A shock announcement in the commercial world of Formula One racing has British fans up in arms. The deal involves the Sky network and the BBC sharing the rights to F1 broadcasts in the UK.

Sky is part of News Corp, whose owner Rupert Murdoch, as you may recall, lead a consortium a few months ago that expressed interest in acquiring the commercial rights to the sport. That was before Murdoch found himself in hot water when his News of the World tabloid was shut down and investigated over allegations of phone tapping, and even then, speculation was that the bid for the broader rights was a cover for an attempt to acquire just the broadcasting rights.

The deal will reportedly see the BBC, which currently holds the rights to broadcast grands prix in the UK, scaling back its coverage to only half the races in the season. Meanwhile Sky Sports will air all the races, including the practice sessions and qualifying sessions, on its paid service.

In addition to the outraged fans who've become accustomed to catching all the races live and for free on the BBC, F1 team principals have expressed some concern over the deal, which could violate certain terms of the Concorde Agreement by which the sport's commercial aspect is governed.


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  • 16 Comments
      Lwsbrck
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not Murdoch's. He owns a stake in it but backed out of the deal after the phone hacking fiasco
      ChrisF
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, BBC is most certainly NOT free.
      F1 Fan
      • 3 Years Ago
      "fans who've become accustomed to catching all the races live and for free on the BBC". The BBC isn't exactly free. The TV Licence costs 145 pounds sterling a year and is not optional. The Sky deal means that fans will have to pay an additional 600 pounds to watch the remainder of the races live. So this sucks more than it might initially sound.
      JT
      • 3 Years Ago
      PPV is so Tyson vs Holyfield. Bernie is going the wrong direction. This is right out of boxing deals from the 1990s. F1 needs to be MORE accessible not more elusive. The races should be on iTunes for purchase and the iPad app should actually show the race. F1 is the most technically advanced sport in the world and Bernie is stuck in 1989. The old man has to go.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      john64
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still can't be as bad as our SpeedTV coverage. At least Sky said they won't run any commercials during the race.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Demos Philippou
      • 3 Years Ago
      f1fanatic.com on a sunday; there's a bunch of people with links that stream the race.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      rocketmoose
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's not going to get me to buy a Sky Sports subscription, though. I've got zero interest in Football, nor Golf, nor any of the other sports they air. Especially since a portion of the money I'd pay would be going to Murdoch. All it means is that I will be going to the pub to watch it. Basically, it looks like Sky gets the lot, and the BBC gets a few crumbs and reheated leftovers. This is not 'sharing' coverage, this is holding the fanbase to ransom, and it's one I won't pay.
      James Good
      • 3 Years Ago
      This really sucks. The BBC has the best coverage out there. I will not be buying a subscription to Sky, I don't watch any other sport. I don't see how they can give it to Sky when there is a provision that it must remain on free to view networks.
      imoore
      • 3 Years Ago
      ESPN captured all post-season BCS bowl games from ABC. Now Sky Sports snatches the majority of F1 from BBC. How much longer before Murdoch and Disney consume everything else and eventually each other?
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