BBC pay £160 million to keep 6 Nations rugby until 2017

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    Abuelo Paul

    How can the BBC say on the one hand that 40 million a year is too high a price to pay for 20 weekends of sport viewed by record numbers this year, yet can manage to find a similar amount to cover a one off annual tournament that has a much lower viewer profile.
    I am absolutely dismayed.
    One gets the feeling that the Sport management team in BBC are hardcore British physical contact sports fans and Motor sport is nonsense to them.
    I am disgusted. Appalled that they have openly deceived the British public.



    To be slightly fair (not that I want to be to), covering F1 has other costs as they have to provide more material and travel more.



    In essence I do agree with the basic point being made. Although I don’t mind so much as I do enjoy the rugby. Sadly though F1 is probably smaller in terms of coverage than Rugby. And dare I say it there is a slight political element as there is currently a backlash against high-earners, and not many people earn as much as F1 drivers.


    Alianora La Canta

    160 million / 6 years = 26.7 million per year, meaning it costs less than F1. Yes, it provides much worse value in terms of screen hours, but in a context where the BBC have already trimmed half the F1 budget out, the BBC had the freedom to spend the savings on other things. Also, the BBC is a bit more limited in how it can avoid the fee because the rugby union people aren’t led by anyone like Bernie Ecclestone. Therefore, rugby union’s commercial department were unlikely to consider the same unpopular but mildly money-spinning Sky split that F1 experienced.



    As much as I hate the BBC and SKY deal like most people here, F1 is extremely expensive to broadcast. The BBC take 40 staff to each race which is loads of people, think wages, travel costs, expenses and then on top of all that they have to pay that short little silver haired fool 40 million a year.



    If you think that’s bad; S4C gets £75 million a year from the license fee (TV Tax) and for that it produces a channel that attracted fewer than 110,000 viewers for it’s top rated show last week (Y CLWB RYGBI – GWEILCH v SCARLETS) and only 8 programs that attracted more than 50,000 viewers, five of which were the daily episodes of Pobol Y Cwm – a Welsh language soap opera, most programs on S4C attract fewer than 15,000 viewers.

    The highest viewing figures for S4C in 2010 was the Bristol City v Cardiff City FA Cup match in January which attracted a paltry figure of 459,000 viewers, or less than 15% of the average F1 race on the BBC.

    So they’ll spend £75 million of our money producing an entire channel that virtually nobody watches yet they won’t spend £40 million plus production costs for one of the most watched sports in the country that also happens to bring billions of pounds a year into our economy.



    I wish the BBC were continuing their full F1 coverage, but I don’t think it’s right to highlight all their other spending and use it to further criticise them.

    I’m a fan of many sports – football and F1 are right at the top, but I also follow cricket, rugby, tennis, snooker, other motorsport, and more. Things like the Six Nations and Wimbledon belong on the BBC, if you ask me, not just because they are watched by large numbers of people (4.7m viewers per match for the Six Nations is comparable to F1), but because they are largely British events and have a cultural value that only the British GP can really match in F1.

    I think the BBC should have fulfilled their contract, which ran to the end of next year, I believe, then allowed another free-to-air broadcaster to take over the rights exclusively. Doing a deal with Sky so they could cut costs while boasting about an extended contract was just cynical, and I don’t buy Bernie Ecclestone’s justification of it either; he claimed that he couldn’t negotiate with ITV or C4 because the BBC’s contract still had time left on it, but that couldn’t possibly have forced him to accept the new BBC/Sky contract which will run for five years longer than the original BBC one. He’s obviously making more money out of the new deal.

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