The whole story with the deal between Sky and BBC (Update)

July 29, 2011

Both BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting) and the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) have made a deal to show the coverage of Formula 1. The basics of the deal are for BSkyB to show all of the Races, Qualifying and Practice, and BBC to only show some race weekends. This was announced on Friday morning  before FP1 for Hungary, and has caused many complaints from fans, F1 teams, and even the BBC main commentator Martin Brundle.

The lead commentator said “"I only heard the news last night, and I'm out of contract the end of the year. I will work through my options. Not impressed." (Via @F1Lite) And im sure Burndle isn’t the only person who isn’t happy with this deal. McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh has voiced his concerns with the deal as he says it may breach the Concorde agreement that everyone signed in 2009.

 The agreement clearly states that the BBC will be the sole broadcaster for the F1 coverage. Later on today the formula 1 team’s will be meeting up with Bernie Ecclestone and will discuss this subject in depth, as Both Team Lotus and McLaren have concerns with this deal. The teams will discuss the fact that F1 would nhlaf the time not be on Free-to-air television. They will also discuss the impact that this could have on the show (ratings etc.)If this deal does go ahead, it will mean that half of the F1 calendar next year will not be on free-to-air TV, and F1 fans will need to pay just to watch it. BSkyB have said they will not show advertisement during the sessions which means viewers will be able to see the sessions in their entirety.

Although the BBC will not be showing all of the races live, they will continue to show the highlights on every round, and their Radio 5 Live team will continue to commentate on the radio.

In an interview, Martin Whitmarsh said “As I understand BBC are covering half the Grand Prix, and Sky are doing every practice session and everything else. It's interesting; I don't think anyone should be immediately reacting to say this is good, bad, or indifferent. What we need to understand is whether the large audience we currently enjoy in Formula 1 will be maintained. I think we also need to understand exactly how this is being done.” (Via Autosport)

Also, Barbara Slater, The director of BBC Sport has said: "We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC. The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-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."

 Update After the meeting with the teams, Bernie announced "The deal with BSkyB and the BBC is not complicated by issues surrounding the current concorde agreement because the covenant comes to an end prior to the beginning of the BSkyB contract".

 

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