MP demands answers over BBC/Sky F1 deal

Television

Mark Webber, Jake Humphrey, Monaco, 2011

The BBC's Jake Humphrey interviews Mark Webber in Monaco

A Liberal Democrat MP has written to Bernie Ecclestone and BBC director general Mark Thompson seeking an explanation for the controversial 2012 broadcasting deal that was struck with Sky.

In his letter to Ecclestone, Don Foster MP said: “I am concerned about the apparently divergent views of FOM and the BBC about the sequence of events.

“You have said that keeping F1 on free to air was a major priority [...] I highlight this point because it directly contradicts the BBC’s own account of what happened.”

Foster added: “I am alarmed that there is such a gulf between your stories.

“This deal has led to disappointment and anger among F1 fans and now they have to sift through completely contradictory accounts of who decided what. The least fans deserve is a clear explanation of what has happened. I urge you to give it.

“I am not complaining about the realities of the BBC, BSkyB and FOM having their own interests. Nor do I doubt that those involved in this arrangement worked hard to balance their competing aims.

“But I am deeply concerned at the claim that the BBC facilitated this result, and believe the parties in these negotiations must clarify the glaring discrepancies in their accounts of what happened.

“More generally, I am disappointed that F1 fans in the UK did not have a loud voice speaking up for their interests.”

According to the Daily Mirror, the Commons? Culture, Media and Sport select committee will question Thompson and other BBC executives over claims they blocked rival free-to-air broadcasters from picking up the F1 rights.

A petition against the deal has attracted 24,000 signatures so far.

Meanwhile the BBC has not confirmed reports it will screen its ten non-live races in full, but delayed, on its Red Button channel in 2012.

Read Foster’s letters to Ecclestone and Thompson here and here.

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109 comments on MP demands answers over BBC/Sky F1 deal

  1. Don Mateo said on 2nd September 2011, 12:47

    I’m pleased that someone in government has taken up this issue, although I doubt that it will change the outcome. It sounds like Mr Foster at least understands why F1 fans feel hard-done-by at the situation.

    If the BBC does decide to show full race replays that would certainly be a lot better than what they originally proposed, though obviously still not as good as having 100% of the races live and free to air.

    • HxCas (@hxcas) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:40

      If they show the other races in full but a little delayed I have absolutely no issue with the deal at all

      • Haha….Maybe they can delay them by 10 seconds………a delay is a delay….one can hope!!

        • laird18 said on 3rd September 2011, 0:50

          Coverage delayed by any amount would still be highly undesirable.

          Formula 1 is becoming much more of mixed media experience: we already have Driver Tracker, Live Timing, Twitter that add greatly to the experience. And I believe that being able to listen online to separate Team Radio channels and onboard driver cameras will surely be just round the corner.

          If you can’t watch the races live you’ll be missing out on all of these things.

          • true, its really hard in todays day and age to avoid a result. and you know sky news or something will have the result in bright yellow text across the screen. just incase you didnt know!

            But its a better prospect than highlights, which always cut out the important bits, and spend far to long chatting rather than showing races.

            so its a better outlook certainly

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:36

        I read it would be delayed by about 3 hours (guess Canada, and USA would then be shown the next morning?)

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:59

        ‘Meanwhile the BBC has not confirmed reports it will screen its ten non-live races in full, but delayed, on its Red Button channel in 2012.’

        this doesn’t sound too bad tbh.

        • This is the BBC, of course, which means that if the F1 can be bumped off the Red Button for tape-delayed coverage of the 4th Sub-Preliminary Vice-Qualifying Round of Wimbledon, or a repeat of a National Lottery broadcast from 1996, they will do it. I’m not optimistic.

    • Crispin said on 2nd September 2011, 14:14

      I wouldn’t mind it, but there has to be martin brundle & DC commentary, and a pre-race show for all the races: not just the races they show live.

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 2nd September 2011, 15:56

        Not asking much there Crispin… At this point I would be happy with simply the races re-run in full on the night of the race or the day after even. I think we all need to be realistic. DC and MB are so vital to the show I agree, and if Sky don’t rob them I really hope they stay for the re-run commentary.

      • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:11

        that would be all of the current expense, and half of the shows.

  2. Mark L said on 2nd September 2011, 12:51

    What are ‘unedited highlights’? It sounds like a contradiction to me.

  3. Elliot Horwood (@elliothorwoodf1) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:02

    if they show the full race delayed its fine, but highlights is not the same!

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:55

      Yes, I agree, full race replays would be a perfect compromise.

      • They’d have to be postponed by a certain amount of time, it’s probably in the contract.

      • I agree with all the above. Full race re-runs would be fine by me. All you need to do is google f1 bbc, hold something in front of your face before you click on the BBC F1 link so that all you can see is the right hand scroll bar, click on the link, scroll all the way down to where you click on the race replay icon and…. HAPPY DAYS!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:34

      its fine, but still very far off viewing it live. And what if it will have some red flag situation, will they just skip through? Guess they would have to because of scheduling issues in the program.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:29

    I’m still of the belief that the 2012 broadcast deal gives British fans better coverage than other parts of the world, and therefore the nay-sayers haven’t got a leg to stand on.

    • Icemangrins said on 2nd September 2011, 13:33

      yeah, you are right. The coverage is pretty dismal in Canada too…. but, I wish my british friends good luck in this case.

    • So just because we in the UK will still a deal which will be better than some countries we shouldn’t complain, even though it is worse than what we have at the moment.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:37

        Indeed I think this is a case where the result of what gets out of it in the UK might be giving shape to a lot of deals in other markets (Spain said to be next, who knows about Germany, …)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd September 2011, 14:12

      I’m still of the belief that the 2012 broadcast deal gives British fans better coverage than other parts of the world, and therefore the nay-sayers haven’t got a leg to stand on.

      By your reasoning only the people who have the worst F1 coverage have a right to complain, which is patently nonsense.

      • Bigbadderboom said on 2nd September 2011, 17:32

        We pay a huge license fee on top of our cable/sky subscriptions and on top of that we have to now pay for skysports. I think our expectations are relative to the amount we are being conned out of. Other than Family guy and American dad on BBC3, match of the day football highlights and F1, I watch little of their programming, but if we refuse to pay for something we don’t use we face huge fines and possible imprisonment. So to expect coverage of one of the most popular world sports is not either unrealistic or unreasonable.

    • Christian said on 2nd September 2011, 14:52

      I’m not sure your straw man is going to hold this argument

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 14:56

      By that logic there should be no issue with super-injunctions in the UK, as some people have no right to freedom of speech whatsoever. Greece and Ireland shouldn’t complain about their economy because there are countries much worse off etc.

      Getting a reduced level of service is incredibly disappointing to a lot of people, and I cannot believe that you still can’t grasp that.

    • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 2nd September 2011, 16:38

      I’m still of the belief that the 2012 broadcast deal gives British fans better coverage than other parts of the world, and therefore the nay-sayers haven’t got a leg to stand on.

      I’m still of the belief that as you don’t watch it here in the UK you are very badly placed to have a reasonable opinion on the matter, as you have proven with that comment.

      As I said at the time it was announced, it’s not the fact the BBC had to scale back / could not continue with the current coverage that upsets me (although it would be shame considering it’s quality), it’s the ugly mess of a compromise that we have been left with as a result that angers me.

      I’m making an optimistic presumption that all those involved have come to this agreement believing they really were doing the right thing for the overall presentation of the sport in the UK. The reaction of the fans has surely proven this to have been a miscalculation on their part and they should be reviewing it anyway, without the interference of an MP.

      If though it is found the BBC have instigated this deal with sky to preserve their own interests at the expense of the license fee payers/general public then whoever then the deal should be void and renegotiated with any single free to air broadcaster.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 2nd September 2011, 18:50

      So? They are right to complain anyway.

    • Simply because other parts of the world have a service that is worse than they could reasonably expect does not mean that those countries whose coverage meets/met said expectations have no right to complain about the coverage being pushed below such expectations.

      It would be better if the FOM had come up with a structure encouraging places like Australia to come up with better coverage rather than play the lowest-common-denominator game – not just for those countries but ultimately for FOM’s profits.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:42

        Exactly Alianora. The BBC coverage has been of such a good quality, it was starting to get others to improve theirs as well (without doubt Bernie was very happy about that).

        This deal is such a strangely unpractical one it smells a lot of finding creative ways around the concord agreement and obligations to give free to air access in large markets. Therefore, if it works in the UK, we are bound to see more of this kind of deals in other places that have it on free to air now.

  5. TheBrav3 said on 2nd September 2011, 13:29

    That’s all well and good but there’s not much point shutting the gate after the horses have all bolted. So thank you bbc for sucking and thank you government for as usual taking far to long and doing far to little to make the situation right.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:55

      thank you government for as usual taking far to long and doing far to little to make the situation right

      “Mister Speaker, London is currently in ruins tonight as thousands of looters and rioters run amok with most of the population in mortal peril as the riots spread to every major city in the country, so if it pleases the House, I’d like to discuss the Sky-BBC Formula 1 broadcasting deal.”

      • Mark Hitchcock said on 2nd September 2011, 14:11

        Pm, the riots happened weeks after the BBC/Sky deal was announced. They had plenty of time to do something before they had the riots to deal with.

        And “most of the population in mortal peril” is putting it extremely strongly. Most of the population weren’t affected in the slightest. It was small pockets of London and a couple of the other major cities which were struck.
        The country went on high alert, the government were tied up, but the vast majority of people wouldn’t have known anything was wring if it wasn’t for the rolling news coverage.

        • Mark Hitchcock said on 2nd September 2011, 14:12

          *wrong

        • Mark Hitchcock said on 2nd September 2011, 14:17

          haha oh no, it was A week, not weeks. Scrap that entire comment!

          Dunno what I did in that week that made it seem so long!

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 2nd September 2011, 14:17

          Pm, the riots happened weeks after the BBC/Sky deal was announced. They had plenty of time to do something before they had the riots to deal with.
          The point I’m trying to make is that the House of Commons have an entire country to run, so criticising them for not intervening on the Sky-BBC deal straight away is a little unfair. It’s not exactly a top priority for them, is it?

          • Christian said on 2nd September 2011, 14:55

            You could argue that for lots of issues. Where would you draw the line?

            I think the salient point it that the F1/BBC/Sky deal is of importance to many members of the British population, thus it is credible for members of the BBC to be questioned before the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

          • The main reason why there was no intervention earlier was not because there were loads of other issues to consider (which is admittedly also true), but because Parliament was in summer recess. They already had to come back to Westminster twice (once for phone hacking-related questionings, the other to discuss the riots) and would doubtless have resented a third recall for anything short of an immediate emergency.

            Now that the government is back in session, there are two reasons why the BBC/Sky issue would be seen as above the normal priorities for Parliament. Firstly, the BBC is funded by taxpayers and in return is required to be accountable to them. If its account of events is inaccurate, that could result in it being given less leeway in other affairs. Secondly, Sky is part of a group that’s already being investigated for another matter (phone-hacking). Not necessarily a safe channel to partner, especially if other free-to-air channels were blocked in its favour. Such an arrangement over a program that the BBC told everyone was more worthy of protection than at least one sport on the national “protected list” three years ago is bound to cause trouble.

            I don’t think there’s a massive amount Parliment can do anyway at this point. They can get evidence, but the only way they could overturn the deal was if the phone-hacking scandal resulted in the Murdoch family being deemed no longer fit and proper people to own a broadcasting channel. With such a verdict, Sky’s contract with Bernie could be terminated through frustration (depending on the exact details of said verdict). Without it, the sharing arrangement will definitely happen as originally given.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd September 2011, 5:01

            The main reason why there was no intervention earlier was not because there were loads of other issues to consider (which is admittedly also true), but because Parliament was in summer recess. They already had to come back to Westminster twice (once for phone hacking-related questionings, the other to discuss the riots) and would doubtless have resented a third recall for anything short of an immediate emergency.

            Even moer reason not to criticise them for failing to address the issue straight away. Like you said, Parliament would only be called to session in an emergency – and the Sky-BBC deal is not an emergency.

  6. David Stringer said on 2nd September 2011, 13:51

    Disappointing that only 24,000 fans have bothered to sign the petition. Clearly there is apathy here. Just wait til it hits them next year!

    • maxthecat said on 2nd September 2011, 14:18

      Only hardcore fans would sign that and then only the ones that don’t have Sky. I think as usual fans of F1 see this as a huge story which inside the F1 world it is but outside no-one cares sadly.

      As the biggest age group in the UK is the 40 to 60 year olds they’re probably happy thinking it means more Bargain Hunt and Antiques roadshow for them ;)

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 15:13

      I reckon the numbers will increase after the first race not to be broadcast live for however many years. I’d be very surprised if it didn’t reach 100,000 by the deadline.

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 2nd September 2011, 16:18

      Probably would be higher if the process to sign the thing wasn’t so convoluted.

    • Also, only people who think signing the petition will make any difference will sign. Since Parliament doesn’t have the power to overturn contracts in the normal course of events, and no event that would give them the power to overturn it has been demonstrated as yet, signing the petition – as far as I can tell – would merely be a protest statement.

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd September 2011, 13:54

    This won’t change the outcome but answers are well overdue. If the BBC can’t afford it, which evidently they can’t, then they won’t be forced to pay the bill.

    Hopefully this will take some of the grief off Sky. They’ve got plenty of undeserved stick throughout this.

  8. maxthecat said on 2nd September 2011, 14:09

    Time to move on really. The BBC had an option so they had the right to partner up with someone if that’s what they wanted.

    I want to see F1 on the BBC but as that isn’t possible i’d much rather Sky did it than Channel 5!

  9. Our Nige said on 2nd September 2011, 14:10

    The problem is what the BBC bosses and what Bernie says about how the deal came together are different. I think Bernie will come out as having told lies (as usual) to suit however he was speaking to at the time. Did the BBC come to him with the deal and he knew nothing about it, as he says, or was he involved?? It seems if he is speaking to someone ani-Sky he puts his hands up and says “I know nothing”!!

  10. Who is this MP? Why can’t he find some else which is worthwhile doing? There is a financial crisis to handle & all these politicians do is to fight out ego battles in front of television cameras?

    I request the Liberal MP to not politicize this matter. F1 is a private enterprise & politicians must be kept at a arms length.

    And the people from UK( who in my opinion are over privileged)please come over here to Portugal, a country only a few nautical miles from your kingdom & see for yourself how F1 fans are subject to suffering.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd September 2011, 14:20

      Your argument seems to be “our F1 coverage is rubbish so yours should be too” which strikes me as rather selfish.

      And “suffering” seems far too strong a word when all we’re talking about is TV broadcasting (though I appreciate English may not be your first language).

      • I was not my intent to hurt the sentiments of British F1 fans. But sometimes you guys just go over board while reacting to your F1 coverage, which in my opinion is the best in the world.

        As a matter of fact I found nothing wrong with James Allen’s commentating, he was doing a fine job. When criticizing Allen or Legard for that matter, you have to keep in mind that they are commentating for the general public & not the only elite F1fanatic or autosport board members.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 2nd September 2011, 14:39

          you guys just go over board while reacting to your F1 coverage, which in my opinion is the best in the world.

          That’s exactly why people react strongly – the coverage is excellent now, as it has been since the BBC took over, and now it’s under threat.

          • Well, who knows? It might be even better when sky takes over. They might still hire Jake,Eddie,Martin,DC,Lee and the others from BBC, just like how BCC poached Brundle from ITV.

            I am really at loss to understand if this really requires a MP’s intervention.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 21:50

            The issue isn’t that the coverage won’t be as good, it’s that it won’t be available. If the coverage does become even better when sky take over, then that has no impact on me as I won’t be watching sky (unless the delayed highlights are just a repeat of the sky show).

        • bsnaylor (@bsnaylor) said on 3rd September 2011, 14:53

          haha James Allen is complete ****. Sorry to hear about your poor coverage over there, but really, to say James Allen did a fine job at commentating….laughable.

      • SupaSix-1 said on 2nd September 2011, 17:57

        Keith, I think alot of the posts which are telling us to just get on with it are from people who either:

        -Can afford the changes.
        -Are people in countries which already pay for F1 so they think…”well if I have to pay…then I hope you do too”.

        They dont appreciate that this horrid deal makes no sense, as in order to watch every f1 race live….you have to shell out around £700 a year on top of the current license fee which is around £150 a year…plus I have been using the F1 app which is £20 a year – All this just to watch all 20 races in a season!!

        The bbc have made sure that F1 goes back into the dark ages and remains a rich-man’s sport!
        -Its disgusting and the beeb should not be allowed to control such calls. Bernie and the teams are also very dissapointing – Nobody seems to care for the fans..despite all the rubbish they come out with!

        And anyway…why should I shell out £700 a year on sky when Im not even interested about anyother sport like football, cricket and rugby??!!

        The beeb are a bunch of greedy gits!
        I for one wouldnt bother watching their pre and post race fancy production….I would just tune into the live races/sessions.
        And then we have idiots like Jake Humphries continually blowing smoke up the rear end of the beeb by glorifying their own coverage & saying THANKS! – Its like rubbing the salt into the wounds!

        • snowman said on 3rd September 2011, 9:12

          @ Supa-Six1, I would add posters associated with Sky to that list.

          Why would some one from the UK argue that it is better to pay £600 a year more to see coverage that is most likely going to be lesser quality and littered with ads anytime apart from the live action.

    • In the UK, most MPs don’t actually run the country (that’s done by the civil service and the cabinet, which includes only a small number of the MPs).

      Instead, their job is to highlight the concerns of their constituents and provide a voice for ‘the people.’

      Perhaps this MP’s time would be better spent trying to find funding for local businesses, or supporting troubled schools as they reform their ethos. But in general, standing up and requesting answers is a big part of what MPs do.

    • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 2nd September 2011, 16:21

      He is his party’s spokesperson on sport (amongst other things) so is the person within his party (who are currently part of the ruling coalition) who would be expected to comment on…sport.

      Nothing wrong there.

      And as for coming to Portugal, fine, but you come here and see how bad our weather is compared to yours. Good F1 coverage is the least we can have in exchange ;)

    • The BBC is not really a private enterprise – it’s funded by taxpayers via the TV license, so government is entirely justified in ensuring it’s accountable for its behaviour. The issue became political the moment the BBC signed for the F1 rights in the first place – the first time around in 1977. Sky’s owners are already in Parliament’s spotlight for other reasons. If this had been between ITV and Channel 4, Parliament probably wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

      The politicians recently returned from summer recess, so they’re now going through all the ideas they had while they were away. At some point the economy will get attention, but governments have to sort out numerous other matters, some more important than others.

  11. jinn113 said on 2nd September 2011, 14:35

    Bribery for Ecclestone again?
    BBC does two things good – Top Gear and F1.
    Give up those and everybody will forget that such ridiculously soapy thing as BBC ever existed

  12. Where are the teams voice in all of this?

    • snowman said on 2nd September 2011, 14:46

      The teams voice is whatever Bernie tells them as shown after the BBC/sky was first announced.

      • Icemangrins said on 2nd September 2011, 15:19

        Is this because the team still get the TV money regardless of who the broadcaster is?

        • It’s because the teams get a proportion of the total contract value. Each team gets an average of £1m more with this deal due to the increase in its value, hence they are financially happy in the short term. Some voiced concerns about viewer numbers and long-term effects, but they don’t have the power to stop this kind of deal happening.

  13. I hope this will get sorted somehow. Polish free TV gets full coverage of F1(live) and i really, really cant understand how such a huge organisation like BBC cant afford to pay for the rights. Especially when you have two ex champions still racing and many uk based teams. Unbeliveable to be honest.

    • I would imagine that in Poland, there’s not much profit to be made from F1, and so the rights are cheap.

      In the UK, pay TV is big business, and F1 is very popular, so the rights are extremely expensive.

  14. Meanwhile the BBC has not confirmed reports it will screen its ten non-live races in full, but delayed, on its Red Button channel in 2012.

    Which means that’s probably exactly what will happen.

    I don’t think anyone in the UK expected to say this this year but: Hurray for the Liberal Democrat!

    • Charming. That would prevent me from watching even the non-Sky races (Red Button doesn’t work at my house except for the text service).

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:00

        If they did that I expect they would still show highlights on BBC1. There’s no way they can talk about showing highlights on terrestrial TV so that everyone can watch it and then slyly keep it on only red button. If full races are shown on the red button I’ll be very relieved, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t repeat the whole thing on BBC1- they’d probably still get better viewing figures than anything else showing.

  15. nickthegeek said on 2nd September 2011, 15:29

    Its probilly hard for people outside the uk to understand that whatever the image thats given off at its heart the uk is a socialist country. As a country we belive in equal rights and equal opertunities for all regardless of wealth. the point to this is what it seems is one of the organisations that is meant to serve us all for “free” has decided that in an attempt to not loose f1 completely it would being in a.very expensive partner rarther than let it go to a rival i.e. free to air broardcaster. the bbc are not as such a business. they dont need to make a margin etc so blocking f1 from being kept on free to air was nothing but a selfish move. f1 could not go completely to sky so it was

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 2nd September 2011, 16:23

      As a country we belive in equal rights and equal opertunities for all regardless of wealth.

      Are you havin a laugh ?

      We live in the most divided country in Europe where your chances in life are more dependent on the wealth of your parents than anywhere else in the developed world.

      The BBC does not serve the people or their interests, nor is it free. We’re forced to pay over a hundred pounds a year for the propoganda arm of the government to spoon feed us lies with a side helping of bread and circuses and in this case they can’t even do that because they’re wasting so much money covering the Olympics that they can’t afford to cover F1 at the same time.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 16:41

        A bit stong. I agree with nick that the BBC should be a service for the nation, meaning it shouldn’t have sent F1 to pay-TV. And, generally, we as a population do believe in equal rights I would say. Whether we get them is another matter :p

        I’ll also add that some BBC programming can be critical of the government, and many MPs hate it as a result, so calling it the ‘propaganda arm’ isn’t hugely accurate. And how is it wasting money on the Olympics? Is there a specific area that is wasteful or is the issue just covering it at all?

        • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 2nd September 2011, 19:28

          I’ll also add that some BBC programming can be critical of the government, and many MPs hate it as a result, so calling it the ‘propaganda arm’ isn’t hugely accurate.

          If you believe that the BBC are in any way independent from the government then Google Hollie Grieg and then ask yourself why the BBC refused to report this case and the issues around it.

          Then look into their involvement in the 1953 coup that deposed the democratically elected leaders of Iran and see if you can spot any similarities to their current coverage of the Arab spring uprising and their selective reporting about the brutal suppression of democratic protesters in different countries with some getting wall to wall coverage and others being all but ignored.

          The BBC make some good documentaries and their coverage of F1 has been the best I’ve ever seen but BBC News and current affairs should be taken with a very large pinch of salt and you should check several other sources before believing anything they put out.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 19:54

            Selective reporting tends to be true of a lot of channels though. News sells and they all will ignore big stories for even bigger or more interesting ones.

          • Tiomkin said on 2nd September 2011, 21:14

            Ask your selves why the BBC did not report the outrage by F1 fans on any of its news broadcasts? The BBC is a self-serving org, that will do anything to keep it self alive. A true independent entity would not feel that it is in competition with anyone. It would not try to ‘win’ Saturday ratings with ITV, Buying clones of the X-factor. It gets it’s cash from taxation. The sooner the BBC follows the Dodo, the happier I’ll be.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 22:07

            To some extent that’s true, but I don’t know if any other TV channels really mentioned fans reactions either. The news story was the deal, the reaction to that deal isn’t necessarily going to be a news story.

      • Being a service for the nation means – like the NHS – it has to take tough choices and make its funding stretch as far as possible.

        One of those choices might be that high-quality, free Olympic coverage is more important to ‘most people’ than high-quality, free Formula One coverage.

        And while it’s a pity, because I watched a lot of their F1 coverage – there are few institutions I trust more in this country to give me as much for my money as possible.

        After all, we wouldn’t be so upset if we didn’t love their commitment to quality.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 2nd September 2011, 19:56

          The issue isn’t so much replacing F1 with the Olympics, it’s that it forced F1 to pay-TV. I would expect nothing less than the BBC covering the Olympics, but I would not expect it to edge a huge sport off terrestrial TV.

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