UK press report that the BBC is to drop F1 in 2013!

A number of newpapers, some that are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp have been reporting that the BBC plans to drop Formula One coverage from 2014 onwards when the current five year contract expires. Apparently it’s a choice of dropping the corporations artsy fartsy channel BBC 4 or Formula 1, for me it’s a no brainer, BBC 4 gets 0.8% of all viewers while F1 brings in 10%. The reason I mention Murdoch and News Corp is because of the media giant’s recent interest in purchasing the F1 commercial rights from current owners CVC Capital. Should the sale of F1 to News Corp actually happen, we will for sure see the F1 coverage moving to Sky Television from 2014 onwards. These reports of the BBC dropping F1 has been massively inaccurate given that the newspapers concerned have been reporting viewing figures of between two and four million where the reality is an average of nearly five minute with a peak of over eight million viewers. As much as I dislike Bernie Ecclestone and his stupid ideas, medals system and artificial wet races, I’d rather have the senile old coot in charge and the sport remain free-to-air than have the whole sport transported to subscription or even worse pay-per-view television. Sure the die hard F1 fans will buy a subscription but many of the current viewers are more casual viewers who will not want to or won’t be able to afford a Sky Television subscription. Either way this is bad news for Formula 1 in general, teams sponsors will start pulling out of F1 at their earliest convenience as they won’t get the same exposure as they once did which in turn could mean teams like HRT, Virgin, Team Lotus and even Williams could find themselves forced out of F1. I know I am probably hoping for too much but Bernie could always significantly drop the cost of broadcasting Formula 1. McLaren are obviously concerned about this reported news as team principle Martin Whitmarsh has spoken out about the news that the BBC will drop F1 after the 2013 season. In the US; Formula 1 is not free-to-air apart from a few races mid-season; for the majority of the year it’s shown on motorsports channel Speed which is broadcast on cable television but that’s not a problem in the US as the following of F1 isn’t as large. It will be a crying shame if Formula 1 were to move to subscription or pay-per-view TV especially as F1 is in it’s ascendency with last seasons five way title battle and this seasons new and exciting F1 coming from the new Pirelli tyres, KERS and DRS!

One thought on “UK press report that the BBC is to drop F1 in 2013!

  • ssmmdd commented on June 20, 2011 at 04:12

    I bloody hope not!

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