Start, Silverstone, 2011

Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Start, Silverstone, 2011
Start, Silverstone, 2011

The BBC will no longer show every round of the F1 season live, starting next year.

Under a new deal announced today the BBC will share coverage with Sky from 2012 to 2018.

Sky will show every race live. The BBC will only screen around half the season’s races including the British and Monaco Grands Prix, plus the season finale.

Sky will show all the practice and qualifying sessions live as well, while the BBC will only show practice and qualifying sessions for certain races.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.

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

“With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.

“We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

Sky passed a target of achieving ten million customers in the UK last November, however many of these will not have the Sky Sports package.

Are you happy with the new arrangement? Will this change how you watch F1 next year? Have your say in the comments.

F1 on television

Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

442 comments on “Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012”

  1. Massive, massive, massive mistake.

    Audiences will drop badly – especially if we see a repeat of Vettel’s dominance next year.

    1. I agree. I’m not willing to pay for Sky, and so if I can’t follow my favorite sport properly, then I may not follow it at all. This is a huge mistake whose repercussions could very well destroy F1 in the very near future.

      1. This absaloutely ridiculous!!!!! I love the BBC overage, and now I can’t get the thrill of watching a race live, which was always thrilling
        Furthermore, I agree with @Dougy_D, as the BBC coverage is perfect at the moment. If they want to save money, then pay the presenters slightly less, not cutting short coverage of the races

        1. Just checked – to add Sky Sports to a Virgin Media package is either £14.50 or £25.00 per month depending on your existing package. This is not acceptable to me as I pay approx. £40 for my entire package of TV, Phone and Broadband currently. There’s no way I’m prepared to pay around 50% more for a single channel that I’ll likely watch for a few hours every other weekend for only half the year! This is a disgrace, I fear for F1’s future, I really do. My dad has been a fan ever since I was a kid (I’m 38 now), but he’s never going to go out and get Sky just for this, and I bet there are literally millions of others that won’t bother when this comes to pass.

          1. I agree. I suppose I will have to take much more of an interest in Moto GP. When F1 switches to sky I will be switching off F1.

          2. Plus the BBC license fee of £12.13 per month…

          3. Andy,

            Same boat – completely agree with you on that one. Sure there will be many, many others in the same position.

        2. I live in Angola and I subscribe DsTV (South Africa based sat tv distribuitor)for over 100 USD per month and F1 is not free-to-air, however, I’m afraid it will spill over here because we get BBC coverage through South Africa’s Super Sport channel.

      2. well said mate

    2. This is the worst news I have heard for many years! Terrible terrible terrible decision. I will not be subscribing to sky sports so I will not be watching all the races anymore…… Has F1 in the UK Now Died?

      1. In the UK only.

        1. In Italy RAI has never covered Free Practices , only Sky had the total coverage . We can see freely only quali , race and GP2 … RAI shows free practice exclusively of Italian Gp (from the last year , because Sky doesn’t broadcast F1 ) . I remember that in 2003 also to see the friday quali you should pay Sky !
          However the audience is very good , 10-15 millions of people (30-35% of audience) , also 25-30 millions for Monza ! But you must consider that until 80’s we could not see F1 in Italy (although Ferrari) because it was too cruel …

          1. ChimpSafari
            29th July 2011, 11:34

            But at least you could watch every race and qualifying session. I would happily forgo free practice on all races to catch qualifying and the actual race.

          2. I’m in Italy and not seeing FP is not such a great loss. During the scholastic year I’m at school, I concentrate on Qualy and Race. I’m happy with them showing both GP2 races, F1 Q & R.

      2. This is quite pathetic.

        Not just what they have done, but also the way the have gone about it.

        They aren’t keeping it on the BBC yet they say they are. Stupid. If I was British I would be anoyed have having to pay 40 bucks (aussie) to watch F1.

        People who are 50/50 on whether to watch F1 or not are probably turned off by this.

        I don’t want to watch boring F1, but if there isn’t anyuthing better on I’d prefer to see Vettel win in an overpowered RBR and Webber have KERS issuses than nothing. If however I had to pay to watxch that, I wouldn’t, I would want a GUARENTEE of my moneys worth.

        As for me, wathcing it on ONE with British commentary, it’s sad enough if we lose Brundle.

        1. Vettel has been winning in an underpowered car, the renault has much less top end power then the mercedes engine. you are watching a great driver, driving the best he can in a great car – savour it.

    3. I don’t beleive it!!!!!!!Having followed motor racing and F1 for the last 45 years or so,I’m upset and refuse to pay extra for another box Freeview and Cable is enough.I more viewer lost BBC.

      1. Sky “This is fantastic news for F1 fans”

        Ya we really love having to go out and buy at satellite dish,

        Then we will really love having to pay a fee every month,

        And it is fantastic news we will have to watch advertisements too,

        Guess its going to be BBC highlights as I ain’t getting Sky and I certainly ain’t paying the Murdochs a penny.

        1. What they mean is fantastic news for them. Or they don’t understand the definition of fantastic.

      2. Duane Massey
        6th March 2012, 11:34

        It’s fantastic for Bernies pockets, that’s what they meant.

    4. I have Sky but not Sky Sports.

      I could live with the ITV coverage but have always loved the BBC coverage.

      For £40 per month there is already little that I watch regularly on Sky. Now I should pay more as an approval of this sell-out?

      I’m appalled that the sport has allowed this to happen.

      1. I totally agree – the only reason I keep Sky is for Living & Atlantic and if I was in a cabled area, I’d be switching to Virgin with no hesitation. I just hope that the presentation team at BBC1 keep their jobs.


    5. I do not intend to pay for SKY, as many others have commented…Was a fan of World Rallying until that went to pay to view..I understand its expensive to cover, but surely the BBc knew that to start with..will be moving on

    6. This is madness, i hope that what i heard whitmarsh say at the fans fourm is what the voice of fota believe..if this is the case we are in for a rough ride and i can see a break away being threatened again..i’d watch that rather than have to pay.
      as for the bbc showing half the races, give it 1 year with low viewing figures and they will pull the plug totally and blame the low viewing figures. The fact that jake humphrey tweeted after the german gp the viewing figures had been the highest since 1996!
      utter joke

    7. what a difference 11 days make!!!

      love the last line, thanks bernie..He added: “It isn’t possible that F1 could go on to pay TV, we wouldn’t want to do that.”

      amazin how quick a 6 year dela can be done and dusted in these days

    8. Elliot Horwood
      29th July 2011, 19:06

      I AM ****** OFF A TREAT! So annoyed about this and so are several other million people around the UK!

      I aswell as many others will most likely be watchiing the other 11 races illegally rather than pay £50+ a month for Sky

      1. Roman Krmicek
        4th August 2011, 21:45

        Yes, this is all for ****** Sky.
        BBC shouldn’t let this happend.
        Illegal races plus premier league is future for sport fan…my choice is to buy dish with foreigh card to what all of it…not Have to pay to SKY or others…

    9. It’s a huge mistake in fact. The UK is the most important center of motorsport in the world, so F-1 free-to-air coverage means a motivation not only for future drivers, but for future mechanics, engineers, team owners, etc…

      I’m very impartial in saying that, since I’m from Brazil, the country that provides many many drivers for the top categories in Europe and America, but only has a limited tradition of home motorsport categories above kart-level(F-3, Stock Cars, F-Fiat, and nothing else worth mentioning).

      Restricting its free coverage will be bad to all motorsport categories based in your country…

      Is it going to be pay-per-view or will they include it in the standard Sky service?

      If it is pay-per-view, It’ll be even worse…

    10. Some say they may not watch F1 next year well i will not be watching any of the races so give me back my money… bbc.

    11. I wonder which pockets the savings will go into.

    12. Just looked at getting sky package on my BT vision told for one chanel its £13.89 and for two £18.75 ontop of my payment for bt vision it to bloody exspensive on top of the tv licence and as a die hard F1 fan who is disabled can only watch it from there bed .
      what is the world coming too

    13. This is stupid I mean sky was terrible I had it and the broband speed was dead slow and the you couldent conect out side the room so imagine the races with some ****** coverage the. BBC has lost more than half the sports fan and we pay for our tv licsence so we should get bbc with whatever provider but oh no lots more people have sky last year on average 34% of sky customers found a better deal else’s wear

    14. Well I have to say that Bernie Ecclestone has sold All the british TV licence payer’s
      down the rive for his own personal wealth .
      As a Tv licence payer which cost,s us £149 per year , and now if we want to watch the race’s
      this season , we would have to Get SKY deals to watch them at a cost of £35.00 per Month .

      I have BT vision which costs me £20 per month which show’s Sky one and two but they dont
      show Sky F1 and to cancel Bt vision would cost £150 .

      I did watch the F1 on BBC 1 this afternoon and have to say it dose not feel that the BBC really
      care about the TV licence payer’s as the coverage was very weak and with little limp it was cut and shortened very badly, Not as much info as we used to get before Bernie” Ecclestone sold ALL THE F1 Fans out to Sky and to for his own personal gain.

      I have to say I personal feel let down By him and the BBC what is going own how much money dose one man need ????????????????????????????????

      One very angry F1 Fan of over 30 years

  2. Really disappointed by this. Would have preffered it the other way round. Bad day for F1.

  3. *** is this April 1st

    Formula 1 on Sky is the start of coverage downfall

  4. Baaaad idea. Very bad idea.

  5. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    29th July 2011, 7:44

    This is the worst news for F1 that I have heard in a long time. Utterly horrible decision. Once again Bernie has stuck two fingers up at the loyal die-hard fans to satisfy his miserable company’s bank account and I am disgusted and angered.

    Sky Sports? Now you will be forced to subscribe to pay-TV just to see every race live. How will that do anything to help F1’s image in the UK if you’re forcing people to pay to be able to watch it? Oh, and this more than likely means we’ll return to the dark ages of races being interrupted by adverts five times a race. Has Bernie even considered what the viewing experience will be like for fans or does he seriously just give the rights to the highest bidder without considering what his audience thinks at all? Why does he continue to make these terrible decisions that go against everything that the die-hard fans want? We are the ones who are buying the merchandise, buying tickets to the races, discussing every facet of this brilliant sport on websites like this one and we are the true lifeblood of this sport – not your sponsors, not the governments you deal with and certainly not the television companies you pander to.

    And what happens to the fantastic BBC team we have? We won’t get to enjoy Martin Brundle and David Coulthard’s commentary live for half of the races anymore. We’ll have to cope with a brand new presenting team that will more likely than not be shoe-horned into the roles instead of being there through merit or actual experience in the sport. At least we’ll still get 5Live commentary for every race.

    It’s a horribly disjointed deal and will undue all of the progress F1 has made since moving to the BBC. The effort the BBC has made to provide F1 fans with world-class coverage has been commendable and shown that they genuinely care about the fans. Sky Sports don’t care about F1, they care about squeezing more money out of people by monopolising as many sports as they can.

    I genuinely fear for the future of F1 in this country now, because if Bernie and FOM really do care about the casual fans only, this is easily the worst decision he ever could’ve made with the TV rights.

    Now, who’s got FOTA’s email address? I’ve got another sternly-worded letter to write…

    1. Keith. Can we copy this, form it into a petition, get signatures and send it off?

      Worst F1 news in a long time.

      Germany last year has nothing on this.

      1. If it’s on 5Live, then will it be on the red button, like the practice sessions?

        1. Possible, but I doubt it.

        2. Eh sorry to dissapiont, but the other races WONT be on the red button. The reason being that the BBC wont be there. If it’s on the red button it means that the BBC has coverage, why lug all the team and equipment along if you are not going to broadcast. This is simply a 50% saving for the BBC. Show half the races and pay half the money simple. Yet all the BBC can say is we are glad to be broadcasting till 2018, yeah broadcasting half of it. I bet they wouldn’t be so keen to say that they were showing only the first half of all football matches till then. This is the death of F1 as we know it, and lets be honest Bernie no longer cares he is looking for retirement soon anyway. 35 years of watching all the greats on F1 – sorry Bernie no longer Bye Bye.

    2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
      29th July 2011, 8:16

      Also, if you’re on Twitter I’m trying to see if we can get #F1FansDontWantSky trending to try and make a point.

      1. while it might be a forum post soon closed, this sounds like a good idea as well

      2. I am sorely dissatisfied with this, I remember ITV had coverage a few years ago and remember the bloody adverts! I have Sky but choose not to have sports. I pay them for my phone and broadband already this is indeed a VERY sad day fo F1. I wonder if it is cost cutting by the beeb or F1 wanting more”jazzy” show. I have been watching F1 30 odd years and will continue to do so but begrudge paying Murdoch and Co. yet more money.

        1. very interesting timing isn’t it?
          parliament forces murdoch into closing NotW and then Murdoch gets his own back by stealing a blue ribbon event from national TV

      3. Tweeted too!

    3. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
      29th July 2011, 8:27

      playing devil’s advocate, we don’t know what BBC’s motives were. it may be that they are more than happy at cutting their costs of covering F1 which is why we have the deal that has been announced. i think we’ll probs get a bit more from jake h when he’ll be on radio 1 at abt 0845.

      if, and i strongly suspect that it has, purely been done for financial gain on the part of BE then it’s a dark day for f1 and i agree with everything you say.

      as a sky subscriber, it won’t make a great deal of difference to me. i’ll watch the bbc coverage when it’s on. might watch the sky coverage or just watch the bbc’s extended highlights. if sky includes adverts (like it’s not going to!) then i’ll seriously consider just watching the highlights on bbc.

      i do think that we need to know more about the motives behind this decision before petitions etc are launched.

      1. Probably saving cost to get into a scope where the Management allows for the spending. Will mean Australia season opener is doubtfull to be shown on BBC, although it might be and get Malaysia as well. Then the end of year double of Austin/Brazil. Then Monaco, UK, Monza? and probably Belgium, Germany and Spain/Europe to keep travel cost down.

      2. spankythewondermonkey (@spankythewondermonkey)
        29th July 2011, 9:54

        from radio 1 interview and comments on fp1, bbc are looking to cut costs. f1 forms part of that cost cutting.

        50% live and 50% extended highlights is better than nothing. if i weren’t a sky subscriber, then i’d be narked at the decision, but it wouldn’t stop me watching. those that suggest they will are just slinging their toys from the pram and need to wake up to the real world.

        1. this has really made my day……****.

          worst news of the year, worst tv news ever.

    4. NOOOOOOO!!!!

      BBC is the only to watch F1 in Belgium. Coverage on Belgian TV is terrible!

      When I started following F1 in 1995 I used to watch the German RTL+. As they were dropped from Belgian cable I switched to the French TF1 until BBC started their coverage.

      Guess I will have to start watching the RAI for Italian comments :-S

      A sad day…

  6. bad bad news….. not happy at all to be honest

  7. FYI radio 1 to have Jakes reaction to this at 8:45am.

    1. As good as Jake is, I don’t think he’ll give an ‘honest’ response – i.e. its terrible decision – rather he will tow the party line and say how its good that at least they have some races.

  8. whoever thought this was a good idea should be fired. This is the probably the worst decision the FOM has EVER made.

  9. this is terrible, they might as well just let sky have the rights and not bother on the BBC. . Most F1 fans want to watch every race, so will need to pay Sky.

    I don’t know if I can afford sky :(

    1. I can afford it but they will not be getting my money. It is around £20 a month on top of what I already pay! Just so I can watch a race every other weekend…. Terrible, plus they will stick adverts all through the coverage so no thanks. There is no point in watching just half of the races so unfortunately after watching F1 for the 34 years of my life I will need to find another motorsport to watch.

      Keith is there any chance you could rename the site MotoGPFanatic as that is what I will probably be watching from now on, Although I did enjoy F2 and F3 on motors tv the other week so that is also an option (Also less of a name change for you).

    2. James Brickles
      29th July 2011, 9:23

      A couple of years ago, my family had to get rid of sky because we couldn’t afford it. It’s the worst news I’ve ever witnessed in F1

  10. I am really not happy about this! I’m assuming that you will need a Sky Sports subscription to watch! I’m sure Bernie said that it would remain free to air!

  11. Horrible news.

  12. Hearing this has ruined my Friday. It seems a poor deal for the BBC and an atrocious one for the fans.

    There have been no announcements about the format of BBC shows or the line up but I doubt we’ll see the standard of coverage we’ve been treated to for the past three years.

    I would speculate this makes it almost certain Jake Humphrey will step back to focus on London 2012 full time next year. And will the BBC be able to keep Brundle? I doubt it – I’d guess he’ll be off to Sky to commentate live on all 20 rounds.

    I’ll be surprised if we keep all of the excellent additions too – things like the practice sessions online and red button, and the forums, seem less likely to me in this paired down deal.

    It may well all be available on Sky but for a huge monthly charge.

    I hope I’m wrong but this seems a grim day for F1 fans in the UK.

  13. Ben Needham
    29th July 2011, 7:47

    I’m absolutely devastated by this. Does this Barbara woman have any idea what this means? She seems happy about it, but to me it’s quite plain that anyone wanting real coverage will now stick to Sky for the entire season in order to have some consistency between races.

    I really love the BBC coverage and this has really disappointed me – better go and sign up for Sky Sports then…

    1. I guess you have to look at it from the perspective of choosing between no BBC covering F1 at all and showing at least race highlights for each race and showing half of them live.

      1. The red button: the article said that the races will be broadcast on Radio 5 Live, so Im thinking that they could be broadcasted on the red button, like practice sessions currently are

        1. that would help the F1 fans in the UK at least, if true.

          It still leaves those who aren’t in the UK w/o coverage – I wonder if Sky also gets the contracts for the Australia etc. re-broadcasts for example. I was happy my digital subscription was likely to get BBC HD soon, that’s quite useless now (sure Top Gear and Dr. Who – but I don’t need those in HD really).

        2. Thats on the radio so no pictures…

        3. No. They don’t have the rights to show the race live, so they can’t show it live. Doesn’t matter which channel.

    2. signing up to sky sports is letting bernie and murdock win.

      Bernie set’s his price far too high

    3. I think the best way to deal with this crazy decision is to just watch the BBC covererage and let the F1 viewing figures drop on Sky until Sky realise that viewing figures are not worth the large sums of money they are paying Bernie and team. I know its drastic but its the only way that BBC might get it back? I have Sky anyway, but I will only watch the BBC coverage to make a point through out 2012.

  14. FOTA and Bernie promise races on free to air, and having half a season on free to air is a cop out in my eyes. Still greatful BBC can keep half the races, but highlights packages are not good enough. Chances are they wont be shown till late at night, and still miss crucial bits. Moving to Uni next year gives me no chance of getting sky sports, and those who suggest the pub, well which pub will show F1 over Football, and the earlier morning races? Looks like I will be streaming it offline, or just having to forget abot f1. BBC doesnt know what kinda of mistake it has just made.

  15. Astonishingly poor decision there. Sky in my opinion has also ruined top-tier English football by making it the corporate, bloated entity that it is today.

    Plus NewsCorp’s part ownership of BSkyB automatically rules me out of subscribing to them. The phone hacking scandal reinforces this stance.

    Onwards to internet streams ;)

    1. My thoughts exactly. I’ll go to one of the non-BBC races live next year but I second ‘onward to internet streams’ for the rest!

    2. I agree, Football was a big passion of mine, but over the years I have lost interest mainly due to sky and the attitude they have created in football. I rarely watch football anymore and even then it is only really the big games like the FA Cup final or internationals.

      Now F1 has died to me too….

      1. Completely agree . Also in Italy we don’t have free football , not even Champions League !And Italian football is died . Thank you Sky !

  16. I am actually quite suprised and shocked. I thought Bernie and FOTA wanted F1 to stay on Free-to-Air TV? I guess we was all wrong. I know that BBC will get half of the races but what are the odds of us seeing Bahrain and Spain. I’m sure you all know what I mean by this. I agree with Journeyer, viewing figures will be down a hell of a lot. Also the fact that we won’t be able to see qualifying and practices unless we pay for the privelege is just wrong. Petition anybody?

    1. We can, but if the contract has already been signed, will anyone bother backing down? This isn’t like getting rid of a radio station, which was purely an internal BBC decision. When there are contracts involved, it’s much harder to undo that.

      1. Michael Counsell
        29th July 2011, 13:38

        Don’t just petition. Boycott all F1 sponsors and all F1 merchandise. Force the teams hand to ensure that F1 stays 100% on free to air TV.

  17. Better start investing in server capacity for the live Blog Keith. And put up a big “streams here” button for everyone looking for them!

    I guess Sky will do a fine job of the coverage, even if only a minority of viewers will actually see it.

    Is this another move by Bernie to put pressure on the teams (hurting their sponsorships, making them more dependant on his payments)? I guess it did play a role as well as guaranteeing TV contracts for a longer term.

    1. I would be careful with the streams! I don’t think Keith want’s and cease-and-desist letters from Murdoch’s lawyers!

      1. True enough!

        I guess listening to radio 5 live will be fine to get through the ad brakes and endure polish or czech commentary!

      2. I somehow think linking to streams won’t be illegal anytime soon or do you think Google is being sued as we speak?
        Murdoch and his lawyers are going to be busy keeping the law of their backs.

        1. Given this High Court ruling only yesterday, any serious website would be extremely foolish to publish such links. What it means for Google is an interesting point, and ultimately highlights judges lack of IT comprehension in not designating the ISP as a common carrier.

          Back on topic, I think this is extremely poor for the future of F1, providing only short-term gain for FOM and probably medium-term gain for Sky, though they won’t be getting my money. It also makes Freesat less attractive.

  18. Michael Counsell
    29th July 2011, 7:50

    Time to start a petition? I have sky now but one day i might not so important not happy about this either.

  19. Disastrous for F1 in every sense.

    Ecclestone’s staggering gate prices mean many of us simply
    cannot afford to go to many F1 races and the BBC’s coverage, totally free of advertising intrusions has been superb. Murdoch’s outfit will destroy it.

    What a terrible day this is.

  20. Paul Campbell
    29th July 2011, 7:51

    Nightmare. The Troll grabeth the gold again.

    I have Sky, but not Sky Sports, and don;t want to be forced to buy it just for F1. I thought F1 was one of the protected sports that needed to remain ‘free to air’ – I guess have they gotten around this by keeping the British GP live on BBC?

    Adverts. Groan. Maybe the Troll will bring in a new rule that lets Sky ‘Pause’ the cars every 10 mins to let us see what type of chocolate we should be buying.

    Utter rubbish.

    1. Sadly F1 isn’t on the free-to-air list. Everyone thought that the teams would fight a move away from free-to-air, but apparently not.

      1. I guess they did not get much of a chance to do so.
        To suit the Concorde agreement the race highlights will probably officially do enough of free coverage, so this means Bernie’s got them covered and tight around the throat.

  21. Yeah, from 2 F1 fans who have watched every race together for many years, this decision sucks ROYALLY. Boycott F1 on Sky, anyone? (Not that they’d give a toss, mind you.)

  22. This is just unbelievable. I’m from Holland, but watch F1 on the BBC rather our own rightsholder. Quite some people I know have actually switched from one cable provider to another such that they would be able to watch F1 on the BBC!
    Also, look at the team at BBC. They are doing such an amazing job and now part of this gets taken away from them. Seriously, what else could they have done to make it any better?!

    1. Yep, somewhat the same here. Only a race or two ago did my digital subscription get the RTL 7 in HD, and it’s still in a hard to find, and unadvertised spot. Still. I’ll probably watch on the ad-in-a-box coverage from RTL 7, now finally in HD, with perhaps a 5live stream to augment it.

      For the practice sessions we already have to resort to 5live stream as they aren’t being show on tv.

      I wonder if a large part of the current BBC team might move to Sky, and the broadcast being shared for the races the BBC want?

      It does show that quality is worth nothing compared to politics.

      1. Adam cooper tweeted that James Allen for one is not going to do UK Tv, but possibly MB and DC might be doing Sky, or maybe Sky picks off D. Croft and Ant Davidson instead.

        1. Sky would be stupid to not try and get some of them, and Ted; MB, DC and whoever can, will likewise have little reason not to go there – I assume the BBC will just get the feed from Sky, with minimal work by themselves.

      2. By the way, just to give perspective on the costs; The basic digital tv package costs me ~EUR 17, which includes a mandatory tv-license fee; adding HD increases that by EUR 8 (I think, have tv-phone-inet package), and I pay some EUR extra for more channels.

        I anyway have to reconsider, since they chance the scheme in September: basic package has more but is bit more expensive, “plus” will have more, cost more, but drop exactly those channels I care about (they go to “extra”, costing, you guessed it: extra). Then, you won’t be able to pay for a few channels, it is all or nothing. Blah.

        If I have to prepare for BBC not being of much use, maybe I can even look for a different provider (via phone/satellite/etc.) as that was one of the reasons not to go for a cheaper deal.

  23. So you have a choice of the free package (half the races live, no online content, all still live on Radio), or the premium (£20 a month if Sky keep all F1 content on one channel, £40 if not) getting the proper, full content F1 that you need to really keep a grip on the season.

    Bernie still gets his sponsors the major airtime for the glamour races from the occasional viewers, sly.

    Want to know where this leaves F1 in the UK? Look at English Cricket tournaments, even Twenty20 Cricket has seen a year-on-year decline in attendance figures and in nationwide TV audience since Sky took exclusive hold on the rights, England’s Ashes victory in 2009 on Sky was seen by a fraction of those who saw it in 2005 on Channel 4.

    If this format works, what’s stopping half becoming half a dozen after 2018? Sky will milk this fan base out of every penny possible if given the chance, it’s a sad day for British F1.

    Yet another Sky event I’ll just have to find an online stream of from next season then, I refuse to let Sky hold me to ransom.

    1. If I have to choose between Sky and no F1… I’ll be looking for feeds. I suspect alot of people will.

      But what about people who don’t want sky? And don’t have the internet service or know how to access it?

      This really is a black day for F1 fans.

  24. How will this impact the international feed as they currently use BBC commentary? I can see tough times ahead for manufacturers coming bow due to less sponsor coverage.

    1. Especially the smaller UK team Williams; McLaren might be big enough, but for the smaller outfits losing a big chunk of coverage is pretty bad.

      Might be something in it that Bernie is using it to pressure those teams into doing special, non-FOTA, deals with him.

      1. Lets hope this triggers a proper breakaway series at last!

  25. This is also bad for everyone who relies on the BBC coverage for commentary overseas (Aus here).

    I’m going to be honest, ONE HD will look good compared to the rubbish Murdock will put in place.

    1. Yeah, but as long as it stays free to air in Australia I’ll be happy, but really I have no idea what this means for us Aussies.
      Right now though, I feel so sorry for all you British F1 fans! This is terrible news!

  26. The only silver lining here is that Ben Edwards may commentate on Sky (assuming that they indeed don’t get Brundle). And that we get to keep Croft and 5Live.

    That’s it.

    And I agree – Jake is all but gone after this year now.

    And yes, a big failure for FOTA and FOM. This will have big repercussions on the renewal of the Concorde Agreement next year.

  27. Potentially a significant hit to viewership in the UK. I don’t know much about the television environment in the UK. If some one could enlighten me, do most people subscribe to pay channels such as Sky? Also what are the approximate costs?

    In the U.S. to get the full array of channels in SD and HD you will easily pay $100 for only TV. There are only a few OTA channels (FOX, NBC, etc). For providers what makes it worse is that usually most areas have one IP-Based (AT&T and Verizon), one cable provider (Comcast, etc), and the Satellite providers (Dish and Direct), and that is a best case senario! To bring it back to F1, SPEED is the only network that shows it and is a pay channel, I have to pay $8/month for the one channel as it is not a part of my bundle.

    1. As far as I can see, they have the BBC for which everyone has to pay a license fee, and which provides a lot of content; one can debate about how much everyone likes all of it, but since it is mandatory, most will stick with that. According to, “In 2010 there were 17.9 million families in the UK

      Sky would be extra, and it now has about 10 million subscriptions, unsure how many have the sport package.

      1. I saw some tweets about how they have about 1.7 million users on the SkySports package.

        1. So that’s about 10% of UK families – I suppose it will increase a bit, and of course the BBC hopes to get the millions extra to watch Monaco,Silverstone and the end of season races, but I can’t see it regularly getting 1.5 million a race.

  28. I’m personally disappointed as I don’t currently subscribe to Sky and would prefer it to stay on the BBC. However, all the complaints about how terrible a decision this is are largely sour grapes just because we’re F1 fanatics. It is the way the world works, nothing is free. The BBC isn’t free, it’s just that we are forced to pay for it. To be fair to Sky we at least have the choice whether to pay or not.

    I don’t think that we would judge Sky’s coverage until we see it. Personally I’d happily pay just so I didn’t have to put up with listening to Eddie Jordan every second weekend of the summer.

    1. But that’s the thing – even if F1 isn’t on the BBC, you guys would have to pay for it anyway. And now, you have pay even more to get Sky to see it.

      The issue here isn’t the quality of the coverage – it’s the mere fact people have to pay extra to see it. Not everyone can afford that.

    2. Think about it from a sponsors perspective. Would you sponsor a team with the same amount if coverage on free to air IS cut in half? Part of this is sour grapes at having to see adverts but I’m more concerned for the sport in general In the UK.

      1. The sport will be fine – look at premier league football. Sky will eventually get the exclusive rights and I imagine they’ll pour money in.

        But, like Premier League football and cricket, the teams and venues will become ever more dependant on TV revenue rather than satisafying their customers coming through the gate or the ordinary man in the street without the Sky coverage.

        TV audiences will collapse but the sport will carry on.

        1. And do you think the sport has gotten better for it? I don’t know the answer, but maybe you have some better view of it?

          I do see a difference between PL and F1: F1 track prices are so high that for a lot of races attendance is an issue, the travel costs make it even more so; for PL, that seems to be not a big problem – overseas Champion Leage games have a two team fan base to go. F1 doesn’t have that in the same way.

          1. I meant the sport will survive – some of the teams may even appreciate the stable cash flow relying on TV revenues from Sky will mean.

            It will be awaful for the fans and grass roots motorsport.

          2. So the sport will not be fine, it will become more of a bloated corporate hype with overpaid actors and overblown announcements and commentary, like I now get the picture of what PL has become in he UK (from twits and posts here)?

            It might almost as well die, if that’s its future. LeMans, Indycar, even NASCAR will likely be better to watch. And they provide some amount of live streaming.

  29. What a joke, so we get half of the season unless you pay £55 a month

  30. Disgruntled F1 fan
    29th July 2011, 7:58

    Absolutely Ludicrus!!
    Don’t have Sky sport on my package, so now to follow the whole F1 season have to put my hand in my pocket Again!!
    Bernie has got the £££ signs in his eyes again.
    The BBC have done a fantastic job so far of coverage, even to get my wife interested.
    Disgruntled former F1 fan

    1. yep, you would think with record viewing figures the bbc would have had leverage to reduce the fees? Not with bernie though….

  31. Half the issue lies with the budget constraints the BBC now faces, and with the freezing of the license fee, that gives them even less headroom for live sport. Why the hell couldn’t they get rid of BBC Three for one, eh?

    Anyway, the way I see it is that most of the faraway races, which unfortunately include Japan, Canada and Brazil, will not be live on the BBC. They will most likely do live in Europe, where it’s more ‘value for money’

    1. Adam Cooper said they’ll show the final race of the season in Brazil. I’m guessing they will actually show the Americas races (Canada, US) because they will fit nicely in UK primetime. The Asia races (except Singapore) will be badly affected, though.

    2. I do have to wonder how this will influence the contracts they have with channels in other countries – part of those are just “show UK public channel”, others have bought specifically F1, and for some the lack of F1 will degrade the value of getting BBC.

      I lobbied my cable operator to get BBC HD, but I can now tell them thanks but don’t bother after this year, it’s not worth the high price.

      This will reduce costs, but I think it is more that no one in BBC management cares about, not nearly enough as they do about those old grumps who complained the Canada GP went too long and delayed a non-live show.

  32. I will now be pirating every race that is not covered by BBC. It makes no sense for half the races to be free to watch, and the other half to be paid to watch. Makes utterly no sense. BBC have been doing an outstanding job. Surprised they needed to make such a drastic budget cut with record breaking viewers.

    1. Not wanting to bring party politics to this, but it seems that ever since the Tories came to power, the BBC has been increasingly put under pressure to deliver more for less.

      Meaning keeping the Archers for core voters ;)

      1. You do know the money that the Govt needs to save was spent by the previous government right?

        The deficiet didn’t suddenly happen the day the Tories came into power.

        So all those complaints about low viewing figures are irrelevant now it seems

  33. I assume that the teams (and their sponsors) have been involved in this. And I sort of expect that they looked at it as “Loose four or five million viewers in the UK, gain 40 or 50 million in India and China . . .”
    I think it’s a poor argument as consumer affluence and spending power is much higher in the UK, but maybe that’s not their point.
    Even though I have Sky Sports (mainly because I live in a ‘difficult’ area with virtually no aerial reception), I will object to paying to watch races and having to pay to watch the blasted advertising at the same time. This is going to damage the UK market enormously. And if News Corp manages to buy the F1 rights from CVC, it’ll be game over.

    1. I can’t imagine the major team sponsors would be too happy about it all, too. They’d want maximum exposure, and teams are struggling to find sponsors as it is!

  34. micahel counsell
    29th July 2011, 8:08

    Why not boycott all team merchandise and all sponsors associated with Formula 1.

    Force the teams to put pressure to get F1 back on free to air TV.

  35. Unbelievable, One of the worlds biggest sports gets a bits and pieces TV deal like this???
    This is the kind of deal the IndyCar series made because they’re struggling for cash and viewers.
    Not Formula One please!

    I dread to think how this will affect our already minimal Aussie TV coverage…
    Thanks for completely spoiling my weekend to whoever is responsible for this terrible idea..

  36. It gets worse the more I read about this….

    ‘The BBC and Sky Sports will broadcast Formula 1 in the UK between 2012 and 2018 under a new rights deal. The BBC has been the exclusive broadcaster of F1 in the UK since 2009 but its contract with Formula One Management was due to expire after the 2013 season. ‘
    – translation = ‘BBC have given up their exclusive right to 2012 coverage – and fans lose a year of free to air, but at least we can pay lip service to a small number of our licence fee payers. The majority don;t care and want us to focus on utter drivel sit-coms with tin-pot British thesps.

    and Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.
    – translation = ‘we’re off the hook for the production costs and can stop slashing wages back at the office’

    Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.
    – Translation = ‘if I say this with enough conviction and a bit of a smile, maybe they’ll believe me.’

    “We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”
    – Translation = ‘screw the fans for everything they’ve got’

  37. This is most stupid idea EVER, im going to have no way of watching half of the races now, so i feel like i may as well not bother! I fear that this is the start of the end for F1!!

  38. In two words – Not Happy!

  39. NickTheGeek
    29th July 2011, 8:09

    I am tempted to stop watching right now, absolutly furious that they have sold us out like this. I will not be held to random by Murdoch to watch my sport. Forget it Bernie you greedy****

    absolutely gutted.

  40. Accidental side effect: European audiences decline, Asian audiences get a bigger share of the pie. Voila, Bernie now has a justification to move more races away from Europe to Asia.

  41. I’ll give up the sport before I watch it on Sky. Very sad day for me.

  42. Terrible news. As an american treated to SPEED’s constant commercial interrupted coverage, I know firsthand how annoying and non-immersive that is.

    Bernie is just a greedy toad, I doubt he even realizes that fans drive the sport.

  43. The actually makes me feel sick. This is such awful news, not just for viewers in the UK, but all the other viewers across the world that enjoy the BBC’s feed.

    The BBC have provided the best F1 coverage in years and I fear SkySports will not do it justice whatsoever. Are we going to get adverts?!

    This is fantastic news for F1 fans

    How? How is this the case? Take a look at twitter or any of these comments and that will give you a picture.

    F1 is driven by money, and this is the biggest example of it. BBC you’ve let me down

  44. I cannot believe anyone thought his was a good decision! Us diehard fans want to watch practice, qually, and not only every race in full but also the great pre-race info and interviews plus the brilliant F1 forum provided by the BBC.

    Jake, Eddie, DC, and Martin are well respected in the paddock and get interviews that other presenters cannot. Tthink of Eddie grabbing Stefano Domenicali after the ‘team orders’ fiasco last year and the brilliant fun on the forum after the Monaco race this year (it makes me laugh just thinking about Eddie being repeatedly pushed into the pool in the Red Bull boat!!).

    Also will Martin’s excellent grid walks be stopped or maybe he can still do these and they could be shown on the ‘highlights’ show. I love the way he completely understands and respects the drivers preparing for the race yet still gets great interviews.

    Can Sky really live up to all this? I don’t think so but will never know as I don’t subscribe to Sky.

    This is a sad day for F1 fans. We may buy tickets for races at extortinate prices and pay £40 for team t-shirts but ultimately our thoughts and opinions count for nothing.

    1. micahel counsell
      29th July 2011, 8:15

      Excatly don’t pay that £40 hit the teams where it hurts.

  45. Bernie you money grabbing little sellout. F1 is on the crest of a wave with great races, British drivers doing well, and great BBC coverage free to all. This will bring it crashing down to where it used to be. Disgraceful.

  46. Is this a joke? No way I’m going to pay £30 a month to watch F1. Time to get a dish sorted to watch a Euro feed & 5Live commentary.

  47. mclaren boy
    29th July 2011, 8:16

    I am so disappointed in all this so basically im only going to see three races in a year. As only people who can afford sky will get to watch the races. This is a majorly bad decision. If it was just three races I can see I will ….. I will. .. Well I don’t know what I will do :'(
    Foolish move.

    1. I am so disappointed in all this so basically im only going to see three races in a year.

      This is what you get when you only read the headlines. Sky will broadcast all of the races, but the BBC will show half of them. They list Monaco, Silverstone and the finale as the races they know they will show, but those are not the only races that will be broadcast.

  48. What a total mess – I can’t afford the extortionate Sky fees. Even their online SkyPlayer doesn’t reduce the cost enough. I guess that’s the end of years of watching every race in full for the past X years.

    So, from the biggest audiences ever in 2011 to the lowest ever in 2012…I see the commercial sense there, well done FOM.

  49. Do you people not understand what is happening here?

    The BBC don’t necessarily want to give up coverage of Formula 1 – they feel they have to because it’s too expensive otherwise.

    1. So FOM should’ve cut its fees, plain and simple. If they really wanted to, there was a way. Otherwise, there’s always an excuse.

      1. As I said before, getting rid of BBC Three would have sorted this out quite easily.

        The country can happily live without Snog, Marry, Avoid…

  50. BYE BYE F1.I won’t pay sky any money and I won’t watch half a season on BBC.

    To bernie and FOTA..kiss this and it ant asda price!

  51. Can’t ITV and Channel 4 (and maybe even the BBC) come up with some kind of package, there was talk of Channel 4 wanting it!!! Even if those three shared the broadcast rights, at least it would have still been free to watch.

    1. <blockquote.Can’t ITV and Channel 4 (and maybe even the BBC) come up with some kind of package, there was talk of Channel 4 wanting it!!!
      You don’t think they tried? If they wanted it, they would have made a bid for it. If they made a bid for it and Sky have the broadcast rights, what does that tell you? The answer: that the Channel 4 bid was not enough.

      1. In addition, I also heard that ITV pulled out of the bidding because they couldn’t afford it. They didn’t even make a bid.

  52. As a massive f1 fan im gutted, i can’t afford to pay sky for this “amazing” coverage! Not sure i like the idea of being cornered for cash just so i can keep up with my beloved sport. Does anyone else wish bernie would just bugger off and enjoy his billions and leave f1 to the people that actually care?

  53. Well thats the worst news ive heard all week. If audiences drop due to lack of people willing to pay to watch F1 in the UK, then that means revenue will drop for Sky, which means that ONE HD in Aus will have to either pay more for the F1 or simply drop it. Considering that it’s on at weird times and probably doesnt pull the biggest audiences, the likely outcome is that F1 will be dropped.

    Hey Keith, would you be able to set up a poll on this? I would like to seem some figures on who is for or against!


  54. Dear F1 fans, no need to despair. I am sure F1 live streaming online will get a boost next year with so much demand. That’s how I watch half of the races that I cannot watch live while I am in UK. Yes the quality is bad, it sometimes buffers all the time, but now you get more than enough of okayish streams. I’ve actually caught on in HD for the British Grand Prix!

    Plus by watching it online you get the full satisfaction of not having to pay Bernie a cent.

  55. acidhell2 (@)
    29th July 2011, 8:19

    I’m not willing to pay £50+ a month for 10 races.

    This means either finding a European feed or the end of watching f1, despite it being the only sport it truly finish and have been watching since I was in nappies.

    The only possible way I see is if sky put it on sky player and charge a fee just for f1. Either that or European feed and r5l commentary over the top.

    I bet the sponsors will be happy, losing so may fans from what is considered the host country.

    1. I’m not willing to pay £50+ a month for 10 races.

      Except Sky will be showing all twenty Grands Prix, while the BBC will be showing ten of them. The coverage will likely be identical on both stations, so you’d really be paying £50 per month for all twenty races.

      1. But as acidhell2 can watch 10 on the BBC without having Sky, the return on paying for the full year’s Sky coverage and only using it is to watch only the other 10 races.

  56. Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans”
    Yes its really fantastic that I’ll only be able to see half the races next year.

    And as I’ll only be able to watch half a season will I even bother doing that. Having watched just about every race live since the start of 1985 I’ll probably go and find something better to do with my weekends

  57. Sorry day today, no way we could afford sky and certainly won’t be keeping my tv purely for half the races.

  58. big mistake F1, no point in watching half a season and sky can kiss my hairy ones so wont be watching F1 anymore after the end of this year! bye bernie you greedy midgit

  59. Terrible decision. I will not be blackmailed into paying Murdoch & Co to watch F1. The sport is now dead to me. Not missed a race in 18 years and now they pull this rubbish. True loyalty to their fans, the BBC, The teams and Bernie should all be ashamed of themselves, this is not a good deal for the people that matter – THE FANS!

    1. Almost everything I want to say at the moment is likely to be blocked by the swear filter. I’m really angry! I don’t have Sky; I don’t want Sky; I can’t particularly afford Sky.

      F1 coverage is at an absolute pinnacle this year – from next year I won’t have the same sense of continuity over the season which is so vital to following the “story arc”. Nor, if I do manage to watch a few races on satellite (presumably at a friend’s house – pubs will still show football or rugby in preference to motorsport) will I get any continuity during a race: how many ad breaks will there be?!

      The sponsors will have less airtime in UK households, all the fans worldwide who follow BBC commentary will suffer, and the Murdochs inflate their grip on the UK market a little more. Sky claim they’ll offer superior coverage, but if there’s a single ad between the warm-up lap and the podium ceremony, they will have failed in that PR promise.

  60. Chris Scott
    29th July 2011, 8:24

    Sad and angry to hear this news, although I guess it was likely in the context of the Beeb’s need to slash budgets. The cost of living is going through the roof as it is, and now I’m going to have to look at purchasing a Sky Sports package that I’m only going to watch when the F1 is on. This feels like a retrograde step in every way…

  61. How dissappoiting. I’ve only got into f1 in that past couple of years, I can’t afford Sky. I won’t be watching.

    I wonder if Sky will also have mid race adverts?

    1. I wonder if Sky will also have mid race adverts?

      That’s what you’re complaining about? The rest of the world already get mid-race advertising. We cope with it just fine.

      1. Just let people vent. This is not your blog.

      2. And is it better or worse to have mid-race adverts? Are you saying it’s a good thing?
        F1 fans are being asked to pay a lot more money for coverage, which will also be interrupted by sponsors’ messages. Sounds worth complaining about to me.

      3. That’s what you’re complaining about?

        I think he’s more worried about the fact that he can’t afford Sky, meaning he won’t be able to watch the races broadcast by Sky. People have a right to be upset about this PM. Commercials are a shame, but missing entire races is worse. We’re both Australian, PM, so what would happen if you had to get pay-TV just to watch F1? Would you be happy?

  62. What a waste of money by the BBC! Surely its better to show ‘all or nothing’ rather than squandering millions on half a season and highlights?

    I am gutted but as an F1 fan I think I will probably stump up the ridiculous cash for Sky rather than not watch it. I am just really really disappointed that there will be no free to air coverage of the whole season. A very sad day indeed.

    1. I’m sure those that can afford to, will stump up the extra cash. F1 may be the sport of millionaires run by billionaires, but it is still loved and (for now) watched by the average man, woman and child on average or less than average wages.

      1. Trust me, I’m one of those on an average wage, but I love F1 too much to just ignore half the season. I really am genuinely upset about this but I don’t think the situation will change (contracts have been signed).

        I truly despise News Corp but if they are the only ones who will allow me to see the sport I love then I don’t really have a choice.I really am sorry that some people won’t be able to afford Sky and its atrocious that they don’t have another way of viewing races live – extended highlights are fine as long as you don’t find out the result first… which if you and your friends are into F1 then you will. My real anger and disappointment is with the BBC who have achieved the highest F1 viewing figures for years and are then dropping the sport.

        1. I will NOT be watching the Sky coverage, regardless of whether I want or could get the Sky package. I will be illegally downloading every non-BBC broadcast race for the forseeable future, and I hope many have the same thought. I would rather see F1 go to the wall for a year or 2 than watch Bernie trash it.

  63. Bernie has reneged on his promise that F1 would remain free to air. My personal circumstances and financial commitments in the current economic climate means that I cannot afford the extra expense to watch F1 throughout an entire season. With missing half the races LIVE next year, not sure that watching highlights, however, extensive, will keep me watching at all. Still going to the British Grand Prix but you can stick the rest – who wants half a season? The Murdoch Money Maker continues

  64. Now I’m massively disappointed. Sky can kiss my sweaty b@lls, I won’t pay. I’ll be forced to watch f1 on hungarian RTL Klub, with incompetent commentators, and with advertisements. I would happily write down massive Malcolm Tucker quotes, but I won’t swear here, everybody who know the character Malcolm Tucker, knows what I’m talking about. (for a fcking revenge, maybe I’ll find a way to watch Sky coverage F1 four hours after the live event. Now I’m motivated.)

  65. Oh, how very very sneaky. Make sure the non-live races are still presented as highlights so it satisfies the “free-to-air” clause F1 has. Now, if this was only for the fly-away races that start in the early morning, it would actually be okay and very understandable from a ratings point of view. But I don’t think it’s going to be that reasonable an arrangement at all.

    I hope that when the race isn’t on live, the highlights are in a prime-time slot like the Canadian and Brazilian Grand Prix are when they’re live, because they usually get the highest audiences. That way F1 can still remain in the public consciousness, so to speak, and people will carry on watching. But if the BBC have some other arrangement, a late evening Match of the Day type arrangement, then they will have wasted a massive amount of money in keeping half of the rights, because from a lack of regular exposure the viewing figures will drop like a stone amongst the most casual fans.

    1. And as Keith just said on BBC News, it will make it incredibly difficult for future fans to be introduced to the sport.

  66. RacingGreen
    29th July 2011, 8:29

    Love F1, always have. But I will NOT, on grounds of cost and principle subscribe to Sky. This truly demonstrates Bernies contempt for the ordinary fan and the BBC’s complete lack of understanding of the sport and it’s followers. This also shows once and for all that there is still too much money in the sport when these crass decisions are made in order to claw in the funds that a minority seek to protect at the expense of what I regard as the finest coverage the sport has ever seen.

    These needs action and it needs it now.

    1. Couldn’t agree more – looks like I’ll be back watching my ‘classic’ race collection every other weekend. Maybe not all bad, at least I’ll get to relive the glory years of Schumacher, Senna, Mansell and Hill(s)!

  67. Gents, for those with the money, they dont give a hoot about the ‘normal’ fan. I find it utterly disgraceful that after all these years of excellent coverage it has to part move to Sky!!. This is just the calm before the storm, because once Sky has the rights it will try to get all of the rights to host F1, and you know money talks, especially to Bernie. I am one of those who will be swithing off as i too dont have Sky sports and never will. Its a sad day for fans!!!!!

  68. What a shame!!

    1. narrower coverage, small viewer -> less sponsorship…

  69. James Brickles
    29th July 2011, 8:31

    About 2 years ago, my family dropped sky because we couldn’t afford it, and now this has happened. This is the worst piece of news that I have received in my nearly 19 years of existence

    Formula 1 is my most ultimate passion and seeing this piece of news… it made me cry.

  70. So, so, so disappointed. I feel like my favourite sport has been pulled from underneath me.

  71. The BBC had one year left to run on their existing contract and could have shown all of 2012 – they chose not to.

    My bet would be 2-3 years into this new contract, and with dwindling viewer numbers on the BBC they hand the entire live side to sky with maybe a 1hr highlight package at 23:00 on a Sunday evening. Clearly these contracts, as in F1 can be changed.

    I’m pretty gutted about this news, it such a bitty proposition…. which race is it this weekend? is it a Beeber or Skyer, if it’s the beebs turn no-one is going to watch the advert version on sky – in the same way that when ITV and BBC both show the world cup final the viewers go to the bbc. Hopefully the radio 5 coverage remains – but marrying it up to the pictures is just a drag.

    I’ve watched every race for the last 25 years, without exception, and ironically I already have Sky Sports (for the cricket), but even I think this is such a crap decision that is going to result in reduced viewing numbers and marginalization of the sport – just when it was going so well on the bbc with numbers and quality of coverage. -sigh-


  72. Almost everything I want to say at the moment is likely to be blocked by the swear filter. I’m really angry! I don’t have Sky; I don’t want Sky; I can’t particularly afford Sky.

    F1 coverage is at an absolute pinnacle this year – from next year I won’t have the same sense of continuity over the season which is so vital to following the “story arc”. Nor, if I do manage to watch a few races on satellite (presumably at a friend’s house – pubs will still show football or rugby in preference to motorsport) will I get any continuity during a race: how many ad breaks will there be?!

    The sponsors will gave less airtime

  73. When all is said and done, I’m going to keep watching Formula 1. Why? Because I think the sport is worth it. I love my sport; I look forward to every race – even if it’s Valencia. I’d gladly pay $75 a month for access to it. Furthermore, I don’t think some foolhardy ‘protest’ against the sale of the broadcast rights by refusing to subscribe to a pay-per-view channel will actually do anything.

    But then, who am I to comment. Channel Ten (and its sister channel, OneHD) is a syndicated station. They pay the rights holder for access to their broadcast, which is considerably cheaper.

    1. I’d gladly pay $75 a month for access to it.

      That’s now. Get a wife, couple of kids & mortgage and then try again with that. :D

      Furthermore, I don’t think some foolhardy ‘protest’ against the sale of the broadcast rights by refusing to subscribe to a pay-per-view channel will actually do anything.

      I agree it won’t. The protest is that it’s feels like the start of the end of F1’s long history in the UK. F1 not being free to air will significantly drop its viewing figures. This will lose fans / sponsors and worse it will lose potential new fans, like the many kids who want to then go on and work in engineering or take up karting.
      Fans here care about the sport and it’s roots in the UK and do not want to see it decline because of pure greed of a select few.

      F1 is becoming more elitist as is ages. Might as well 50% all the circuits F1 Paddock Club only.

  74. I went to see my first British GP in the 60’s at Brand and have been a loyal F1 fan (mostly watching the TV) since then. This decision really stinks.

    I used to watch the Cricket a lot when it was free to air but now rarely even bother with the highlights programmes.

    F1 is the only sport I watch (I am not a footy fan) so maybe I will be forced to get Sky (I can afford it but I would not watch much else) and may start to watch more Cricket again but this is still a bad decision.

    As other have mentioned what will the sponsors feel about losing a large % of their UK audience.

    1. Also what they say the BBC are going to show the ‘last’ race but what about the Championship decider – what can occur anytime in the 2nd half of the season! Sorry this is just crap.

  75. The big question here is, will there be adverts during races?

    1. Of course there will!!!! – lots of them – cant wait for perpetual brainwashing – ITV had major cock ups with their ads here’s for more of the same….

  76. Terrible news… This season the BBC coverage has been superb, and now they are “absolutely delighted” to destroy what was they have achieved. This is a disaster…

    Getting rid of the dreadful Jonathan Legard and trusting the commentary to Martin Brundle and David Coulthard was a brilliant move, but will BBC keep them when Formula 1 is downgraded? Or will BBC return us to the age of constantly talking, but nothing knowing, journalist commentators?

    I just do not understand this. Why does Bernie repeatedly try to stop us from watching Formula 1? I thought the task of the promoter was the opposite…

  77. What a truly awful decision.

    There is no chance in hell that I am subscribing to Sky and then buying the sports package just to watch F1. Sky+ with Sky Sports costs £31.75 a month, for HD it’s £42 a month. That’s £38.10 a race, or £50.40 a race for HD!

    I sincerely hope that many of the F1 sponsors start to pull out of the sport. As one of millions of F1 fans who refuse to pay for satellite TV, this will effectivelty cut our exposure to their brands by 50%.

  78. The BBC coverage is great, my only gripes were
    1- that practice sessions were on red button so i couldnt sky plus them if at work(and yet BBC3 and 4 were empty at this time of day and could have shown the coverage)
    2- occasionally i cannot see all the races due to other commitments (usually driving kids to sports etc)so i depend on R5L; but if a match is on they would have the F1 on R5L Sports Extra which is digital and my car (like most cars) doesnt have a digital radio.

    I first installed Sky 16 or so years ago ‘cos i thought when the BBC first lost F1 that it would go to Sky, however it went to ITV. So i wont miss anything, so selfishly i dont really mind. However the BBC has been bitching about the cost of F1 for most of the past year so this or something like it has been on the cards.

    Its a shame, the quality of the coverage and the post race forum is fantastic. Hopefully Sky will try to match it, and if other sports on Sky are anything to go by, there should be little advert interruption of the race, just lots of ads before and after. Their football coverage is good, so no reason to believe they will mess this up. Heres hoping anyway.

    1. 1. BBC3 and BBC4 were empty at this time of day and could have shown the coverage – Although BBC3 and 4 aren’t showing anything at this time. The bandwith they use during these none operational hours is used by the 2 Childrens BBC channels.

  79. What have BBC done??? What a mistake. The BBC coverage has been excellent recently, guess they just don’t care about their licence fee payers. Don’t have sky sports and refuse to pay for it. Come on BBC sort yourselves out.

    1. Couldn’t agree more! And by putting it on Sky this will lower F1’s credibility after all the News Corp issues recently.

  80. Goodbye F1 after more than a decade, been nice to watch but this is the end! :-(

    I don’t have Sky so how will the other non live races be done on BBC?

  81. So what will this mean for viewers outside of the UK? Like Australian viewers? I’m not getting SKY by being forced into some ******** Pay-TV package like Austar or Foxtel. I can’t afford that! Looks like I’ll be forced into watching the race live on ONE HD (yay, lag!) or will that fail aswell?


  82. Jeff harland-jones
    29th July 2011, 8:52

    A very bad day for F1
    To now have to pay to watch F1 and yet again have to line the pockets Rupeet Murdoch!!!!
    a sport that has been available to everyone will now only be available to those who can afford it.
    How soon we forget what the Murdoch empire has done to this country

  83. Jake sounding very p’ed off by this decision on Radio 1

    1. Am at work…would have loved to have heard it though..what exactly did Jake say?

  84. RIP F1
    I guess i’ll just have my memory and be able to tell my children what watching a ‘live’ race used to be like.

    How very very wrong is this. I’m afraid i’ll be voting with my feet, can’t afford SKYs high price, given F1 is the only sport I want to watch Live.

    RIP F1

  85. John Morrey
    29th July 2011, 8:55

    Massively dissapointing news – F1 on Sky is a big mistake and as someone who refuses to have Sky in my house this marks the end of my interest in F1.

    Whats the betting they will wheel out the motoring equivalent of an **** like Andy Grey. ********.

  86. So much for watching F1. I will not be paying for Sky so I will not watch F1 which I have done for years and years. Thanks Bernie. Sold out again.

  87. I won’t be getting Sky, I’ll either go to the pub or find a stream online. Not giving Sky a penny.

    1. ….Lager at £3:50 a go – be cheaper to get SKY.

  88. BTCC anyone? – Its free…..

  89. Seriously – a bad day for F1 – The multi millionaire Eccleston totally out of touch with the punters. How about a reduction in the licence fee?

  90. As long as this only effects the UK viewers, I’m fine with it.

  91. This is the WORST & STUPIDEST commercial decision F1 has ever made.

    Absolutely gutted. BBC coverage is outstanding….

    Oh well Sky can shove it. I’ll be using Vuze and d/l all the races BBC can’t televise. You won’t see a penny from me SKY.

    Praying FOTA can legally block the deal.

  92. We have to pay for it anyway in New Zealand anyway so no skin off my nose in that regard. We do get the BBC commentary though, and I don’t want that to change. That’s what bothers me.

  93. I feel sorry for you UK folks. However, do spare a thought for the likes of me. As an F1 fanatic living in Uganda though, I have to pay the grand sum of US $78 (£48) per month to enjoy F1 – it is only available via subscription TV and you must pay for the most expensive bundle if you want F1. And this has been the case for as far back as I can remember (cost has risen by about $6 over the past few years)

  94. harry the bad
    29th July 2011, 9:05

    sky are not to blame but the greedy owners running F1 but i also do not like the fact that sky try to force people to get sky in this way just so they can continue to watch a sport that they love to no sky for me and i may not follow any more races as its not the same seeing only half of a seasons racing. the bbc may as well dump the lot as they are very sad losers in what they are doing. feeling half happy is as bad as feeling half sad.

  95. Absolutely appalled by this news. Sky will never have my hard earned money no matter what. As a fan of F1 for over 30 years I cannot believe my favourite sport will be killed off by greed. If this is the way sport is to be viewed in the future and I feel this is the first step to kill all sport the UK public love, I can only see dark clouds on the horizon.

    Sky has stopped many many people from watching football in the past and used this love of our national sport to gain more and more profits. The rich get richer and the rest of us just sit and ponder.

    Viva la Revolution

  96. At the height of a great season with plenty of passing, it probably looks a great win / win deal for both parties as viewing figures will be high.
    However, what happens when a dull season returns and only die hard F1 fans watch?

    I feel angry at this decision. So much for free to air.
    How are we to keep up with the ebbs and flow of a season if we cannot follow successive races?

    I know already, I cannot afford to spend a monthly fee on Sky Sports. I have a family, that must come first.
    Sky will cost me nearly £300 per year on top of my TV license.

    Fans hear struggle to save money for a trip to the British GP each year, so to squeeze £300 for 50% more TV race coverage is appalling.
    …and if you are only watching half a season, do you really find the interest to go to a GP?

    Shame on you Bernie. Shame on the teams allowing it.
    F1 really has become a rich mans sport.

  97. I have been a fan of F1 for over 25 years and have always enjoyed watching it on free to air TV. I have just read with total disbelief that the BBC has let half the F1 go to Sky for which I will have to pay over £35 per month to watch 8 race. I for one will stop watching F1 altogether if this deal is allowed to continue. I can not believe that a BBC spokes person thinks this is a good deal for the BBC and its viewers, how can only showing half of a sport be good for the viewers. I assume you will only be showing half the Olympics nest year as well !!!

  98. I have been a fan of F1 for over 25 years and have always enjoyed watching it on free to air TV. I have just read with total disbelief that the BBC has let half the F1 go to Sky for which I will have to pay over £35 per month to watch 8 race. I for one will stop watching F1 altogether if this deal is allowed to continue. I can not believe that a BBC spokes person thinks this is a good deal for the BBC and its viewers, how can only showing half of a sport be good for the viewers. I assume you will only be showing half the Olympics next year as well !!!

  99. I will not pay for sky sports just so I can watch f1 this is the only sport I watch and am not paying for sports I am not interested in. BBC coverage was and is always the best I was pleased when it left itv and went back to BBC. This is a big mistake and bernie needs to look at what he is doing

  100. I haven’t seen anyone use the F-word yet – freesat

    I’m a freesat user. I have no need for Sky (I had it for 12 months as couldn’t receive freeview but only watched FTA/terrestrial channels so switched to freesat)

    The BBC have massively let us down by losing coverage to Sky. £610 for me to keep my HD F1 coverage next year?! FFS. I would’ve happily bunged the BBC an extra £5/mo to keep the coverage – but I’m not funding Murdoch to the tune of £50/mo.

    F1 fans are *not* football fans who already have Sky Sports.

    Absolutely ridiculous and outrageous. I feel the need for a strongly worded letter to my MP!

  101. Ian Bushnell
    29th July 2011, 9:16

    If the BBC Sport director, Barbara Slater, is “delighted” with this arrangement, then she needs to see someone. Are they really so out of touch with their customers?

  102. Oh jesus christ this is the worst move EVER.

    We now have to pay a ton of money to watch our favourite sport be fragmented over all different kinds of TV channels and media devices and have to put up with advertisements every 10 minutes during races too.

    F1 has been my absolute favourite sport for years, I’ve not missed many a practice session, or any qualifying or races in a very long time.

    I’m afraid that I may have to quit watching most F1 in the majority all because of this one move.

    Good move Bernie.

  103. Everything i want to say on this matter has already been said, i am absolutely gutted. I have watched and loved F1 for years, loyally watching through the good and not as exciting races too, i was over the moon when the Beeb got the coverage and we lost the adverts and now we have to pay through the nose for it and have adverts. For the price of a years sky subscription, £381 what kind of streaming or free to air satalite set up can you get?

  104. Through reading the comment I can feel that none of you are happy,not sure what to tell but I have my deepest feeling for you all.

  105. I’ve been enjoying F1 on BBC so much. It’s never been better. I’ll certainly miss the Jake/Eddie/David/Martin line-up at half the races.

    I’ve been a fan since I can ever remember and now I’m afraid that I simply won’t be able to afford the cost for this extra package. It’s the only sport I watch so don’t really fancy paying so much for something I will only watch for a few hours every other weekend for a portion of the year.

    I’m hoping FOTA have something to say about this. I’m wondering if it will affect some teams sponsorship from British companies.

  106. I hate the fact this is happening! Less and less free to air sport! Before you know it we’ll be getting nothing for our licence fee apart from a few episodes of Dr Who and Top Gear!!!

    Please can Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes e.t.c get together and form a new series away from the money grabbing hands of those who control F1. Lets just have a sport, run by the sport! I propose GP1 as the new name and dump F1 and all its “glory”….

    The teams want and NEED free to air coverage – the business models and sponsorship deals require it. Pay per view will mean more moeny will have to come from the TV deals – Greater subscription costs / Requirement for advert breaks will become necessary in the future.

  107. #F1 How can #Sky be allowed to do this with all the bad press around them and now taking the sport away from the #BBC and British public NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS AT ALL! Outrage.. Really hate BSkyB for buying all the sport out of British TV, it’s killing UK Sport, how much money gets fed back into the sport’s to let under privileged children get a chance to compete. This is all about the bigger boys getting a larger slice of the pie or shall we say MONEY! sad very sad.

    1. It’s already happened here in New Zealand. Pretty much every sport is now only on the sole pay-tv provider in our country who make craploads of money from their monopoly. Funnily enough, they’re mostly owned by News Corp.

  108. I think this is worse than the whole coverage going to Sky. The number of people who will pay to watch half the races must be very small, probably smaller than the number who would pay to watch them all.

    With this, the BBC have annoyed a lot of fans who will blank not watch F1 now. I for one will suddenly find myself more interested in BTCC and GP2.

  109. Watched F1 nearly my whole life but probably can’t afford sky. This move is a massive mistake as F1 is going to lose thousands of fans. Now people have to pay Rupert Murdoch to watch a sport they love and enjoy. Many others and I dedicate my life to F1 but can’t afford to pay for Sky Sports. Worst F1 news for years.

  110. I cant believe this, such a bad decision, at least put it all on Sky and be done with it. Doing half makes no sense and the scheduling will confuse the public. Now I’ll have to buy Sky but for only half the coverage £30 odd a for 4 hours coverage every month, really stupid.

  111. Very sad news! I have sky, but another £30 or so to get sky sports HD – just for F1? No way!! F1 on ITV was bad with all the ad breaks so was fantastic when BBC got it back. Sky is notorious for breaks! Sadly, after decades of being glued to F!, I shall now abandon it. Perhaps F1 sponsors will start to feel the effects. Oh! And tell Prisoner Monkeys to shut up – the blatant support for sky is boring – maybe a sky connection there??

  112. This is a rubbish decision. I don’t like football or cricket or any other sport that is on Sky Sports therefore I won’t be paying the £50 or so a month for this.

    Rubbish decision – why cant we opt out of watching BBC – why is the tv licence compulsart – the only programs I watch are Formula One and Top Gear – not interested in Eastenders of the other rubbish they broadcast.

  113. It’s bloody disgusting!

  114. Absolutely disgraceful, the uk is the main feed for almost everything in F1 (engineers, teams etc)… I’m truly am perplexed. So much for the BBC being the main broadcaster of Britain…

  115. Gutted. Again, this is a decision that has everything to do with money and nothing to do with fans. Motor racing is not Football and should not be treated as if it is.

    I’ll watch on Sky if they figure out a way not to show adverts during the race (unlikely), but I know I will not be watching any of their pre race or post race coverage and I’ll be coming to this website to get my views and opinions online.

    I think we have been spoilt by the outstanding coverage provided by the BBC these past few years, it has been the best coverage F1 has ever had in my opinion they have provided such insight into the way the sport works.

    However, this is just adding to my general dislike of the way F1 is going. I don’t like the rules, I don’t find the cars or some of the circuits especially interesting at the moment and I doubt I will pay to go to another live F1 race due to the costs involved. It is not worth it. I hope the new World Endurance Championship will provide a better alternative next year.

  116. This was always going to happen. How else is the sport going to pay mi££ions to the drivers? The Public have dug their own graves. When Sky started, the UK public beat a path to its door. Sky has always Stolen programs from FTA TV and the idiotic UK People seem to enjoy paying for what was once free. I can hear it now ‘but is only £x’, ‘I’m a true fan so I’ll pay’.

    This is the attitude that allowed that cancer that is SKY to flourish. So the trend will continue. First SKY took TV from the public, now they will destroy F1. It was good whilst it lasted.

    SKY has never seen a penny of my cash and never will. Signing petitions will do NOTHING. Those who subscribe to SKY need to cancel their subs NOW. (But they won’t they’ll just pay the asking price.)

  117. Worst decision ever, I love F1 and the BBC was the best coverage I’d seen to date. Ecclestone SHAME ON YOU, you are going to loose a fan here, I want to see everything not scraps and I won’t pay sky for the privilege.

  118. I think it is a massive mistake. It isn’t free to air where I live, and I guess it is the same in quite a lot of countries. Why can’t they just reduce the price for the coverage for free to air channels? They might not bring as much money as the “pay for a lot of commercial breaks” cr*p, but they allow every single F1 fan all over the world to follow the sport! Or show it online from for a reasonable price, I don’t care! I just don’t want commercial breaks and I don’t want to pay ridiculous sums of money for all the garbage you get from one of those TV packages.
    Why is it that F1 can’t, just for once, do the best for the fans? We are the ones who keep the show running for crying out loud.

  119. Disgraceful! Huge mistake!! I like wimbledon but come on!! Maybe this was the best deal the BBC could make but I’d rather lose Eastenders!!!!!

  120. stupid move and as already said massive audience drop even for the bbc events i feel.

    I wont be paying for sky. Yet again we see Murdoch getting his own way and even more money for his pocket.

    Fuming is an understatement

  121. What can I say? SHAME ON YOU the BBC SHAME ON YOU Bernie Ecclestone SHAME ON YOU Formula 1. Does MURDOCH control the world. Join the #boycottskyf1 on twitter.

  122. As an amateur F1 writer it really annoys me to know i’ll have to spend nearly 3 months of my writing income just to continue to watch the sport! I’ll be complaining and hoping FOTA just will back us!

  123. This is the darkest day in F1 since the 2005 US gp. I’m so shocked. Do they really think people are going to get sky for 10 races a year when people can just stream F1 off the web. Gutted!!!

  124. Absolutely gutted, C4, C5 or any ITV channel (and their ads) would have been massively preferable to this shambolic arrangement.

    The sad thing is I’ll have to subscribe to this organised gang of criminals because I just love F1 too much. They better produce some package that lets us just get F1 or motorsports and ignore all the countless channels of garbage.

  125. I am totally gutted. I have been watching f1 for the past 25 years and this is the worst thing I have ever seen happen. Bernie lied to us all and now is going after the cash not what is best for the sport. I will now not be watching next year and I will leave it for the soleless fans that ‘only watch the race’ because they think its trendy and a way to climb the social ladder, the sort who turn up to silverstone at 12. 30 on sunday at silverstone in high heels expecting to get a good seat and meet all the drivers them have it, the rich win again.
    Shame on you BBC and shame on bernie for letting this happen to a beloved sport.

  126. Andrew Briggs
    29th July 2011, 9:52

    email the stupid dishonest woman at the BBC – and tell her how you feel.
    Does she really think we are fooled by her weasel words ?

    The next step of course is no F1 at all on the Beeb and then Murdoch buys F1.

  127. Start emailing FOTA now!!!

    FOTA – Formula One Teams Association

    Rue de l’Arquebuse 12 – 1204 Geneva
    Fax: +41.22.3108205

  128. Spencer Wood
    29th July 2011, 10:00

    I have followed F1 on and for a few years, but really only very closely when it moved to BBC. Although i have Sky, this was mainly to bring phone TV and broadband into one package, i will not pay extra for Sports channels, so if i cant watch all the races live, why bother might as well watch the highlights. Very bad mistake as it is really cutting the audience down, i can just imagine how cheesy their version of the forum would be, if they do one at all.

    Bad mistake all round.

  129. Its all about money, either the BBC can’t afford it or Bernie wants more!!!

  130. Disgraceful commercial decision by the BBC after the antics of the Murdochs. I was cancelling my SKY contract and now I am losing the continuity of my favourite sport. I bet it still will be wall to wall golf, cricket and football from the BBC. Greedy Ecclestone – ditch SKY Bernie and think of the F1 fans who don’t have or want SKY anymore !!!!!!!
    Moto GP 1 F1 0

  131. This is not amusing in the slightest – hell will freeze over before I pay money to Sky for a gazillion channels I don’t want all with Americanised, over-hyped coverage and adverts. The BBC coverage is fantastic – I’ve been watching F1 for 10-15 years, and it’s as good as it’s ever been. I’m thinking the BBC no longer deserves my license fee . . . and I’ll go without.

  132. typical BBC not allowed to raise licence fee because the government has frozen it so get rid of one of the most popular programmes on TV. if the BBC cant afford to screen this programme because they need to save money then give all the fat cats employed by them a pay cut like the rest of the country have to put up with.

  133. This is dreadful, dreadful news :(

    The bbc coverage at the moment is excellent. This is so so disappointing!!!

  134. Let’s get one thing clear, this is disastrous for F1 in the UK.

    The viewing figures for F1 have been higher than ever recently. The most viewers sky will get out of this is a million, maybe two, this is in contrast 6million plus on the BBC. Couple this with F1 running in direct competition with live Premier League football provided by the same company……it’s not going to be pretty.

    But this isn’t FOTA’s fault. I was lucky enough to be at the FOTA Fans Forum last month and Whitmarsh was quite clear that FOTA believed F1 must remain Free-To-Air.

    The responsibility for this shambles lies solely with the BBC. Let’s not forget that the BBC were locked in to a nice exclusive contract for F1. I can’t help but think that they have openly courted a deal like this in order to ‘make savings’ as David Croft nonchalently put it during FP1. The BBC are the people that deserve to come in for some serious stick for this, not FOTA, and not Sky.

    I can’t believe I’m going to have to find £400-£600 to follow F1 next year. Half the season is not an option.

    Literally the only positive I can think of out of this is that the F1 community might unite around this new F1 deal – maybe some F1 parties, or going to the pub to watch F1?!? It sounds pretty odd, but I think it might happen.

  135. bye bye F1

  136. My F1-supporting colleague has just announced that he is actually going to *cut* his Sky subscription in protest.

    I hope that many more will do the same.

  137. PCRepairALs (@)
    29th July 2011, 10:17

    Through going to see the English f1 at Silverstone this year I have already spent 1000% more on this sport than I have on any other sport. This renewed love for F1 was brought about through being able to watch the sport freely on ITV, then followed by the BBC. If this sport had been aired on sky sports only I would have not recaptured that interest due to neither the money or the equipment to watch the races.
    I believe this will be a similar case for for alot of potential new viewers to the sport that will now not only be left out and not get sucked in, but will also not pick up the interest to want to go and see a live event like Silverstone as I did. I certainly would not be here on this board now with interest if sky were the providers of this amazing sport a few years back.
    This has just cemented the fact that F1 is not aimed at a middle class audience witch scrubs my thoughts that it was trying to remove the upper class image and become more accessible.
    Deeply upsetting day for me, and sadly I will have to sacrifice something to continue my love of the sport next year for financial reasons :(

  138. Party? where? :)

    Seriously though, I am a Sky subscriber, but I don’t and won’t pay for the sports channels – I’m not really into watching sport, I prefer to participate. Sadly the closest I get to participating in F1 is bombing down the M40 in my mini, so I do enjoy watching it.

    I’m hoping my local will start to show F1 as they do for the footy, then I can go and enjoy a pint, although I don’t think my Wife will thank me for it, as usually I do the ironing while watching F1.

  139. Chris Goldsmith
    29th July 2011, 10:36

    The worst possible news for F1. I wonder how the major sponsors will take this news, since it will mean a significant reduction in brand exposure for them.

    Either way, I won’t be watching. I don’t want to watch half a season (and which half would it be? the dull races, most likely!) and so I won’t watch at all. More to the point, since I had been mulling the idea over anyway, I will be cancelling my Sky subscription at the end of the year, and moving my phone and broadband services to another provider. I am not paying a single penny to the people bent on squeezing every single penny out of a sport we love.

    Incidentally, Adam Parr’s comments on the subject are absolutely despicable, going on about how much it costs them to race. F1 should remember that it’s the fans that make the whole show possible.

    1. Incidentally, Adam Parr’s comments on the subject are absolutely despicable, going on about how much it costs them to race. F1 should remember that it’s the fans that make the whole show possible.

      Couldn’t agree more but no doubt desperate words from a team (that I love) having difficulty scraping together the cash to race.

  140. i think its a massive mistake f1 always been on bbc/itv to sell the rights to this to sky is just a disgrace they going lose lot of fans because of this hopefully they will relise there mistake and put it back on bbc after 2018

  141. This is ridiculous. Whats the point in only being able to watch half the races. I’m just gonna stop watching. Not gonna subscribe to skysports for it… All or nothing, unfortunately then the only option is nothing… bye bye F1

  142. I’ve made a BBC complaint and signed the petition. Although I imagine its unlikely to make a big difference, if the numbers of people complaining is high enough it might just gather some coverage elsewhere in the media.

  143. I Echo all of the other comments – what is annoying is the way it has been hailed as some sort of victory, great for fans etc etc.

    Firstly, I’m not a big ‘other’ sports fan, and only really follow motorsports, which are usually on Eurosport or BBC. Just got to the stage where the boy is getting into and enjoying it and then bang, goes to sky!

    I’ve got cable and pay extra for the kids channels, for HD, for extra rooms etc etc, Have ‘Large’ internet, telephone with free land line calls, but as someone else mentioned I would be looking to pay almost 50% of the price of my total package for 1 programme on 1 Channel!

    I Understand money has to be made but seeing as I look at all the sponsors adorning the sides of the cars, pit, track etc and would have to sit through adverts in the race, I really can’t see it being value for money…..but I guess I will eventually cave in as I watch it for the ‘bumph’ as my son calls it – the chatting and pre/post race stuff not just the half a dozen laps which will serve as highlights on BBC.


  144. Younger Hamii
    29th July 2011, 10:51

    Sky are nothing but money grabbing *******,Its a horrible horrible mistake and absolutely ridiculous that they’re sharing the Coverage with them.All of a Sudden,Sky wants F1 Coverage because F1 has really become a popular Sport Figure in recent Years being that Lewis and Jenson won the Drivers title in 08 and 09 respectively and last season being one of the Best Seasons in F1 History.

    Several Questions,When you Watch Sky Sports News,Do they even talk about F1 as much as a Sport like Tennis or Rugby? Does a lot of F1 or other Motorsport category News appear in the Headlines? Has any F1 or other Motorsport Category appeared in the ‘Breaking News’ Section multiple times excluding the events of the Season Finale?

    The Answer is those Questions are a strong NO!!!

  145. Murdoch and Cameron must be rubbing their hands that another flagship of the BBC has been hived off. I’ve watched every F1 race since 1992, and the current coverage is absolutely superb. Next year I shan’t bother. One day there will only be Sky tv -and then we’re all screwed. The WRC has been destroyed in much the same way, and the most galling aspect from reading the press today is the way it’s been announced with smiles all round. A dark day for British motorsport:(

    1. Totally agree, it’s sickening to see these PR morons from BBC and Sky rolling out some happy soundbites about how its great for fans. This is NOT good for fans of F1.

      I used to watch the WRC when it was on terrestrial coverage…can’t remember the last time I saw any of it now!

  146. This is very bad news, all of us on this site are obviously avid true F1 fans. However I WILL NOT subscribe to sky paying such huge prices to simply watch F1. I dont follow any other sport so its simply not viable for me. After all that was said about free to air, it makes me so mad. So now i cant watch my favourite sport. I really really really hope the ratings for sky suck. BBC should be ashamed to enter a deal with SKY like this. What do i pay my licence for, it appears nothing now as i dont watch eastenders. KEITH CAN YOU PLEASE SET UP A PETITION OF SOME KIND for us all to join, lets show the FIA or whoever needs to know how us F1 fans feel about this. GUTTED

  147. Worst Idea ever!

    I refuse to pay for SKY sports as F1 is the only sport I follow. Only half the races on BBC is just plain stupid the years coverage has been brilliant.

    Different presenters also ruin the experiance, people like consistancy. I still miss Murray Walker.

    F1 will die in the UK because of this deal.

  148. F1’s fanbase in the UK died today :( be prepared for awful commentary, awful presentation and only seeing about 60% of the race, the rest will be adverts. If Keith Huwen is involved in anyway i won’t be watching, the man is a complete fool.

    F1 finally proves money is more important than the fans, sad sad day.

  149. Good news. Haha!

  150. Bad bad decision. I love F1 but I refuse to be forced to pay for SKY to watch it. It was brilliant on BBC 1, what a disaster!!!

  151. Tonymandala
    29th July 2011, 11:09

    Absolutely Gutted!

    I would prefer it it the BBC would pay Sky to have a live feed on-line and or red button for every race and practice, keep Martin Brundle and if necessary for financial reasons do without any TV coverage.
    All the real fans could then have a consistant season and hopefully do without the adverts too ?

    If they are taking highlights of every race surely they could run the whole race in the evening and keep F1 on freeview, just not live ?

    We must let the BBC know we are not going to accept half a season of F1 NO WAY!!!
    Don’t give up guys, the BBC is supposed to owned by the British public isn’t it ???

  152. Its just disgraceful! I was about to stop buying my Merlin annual pass for the theme parks because I never get round to going anymore, because F1 has taken over my passion! Its now a case do I pay £150 for an annual pass and enjoy the rides again or about £200 in total for sky sports? Its just stupid BBC, I see Moto GP has not been cut, even though its far less popular and the same with the rugby league etc… Why cut such a popular sport? Not saying I don’t like Moto GP etc… but its the principle!
    How is it good news for f1 fans???
    Bernie is right! Puting f1 on pay-per-view would be sucide! I bet he can’t wait to see the audience numbers drop!
    Pretty much its a con! Sky have paid a fortune for the contract and they now there will be thousands now buying the sports package! Oh, and let me guess within the next week the sports package will rocket upwards!!!!

  153. I’m genuinely upset by this and for one won’t be giving a penny to Mr. Murdoch.

  154. This certainly qualifies for ‘fail of the day’, and for ‘fail of 2012-2018’ as wel. This is such a bad move, its almost ridiculous. I live in the netherlands, and we have our own channel that broadcasts F1 (being RTL7) but they do it with commercials. The BBC is my have for proper F1 broadcasting, they’ve got proper coverage, better commentary and so forth.

    All in all this saddens me, especially sinds its such a long term deal. I hope they find some way to fix this, but that would he highly unlikely.

  155. Shadgrind (@)
    29th July 2011, 11:17

    What’s the betting Sky put the F1 on different Sky channels so you have to sign up to the full sports package? Getting more and more angry here?

  156. Sky will take Brundle/DC/Kravitz. Jake is BBC’s golden boy, and he wants the Olympics next year. Brundle wont put up with the BBC after this, he’s already said he isnt impressed.

    Luckily I live in a house that can afford Sky Sports, if I didnt, it would be live internet streams. I cant possibly see how anyone can make this out to be good for F1. The BBC have just moved everything up north for no apparent reason for $900m. Shows you the kind of idiots that are running it these days. Sky just about have 10million subscribers in total, I’d hazard a guess that less than a third have Sky Sports. Oh god, they’re going to have a big touch-screen with someone useless like Blundell fart-****** around trying to explain everything…. also, if Man United v Chelsea is on the other side, how many people that follow F1 and football are gonna choose to watch the Grand Prix?

    Sheer idiocy.

  157. Shadgrind (@)
    29th July 2011, 11:21

    Thinking of just cancelling my Sky contract in protest. Rather than pay EVEN MORE money to Murdoch et al.

  158. They said FTA… what we didnt hear was “live”. Thats the get out… “The BBC will have highlights on TV, online and mobile for any race it is not showing live, and all races will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 live.” So… its still FTA but its OLD….

    We have been screwed… and on the surface.. theres jack that FOTA can do.. cos it is still FTA… Once again Ecclestone hoists a big finger at Uk fans.. I wonder why he hates us so much?

  159. I’m a huge fan, and gutted at this decision. BBC are stuck in the dark ages if they think we’re delighted at the announcement that we can still follow on 5 live. I can’t afford sky sports, so looks like will be forced to look for othermeans of following the sport online. Bad decision Bernie.

  160. GingerNinja
    29th July 2011, 11:30

    Sad, sad news indeed. I hate to say it, but at the money Sky charge for sports that’s another lost viewer here.

  161. Very disappointed today. I’ve watched every race for as long as I can remember, but next year I’ll only see half the races. I just couldn’t justify spending £30 or more pounds a month (£360 each year) to get sky for a few hours of TV a month. Yes If I had Sky Sports I’d probably also watch football and their other other sports, but would I rather spend that £360 on a few hours TV a week or a holiday or whatever I’d have to stop spending money to afford sky? Yes I like F1 lots, but at the end of the day its only a sport and I have higher priorities for my money (like a lot of people I suspect) then spending it on following 10 races a year.

    While I understand the BBC’s position in having to cut costs, and Skys position from a business point of view, it seems the BBC are only interested in cutting things that are easy like their F1 and sport coverage rather then things that lots of angry housewives would complain about like Eastenders for example.

    If the BBC have a free choice over the races they show, it’ll be the European and American races, and not (apart from hopefully the season opener) all the Asian races, which will be incredibly sad for me. It will also mean a large drop off in viewing figures as hardcore followers will switch to sky if they can afford it and the rest may watch if its on and they’re not doing anything, but probably won’t arrange their weekends around F1 coverage as they’ll not be able to keep track of when its on.

    Considering over half the teams are based in this country, it could mean a serious drop on sponsorship from British based businesses too, not to mention the effect it could have on other UK, F1 based businesses, so overall today could be a very bad day for the F1 industry in Britain.

  162. Well this is the end of me watching F1 after 15 years missing just a hand full of races. At least I can save a bit by not having to have a TV licence any more.

  163. Biggest mistake ever. All credit to Bernie for what he has done for the sport UNTIL NOW…… Cheers Sky for killing another sport.

  164. In the week of the British GP, the race was the 10th highest rating programme of the week on BBC1, 14th of all channels. So how can the Beeb justify effectively pulling it? You can’t expect people to only watch half the season. So the next question begs, where is my licence fee going? Another Doctor Who re-make, or Strictly Come Dancing???

  165. Just why do we have to pay license fees, its about time that stopped as well, the BBC’s quality is so poor I don’t understand how they are allowed to continue.
    And I agree I don’t want sky sports at some silly amount. Its a real shame that the BBC has so much junk and cheap shows, even the news is the same old story’s round and round without and real breath.
    This is just one more nail in the coffin.

  166. Very sad news,
    This is disgraceful, worst possible compromise, must be rethought otherwise F1 will suffer massively

  167. I’ve been watching F1 since I was born. I was sat in front of it as a baby and raised watching it every race for the past (nearly) 19 years. At the moment I am such an avid fan that I literally can’t get enough of it.

    To hear this news is so saddening. I don’t have the money to pay for Sky Sports and I really don’t want to miss half the season. There’s nothing like watching it live on the BBC.

  168. bud humpswell
    29th July 2011, 12:14

    Having left a few hours to digest this horrific news and understand the reasons behind it, I am still left puzzling over a few things. First the bbc want to reduce operating costs and are planning to do this by removing a channel (bbc3 or 4) removing a radio station and halving f1 coverage. Currently the bbc pays approximately £40m a season and “needs” this funding to guarantee coverage of Wimbledon, which as we all know spans 2 weeks once a year which must mean it is infinitely less value for money as f1. All of this funding coming from licence fee money which we’re forced to pay. In my book this constitutes reckless spending. Second f1 itself is supposed to be making operational cost reductions so the money necessary to keep the sport at the pinnacle will be reduced therefore coverage costs should be lower. I have a lot of respect for Bernie Ecclestone (or did) and what he has done for the sport but this is a step beyond. Regardless of foms asking price the bbc remains a public service broadcaster and as such answerable to the British public, a ten year high in viewing figures and a petition to match could not be ignored. Lastly without free to air broadcast will we get the interest from youngsters to aspire to be British f1 world champions that are recognised and admired in their home country by the national broadcaster. Would we have world champions like Lewis and jenson if bbc hadn’t taken up coverage all them years ago, would Paul diresta have shown an interest had his family been unable to make it possible to see f1? I know that was long but frustration runs deep on this and with the bbc of late. Down with sky sports

  169. In a country that’s the world leader as far as the motorsport industry is concerned, the politicians certainly don’t treat it as such.

  170. I kept wondering why Jake kept harping on about the viewing figures week after week. He was trying to justify keeping things as they were but, alas Jake, you have really let us all down. Could have brought this up when the deal was being considered so people could let their thoughts be known instead of waiting until the deal was done. Or is there a motive in Jakes madness? A position with Sky perhaps?
    As for highlights, what is the point in trying to hide yourself in a box so that you don’t hear the results beforehand?
    Oh well, after 40 years of following motor racing I can go and get a life now. At least my family will be glad to get me back after losing out during race weekends.
    As for this season? Finished for me…….no more interest.

  171. Same sentiments as most people here I think.

    F1 has lost a viewer for at least half the races, probably all of them (who want’s to follow a season where you only see half the races?)

    I love F1, but I am not prepared to pay £20/month to add sports to our Sky package. I don’t watch any other sports, and there will only be 1 race on it in most months.

    This sickens me, and will lead to much lower viewing figures in the UK, I am sure of that.

  172. I am hugely disappointed, because, as I’m note living in the UK, the only british channels I have are BBC1 and BBC2. And now, I will have to watch most of the races on the local TV coverage, which is far from being as good as the BBC coverage :-(

    I hope there will be streaming links on the internet…

  173. Alastair Montgomery
    29th July 2011, 12:20

    I am a current Sky subscriber but cannot justify upgrading my package to include Sky Sports just to watch the full F1 season.

    So it looks like the options are two just miss those races or find a the rare bar with Sky Sports that would show the F1 instead of the football on a Sunday.

  174. I looked further into this. I have VirginMedia cable service. Yes, if I want, I can get Sky through VirginMedia. Except Sky Sports Extra channel. It’s exclusive to Sky customers and not Sky through VirginMedia.

    So even if I pay the money I can still, potentially, miss a F1 race / qualifying / practice if they put it on Sky Sports Extra.

    To guarantee 100% race coverage I would have to switch my full service from cable with VirginMedia to Sky.

    I would lose my 10Mb cable broadband and would get a poor ADSL from the nearest exchange. I checked that out on

    Or to keep my decent broadband, that I need for work, I would have to pay separate for broadband and Sky. Therefore not using a bundle and saving money like everyone else.

    Basically I’m stuffed.
    With all my other outgoings, I will have to give up F1 now.

  175. I WILL NOT pay to watch my sport. I love F1 and have not missed a race for years but I refuse to pay for what I should get under my license fee.

    Moto GP it is then.

  176. bummer

    This thing sounds very expensive @ 25.00GBP/month! That’s the same as going to one live race year.

  177. Only way to punish these ******* is by not getting a sky subscription, and that counts 4 everybody in the UK who watches F1 and doesn’t have it already (duh). I really enjoyed watching the bbc f1 coverage, but i’ll be going back to the other option with a million commercial breaks (yeah not from the UK). Also Sky says no commercial breaks, but during pre and post shows it will probably be more like a commercial bombing show.

    BTW anybody with a normal income who is willing to pay £487 (or £610) primarily to see F1 is nuts!!! This coming from somebody who has seen 99% of the races since 1994. These rich A**holes are seriously robbing the not so fortunate

  178. I think this is a terrible decision. I love the F1 on BBC. I love how my mates back in Aus (who get the English International version) can see & hear what I see & hear for the race (it’s pity their build up sucks!)

    I am a Sky subscriber (all the way up to 3D – so I already have Sky Sports), but I know there are loads of people who can’t afford to get Sky Sports. Even if you get it for the minimum 10 months that the races are on, that’s £407.50 for the basic coverage – that’s a lot of money for some people.

    I don’t blame Bernie or the FIA. I don’t blame the BBC too much (yes, the powers that be that made this decision have something to answer for). The main issue I have is with the UK government who have cut the BBC’s budget and have forced this decision to be made. The coverage of F1 has been second to none since it’s moved to the BBC. I think it will be a crying shame when the only way to watch it will be on Sky. It’s not broke – why are people trying to fix it?

  179. Well… I just hope the races keep getting torrented because that’s my only way to see them now :/

  180. David Pearson
    29th July 2011, 13:02

    I am not happy, this is a joke – its all about money in my eyes. I love this sport and I am gutted to see that sky have finally managed to get there nails into it!

    I wonder have the BBC just given in as they probably would of been left with nothing if they hadn’t agreed to half – I just hope they pick good races, especially the ones that are on a decent times and ones that UK audience actually want to watch. I.e. not Valencia, the most boring GP track ever.

  181. what a load of ****. BBC has great coverage I will NOT be buying Sky.

    Sad, sad day for F1.

  182. DeltaPDeltaX
    29th July 2011, 13:03

    Absolutely gutted. Right now I feel like I should be as loyal to the sport as the sport is to me, which appears to be very little. It would have been better to just have the live feed with no build up than to only have half the races! I can’t even motivate myself to be excited about this weekend when I know my love of F1 will be soon ruined.

    They have fundamentally underestimated the effect on people from my age group (student). I know many F1 fans and none of them will be able watch half the races! You could be the richest sport in the world right now but with no viewers then theres no future.

  183. Tom Gosling
    29th July 2011, 13:04

    “This is fantastic news for F1 fans”

    I hate you SO much already.

  184. The coverage of the last few seasons on BBC has been outstanding. The Brundle/Coulthard combo really works, informed passionate love of the subject, Jake’s been a top draw presenter, Eddie’s a diamond, the F1 forum the cherry on the cake, etc etc…

    Now Ecclestone has tricked the BBC into betraying a generation of Licence Payers to the New World Order… i.e. more profits for the super-rich, and screw the millions of poor saps that pay for it! Murdoch, and particularly little Damien, sorry James, are just soulless psychopaths, like many heads of governnment and industry, systematically eroding all that is good in the name of personal gain.
    Capitalism only really benefits capitalists with capital!
    …and we know what J Murdoch thinks of the BBC…

  185. Absolutely gutted, followed F1 for years and now I wont be able to follow every race live next year? Would have been nice for once if Bernie could have sacrificed a few million for the good of the fans…

  186. Kel- forever a Mclaren fan
    29th July 2011, 13:13

    I am so disappointed by this news. I don’t have sky, and I won’t be forced to pay for it! Myself and my family have been f1 fans for as long as I can remember, and we don’t miss a race for anything! If we are only going to be able to see half the races in the future what is the point? Listening to it on the radio is not the same. If I can’t see all the races, I won’t bother watching any. Thanks Bernie for valuing the fans that have kept your sport going. I will be sure to make sure that I don’t spend another penny that will line your pockets in the future!

  187. I am from the Netherlands and the BBC coverage is much better than our local coverage. We can’t recieve Sky here, so I have to resort to our crappy local coverage. Bad mistake.

  188. The sole reason for this change is that the BBC was unwilling to outbid Sky. Bernie is not to be blamed for granting the TV rights to the highest bidder – profit-making is his job and what has to be done in order for F1 to exist – and I see little reason to think that this will hurt F1 economically in the long run, any more than Sky has hurt the Premier League economically (and if it did cause unforeseen problems, the contract is only for a few years). And it’s not even as though an influx of money is likely to spoil F1 in the same way that it has allegedly harmed football’s character (because if any sport is naturally glamorous, elite and exorbitantly expensive to run, it’s F1).

    A Sky Sports TV subscription could indeed be regarded as unduly expensive. One imagines a better system in which one could pay exclusively to watch Sky’s F1 coverage and nothing else, if so preferred. However, there is no sense in blaming Sky for being “money-grabbers” – how the heck do you think the Earth supports 6 billion humans, and you are able to acquire computers and internet and motorcars, if not for the “money-grabbing” behaviours of actors participating in a market? Instead, blame burdensome government regulation of the TV and media industries that prevents an efficient market in these things from existing. Blame also the existence of the BBC – which is not in any sense “free” – both for demanding £150 pounds of your money annually, and for creating a further chaotic distortion in the market (with consequences for the likelihood of new and efficient competitors and innovations entering the scene).

    Sky is just doing its job (and if it wasn’t Sky, it would only be some other company), but if the BBC is to exist it should at least be accountable to the public. Whilst this is hardly the place to get a balanced view, there is a large audience for F1 in the UK (8 million viewers for the Canadian GP) and it is a sport of national interest. There are two recent British world champions and a British rookie on the grid, and the engineering talent in the teams is also disproportionately British. During a season in which the racing has been unusually good, the BBC has decided to cut down its F1 coverage (not just inessential parts like the forum, the hour-long build-up, the internet stream and Jake but half of the actual races) whilst continuing to provide me, and perhaps a large proportion of the rest of this site’s commentariat, with little else in the way of valued content. I am disappointed, but not surprised, to find that few others have chosen the (wasteful, poll tax-funded) BBC as the target of their criticism.

    1. “I see little reason to think that this will hurt F1 economically in the long run”

      Really you’re that short sighted? The amount of sponsership payed to teams is going to drop due to the massively reduced viewing figures that pay tv gets. Whitmarh’s comments summed it up best last month.

      This decision clearly isnt in the best interests for the sport.

      1. Presumably Bernie Ecclestone, or whoever else is responsible for handing TV rights to Sky, has access to ample data regarding the financial consequences of this decision, and has analysed all of the costs and benefits involved. If the teams’ sponsorship revenue does fall, presumably Bernie can make up the difference using the extra money that Sky is paying him. Whatever happens it’s not as though he’ll have just overlooked this problem! And if the team bosses are really unhappy about it, either they’ll seek a legal ruling in their favour or possibly take matters into their own hands (but I expect a compromise would be found before that point).

        I don’t believe that the possible loss of teams’ sponsorship money is the real reason why you and others are so displeased by this decision, in any case.

  189. Absolutley outraged. Who is worse? A. A money grabbing media mogul with no principles B. A money grabbing F1 mogul with no principles or C. A deceitful head of BBC sport for keeping this dark. errr can’t decide!!

    I will now cancel

  190. Very sad news and really a very bad decision in terms of international audience support.
    Once more it is confirmed that this is all about the money nowadays, they don’t mind the viewers…as long as there is a big tv contract, all seems to be OK.

    “This is fantastic news for F1 fans”
    No it is absolutely not! Worst ever…

    So we have to watch local coverage then in Belgium, which has really bad commentary, not like actual professional BBC commentary.

    Once more it’s “the average man in the street” who pay’s…

  191. My letter sent to both the BBC complaints department and FOTA. bring to think where else it can be sent whats MR Es email address?

    Dear Sirs

    I have been a F1 fan for many years now following every race I can live on TV, If not I watch it recorded on Sky+ a service which I subscribed to for this reason as I prefer to watch the full race because I enjoy the ins and outs of F1 not just to watch the passing moves and crashes on the highlights. I do not really follow any other sport so therefore  do not have the sky sports package which would cost me £20.25 a month extra pushing my sky bill to over £60 a month.

    I started watching F1 when I was in my very early teens after watching the Sena Mansell battle at the 1992 grand prix which just happened to be on when I had nothing to do so after hearing my friend’s dad talking about  F1 throughout my childhood I thought I would give it a try even though no one in my family was remotely interested in F1. It was so enthralling that I watched many races casually for the next 2 years gaining more and more interest till it became an obsession in early 1994 of with I watched almost every single race that year and have tried to ever since.

    While I understand that revenue will be bought in through this new deal it will be at the cost of people such as myself who will no longer be able to afford to watch the full race. While I would watch some of the highlight programs I will not be getting a satisfactory picture of the world of F1, meaning I will only watch when I hear about something which interests for example when my favourite driver wins, the rest I can read about in the news papers or online. This would mean less exposure to the sponsors advertised on the cars and side of the track as there is a limited amount of picture space in these articles. 

    So while the deal with Sky TV in revenue terms may seem a good idea it would be at the cost of both hardcore fans like myself as well as causal fans, as I was in the begging, who watch the occasional race on a sunday because it’s on when they switch over on a free to view TV channel.

    I hope for the sake of the fans and the long term future of F1 that Fota will take this into consideration when discussing this issues with Fom.

  192. sjsutton (@)
    29th July 2011, 13:28

    They only wanted to save the tennis. What do the non tennis/golf fans get to watch ? NOTHING !

    Why bother having Highlights when we already know what happens thanks to the news

  193. Since no one else will, Let me be a lone voice in the wilderness and say;

    I am quite happy for Sky to screen F1.

    There someone has said it.

    The BBC is a public service broadcaster. As much as I love F1 I can not see any God given reason why it the BBC has a specail right or even a duty to show it, given a million other competing demands on a diminishing budget.

    The real world facts are that the BBC is facing approx 20% programming budget cuts and some things have to go. It is hard to argue that F1 is a more deserving cause than (say) BBC World Service.

    I suppose in someones Utopian fantasy, Bernie could have taken a big cut in fees, but that aint gonna happen.

    It seems to me Bernie has made a sensible compromise. The BBC will continue to show a lot of races live and every race either live or recorded. That is in his interests as team sponsors will still get access to Free-to-air audiences. Equally F1 revenues are maintained by allowing Sky in. And is there any particular unique rule in F1 that says pay TV customers be not alloweed to watch F1?

    1. “I suppose in someones Utopian fantasy, Bernie could have taken a big cut in fees, but that aint gonna happen.”

      Yes because Bernie just can’t afford it can he? That’s how bad things have got in egomania that someone accepting they simply aren’t Number 1 any more is considered a “utopian fantasy”. The idiot should have gone to Channel 4 or 5 and taken the hit. Why can’t he just accept that the main channels can’t afford his prices any more.

  194. I did`nt get Sky when they got most of the football, I just lost almost all interest in it, and the same will happen this time, I might watch some of whats on the BBC, but I definitely will not be paying for Sky Sports, Rupert can go whistle.

    1. Seconded! Sky got the Test cricket, but I didn’t get Sky and never will. I have Test Match Special on at the moment. Radio coverage of motor racing can never equal television, but we will still have highlights at least.

  195. mattringwood
    29th July 2011, 13:52

    So angry about this! Have just been out and stopped my vodaphone subscription. Not going to pay any money to any firm that sponsors F1 til this is changed. Sky has spoilt football, then cricket and now F1, its time to do something and stop this! I have, are you going to as well?

    1. No. That’s a massive over-reaction.

      You’re going to have to sacrifice a hell of alot to keep yourself free of F1 sponsors.

  196. Please support the Petition for BBC F1

    License Fee Payers want F1 and should have been asked before such changes were made.

    Please have your voice by signing

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

  197. maurice griggs
    29th July 2011, 13:54

    My wife will be devastated , as she is a complete petrol head when it comes to F1—- she follows every practice / qualy / race & red-button , and I’m DREADING her finding out about this .
    It’s a sad, sad day , to learn that the loyalty of tens of thousands of fans mean diddlysquat.
    I guess when your personal wealth is counted in £ billions , you REALLY need the extra income .
    Makes me sick !!!!!
    R.I.P F.1

    1. Ecclestone won’t directly profit from this. His salary is paid by CVC, not Sky Sports or the BBC.

  198. Well I can’t afford Sky so that’s a quite a few weekends freed up from next year.

    I logged on during my lunch break to read about this, I am really in a bad mood now.

    This is terrible news for the popularity of F1 in the UK, some current fans will gradually loose interest and it will be harder to gain new fans in the future.

    I think this may well be just the start and we may end up with only the British GP live on free to air. I suppose it will be a way to wean myself off my F1 addiction and save myself money from all the F1 memorabilia I buy.

  199. I wholeheartedly agree with many of the views expressed. I too have avidly followed F1 for the last 45 years. I detested the ITV coverage, putting adverts in the middle of live sport was always a terrible idea, but stuck with it. I had a party when the BBC took back coverage. I stopped watching football when sky took over the rights and will do the same with f1 as painful as it may be. My wife will be one of the few that is elated. I do not have, do not want and certainly will not pay for yet more tlevision supported by adcertising. It hurts enough that I pay a premium on things I buy because they choose to advertise on my time in my front room. Goodbye F1 please call when you become, as per your concorde agreement, free to air once more.

  200. A fan syndicate:
    A thought – of the 10 Million people, let’s say 1 Million now pay for the Sky coverage. Instead, they should buy a team and be a share holder. Will £250 Million p/a cover it?

  201. DeltaPDeltaX
    29th July 2011, 14:09

    Maybe the BBC could make its own unofficial championship, something like the “BBC Driver of the year championship” and the “BBC constructor of the year championship” and give a trophy to the winner based on only races the BBC show. If the majority of fans watch only the free races, these championships could be increasingly popular with drivers and supporters. This would decrease the popularity of the non BBC races and may force FOM’s hand to reconsider.

  202. Not really an issue for me, I have Sky Sports. But i’m gutted for so so many people. Shocking news, almost spat my cereal out this morning.

    It’s going to be interesting to see FOTA’s view on this.

    Does the BBC still show Points of View?

  203. Really furious about this. I think all the other posts sum up my own feelings without adding much more. I have a Sky subscription, but they won’t be getting a penny more out of me for Sky Sports – in fact, I’m considering cutting my subscription in protest. I’ll live with not watching all the races live. Better that than paying an extra £20 a month. Sky monopolise our TV, particularly where sport is concerned. At least they don’t have BTCC, WTCC, V8 Supercars or WRC… yet. Or cycling for that matter. I don’t blame Sky for what’s happening here, that’s just business, but that doesn’t make me hate the money grabbing ******** any less. Thing is, where’s the competition? It’s basically Sky or nothing in most cases, and that’s just not right. I don’t even have the option of getting rid of Sky for some other provider (Virgin) as that’s just not available where I live.

    Will any of our comments make a difference when they (Sky) have just announced profits of more than £1bn. I hope so, but doubt they will.

    I’ve followed F1 religiously for many, many years, but this is a sad day for the sport.

    “Sky. Believe in better” – yes, I do, and this isn’t it!

  204. I can’t describe my anger right now. So frustrating.

  205. Very disappointing news. I most certainly won’t be giving a penny to Murdoch. Cheers Bernie, triples all round!

  206. I’m sorry for all UK users. How can only half races be shown? Fans want all the races. This will increase illegal streaming online and only few people will pay the Sky fee to see the races. Showing only half of them free will drop the audiences also during those events because people will not have followed the development of the season and will not be interested in a one-off race. Casual fans will not understand anything, hardcore fans will have to find a different way to watch it.

  207. Richard Greenland
    29th July 2011, 14:59

    Devastated! A few years ago I had just started to get my son interested in cricket when that went skyward. He’s loving the F1 right now and this news couldn’t have come at a worse time. Barbara Slater needs to un-delight herself and feel the shame that this news deserves.

  208. So BBC F1 team. What did you know and when did you know it?

  209. Will this effect DSTV subscribers here in Africa ? (South African station broadcasting through sattelite)


  210. Sky is too expensive. Too bad for F1 but money to pay high taxes to the government and food is definitely to be placed before tv coverage. There are other sports to watch on tv anyways so bye F1 and I can say that this is a sad day for all the F1 lovers. It is a money making machine after all. So, what can we expect? Long time ago, I would attend several GP live on a racetrack. Now with the exhorbitant prices I have stopped all together to attend F1 on racetrack. Now F1 is pushing me out of the tv because of money again. i guess until people accept to pay, prices will go up. For me, the limit has been reached.

  211. Why don’t BBC axe free practice and Qualifying which I could live with (just), and just show the race. They could even have Brundle and co in a commentry booth back in london. Im sure i heard stories about murray walker and James Hunt commentating on flyaway races back in london because BBC couldnt afford to fly him to the race.

  212. The WORST thing about this deal: that the BBC is now little more than a promo broadcast for SKY. The idiots at BBC can’t see how they are being used by SKY to ease the pain of buying into F1 Pay TV. If they had refused point blank with an “all or nothing” attitude Bernie would have stepped back. As it is they are now just 10 long adverts for SKY Sports on BBC.

    Totally disgusted. Hope the F1 teams fight this. It will be a catastrophe for them with sponsors downgrading the sports value. Really bad day for F1.

  213. Awful, awful news, and a real slap in the face for the BBC team who have done such great work building up audiences. Sky have never had and never will have a penny from me – I will be trying to stream content from abroad and listening the Radio 5 coverage. I simply can’t understand what’s behind the decision…apart from money, of course!

  214. **OUTSIDE OF UK**

    For those of us outside of the UK, we received the BBC tranmission and it gets broadcasted by our local sports channels. (In Canada it is broadcasted by TSN, but still have BBC commentary).

    We do not have the ability to purchase SKY network channels in Canada. So, does this mean that we will not be able to watch these races at all? Or are we not impacted.

    I can’t imagine SKY providing the broadcast and not charging viewers outside of the UK. It’s more likely they just won’t share it.

  215. “With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

    Rich license-fee payers who are paying a lot more than the license fee. Durr…

  216. Our plan:

    Had sky and can say it is not worth it. My idea as follows:

    We will get Get BT vision : (yes have to have broadband & phone with, but you need that anyway if you have broadband.)

    12 a month for £4 a month : Pay for sky sports as you need, 1 month contract.


    1. thats not a bad idea actually, i already have BT vision in my home, so would just have to pay for SS1 and 2

  217. Martin Young
    29th July 2011, 16:51

    How can we keep 10% of F1 coverage on the BBC?
    We need to put pressure on the sponsers of the sport.
    Boycott the products of the sponsers!
    They are all in it to make money (out of us) If we can hurt the sponsers in their pockets, then we will get 100% coverage back on the BBC.

  218. chatterbollox
    29th July 2011, 17:00

    Absolutely disgraceful. The BBC are skint and can’t put up the license fee so James Murdoch/Sky go on the offensive against them in the News Corp papers – for a change – with the Sun attacking BBC4 the other week with various lies about deal). And what does Eccelstone do? Take cash from a company who’s Chairman is at the centre of the most morally repellant story of our generation. And what do we do? Queue up for Sky? Never – they have systematically robbed us of everything and tried to tell us they’ve done us a favour. Eccesltone you are a disgrace sir!l 500 quid a year to watch adverts. Spend a week in the U.S and see what happens when you stop paying license fees – ads ads ads and channels full of bland sh1te, more sports on pay-per-view… a dark day indeed. Fight this with your wallets – do not subscribe. Fight this with your votes – lobby your MP and 38 degrees to petition this: sport cannot be monopolized in this way … screw the viewers.. money money money… ratings will drop….

  219. change banks :-)

  220. Sorry for you all, in the US we have to pay for most of it to or we only get 4 races on Fox, the rest are on SPEED and that is not free to air, but if I did not have it I would get no MOTOGP, F1, NASCAR Truck so for me it is worth it. I dont know SKY so I cant speak there but I understand the pay issue.

  221. A very stupid decision. The casual F1 follower will stop watching and even some F1 fanatics will. Ratings will drop, causing sponsors to be less interested in F1 and (some) to pull out of F1. Only Ecclestone, who proves to be a money-grubber yet again, and the Murdochs are the benificiaries of this deal. I’m not a UK resident, but here in the Netherlands BBC 1 and 2 are free-to-air on both analogue and digital TV. The F1 coverage in the Netherlands is done by RTL 7 and is much worse than BBC F1’s. About five or six ad breaks (split screen though) during the race and the commentary by Olav Mol doesn’t come close to Martin Brundle and DC. Up to last year I had another escape route, when F1 was aired (ad-break free) on the Flemish public television, but with that gone to a commercial TV station, it means that from next year on I will have to watch pretty bad coverage on RTL 7.

    Thank you very much, Bernie, for making this decision. You are a genius and probably the most altruistic man I have ever seen.

  222. this is ridiculous i think they should scrap T.V licence i might be able to afford sky sports then. This is the end of f1 in the u.k

  223. Pathetic doesnt even describe how it feels to hear that sky is taking over the coverage. I guess Bernie has punched the final nail in the coffin. F1 will surely suffer in the future and risks losing its biggest fanbase. Its quite clear now that fans arent really a priority. Way to Bernie!!!

    HORRIBLE !!!

  224. is there anyway of streaming the races live next year online, free of charge? if so what websites are they?
    I don’t mind WATCHING the race in any way shape or form, but I am not going to only listen to it or not watch it at all and I am certainly not paying an extra £20 a month for sky sports!

  225. So the BBC has stuffed us and lost F1, what a disaster it means we will now not see most races, why has Eccalstone allowed this, does he not like the fans does he not think we are important? I dont have SKY and will NEVER have SKY, i dont watch any other sport so sky is on no use top me what options do i now have? Why would F1 do this to loyal fans, i cant believe how they would do this to us?


  226. Talk about selling out loyal fans! Shame on you Bernie! Goodbye F1, hello motoGP. It’ll be a cold day in hell when i hand over my hard earned cash to Murddock.

  227. Have followed F1 since Jim Clark days and have enjoyed the BBC coverage in recent years but I feel this is blackmailing the customer into paying for a service he/she would have no other use for. I will not be paying extra to watch Sky and certainly will not tune in to BBC on a Sunday afternoon just to watch even more repeats.
    Very bad decision BBC.

  228. I agree with Alex. I am sure there are other ways of saving money. At this rate Sky will have exclusive rights to broadcast all major sports, it is the thin edge of the wedge. I will not join Sky and will lose interest in watching F1, which is a pity as it has taken me long enough to really get into the sport!

  229. As a small child I raced my dinky Alfa Romeo racing cars down the school playground. Fifty five years later I shed a tear for the slow death of F1. Shame on you Bernie. shame on you FOTA for allowing this pact with the Devil. I have sky at the moment but after the disgusting behaviour of the News international no more.

  230. I am a Sky subscriber but am soooo not going to get Sports just to see F1. It’s a sad sad day for F1.

  231. Im a 12 year old kid and really want to watch F1 but because of the recession my family will struggle to even pay our basic chorus never mind the 23 euros for sky sports.I fear the worst for F1 and many people who wont be able to afford sky sports

  232. soon there will not be any sport free to view. F1 is one of my favourites I do not have sky and I have no intentions on getting it. BBC think again

  233. The UK has one of the biggest motor sport fan bases in the world. So I think this is a very bad move by the BBC, all in the name of saving money. I wonder why I pay my licence fee sometimes. So I will not be upgrading to sky and I can’t stand watching highlights. If it was the full race but at a different but sensible time (not 2am for example) that would ok, but not ideal.

  234. I have watched f1 for 20 years and i believed that it was one of the true sports that was built by the fans and stood by the fans. I can only hope that this greedy selfish money motivated move will reduce the viewing population so much that it forces the teams to do something about it. i would be very surprised if the sky team are as passionate or knowledgable as the current b.b.c team , i agree with everyone , a sad sad day for f1 and sport. I would be more than happy to put my name to any petition.i will NOT be paying sky for coverage and the lack of f1 will leave a big hole in my heart. :(

  235. Why does anyone pay for Sky? They have ruined Football, not that I am to bothered about that. But now they want to ruin F1. We already pay for tv in this country why do we have to pay a premium to watch F1. The Beeb should get rid of some of htere over paid execs and put sport back where it should be with access to all.

  236. this is pathetic !

    only gunna watch the bbc races and highlights.

  237. Jeffrey Powell
    29th July 2011, 22:13

    It may not be accurate but my attitude towards anything on Sky Sports is the same as my attitude towards Cheap Sea side fun rides what a disaster for F1.

  238. where is the sense in this? The following of F1 in this country has increased dramatically since it went back onto the BBC and quite rightly so – they got it right! Why is Bernie Ecclestone getting into this with Sky at a very bad time with so much hanging over Sky and Rupert Murdoch. I bet Murray walker is seething over this and so he should be. I have never been a lover of Bernie Ecclestone as I fond his attitude totally obnoxious and rude. He has done himself no favours with this and cannot seeing him lasting long now and good ridence

  239. Stupid idea! I hope sky get lost. I’ll just download my F1 coverage from torrent sites like most other people then. Are people really stupid enough to buy sky for F1? I hope not.

  240. bernies/boy
    29th July 2011, 23:38

    i think the truth of it is that NewsCorp Sky will take over F1 and all its television rights. Lets face it the executives at the BBC have been pressured by con/lib government (cameron/coulson) to give Sky a share of F1. And very soon the execs at the BBc will be moving to new jobs at , guess Sky and Newscorp. They don’t care what we think, after all who hasn’t got £600 pound to spare…. thats the way they think.. you must have a spare £600 somewhere, give up smoking or walk to work..

  241. I will never pay a penny to Murdoch to watch F1, despite being a lifelong fan.

    Hopefully the teams will flex their Concorde Agreement muscle and throw this deal in the trash, where it belongs.

  242. I hate to mention it Keith, but I hope this isn’t bad news for f1fanatic going forward. You’ve built up such a big fan base but surely f1 fans will decrease in number. What else are you fanatical about? Snooker perhaps? I’d stay loyal if you made the switch to snookerFanatic.

    1. Ultimately, yes, I suspect this will lead a decline in the total number of English-speaking F1 fans which will be bad for the site from a purely economical point of view.

      But on the other hand, with the output from a publicly available broadcaster declining and fewer people able or willing to take the content from a much more expensive broadcaster, there is potentially some opportunity for growth.

      In other words, it could be a question of getting a bigger piece (proportionally) of a smaller pie.

      But I prefer to think of the matter in the broader terms of what’s best for the sport, and I think the highly likely shrinkage in the fan base will be negative for everyone in the long-term.

      1. Good insight. It could go bad, people “leaving” the sport but it could go well: the website will be benefited in those non-BBC races, as people would log in to see the results and so on.

      2. Elliot Horwood
        30th July 2011, 1:37

        i liked seeing you on the BBC NEWS earlier Keith, Got a lot more fans i think too becauuse of it. GO KEITH! :)

  243. what a bad day for F1 fans!
    I could wax lyrical for hours about the short ***** bob wearing little **** that owns the rights to F1, but I am sure he does not give a second thought to the true
    F1 fans.
    And Sky you are not getting 27.50 per month from me.

    well done Bernie!!!

  244. Not sure what will happen here in Canada I believe we purchase broadcast rights through the BBC Wow! I guess TSN (our provider) will have to make other arrangements. The decline in the sport from a TV perspective should grow the sport from an internet perspective “live timing” “streaming” etc. Is this Black F1 Day.

  245. My world travels may soon be over I get up in the morning (Canada) 8:00am for a 1pm start and tell my wife e.g. “well I’m off to Hungary” and then go the family room and turn on the TV. Crap I’ll have to stay home.

  246. Reading this article was the first thing I did after waking up this morning and it made me furious! Complete slap in the face to all loyal F1 fans! I already have sky but I am in no way interested in football or cricket or any other sport broadcast on the sky sports channels but I will still be an extra 20 quid a month just so I can watch one channel every other weekend. Although i can’t imagine not following F1 or missing races and qualifying.

    My plan, Assumming that the BBC will most likely broadcast all the european races which are usually held between may-september, is to only suscribe to sky sports in the months when there are no Broadcasts by the BBC. I.e cancel my subscription between may-september and renew it for singapore ect. when the only option to watch will be sky and then cancel it again during the off season. This way i’m not paying evey month even though all the races during that month may be broadcast on BBC. This might make it possibly affordable!

  247. Im in Aus and currently Im happy with 10s coverage but dont they get it from BBC? What happens when BBC are not covering the race are we going to miss out here as well?

    I really do feel sorry for you guys over there.

  248. Terrible decesion, the other thing sky will do is show it on all 3 sky sports channels so you just cant subscribe to one and they will state that has to happen because of clashes with other sporting events.
    I wont be paying it, maybe the public should boycott f1 and then when it starts hurting the teams and there sponsors bernie my realise people love this sport and its not just his personal cash cow

  249. In a sport that is bound tightly by its rules and technical specifications, I fail to see how it is possible to move away from the “free to air” agreement.

    What are the teams main sponsors saying about this move? If the audiences drop (as they surely will from the comments I have read across the internet about fans not buying the extortionate Sky packages)the teams revenues must be adversely effected.

    Why are we not hearing more voices from the teams? Are they being bribed with some of the Murdoch billions?

    As usual, the opinion of the fans was not sought it would seem. We need to be as loud as possible over this issue.

  250. Keith – there’s a petition going on at PledgeBank, could you help to spread the word?

  251. Seems the BBC is just showing the dictatorial and arrogant mindset that the lefty journalistic machine has developed. We pay the TV Licence Fee – but they consider all the revenue should be split up between them as salaries, expenses [in fine restaurants] and benefits, and the last thing it should be used for is content!! I will never subscribe to pay Sport TV, so after 50 years of being an ardent watcher of F1, another veiwer is lost – so much for the ‘eyeball count’, eh!
    Seems that BE has squeezed the golden goose once more – is he he not sated yet with his and his daughters billions or do they need some more houses?

  252. Yeah, Sky may be very good at covering sports; and they may well do a great job too! But the BBC’s coverage is absolutely fantastic, and for free! With this new turn of events, I am extremely disappointed that I will have to pay a sizeable amount every month for watching only about 75 hours EVERY YEAR!!! This might be ok for people who currently subscribe to these premium channels, but for those who don’t, it’s a nightmare; moreover for those on other networks (BT Vision, Virgin, etc.) its even worse. Let’s not mention those who don’t subscribe to these TV services. I always hated the idea of paying for TV, especially when these channels earn loads of money from advertising in the first place.

    Where else will we find an excellent F1 coverage team like Jake, David, Martin, Lee, and Ted?

    As many have mentioned here, F1 is in real danger now; that too in a country which is home to more than half of the teams on the grid, shameful!!!

  253. What exactly was it that made the BBC corporates jump at a deal with Sky?
    Not bringing in enough numbers? MILLIONS more were tuning in than ever before. The team won an award for their shows for goodness sake!
    Still not decided if I’m going to be forking out for Sky Sports yet, the coverage will almost certainly be amateurish and littered with adverts – a dark day for F1

  254. UnsubSky Day
    30th July 2011, 10:27

    I’ve had enough. September 10th will be my UnsubSky day.

  255. I used to watch boxing back in the 80’s ……. That got Skyified and I stopped having an interest. I used to watch England rugby and that got Skyified and I stopped watching and I have been following F1 since 1987 …… That will be Skyified and guess what will happen!
    I do not watch any other Sport and have never paid and will never pay for Sky Sports for a single sport experience. Like with the other Sports I used to watch we will see the viewing figures decline considerably, until it just no longer becomes important to the average Joe.
    This is just the start. Sky will soon start charging per race like they did for boxing (or introduce a “special deal” (sic) for full season coverage; and you’ll need to also Pay for Sky Sports) and only the die hard fans with money will pay, if their not at the race itself.
    Corporate Britain once again sees a way of thieving from the average man and seizes it with both hands.

  256. This is terrible news for f1 fans.

    If there is a petition to keep free to air on the bbc set up I’d like to be counted.

    It would have many millions signing up.

    Imagine if Murdock had 100% of BskyB !?!

    1. I found this petition so signed

      Perhaps found on here, but posting becasue it’s got best support thus far. It’s already up to 15,604 petitioners at 20:15 sat 30th July. It was about 13,300 when I signed up 13:00 sat 30th July.

      So that’s about 2300 in 7 hours… if that rate continues it’ll reach 1000000 in about 126 days.

      Get signing !

  257. BBC coverage is great, best commentary team ever.
    Seriously thinking of cancelling my Sky subscription, so annoyed.

  258. Hi this is a very bad move, I won’t be watching on Sky Good luck to all genuine fans

  259. Absolutely furious!!! I don’t have Sky as am not going to subscribe just to help the BBC out so I can watch F1. I pay my TV licence to the BBC to watch uninterrupted coverage of F1!

    F1 will be the loser I’m guessing they will lose a whole load of viewers!

  260. I like the BBC saying that it will show the last GP of the season it just shows that this idea come from someone you does not watch F1.If the championship is won by the last race it makes the last GP a non event pointless showing it,its like showing the last game of a football season knowing man utd have won the league.I can see how this will go in the years to come 1st BBC will drop F1 because no one is watching the live races it does show (why pay for sky only to watch half a season and the other half on the BBC) and then sky will have the F1 fan where it wants them and you and I will have to pay an amout to watch every race like you do now to watch boxing fights.

  261. There are over 5000 (and counting) comments on the BBC’s F1 website. If you haven’t had your say please do so. There are petitions and there is the BBC complaints website. Please make your feeling known.

    This is an absolute travesty. We all know where this is likely to end up eventually. I would be surprised if viewers ended up having to pay well over £400 per year to view a full race session.

  262. Disgusted is not strong enough for this sell out deal. 99% victims because of this and 1% who will benefit.
    On the BBC there is a blog message from the head F1 BBC, Ben Gallop. In less then 2 days over 5500 (and still counting rapidly) reactions. And guess what? All negative. See

  263. really upset by the F1 moving to sky…
    I’m looking online to find a “avoid the f1 campaign”…

    big business SKY/BBC and alike are interested in only 1 thing… viewers…

    BBC so than can provided logical reasoning why the tv subscrition should remain as high as it is…

    and sky so they can push a thousand and 1 adverts every 8-10 minutes.. ~ misisng the action in the process…

    I can’t believe after bbc now have it so right (coverage wise, time broadcasting, presenters, options)… that the rights for the f1 have now (or be it party) moved to sky!!

    please avoid watching sky whereever possible, they will soon pick up the lack in watchers/viewers makes this a bad business move and therefore a waste of money and therefore something (as a big business) to avoided…

    what coupled with all the media attention on the murdock family maybe its time to show that us english speaking fans of the sport we will now be pushed around & forced to pay yet again!!!…
    I’m a sky user already and already pay throw the nose… but i refuse to subsribe to yet another package..

    suggest we all switch off f1 every time its shown on sky..

    if you “must” see the action for each race (even the those broadcasted by sky), get yourself down your local pub…

    at least using the pub will help mask the belief that buy the rights to f1 for sky really isn’t quite such a good business move afterall… and with any luck will help ensure we dont end up adding yet another few ten’s of millions to the murdock already far too big empire.

    please please please, dont sit back and take this ****..
    please do not watch the sky races… but equally make sure your in place and ready for the bbc coverage (whichever that may be)…


    to give the fia and f1 soemthing to worry about…
    they are loads champsionships of other equally (or with the protentional to be equally good) good..
    maybe with the idoitatic move from f1 it time for a new proidigy driveing sport to coem to the forefront!

  264. worst thing to happen to f1

  265. Absolutely staggered to read this news…. and reading the comments left here everyone is feeling the same as me. I love watching both the F1 and Motogp, but I will not be switching to Sky… so its no more F1 for me. This sport should be all about the fans. I really feel gutted for the current commentators, who do such a fab job, I’m convinced they feel just as gutted by the situation.

  266. How disappointing. I dont have the sky sports package and surprise surprise another sport that is going to lose its viewers. Whats the point of the bbc only showing half of the live races. It’s like only getting half of the story. Either I get to see the whole season or I will not be watching. Money is tight for everyone so now that the person called Bernie Eccleston has signed up the new deal with Sky, the genuine fans who watch live will not be able to afford it. I dont suppose Bernie will be out of pocket though will he?

  267. Martin Young
    31st July 2011, 22:34


    Could you please make DVDs of these comments and send them to the Sponsers of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, and to ALL the team principals. Perhaps if the sponsers and the teams beleive that the UK fans will desert them, then maybe they can put pressure on Bernie to save our sport. (An organised boycott of Silverstone next year to show our disgust at this deal would frighten the daylights out of the teams and their sponsers.)
    I have been an avid fan of F1 since the days of James Hunt.
    I will not buy a subscription to SKY. I’ll go fishing instead!
    I don’t mind paying an extra £10 a year for my TV licnce to keep FULL F1 coverage on the BBC.

  268. Well I wont be paying for a TV license next year then!

  269. Some e-mail addresses to write to about this BBC/Sky sell out:

    And here a template letter for those who want to use that for the addresses:

  270. Mike Hammond
    1st August 2011, 15:41

    To my knowledge, no-one ever had to pay to watch a race before, shame on you BBC

  271. Worst deal for the ordinary fans ever, the BBC must be demented if they think that this is a good deals for F1 fans, £470 to watch 10 races live on SKY, not a chance.

    The BBC have made a huge mistake, but have tried to bury it in the 4 week off period for F1, they are not reporting it on their News programmes or the F1 site, shameful censorship, they have the cheek to call them selves a public broadcaster but won’t respond, report or justify their actions properly!

  272. Doug Hession
    3rd August 2011, 1:00

    I don’t watch football but if I did I would not be happy if they only showed the first half of the game.
    We have been rucked.
    BBC, if you can’t afford to do it right don’t do it at all.
    You will now wast millions of pounds of licence payers money by paying for scratty bits of F1 that no one will bother watching.
    Don’t you get it your deal is no good. In fact it’s worse than no good.
    Your hilights will be after the news (including BBC) has given out the results. Unlike football motor racing never gets that warning (If you don’t want to know the results look away now).
    Get the money back (Our money) and cover Australian V8 super cars.
    Propper sport no gread no Bernie and great to view.
    Until you do, Thank you for freeing up my weekends, for 2012.
    Cheers, Disapointed, Disgruntled, Doug.

  273. I have been watching F1 since the Damon Hill years but 2011 will be my last year. I will not be subscribing to Sky Sports and do not want to watch a select few races on the BBC.

  274. The world has gone completely mad and orientated solely toward PROFIT. This removal of F1 from free to air TV is yet another demonstration of the divide between rich and poor. Obviously Bernie and the F1 management only want the wealthy to follow the sport in the future. It is a sad day when the working class are no longer able to follow a favourite sport without being extorted for the pleasure. I will not pay for Sky simply to watch the racing and therefore I will be force to simply stop following the sport.

  275. I will never pay Sky for anything, ever. Goodbye F1 and good riddance to Bernie Ecclestone, the man who has ruined Formula One for the great British public.

  276. one word on-line streaming

  277. Can pay, but won’t give honest money to a bent outfit. Sky broadcast 99.999% carp anyway. A sad loss.

  278. When will Government bodies in the UK realise that we, the voting public, have had enough of their thieving? Not only do we have to pay them for a TV licence, we get no control over what they do. I have been shafted yet again ! As a regular attendee at F1 races and committed TV viewer, when do I, and others get ‘a fair return for the money that is stolen from us’? If they think I am going to pay to watch F1 then they just lost a 20 year fan. BRING BACK ITV COVERAGE. They actually know how to provide entertainment without ripping off the viewer. BBC now form an alliance with a broadcaster that airs advertisements, I thought the ‘Good Old Beeb (yeah right) were anti advertising’ thats why we pay for a TV licence. Hypocrisy Rules OK?

  279. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Bernie Ecclestone has done it again and so have the BBC. They’ve completely hung the British public out to dry. I mean, I can understand why the BBC had to do it, but the manner in which they did it is just inexcusable. They could have at least waited until 2014, which is when their original contract to show Formula 1 ran out, so then it would have been understandable. But in some instances, I don’t see what the fuss is about. Formula 1 isn’t the most popular sport in this country, whereas stuff such as Wimbledon, the football World Cup, the Euro Championships, all forms of rugby, the Olympics and golf are (which incidentally all MUST remain free to air), because it’s much easier to pick up a golf club and feel like Rory McIlroy than to get in a Formula 1 car and feel like Sebastian Vettel. It was always going to be a monumental and heart-wrenching decision as to what they were going to cut and unfortunately, for common F1 fans such as us, we are going to be missing out on the sport we love.

    Thanks BBC. Because of this, F1 isn’t dead. Formula 1 is dying and in 2018, you may as well just give up not just F1 but all of your sport and continue with what we don’t want to see.

    1. No Disrespect Sean

      But if this bunch of thieving muppets can sell out F1 (which as you are sadly mistaken, is indeed a very popular sport to watch) How long do you think it will take the thieving muppets to sell out out your Football, Wimbledon and others, to make a quick quid? Get a serious aspect of view on this, they won’t advertise, they spend ridiculous amounts of licence payers money on crap and expenses, they then sell us all out because they really need the revenue from advertising. Are the BEEB going to stop cars running with ‘sponsor names’ in F1, or indeed blank all advertising in all other sports?

      You know, as we all do, that we are being shafted by greedy sods, whom are also hypocrites.

      Wake up before you have to start your own blog line for the ‘more popular sports’ you profess !!!

  280. I agree. I’m not willing to pay for Sky, and so if I can’t follow my favorite sport properly, then I will not follow it at all
    Time for Bernie to retire and leave it to poeple who think with both parts of the brain.
    Also notice comentators are not saying anything.
    Have they been silenced?

  281. It is the biggest mistake that they have ever made going to sky rather bbc i have been watching the f1 since i was little and i am very dissapointed they will definitely loose a lot of fans

  282. Just a thought, although writing on here is very important for making our blood boil, would it not be good to start right now, writing to the big sponsors. Letting them know how many TV screens will no longer be showing there banners and logo’s at prime time each weekend.
    Maybe then it will give us financial clout.
    If they are bombarded with emails they may realize sponsoring F1 with no viewers is not a good idea.
    All they need to do if get free to air coverage be it BBC or ITV
    I don’t, and wont, want to pay for a sports package when I only watch F1.
    I can not afford to follow F1 around the world but I can afford a mobile, So I think I will start by complaining to Vodafone that’s a good sponsor to start with. If we all do this it’s possible we can save our sporting enjoyment.
    Probably the next thing would be for F1 to get better representation.

  283. I started to marshal in 1969 and did this for over 34 years for the BRSCC. Mainly flags. Since retiring I have continued to watch and record every race. I have recordings for the last 20 years. Last year the BBC changed channels from BBC1 to BBC2 for the European GP and on the following Wed I settled down to watch the race – I didn’t know the result – and all I got was football. The BBC was not interested in providing me with a copy of the race and Ofcom couldn’t care less!
    Now the BBC has sold us out! I will not go to Sky! I will not watch motor racing anymore! Why should I be dictated to seeing only what the BBC want me to see? It is disgusting that the fans of the home of motor sport can no longer have access to the sport without paying extra!
    Everyone that supports this initiative from Bernie down, the BBC, the Teams, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, should be thoroughly ashamed…

  284. I have to be honest, I will probably considering finding an online ‘stream’ somewhere next season. We have sky – everything but sports and it just isn’t worth paying another £15 on top for no bloody reason.

  285. Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.
    Whatttt????? Why would this be good news for us fans? I love F1, the only sport i followed sence i can remember. For over three decades, & now i have to start paying for it because rich people want to make more money. £$&%$£$%”£$”^$%$£%$£”^%”$”^” WERRRY NOT HAPPY!!!!

  286. Why on earth are we paying for a tv licence,this decision is the worst,i certainly wont be paying sky.

  287. Mark Thomson confirm only 75 min edited highlight package next year.

    no good enough Mark.

    1. good find Stuart!

  288. and he has the balls to claim that he is a F1 fan.

  289. get a motorised dish watch for free. .up —– murdock.

  290. Barry Darnell
    9th October 2011, 12:56

    Such a shame. Losing Martin Brundle and David Coulthard and the team is terrible news. The BBC have made some strange decisions of late, with the supposed object of saving money, well, the futile project of moving to Manchester has hit the right note,Eh?
    I’m a Virgin customer but will never in my life subscribe to Sky and the advert channel. What a disaster for the loyal F1 fans.

  291. its simple really love f1 really do but wont be paying sky to watch it its madness to think every fi fan in this country can afford the over priced channels sky want you to pay and as for the bbc to even think about going in to ppartnership with them i fear there is worse to com rip f1

  292. Darren Gibson
    2nd November 2011, 22:00

    I’ve been hanging on to this season, (which is pretty tied up now) and had my head stuck in the sand over the 2012 coverage. So tonight, I looked forward… Having followed the path from ITV to BBC, I checked out the next platform – Sky!

    Seriously guttttted at the prices to upgrade my Virgin XL package to include Sky Sports – as F1 is my only sporting vice; I’ve never needed to buy a sports package before.

    As I spluttered at the cost, I remembered why I left Sky as soon as I moved to a cable area! The assistant at Virgin customer services could only apologise saying that Sky set the costs…. well does it matter who sets the ££’s? …that’s the end of my F1 season long viewing, I’m not sure that watching 12 races live will keep the passion in it for me….

    A bonus for Sky? In fact, when most of the ‘sport chat’ at work starts up and the sky/football fans are in full flow – When I comment that I like to watch 4 wheels in the hands of a world class professionals at the weekend instead of a ball being knocked around by a bunch of world class failures – most just shrug and are NOT F1 fans… I get plenty of other non repeatable abuse too  but taking the fun out of the comment, I don’t personally know any Sky Sport subscribers that are going to be enriched by the addition of F1 and very few F1 fans seem to be delighted at the thought of paying extra for Sky!

    No winners here for me. Death of a sporting spectacle!

  293. No problem for Indian viewers. Most of the major sports including F1 are broadcast on ESPN/Star Sports, and for most satellite television services, all the channels (which are about 200 in total) cost about 500 Rupees per month which is approximately 7-8 pounds. Really cheap Id say to what you guys have there in the UK. Pity you!

  294. I was already losing interest with the Vettel dominance, so next year I am switching off. Bye Bye F1

  295. Hope it was worth it Mr E?
    40 years and F1 fan!…..
    One less now, and many more to follow!
    Thanks for the memories…..

  296. I have given in and signed up to Sky! I have been an F1 fan for almost 50 years and more recently it has been almost obsessive. I love the BBC coverage – it gave me everything I wanted (who cares about HD).

    I have been to two GP’s each year for the last three years (5 of the 6 year overseas) and that has cost a small fortune. The atmosphere and experience is hard to describe but you do have to watch the TV coverage later to see the bits you miss at the circuit.

    I was very unhappy about the loss of FTA but as I now know the BBC could not afford to continue at all without the shared deal. I live in a very old house which is listed and there are all sorts of restrictions about things like satellite dishes and I thought for years that I could not have a dish where it would comply with the restrictions and get a signal.

    I found out that I could get a dish installed (by private contractor) and my wife agreed pay the £280 for Xmas. I think she was fed up muttering about not being able to see all of the races live!

    After much research and thought I signed up to Sky including broadband and phone – that has saved me £15 on the package we had. My phone contract was up so I renewed elsewhere have stuck with my two year old iPhone (which still works great) and have similar terms for £22.50 a month less. I decided on having the Sky sports package which will include F1 but I now also have live NFL and cricket – win for me. The additional TV channels which we have had for a month now are good.

    So I now have better broadband & TV coverage etc and it is only costing me an extra £30 a month. But I can still view whatever parts of both Sky and BBC coverage that I choose. This year I will only go to one race (possibly Silverstone) so I will actually be financially better off this year.

    I wish it was FTA but it’s not and I love F1 so this is the way I chose to go and I am lucky to be able to afford it.

    And I have F1fanatic!!!

  297. might save the bbc a few pennies but its the start of the end for formula 1

    1. unfortunately your right

  298. Watched F1 religiously, of course I’ll watch F1 on BBC, would it watch on SKY, but refuse to pay to view. So I have to put up with missing a lot, probably just eventually lose interest. Ernie is only little & thin but, like sky is getting to take to many £’s to feed.
    Refused to pay to view for FOOTBALL & BOXING did me no harm, suppose I can give up watching F1 live and see it later for free when it comes round.

    BIG – BIG – MISTAKE Ernie & Sky

  299. gemma snelson
    10th March 2012, 4:35

    Disgusted is the first word that commes to my mind. F1 is british sports at its best and also most loyal viewing!!! i cannot believe that only a couple/few races will be aired on the bbc I PAY FOR MY TV LICENCE i therefore do not think i should have to pay more to sky to view all the races. im so angry that we are charged a licence fee when majority of the things we watch are on pay per view channels **** the beeb i tell you what “if” you decide to air a programe i wish to see then i should pay your compulsary fee! but until you programe something io wan t to watch the fee should now be personal choice!!!!!!!!!!!

  300. I cancelled my sky package, which included sky sports, following Bernie’s betrayal of F1 fans and BBC’s shameful and patronising treatment of their viewers last year. Last week I got a phone call from sky offering me free coverage and other crap to sign up again “because I was such a long term customer and they didnt want to lose me” I explained that I wouldn’t give the Murdochs anything following the revelation of their criminal activities, and that I was disgusted that they had been given the monopoly on F1 in the UK .. the guy then said “but it doesnt effect the quality of the coverage you could have” .. I hung up in disgust.

    1. I will just say that all the camera angles and stuff you get with BBC Live Racing is the same with Sky because F1 is a world broadcast feed so there is nothing really extra in it. And BTW Roger Well Done as far as I’m concerned it’s only money… money they want and money I’m not giving.

  301. I am one of the sad viewers that from now on will have to watch highlights and “half coverage”, sports should be free for everyone regardless of which sports, but as always Corporations and the money win…… it is a real shame to see what money can do and that and as always no one is complaining apart from the viewers that do not have sky, if I want to have the F1 channel, it will cost me an extra £25 a month and if that was not enough I have to be on a contract with the big greedy corporations. How I can motivate my soon to be an F1 driver, football player (or any other sportsman as a matter of fact) if I cannot afford to pay for the TV contract? This is all down to the government whom does not act on behalf of its people they are in fact very clever in every country….. as an example; now we are all wrong to smoke and they want to ban it but if they weren’t happy to get our taxes on the tobacco, they would have forbidden its sale a long time ago, this is all a game where the ones that have most money keep on dominate and throwing a show so big that when you are looking left they are striking right! We have to many problems in our society and I do not believe that taking sports away from the most needed is the way forward, but as always, we are a minority that do not count and in fact I would even classify us as burden to the society. If the BBC always made their money, what did it make change their mind? we were never aware of what the deal was exactly and we will never know but I am sure that if this was released under the freedom act ( i believe does not apply for this kind of situation) I would like to see how many fat acts really enjoyed the change. I sincerely hope that F1 becomes another sport that no one wants to view soon in the future. This would then make all the greedy people like ecclestone, sky, bbc, F1 teams and many others involved realize that the real audience is the one that lives the passion with them and not the one that feeds them.

    Sincerely hope that my kids and many other kids do not fall into bad habits because the only things we have left is gangster movies, adult websites and drugs in our streets. Well done you all greedy people.

  302. did the usual this morning up at 6.15 am walked the dog put the tv on when i got home, bbc news ,,the qualifying results came up they then said i could watch the highlights at 1 in the afternoon ,how exciting is that, watching repeats of qualifying when you know the outcome what a bunch of to**ers still its ok because dads army was on in the evening again after the rugby .F1 is losing fans & the bbc dont care very sad for the bbc as they have lost the plot ,pathetic waste of time ,cricket gone ,rallying gone ,football limited ,moto gp gone ,& soon bbc gone lets hope so

  303. I have simplied stopped watching F1 sorry but everyone can thank Sky I don’t have the money to even watch F1 my little pleasure taken from me now. I don’t pay a licence or have a TV.

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