Ecclestone: F1 may abandon free-to-air TV in UK

F1 Fanatic round-up

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2012In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone indicates F1 coverage in the UK could leave the BBC entirely.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bernie Ecclestone suggests free-to-air Formula One could end on BBC (The Guardian)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We will never move all countries to pay?per?view only though it wouldn’t make any difference here in the UK. Sky reaches over 10m. We don’t get 10m on the BBC, normally about 6m or 7m.”

Murdoch’s Italy TV arm buys F1 rights (Reuters)

Bernie Ecclestone: “We have worked with Sky Italia in the past and I have no doubts about their production standards. We have a similar agreement in Britain that is working very well.”

Sky to have exclusive F1 live broadcast rights? (F1 Kate Walker)

“I’ve been told that Sky’s commitment to broadcast the races free from commercial interruption is a one-year thing, and that fans can expect ad breaks from 2013 onwards. But I’ve not been told that by anyone from Sky, so make of it what you will…”

No hurry for Hamilton (Sky)

“The championship is more important than what I plan to do, what my next contract will be. My future at the moment is not important – I might not even see next year! What’s important is making sure I capitalise and maximise on this year.”

Jonathan Neale Q&A: McLaren can win in Montreal (F1)

“I wouldn?t put the last two or three races into a professional like Lewis?s mind in terms of where he?s going to be comfortable in the future. We would like Lewis to continue racing for us. We have plenty of time. We don?t need to make that decision until much later this year.”

Bahar dismissed as Group Lotus boss (Autocar)

“A statement issued today said the decision was made by the board of Group Lotus plc following the results of an investigation into a complaint made against Bahar by the company’s owner, DRB-Hicom.”

Grosjean downplays first lap accidents (Autosport)

“It doesn’t mean anything. In Australia I couldn’t do much [with Pastor Maldonado], in Malaysia it was my mistake [with Michael Schumacher], I spun in the wet. And in Monaco what can you do? Trying to put a scooter and a bus into Sainte Devote together is difficult, so four cars side by side is too tight.”

2012 Canadian GP – Conference 1 (FIA)

Sergio Perez: “The only weekend we didn?t have the speed was in Bahrain. We had a lot of degradation. All the other weekends, Barcelona I was in fourth place but then I had a puncture; Monaco in qualifying we had the speed to fight for a win, I think, but then we had a problem with the steering wheel and I just went straight. I think the speed is there and everything is there and it?s just a matter of luck. We have been very unlucky in the last few races.”

Villeneuve slams standards in Formula One, calling today’s drivers ‘babies’ (Daily Mail)

“There is no respect amongst them. I think, 20 or 30 years ago, the risk of dying was high and there was that extra respect. They weren?t little daddy?s boys like now. They are still babies.”

Montreal’s Grand Prix kicks off under protest threat (CBC News)

“Michel D’Avignon, who organizes the downtown Peel Paddock event, said he has quadrupled security in light of the potential protests.”

Montreal police make arrests ahead of Grand Prix (CTV News)

“One day before Montreal comes alive with the sound of revving engines and cheering fans during the Grand Prix, police carried out a series of raids targeting 11 key suspects believed to have been involved in vandalism.”

Paul Pietsch 1911-2012 (Adam Cooper)

“Paul Pietsch ?ǣ the last surviving driver of the pre-war Silver Arrows era ?ǣ has died just a few weeks short of his 101st birthday.”

Susie Wolff explains why there aren’t more women in F1 (BBC)

“Wolff, who races in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and signed for Williams earlier this year, believes there will be a female F1 driver ‘within the next decade’.”

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“F1 Fanatic should hit a major milestone tomorrow. Keep an eye out for a special article to mark it…”

Comment of the day

Mark Webber’s plain-spoken style appealed to several readers, including Timi:

I love how he?s so frank. I wish every driver would just tell it how they see things.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio was badly injured in a crash at Monza on this day in 1952.

The reigning world champion had driven to the track overnight from Lyon, having flown there from Northern Ireland where he had been racing the day before.

Exhausted, he started the race from the back of the grid having not participated in practice. Nonetheless he passed 15 of his rivals in the first two laps.

On lap three Fangio lost control of his car in the second Lesmo corner and hit a straw bale. He was thrown from the cockpit of his Maserati and suffered neck and spinal injuries that kept him out of racing for the rest of the season.

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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169 comments on Ecclestone: F1 may abandon free-to-air TV in UK

  1. maxthecat said on 8th June 2012, 12:55

    Mark my words this day. F1 will become a PPV event if Sky get their way and it’ll work like this, pay £10-£15 a race without ads or watch on normal Sky Sports with it included in a package price with ads. Bernie would rather get £50 million pounds for 1 million viewers than £25 million for 6 million viewers.

    Sky Sports F1 got 650000 viewers for their first race in Australia compared to an average of 3 million when it was on the BBC. Money talks and F1 will die a slow death if Bernie is allowed to go unchecked.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 8th June 2012, 13:57

      Bernie isn’t long for this world – he’s now on a crusade to extricate as much money from F1 as possible for himself/CVC with the goal to let his successor sort any resulting mess out.

  2. Nigel Bates (@nigel1) said on 8th June 2012, 13:20

    “Ecclestone: F1 may abandon free-to-air TV in UK”

    And several million free-to-air viewers may abandon F1.
    I’m sure sponsors will love that.

  3. SirCoolbeans (@sircoolbeans) said on 8th June 2012, 14:48

    It sounds to me like the BBC, Sky and Bernie are in the process of negotiating a new TV rights deal at the moment and this is Bernie using the media to scare the BBC into making a higher offer. It’s all part of good business.

    Sony did the same thing recently with attending gamescom, the largest games industry event in Europe. Sony told the media they were thinking of not going, it turns out they just wanted to reduce the cost of attending.

  4. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 8th June 2012, 16:17

    Dear Mr. Bernie Ecclestone,

    Please stop being such a money-grabbing, poison dwarf. That is all.

  5. josephrobert (@josephrobert) said on 8th June 2012, 16:40

    If no one signed up to the sky F1 deal, we would not have this problem.

    Bernie took your money when you didnt have to give it, and in a few years we will have to pay or not watch perfect footage. I wont pay bernie / murdoch.

  6. th13teen (@th13teen) said on 8th June 2012, 18:01

    I highlt doubt he means it, however its a rather naive approach to run your ‘cough’ business!

    The half and half deal is bad enough…I can’t tell you how many times people ask me ‘whens the next race on and when? then I have to say at (location) BUT it only on Sky…and then they usually say something like ‘damn it’…it causes great frustration!

  7. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 8th June 2012, 20:53

    As it is now past FP2, I wait with eager anticipation as to what the announcement from F1F will be. I have realised that it is probably a stockmarket floatation….

  8. Allan West said on 22nd June 2012, 11:43

    Someone tell me how Ecclestone and the BBC managed to screw the public over this year’s switch from BBC for all races. At the end of 2008, they declared BBC had secured the exclusive rights “for an undisclosed sum” with Ecclestone to cover F1 for FIVE years from 2009 season. We ~ the licence payers ~ footed that bill, so how come they changed the situation? Does BBC intend to refund its licence payers for the loss?

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