be questioning the cost of a reduced audience.

    All round a huge FAIL. The teams lose out, their sponsors lose out and the loyal fans lose out.

    The only winner in this deal is Bernie!

  51. Gary F

    Human Right not to have to pay to watch F1

    This is against my human rights! Taking F1 away from the BBC will impact on my right to a family life!

    Maybe Murdoch is punishing the BBC for negative news coverage over the phone hacking scandal. ITV is next. What will Murdoch steal away from them? 60 Minute Makeover? Yeah go on then.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Lose F1 to save BBC World services and BBC4

    This is a BBC World service issue not Sky or Murdock. It’s so our licence fee money can go towards paying for BBC programming for other countries that don’t pay a licence. I believe this used to be paid for by the FCO before the cuts. It’s that or lose the quality programming of BBC4, which will not doubt have the same viewing figures of Sky F1.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It was paid for by the FCO. Cutting the BBC World Service is frankly unforgivable. If we can afford more for foreign aid (much of it of dubious value), surely we can preserve the most widely trusted broadcaster on the planet?

  53. Anonymous Coward

    For once I agree with the Daily Mail

    Dear good I never thought it would come to this but I agree with the Daily Mail

    F1 and MotoGP are the only sports I watch on the tele and now F1 is more or less gone. Of course MotoGP will probably got the same way if Dorna think they can screw more dosh from the media.

  54. Nya
    Thumb Down

    No way will I pay for this.

    Screw it, I am not even bothering next year with it. If I want coverage I guess I'll just have to read it online, but if this is how the beeb and Sky are going to do it now, screw them.

    This also breaks the Concord agreement, Bernie has to get F1 shown on free to air stations (namely as the car companies and advertisers want it that way). This is in breach of that, and is utterly frustrating for us fans. So no, not a chance will I watch something split on two channels, and on pay per view. I maybe a fan, but I will not pay or give a rats behind about it if this is what they try and force on us. Will simply move onto something more interesting.

  55. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Double Whammy?

    When it moves to Sky will it be accessible by everyone or just those who pay for a sports package?

    Sky and some other broadcasters are like a dealer tapping an addict, squeezing them for as much as they can when they to satisfy their addiction. Hopefully punters will resist and just give it up, find some alternative to enjoy.

    I've had the withdrawal pains when channels have been dropped, when series have gone to channels I don't pay for and when shows have simply been cancelled mid-series. I can't even get Free-to-Air ITV1 nor Five on Sky Freesat without paying for a viewing card.

    It doesn't drive me to spend extra money, I simply don't watch that channel any more while calling them ***ing ***s and making sure everyone knows what I think of them.

    1. Jim Morrow

      sky tv - the land where everything is free

      > When it moves to Sky will it be accessible by everyone

      of course. rupert murdoch is one of the world's greatest humanitarians motivated only by the need to spread decency and integrity throughout the world and to give away as much of his fortune as he possibly can. his good works outshine anything mother theresa or bob geldof ever did. rupert murdoch is most definitely not an evil, money-grabbing bastard who uses his tax-dodging monopolistic media empire to rip off as many people for as much as he can. no sir.

      in case you can't detect scarcasm, ask yourself this question: when was the last time sky ever made anything available to their suckers (i mean customers) without making them pay through the nose for it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pay TV

        Any TV you have to pay for should be barred from having ad breaks. Funding ought to be by any one of these three: Licence fee, subscription or advertising. The fact that Rupe charges subscription (or PPV) and runs loads of advertising is one of the two reasons I won't get sky.

        The other reason is that I have always considered the dirty digger to be one of the dodgiest people on the planet and I will do everything I reasonably can to avoid giving him a single penny.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Free" stuff

        AFAIK Sky News is still free-to-air on Freeview - mind calling it a news channel is pushing it a bit. Sky Sports News was removed a while back I believe, but was free-to-air for a while.

  56. EddieD

    On the bright side...

    I only maintain my TV license to watch F1, via the internet, it's the only thing I watch live, so when it goes, so does my license.

    I wonder how long it will take to convince the Beeb that I've done it.

    1. Jim Morrow

      someone needs a clue transplant

      > I wonder how long it will take to convince the Beeb that I've done it.

      eddied, the bbc doesn't give a fuck if you have a tv licence or not. it has no way of knowing. the tv licence money is collected by crapita (i think) on behalf of a government agency that once upon a time was part of the post office. the bbc is not involved in this at all. they just get most of the dosh that's collected.

      also, you don't need a tv licence get bbc content over the interweb. legally the licence allows you to operate a receiver for broadcast tv signals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Someone didn't do their research properly.

        If you're watching it streamed online as it's being broadcast you need a TV licence.

        Only "On Demand" exempts you - for the time being at least, expect that to change in future years.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    I think it's time to shout at the BBC..

    ... as some other have pointed out, this is purely an issue that should be levelled at the BBC, Sky just jumped in on a good offer and I don't think Bernie's gives a monkeys where is money is coming from.

    Petition your MP for scrutiny into the BBC and how it handles it's money, maybe some FoI's concerning the finances of the the other (poorer quality) channels like 3 and 4 and World Service which justify saving money on a Sport which will effectively remove it from the British public to enjoy.

    And seeing as most of that will fail cause the BBC is so far up Governments arse a round of farewell emails to your favourite teams and drivers so they realise hwo much this move has hurt some of their most devoted fans.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How the world works for TV

    1) Pay your license fee

    2) Pay for the box/subscription

    3) Pay for the channels you want

    4) Pay for the event you want (e.g. pay-per-view)

    5) Still get adverts

    You do have, of course, options:

    a) Don't watch. There's loads of races you can watch and only need to suffer 1). e.g. British Superbikes

    b) Complain 1. Write to FIA/F1 and state that you will no longer follow it and why.

    c) Complain 2. Write to OfCOM and complain that too much sport is now controlled by Sky (don't expect anything to happen)

    d) Propose. Write to the Beeb and ask them to cover some other race you like (e.g. Touring cars, Sidecars, Speedway, Hill climbs; whatever). This could actually be a golden opportunity for some exciting and under-rated sports to get a look-in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      BSB is on ITV and therefore comes with (5).

      MotoGP, however, is on the BBC and doesn't. However MotoGP stopped being interesting when they introduced traction control. So now the bikes may be faster than the 125s but aren't really any harder to ride. In the old days controlling the power of those bikes coming out of a corner was the preserve of the select few and mostly where races were won and lost, these days it's controlled by a computer and the races are won and lost mostly on who has the fastest bike. So it's back to being a Honda benefit again.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    every cloud

    Its a disaster but half as much humpries and jordan seems to soften the blow a bit and to be honest brundle and coultard are dire together.

    1. James Hughes 1

      I duisagree

      I quite like Brundle and Coultard as commentators, they are extremely knowledgeable and seem to gell well. Considering they are primarily racing drivers, they do a very good job, and certainly better than some previous efforts.

      As to the deal itself - I won't be getting Sky so that another viewer lost for the non-FTA races.

  60. b166er


    everyone ditch their Sky subscription.

    Really? you couldn't do without it?

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Lets add this up

    Lose F1 to sky and save money, or sack the boys who follows the directors round to open the gold plated petrol caps and fill their corporate chauffer driven limo's?

    No brainer, F1 must go!!

  62. JohnMurray


    Since when has Ms Ecclestone ever been for anything except herself ?

    The only thing keeping me paying the licence fee now is the large amount of threatening letters, and visits, I will get if I cancel it......

  63. A J Stiles

    What needs to be done

    This kind of exclusivity deal should be made very illegal.

    Just because one broadcaster is showing the event, they absolutely should not be allowed to lock out other broadcasters from showing it.

    Let the market decide. Anything else is just blatant anti-competitive, rent-seeking behaviour, and directly harms the consumer.

  64. PassingStrange
    Thumb Down

    A good deal for the Beeb? Yeah, right...

    "Highlights" for every other race? Funny - I remember when the Beeb got a vaguely similar deal for England RU internationals; it pretty much marked the end of my interest in the 6 Nations. Because someone else's opinion of what all the "interesting" bits were, shown in predigested form hours after the event, is of no use to me; waiting in real time, live, to see what, if anything, will happen is a vital part of the pleasure.

    Right now my wife and I watch every race of the season; I can guarantee that we won't be bothering to watch mere highlights, though - and that means we probably won't bother to watch the live races either; what's the point? (Oh, and, no, I'm not forking out for a Sky subscription again, just for the privilege of getting back what until now has been free to air - I've been there, and I'm not going back.)

    I wait with interest to see how F1 viewing figures go - I suspect that the drop will be near-precipitous.

  65. Anonymous Coward

    BBC F1 Petition

    Please support the BBC F1 petition,

    License payers want F1 to be free to air on the BBC, and the BBC should have consulted properly with License Payers before making such a significant change.

    Have your say at

    *Please* Sign It, Tweet It, and Pass it on!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The BBC

      The BBC didn't make this decision, it was made for them. Sky outbid them plain and simple.

      1. David Beck

        The BBC contract has two more years to run

        It was the BBC's decision. They got Sky to agree to allow the every-other crap, Bernie just trousers the cash.

  66. Ged T

    RIP F1 and FIA

    Limited audience, diminishing sponsors, narrow-minded management...

    It used to be fun

  67. Ben Norris

    Look how successful A1GP was!

    The main problem I find with Sky Sports is that the pre event coverage just drags on too long without enough real content to fill the time. Half an hour - an hour is enough!

  68. CmdrX3


    The only fucking thing on BBC I pay a license fee to see. I'm fucked if I'm paying Sky the money for Sky Sports just to watch it. I'm afraid I may just turn into a freetard for that one.

  69. puffspluslotion

    Just thought I'd let you know...

    Motorsports are boring. Yes I know they take a great amount of skill and strategy but being a successful business owner does too. That doesn't mean I want to watch board meetings on TV.

    While I'm on the topic, the idea of wanting to watch professional poker players on television confuses me as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Can't agree there

      A lot of motorsport is exciting, but not F1.

      F1 and some other series have rules which actually prevent a lot of the exciting stuff from happening. And before anybody shouts up about safety the rules I'm talking about have nothing to do with safety.

      For example, allowing huge amounts of aerodynamically generated downforce means that overtaking using the slingshot effect is difficult. When a driver gets too close to the car in front their car loses downforce and so loses grip. This means it's harder to get a "tow" from the car in front in order to pass.

      Another example is the brakes. They are too effective for exciting racing. They are so good that the drivers have little or no leeway when it comes to braking points. So passing on the brakes, which is common in other race series is not so common in F1.

      Both those examples are caused by the rules being created in the interests of making the cars give the fastest lap times rather than the best racing. If it was a sport like, for example, hillclimbing where every driver gets one or two goes on their own to set the fastest time then the rules would make sense. They make no sense at all for mass start racing.

      Then of course there are the circuits. The incredibly wide circuits with constant radius turns make for duller racing whatever the rules. That's why Monaco is often the most exciting event on the calendar. It puzzles me that Ecclestone and his cronies love Monaco for this, but seem to encourage the other circuits to become more and more boring.

      If you find motorsport boring I suggest you take a look at the last round of BSB at Oulton Park. Which is the last motorsport event I watched on TV. OK so it wasn't as good as it could have been because the conditions were so wet, but even a fairly dull BSB race makes F1 look like drying paint.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I kinda of agree with you that some of the rules have made things a bit worse for F1 but most of them do actually have good reason for.

        Forinstance, the underside fan that Bernie himself had on his cars when he had a team was baned, bot to make things boring, but because it made such a huge difference in corner speeds that firstly no one could compete (which does making it boring) and it was hugely unsafe.

        The speeds they were going for that period of racing was stupid, if something went wrong people would have died.

        in a sense thats what most of the rules are for, safty and fairness, at the moment anyone can have there own design of car many of the other motorsports have much tighter than F1 with what can be used, an example would be that in some motor sports they all have the same engines. In F1 we dont. The point isnt about crashing an overtaking, yes its quite spectacular but thats not the reason we watch it, F1 has some of the biggest fastest most advanced racing cars on the planet with some of the best drivers as well.

        But have they gone a bit far with the rules? yes i would say they have, an example would be that this season a simple nudge is no longer seen as a racing incident, its now stop go penelty, in my opinion that trend will stop drivings trying to overtake, of course the flip side is that the racing director doesnt want people to crash at 180MPH so i can see their point i just dont agree with it.

        Football has the same issues, yeah the rules dont change but their interpretation does, any sport does, you either like it or you dont, i cant stand football, i admire Motorbike racing but i dont like it.

        each to their own

  70. The elephant in the room

    Highlights Plus

    Essentially most of what is left out of the highlights is cars going round without incident or overtaking. We can think of this as liberating a couple of hours during the best part of Sunday to do something more constructive. But if you really want to watch nothing much happening then maybe it could be recreated in CGI with videorealistic pre-rendered tracks onto which CGI cars are rendered, tracking their positions throughout the race, and spliced inbetween the real highlight footage to recreate the full-length race.

    Hit the Red Button and you get to morph the CGI cars into alternative rides eg dragons or flying carpets, and change the setting of the track to the Moon or Shanghai in the 1920s...

    Or you could just find a website streaming the Sky feed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Obviously not an F1 fan, are you?

      They don't have to be crashing or 'taking to be interesting.

      Maybe I want to watch things on my TV, instead of huddling 'round a monitor with my misses?

  71. Rovindi

    Lucky you....

    At least it´s not as bad as the coverage on La Sexta, in Spain. They cut to adverts every 15mins and reduce the main picture to a small subframe. Worst bit, the cycle of ads, is exactly the same on every break. Frikkin´ Groundhog day or whaaaaaaaaaaat.

    They typically cut to an ad in the seconds before a race and have actually missed the start of at least three races this season. Even missed the restart of Monaco. Un-fucking-believably piss poor.

    Sky isn´t all bad by comparison. With the sound down, naturally.

    Still, you´ve got Eddy Jordan, so it all balances out, I guess...

  72. Richard Ball



    Like others, F1 was the only sport I watched and there it goes. I won't be getting Sky becaue I'm buggered if I'll opt-in to pay the football tax.

    As some movie-star said recently of Tom Cruise and his Scientard friends: "That ain't MY religion, baby".

    Or something roughly like that.

    So someone else can continue to pay for Posh's sunglasses cos I won't.

  73. Velv
    IT Angle

    El Reg

    Given we're now at 120+ comments, good to see that the El Reg readership can show their passions for the important things in life :)

  74. pullenuk


    I was just getting back into f1 again thanks to the bbc hd coverage is brilliant. They also have a good subtitles so watching the talking before the race and after where I could finally understand what was hapebing and listening to the stuff in the race as well was brilliant. Now if it goes to sky I got to take a 12 month subscription to sky sports just for formula 1 with no idea of how the coverage or the subtitles will be like during formula 1.

    Sorry that just annoyed me and once the bbc stop broadcasting it, they lost me again. The reason it gained viewers is because its on bbc. Switch it elsewhere and the viewer go down. Simple. Maybe the bbc should have a live iplayer contract instead.

  75. Neil 44
    Thumb Down


    Will the BBC's view of F1 highlights correspond to mine - from the 5 red lights going out until the chequered flag? I doubt it.

    Like the many, I won't be shelling out for MurdockTV Sports....

    Now... If the Olympics were made exclusive to Sky, would the money the BBC save pay for proper F1 coverage - and maybe even a bit of live test cricket?

  76. ph0b0s

    Sky SOP

    This is sky standard operating procedure of finding something that has a big fan base on Free to air and then moving it behind a paywall. It is how they make their money.

    They did this with 24 and Lost. They wait for a while for the content to become popular then swoop in and bid mega money to grab the fan base (hopefully).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Or torrenting

      Actually my first torrent was Farscape Peacekeeper Wars which Sky snatched from the BBC.

      After Lost was snatched from C4 I torrented that as well. Until it got boring.

      As to F1, looks like I need another LNB and the switch to handle it.

      And finally US drama - I now ONLY download it since it tends to get mistreated or pinched.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    BBC & F1

    From the article in the papers a few weeks back the BBC, were looking at dropping it completely. The reason being was it is the most expensive program they broadcast, costing each licence payer something like £1 were the average is normally around 7 pence. With only around 2m to 4m viewers , with the cuts I guess they could no longer justify it.

    I guess they tried to keep some of it, by working out this deal.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      That's £1 for 20 races, with over 3.5 hours coverage per race, plus another 1.5 or so for Qually. That's 100 hours of TV, plus about another 90 hours of coverage of Practice on iplayer, and then another 20ish hours of post-race red button coverage.

      That sounds like a bargain to me!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  78. jai


    well, to be honest, F1 has been getting very boring, that i keep on forgetting to watch it

    at least now, i won't be able to watch it, so won't have to feel annoyed that i've missed it

  79. Disgruntled

    Want my license fee back

    I want my license fee back for the 2012 coverage the beeb already had the contract for that's been given the Sky!

    Hope their coverage is better than it was for A1GP, that was utter shine!

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Down with this sort of thing!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The Passion of St Tibulus

      Careful now

  81. Nexox Enigma

    Could be worse!

    At least you get F1 coverage broadcast at all in the UK - across the pond we get it on a premium cable channel (SPEED) and radio is only broadcast by satellite. Luckily, so few people care about F1 over here that there's almost no risk of unintentionally hearing about a race, so I can wait a day or two and find the BBC coverage... somewhere on the Internet. So I'll still be unhappy if Sky's coverage isn't up to BBC standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The plan

      "so few people care about F1 over here "

      That's what they are trying to work towards over here.

  82. Anonymous Coward

    Formula One Gerbils in a Wheel

    Much more entertaining. They also tower over Ecclesone in real life.

  83. davemcwish

    Can we get over the Murdoch bashing (for a bit anyway) ?

    Despite the article heading, this is a combination of things:-

    1. Greed/Business decision by Ecclestone - F1's main growth markets are Middle East / Asia

    2. Politics by the BBC - they oppose the revised licence fee so choose to cull high profile events rather than number of senior managers, exec pay, high salaries to 'stars' service companies (tax avoidance here - so where's @ukuncut ?)

    3. The BBCs own internal 'cultural agenda' - Favouring the youth/niche channels (BBC3 & 4), £1bn on the new Broadcasting House & £150m to 'move' Radio 5 lite, Kids TV etc to Salford

    4. BBC ratings 'war' - Spent £25m on 'The Voice' to compete with Cowell

    4. BBC Overmanning - 200+ staff to Glastonbury 2011, 250 covering the Olympic countdown, Jake and a cast of thousands will be needed for 'The Home Olympics'

    5. The other terrestrial broadcasters having less spare cash than Auntie.

    Need I go on ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Can we get over the Murdoch bashing

      No. But there's always plenty of room for more in the Rogues gallery of public hate figures.

  84. Anonymous Coward

    another lost viewer

    I'll not be watching F1 anymore in order to spend more time with my family... that's what people say when they've been pushed out isn't it?

    Putting the middleman in control f*cks both consumer and producer. Why can't we just skip forward 10 years to the business model where I pay F1 to watch their stream and skip Sky altogether? Then I could watch a the race and listen to commentary from a local-language station of my choice.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    At least...

    .... there'll be no tosser carrying a fucking iPad around with him all the time. Jesus, he looked like a dick holding that.

  86. Dazed and Confused

    Oh No

    I hope they do it better than they handled rallying a few years ago.

    The guy doing the commentating sound like

    a) he was reading a script, probably being translated from some other language

    b) had ever seen a car in real life

  87. Britt Johnston

    stiff upper lip

    Bernie is doing a good job. He is bringing as much money into motor racing as possible, adjusting the rules to make things more exciting, and berating the stables to reduce spending. But several such expensive sports are going this way on national coverage, for F1 even in Germany and Britain where participation is highest. Note that PayTV Eurosport can't afford to pay for F1 and MotoGP like it used to.

    AC12:46 has it right, we must tighten belts and get use to British superbikes, lawn bowls, F2, U17 and ladies football, pram-pushing and other sports that can fit a limited budget.

  88. corestore


    I can't get Sky; there's a bloody great hill in the way. And even if I could there's no way I'd bother putting up a dish and paying a whacking great monthly sub for something that's always been free to air (I'm not a footy fan). What am I supposed to do? How is this progress?

    Still at least some people will be able to see the races; the last couple of GPs weren't shown *at all* in New York...


  89. IsJustabloke

    I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

    Thank god they saved that £45 million.... that'll make the £900 million they're spending on moving everyone to Manchester for no good reason so much more bearable. Why does the BBC hate teh viewing public so much? Shame they wont cut the Olympic coverage instead.

    Still we could always have another version of Masterchef, The Ex racing drivers edition.

    I find I am actually *really* pissed off about this.

    And no Sky, you're not getting my money, I don't watch enough TV as it is to warrant paying another £40 odd a month to watch F1.

    1. King Jack

      Why does the BBC hate the viewing public so much?

      It's because of the unique way it's funded, Who gives a fuck when the end user HAS to keep supporting you or go to jail no matter how much you piss them off?

      The way the BBC is funded only worked when there was one channel. This Bullshit just proves it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is it likely that they wanted to move

      to Manchester? More like government interference with what is supposed to be an independent broadcaster. Presumably to fund regional development out of the TV Licence instead of progressive taxation.

  90. jumpyjoe

    Business as usual....

    ... then for the Murdoch empire and his sycophants. "we'll deal with the devil if it makes a profit".

    We were led to believe that the beauty of capitalism and the free market was that it brought us the goods we wanted cheaply and efficiently. But it's clearly just another economic lie.

    I've watched F1 in one form or another since the late 1950s including the F1 golden age of of the 1960s but I guess that, along with other great sports, has finally come to an end. Killed by greed and total disregard for the viewing public.


    1. Can't think of anything witty...

      You are wrong. There is a market.

      But you are not the target market. It's the same with so many things that are "opened to the market". Lets look at premiership football. The FA offered the rights to the market, they got a range of bids and worked out who would give the best investment (ok, maybe not, but lets not go into detail here, we're already at 250+ comments...). There is the market - the market is for the FA and the the question is "who do we sell to?" you are confusing this with a market where you are free to watch football / F1 on the BBC, sky, ESPN, Setanta or someone else.

      you are not part of the market. you are just the guy who has to pick up the tab for it.

      If these companies believed in a truly free market, then they would have no problem with other companies selling the same services and they would compete on some other differentiatior. If sky truly believed in a free market, then they would pay some licencing fee to (whoever) but if the matches / races were also screened on another channel then why would they care? After all, they are the best, they provide the best coverage and people would CHOOSE to watch it on sky as opposed to anything else.

      But they do not want a free market. they want a free market ON THEIR TERMS. Which means that they they are free to by up and monopolise whatever they can for the best price possible. To be fair, they are probably no worse than other companies for this... it's just that they are really good at it.

      Some things work really well in free markets (cars, clothes other tangible goods) but this approach really gets over-applied to stuff where it only works for the seller and not the general public. Train franchises also spring to mind.

      Capitalism works. it's just that maybe it doesn't work that well for you (or me).

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Markets do what they do (like anything else that exists!)

      It's when people build an idolatrous religion on the back of markets that it gets silly. No physicist would do that with protons or quarks, but economists get very moralistic about anything that impedes the greed of those who already have most of the money. (Don't worry, you can impede anybody else: they don't matter!) Markets do a great job of refining products like cars and computers, but does that *necessarily* mean we should have no say in how the country is run, and for whose benefit?

  91. Majid
    Thumb Down


    I always watched F1 on the BBC.. (and I am from Holland). Much better than the crap F1 coverage we have to put up with here.. Commentators are so busy with themselves, they miss all important moments and if they don't, there are the commercial breaks every 10 minutes, that will surely make you miss them.

  92. Grifter

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    Wow that really sucks. Because I'm not a brit I just torrent it anyway, so changing the source isn't really anything I can complain about, however the current BBC coverage is unequivocally the best in the world, with the highest quality content (minus EJ's pants maybe) -- it's put together in a way that shows the tremendous passion for F1 in all crew involved, and the thought of losing any of it is a huge disappointment. I used to watch only races, but since BBC picked it up I started watching the entire thing, quali buildup, quali, race buildup, race, post race forum. I don't think Sky will maintain the standard BBC set and that is a loss for the entire world.

  93. Aldous

    Solution: Sponsor Boycott

    here is an idea,publiclly boycott sponsors:

    Not watching Sky/BBC will do bugger all if you done have a nielsen box thing. Bernie wont listen to anyone unless they have $$$ and some of the teams (Williams) think this is a good thing. so how to stop it?

    Compile a list of main sponsors, set up a myface/twatter page and call very loudly and publicly for boycotts to every teams sponsor's until F1 is back on free to air (note free to air not just BBC only).

    Once sponsors see that mr & mrs disposable income are deliberately going to a competitor's products/ beating a drum against them because of bernie being a tit they will soon put the pressure on to make it availible on a FTA channel. F1 management will listen to sponsors as they are putting the money in. Teams/Fans/Drivers/broadcasters will be ignored.

    Someone set this up i can't be arsed and wouldn't touch social networks with a 20ft pole but unfortunately the majority of the population seems to have lost the ability to go to other sites and loose interest if they can't click "like"

    1. corestore

      Heh heh heh

      There you go... we DO have a Nielsen box :-)


    2. Anonymous Coward

      Boycott? Never

      It would be easy to get this turned around. Simply those that are Sky subscribers need to cancel en mass. But that won't happen, new idiots will open up their wallets and just pay while they do the 'British Moan.'

      It is the Public that make Sky a multi-billion pound company. They allow Sky to increase prices every September. They put football behind a pay-wall. And now sing its praises. British people are stupid and deserve to lose everything.

  94. Steven Bloomfield
    Thumb Down

    Goodbye F1

    Well that’s very bad news.

    If I can’t watch all the races live, then what’s the point?

    At the moment I hate watching highlights, I prefer to get up at silly o’clock to watch races live. It’s just not the same, the whole sense of occasion is lost if it’s not live.

    Perhaps the first season I might watch the live races on BBC.

    It’s likely I will end up just watching F1 as a highlights programme so it’s always the same format.

    Eventually, because highlights aren’t the same as a live race it might turn into can’t be bothered.

    Just like many things for me, they cease to exist when they disappear to Sky.

    It could be a good opportunity for BTCC to gain in popularity though.

  95. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    I bet the advertisers will

    not like having to share 8 or 9 races with the beeb

    Just getting ready to show their expensive 'grease-o-lean 3000' ad on sky sports F1 coverage 10 mins into the race and all the viewers have buggered off to watch the beebs coverage instead.

  96. Nigel Brown
    Thumb Down

    Typical bloody accountant

    They know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

  97. Beelzeebub


    As well as posting on El Reg, we must all complain via El Beeb's online complaints system

  98. Anonymous Coward


    Please let the Beeb get the WRC coverage from ESPN in replacement then.. I'll be fucking pissed if I have to shell out another £9 quid for another shit sports channel. Mind least ESPN show some Bundesliga and DTM.

    ESPN should never have got WRC rights, it should have stopped on Dave or gone to Eurosport. F1 will go EXACTLY the same way.

  99. Peter Clarke 1
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Auntie

    At least now we won't get the double up of F1 on BBC1 and the red button simultaneously. Or chopping off the last two minutes of MotoGP qualifying to go to over to empty shots of a F1 circuit.

    I'm an avid fan of MotoGP/Moto2/125s/BSB/WSB in case you haven't worked it out. F1? FOAD!

    Don't get me started on the WSB 'highlights' on C4

  100. Daniel 23

    -1 loyal fan

    I put up with adverts during F1 on ITV and I rejoiced when it came home to the BBC.

    Even my missus has starting watching it and swears she enjoys it!

    We already get the minimum Sky package but there is no way I'm paying £12.50 extra per month to watch the other half of the season.

    So, do I watch *some* of races or none of them?

    I honestly don't know at the moment but I'm erring towards none of them.

    However, a road-trip to Hockenheim using the German autobahns would cost less than Sky Sports and definitely appeals a lot more!

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down



    I loathe you, you short-ass, money grabbing little bollox.

    I do hope the viewing figures plummet, the Skyshysters bought the golf & soccer fans, remains to be seen if F1 fans follow.

    As for Sky: never, never, never, ever will one electron pass into my TV.

  102. Anonymous Coward

    For those of us who are glass half full types*

    It means every other race you can help support your local pub and watch the race there....

    Much better value for money then paying sky!

    * or half empty depending on how much you've drunk.

  103. woodbeez13

    How much do the Beeb make from selling F1 to other countries?

    Brundle mentioned on screen the other week that the Beeb's F1 coverage goes out to other English-speaking countries, don't the beeb get a reasonable income from this?

    Can't they consider cost cutting first - do we really need an anchor, two pundits, a commentator and a pit boy never mind all the behind the scenes crew and all sent to every race? Never mind the mostly overblown pop video style intros to each race (although I did enjoy Brundle and Humphries in an e-type to Spa).

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      Yes, we need those people

      There's no fat to cut from the commentary team. The three-man pundit squad is set up ideally: as an outsider to the sport Jake Humphries asks the questions we would be thinking of, and he's teamed with an ex-driver and a former team boss who between them can answer anything he might ask.

      During the race we have two commentators, Brundle and Coulthard, extremely experienced drivers with over 400 Grand Prix starts and 28 years of F1 experience; between them, they don't miss much. Ted Kravitz covers pitstops and pit lane information, which is a full time job as that info is crucial to determining race strategies, while Lee Mackenzie is there to relay knowledge of on-track incidents and interview any drivers who retire. It's all important for completing the package.

    2. Jim Morrow

      it's all about the money

      > don't the beeb get a reasonable income from this?

      of course not. don't you know the bbc pays those broadcasters to take their feed, just like they pay everyone to watch the races on tv?.

      > Can't they consider cost cutting first - do we really need an anchor, two pundits, a commentator and a pit boy never mind all the behind the scenes crew and all sent to every race?

      oh for fuck's sake!!! thanks to that greedy bastard ecclestone the uk tv rights for f1 cost tens of millions a year. the bbc's overheads for the commentators and their gold-plated ipads isn't even a rounding error compared to that. why worry about applying a sticking plaster to a scratch when there's an arterial bleed elsewhere?

      your masterplan to cut costs or get more money from other broadcasters can't produce the sort of dosh to satisy bernie's infinite greed. even if by some miracle it could make the numbers work out, you can be sure that nice mr. ecclestone will ratchet up the price for the rights even higher. again. it's what he does.

      the sad fact is the bbc can't justify spending the trainloads of cash bernie demands, just like they can't afford the demands from other greedy rights holders. which means pretty much all decent sport, films, us tv series, etc.

      this is going to get worse because the licence fee is frozen and the bbc now has to pay for the world service that used to be funded by the foreign office. of course the money the bbc has pissed away on the move to salford and the disastrous outsourcing to seimens hasn't helped either. but those self-inflicted wounds are not as significant as the rocketing prices for broadcasting rights.

      satan's little helpers at sky encourage this inflation. they can afford to do that because they have millions of fuckwits who hand over hundreds of pounds to watch endless repeats of knight rider on sky super gold plus 44.

  104. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Seriously, i am really pissed off about this.

    "The BBC has done a great job in increasing viewing numbers of the sport"

    well yeah, because its GOOD coverage and FREE (within the licence fee)

    "So we want to get sky in on it as well to help boost them some more"

    Ok happy with that, just give Sky dual rights with BBC for live coverage and everyone is happy, sky can do its 3D bullshit and get even more money, everyone wins, but wait....

    "so we're going to axe half the races on the BBC, and move the rest to edited highlights at some other point of the day"

    wait a sec, the BBC does all the leg work, we all ((mostly) (F1 fans)) like it yet they force us to take on a sky subscription and get their equipment and channels!

    Im sorry but this really stinks of back handed deals, and the worst of it i bet that lot are all sitting there patting each others backs and congratulating each other of this deal and keeping their jobs whilst we get shafted how the hell is this in the publics intrest, christ i would rather it on ITV than have to folk out for sky

    We are the home of F1, treat us with some respect!!

  105. Anonymous Coward

    Screw it

    I love formula, but 1 thing's fo sure, I'm not paying Bernie and Murdie. No matter what. It's called having some degree of morals. You don't have to do the same. It's purely your call.

  106. Paul Douglas

    Please join the following facebook group and petition

    Bernie, what are you doing?

  107. Anonymous Coward

    Damn the press in this country

    The Murdoch press has been preparing the ground for this now for ages, trumpeting how expensive F1 is for license fee payers. Yeah right, as if they care: It's double now.

  108. DanceMan
    IT Angle


    Here we get the Beeb's quali and race coverage only (no buildup or post race, save the podium stuff) on TSN, a cable channel. Because it's 5am west coast time I habitually tape it to watch later. Had too much work a month ago and missed quali so I torrented it, and did the same the following week for the race itself. And thus discovered the Beeb's hd coverage. Watched Silverstone and Hockenheim that way and was hooked.

    I know exactly what you will be missing. The TSN coverage is identical to the Spanish mentioned above -- commercials inserted by shrinking the race to a small window minus audio while the commercials run. Watching the quali and race buildup, post race, and no commercials has been quickly addictive, and this from a fan of many decades.

    Make a fuss. It affects more than just you Brits.

    Four pages of comments. Astounding. F1 over here is a minority interest, and to find this much on an IT site is something I would never have expected.

    1. Simon Harris

      Four pages of comments...

      You should see the BBCs 'New F1 deal explained' page.

      64 pages of comments (total of 6336 comments) over there!

  109. Psycho Flump

    Not a massive F1 fan but...

    My mum loves the sport and this really annoyed her, she certainly won't be paying for Sky. It's a shame there isn't a way to pay per view online rather than having to deal with Sky, like ESPN's NHL coverage for example. At least there you pay purely for the sport and not numerous other channels of crap.

  110. david 145


    Does anyone know the saving the BBC has made?

    The BBC will also have to find some rubbish to put on in place of all the brilliant F1 coverage they will loose. No chance that they will be making any nice shiny Brilliant NEW TV to replace it with I bet.

    Would be interesting to know the real amount of money saved!

  111. guvna

    Watch it on the internet

    There's no way I'm paying for this. It's simply outrageous. Did they not think there would be a huge public backlash about this?

    I'm not forking out the money for sky sports, it's a ripoff anyway as i don't watch half of it.

    I, like many others, will be using the wonderful world of the internet and streaming sites to watch it online for free, like it's always been, and sticking two fingers up to murdoch and bernie.

    Yes, it's cheating, but i'm pretty sure my license fee increased last time i checked. It's not my fault if aunty wants to spend all their cash on other ventures that no-one's interested in. F1 is a major draw for viewers, but they'd rather save money.

    Hey guess what, so do I. License cancelled.

  112. SteveBalmer
    Thumb Up

    Solution for those not willing to ponyup £600 a year

    to watch ALL the F1 races..

    RTL and Radio5 Live commentary.

    Fuck you Bernie and Murdoch.

  113. Tommy Pock

    Every cloud

    This is fantastic news for the far superior Moto GP.

  114. Nigel Steward
    Thumb Down

    What a stitch up

    I pay for my TV licence, and like many others the majority of my viewing is F1, TopGear, and possibly next year an hour or two of the Olympics.

    There is no way that I would consider subscribing to Sky, or funding Muddydick in any other way.

    We have been let down by the dwarf & the BBC.

  115. Anonymous Coward

    $old to the old $cumbag at the back

    I wonder which criminal he'll chose to run this part of his crappy empire? I guess he's already buying the rights from another criminal so it all works out very conveniently. Football fans may have handed him their cash and their shrunken hairy balls for the premier league but no way am I going to give a single penny to that lying thieving conman.

    2013 will be no free to air F1

  116. Anonymous Coward

    Sky Parasite..

    Sky only exists Because idiots pay for it.. If they did not pay for sky everything would air on free to view TV, their would be no bidding wars, and Bernie would not be so stinking rich on our money.

    so thank you dumbassess who pay murdoch.. YOU have taken my F1 away.

  117. MikeHuk

    The Bastards!!!

    How cab they do this? The BBC's F1 coverage of F1 has been superb - a jewel in their crown, particularly after the ITV F1 debacle. Well that's the end of F1 for me. Next year I won't be watching F1 anymore. I won't even consider Sky. It seems that the BBC is entering a terminal decline both in the direction and quality of programs. The BBC used to be renouned for the quality of it's programs worldwide but now it is becoming a mediocre also ran.

  118. Anonymous Coward

    Bernie's a greedy little troll

    Much as I admire Bernie for getting the teams in order when they were all bickering, and getting F1 to where it is now, this just shows that he's only interested in money.

    There is no way in which this is good for F1 fans. I for one will not be paying for $ky $ports - for the races that aren't on BBC I'll either listen to Radio 5 Live or watch the information feeds on McLaren's members website.

    I can't see the move to Sky being anything but negative for audience figures, not just in the UK, but for viewers elsewhere in the world who watch BBC's coverage simply because it's the best there is.

    It will be interesting to see how this will affect sponsorship deals for some of the lower order teams, who get nothing from the TV money if they don't score points. Their sponsors need viewers to maximise their investment in car livery deals.

    Sad day for F1.

  119. Andy Enderby 1

    Don't forget......

    That the beeb seem to have 900 million quid available to them for this move to Salford. Yup £900,000,000 that they are spunking up the wall....... They're doing it in order to be able to make the claim that the beeb is not London centric...... Yeah right, moving to Salford will make a difference in the editorial content..... my hairy arse it will.

    1. Magnus_Pym

      Yes. But.

      This budget is split into £1,000,000 to move staff and facilities and £899,000,000 to pay for the special personal London to Manchester Lear Jet service for the exec's personal use. After all how are they going to nip into the Groucho for Lunch if they have to catch a scheduled service.

  120. luxor

    Now I'm an Ex F1 fan

    Thank you BBC and Bernie.

    You have just lost a lifelong F1 fan and viewer.

    I have no interest in watching only some races, poxy highlights or listening to it on the radio.

    Seriously who would listen to it on the radio?

    Give us all the races or piss off completely.


  121. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I might pay..

    ..but only for an F1 season ticket. I'm not going to subscribe to Sky Sports just for one sport. £10 a race for full coverage including support races is something I'd go for but that's about it. So I suspect I'll just be watching the highlights on BBC now. As happens I hardly ever watch the races live anyway. I prefer to record and start watching an hour into them. It's a hold over from the ITV days when it was a way to skip advert breaks. Not a problem on the BBC but last year was handy because by the time I got to the end the stewards had decided on the final result :)

    So - I don't blame Murdoch for this and I think some people are getting their knickers in a twist over a trivial decision. However I'm unlikely to pay to watch myself.

  122. g7rp0

    Can I assume

    That we are going to see cuts in the uttter shit that is that dancing travesty that is hosted by Forsythe (Who incidentally should have been pensioned off a long time ago).

    Sky now has pretty much every sport worth watching, cut some salaries from people like forsythe, moyles et al and we we might get some decent programming again.

    I would like to know what races the BBC will still have, they have said British and Monoco iirc, but whats the odds on the rest are the ones on at silly o clock on the morning UK time?

  123. Joel Mansford

    What kind of deal is that?

    Half the races? wtf!?!

    This is the *ONLY* sport I watch. I hope that F1 see the error of their ways and realise they benefit more from having it on the BBC beyond what they get paid directly.

  124. HaplessPoet

    Hello, wake up, it's coffee you can smell.

    Firstly, to everyone who said "the only thing I watch on BBC is F1" you are lying, so stop it, be honest, add Top Gear & QI, come clean!

    Secondly, Mr Ecclestone, is mistaken. Sky only have 10m subscribers and I am 100% sure they won't all watch F1. So BBC and Mr Eccelstone, you are sadly mistaken, viewing figures will fall.

    Thirdly, to any BBC managers reading (enjoy your job while you can) you are making a mistake, if you think you aren't then sadly you should resign, because you are clearly in the wrong job!

  125. Arnie
    Thumb Down

    That'll show murdoch

    ........What a tough line our government have taken with him. Just let him buy the rights to F1 off of our state owned media. Bet the poor man can't sleep at night.

    Personally I wish the BBC had pulled out altogther. Fans will be double dipped having to pay the licence fee subscription and a sky sport sub on top. I'd rather my license fee monies be used for new episodes of cash in the attic and bargin (rhymes with) hunt. y'know quality award winning content. Rather than for half the races and a highlights package.

    The reality is F1 is driven by sponsers. These sponsers invest based on footprint and volumes of viewers. Will sky pick many subscribers up off the back of this? or will it just be a bonus for the footy fans? If numbers drop significantly on the beeb then there really is a chance advertisers will eventually start pulling out. That can't be good for F!.

  126. Anonymous Coward

    Damn you Murdoch..

    How will I manage to get to sleep on a Sunday afternoon now if it's on Sky?

  127. Cyberelic

    Oi! Bernie - NO!!!

    That man should be roasted on a spit over a slow fire, whilst all us F1 fans take turns to kick him in the delicate bits.


  128. MJI Silver badge

    Who is going to pay for my satellite mods?

    80cm dish

    2 quad LNBs

    2 multiway DiSeqc switches

    Lining it up

    The BBC?

    Bernie the dwarf?

    Unfortunately me

    And my wife doesn't want me to put up another but the 65cm is too small for 3 Quad LNBs

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That is all.

  129. MJI Silver badge

    TF1 HD

    Is it FTA?

    If not may just go RTL

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I remember during the ITV era, switching it on to RTE for their coverage during the ITV ad breaks.

      Unfortunately Setanta bought the rights and no longer broadcast.

  130. Danunwin

    Still Hope

    From a little googling i've done, the Concord agreement uses the wording "F1 Events" when describing the free to air issues, so a race shown on sky and not BBC will be in breach so long as it affects the viewing figures.

    I have emailed FOTA & the BBC, the more that do saying we will not be paying for Sky the better, at worst we will cost them email storage and time in replying to so many emails.

    It will probabaly fall on deaf ears but it's worth a shot.

  131. Anonymous Coward

    Why not show last years races?

    All F1 races look the same anyway

  132. James Dunmore

    It's a political move

    i.e the beeb are cutting popular items to cause outrage, rather than cut - say, bbc 4 that no one watches.

    I think F1 should remain on free-to-view (in the short term), however, I already have sky sports, sky always do excellent sports coverage so it isn't a bad thing.

    In the long run, we should scrap all license TV (well, happy to pay a means/house-sized based fee towards documentary making, but not eastenders and chris moyles' salary) - and go true PPV on demand. It's not far away (in the future) anyway.

  133. Anonymous Coward


    I love the f1 on the BBC and it has rekindled my love for the sport. One of my favourite parts was the ability to use the iplayer in the unfortunate event that I missed a race.

    I assume Sky dont have something similar?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      see title.

  134. Anonymous Coward


    Why couldn't they put half the episodes of Eastenders on sky instead..

    (in fact I'd be happy if they all went.)

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A1 Grand Prix

    Surprised no one has mentioned the A1 Grand Prix yet. It was only available on Sky and, err, was a flop.

  136. Aggellos

    direct your anger at the right target

    not much point complaining here,

    is the best place to complain to such an undemocratic body like BBC

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You're still missing the point. The BBC were outbid they didn't decide to hand F1 to Sky for free. Now normally these auctions are sealed bid only, so you decide how much you want to bid and don't find out how much your competitors are bidding. As such you don't get another go.

      The majority of licence fee payers do not watch F1. If the BBC had bid more then would you consider it OK for all the people who don't watch it to complain that the BBC were spending too much money on a minority interest?

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        Blue Sky thinking

        "The majority of licence fee payers do not watch F1"

        True. This is something F1 coverage has in common with literally every other program on the air. By your logic, therefore, the BBC should not make or purchase the rights to any programming at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          The point is that people are complaining that the BBC did not bid an awful lot more to secure F1. I was merely pointing out that, had the BBC bid bid enough to secure F1 then it would be just as valid for people to complain about the amount of money "wasted" on F1 when it could have been better spent elsewhere.

          The point being that complaining to the BBC in large numbers (or raising a petition) would put you on a hiding to nothing. People suggesting that the BBC would change their minds because a number of viewers complained seem to think that the BBC is some sort of democracy. The point of my post was that if the BBC were a democracy then they would always have to go with the majority.

          I never said I thought the BBC should always go with the majority, just that a minority should be careful about trying to play some sort of democracy card.

          Even so there seem to be an awful lot of people out there who seem to think that complaining to the BBC about this will suddenly change the situation. It won't. The contracts have been signed.

  137. Jon H


    Great, I've just bought my first HD tele, still waiting for it to be delivered in fact. I bought one with FreeSat HD built in so I wouldn't have to pay Sky. Honestly I've been looking forward to F1 in HD more than other programs and now all this, just typical.

    How many Sky Sports subscribers are there already? Obviously Sky next year will take that figure and say they have that many F1 viewers making it sound like they've won a lot of fans over.

    If we can't see all the races live, public interest will wain, revenue from the UK will be down and this will slowly get noticed by the F1 teams and more importantly their sponsors and hopefully they will then kick up a fuss.

  138. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    WRC went on PayTV.

    And look how popular it is now compared to the heyday of the late 90s, when every boy racer aspired to own a Subaru (which were once the sole preserve of farmers!).

    Citroen are doing well, but it hasn't helped their sales of 'hot hatch' versions in the UK because nobody watches anymore, and most people don't even know that Subaru and Mitsubishi no longer have factory WRC teams!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I used to like WRC

      Remember bits back to early 80s

      But mainly in the McCrae and Burns era.

      Then the RAC rally became a joke.

      Then TV coverage disappeared.

      News about Subaru - so thats why they are not selling as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stupid Rules

      Rallying has always been at it's most popular when the competing cars closely resembled the cars the fans could buy themselves. In the days when Mitsubishi and Subaru dominated you could buy homologation special road cars. These days you can't really buy a road going version of the Citroen.

      I think the decline in popularity of WRC has a lot to do with the stupid rules they have that have made a mockery of the sport by allowing some teams to run what amount to modern day group B cars that don't have a lot in common with road cars. Take for example the Peugeots from a few years back. The homologation rules are pretty rigid, but Peugeot were allowed to bend them while nobody else was. Everybody was running reasonably large cars, but Peugeot took a smaller car, the 206, and put big fat bumpers on it to take it up to the minimum length. Nobody else was allowed to do this and surprise surprise the Peugeot dominated. If they'd been competing on a level playing field with the likes of Mitsubishi they would have been running something like a 406 (equivalent in size to the Lancer) and would have lost. But the 206 had a weight and wheelbase advantage over the oposition and won. Rallying is still largely ruled by the French and the rules tend to be twisted to suit the French teams. It has been thus since before the days of WRC.

      Who's old enough to remember the 1966 Monte Carlo? The powers that be actually stated there was no way the Mini would be allowed to win again, but it did. So they put a huge effort into disqualifying the BMC team. All they could find was that the headlamp bulbs on the works Minis were not homologated and so the car was disqualified and IIRC a Citroen won. All they could come up with was the headlamp bulbs, but on the other hand when a complete car openly flouts the homologation rules that's OK as long as it's French. Of course as far as rally fans from outside France were concerned the Citroen didn't win and no matter what the official record books say most people consider that the Mini won in 1966.

  139. HaplessPoet
    Thumb Up

    e-petition at now available

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What have the government got to do with it?

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