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Ecclestone questions free-to-air F1

Bernie Ecclestone warns free-to-air F1 coverage wouldn't be missed in the UK
Bernie Ecclestone has warned that free-to-air coverage of F1 in the UK could come to an end in future thanks to the exposure gained in the new partnership with Sky Sports.

Under the current deal in place, Sky Sports F1 is the only place where UK fans can see all the action during the season, with live coverage of half the races on the BBC - with the remainder of the races being shown on a delay.

Speaking to the Guardian, Ecclestone suggested that the UK could manage without free-to-air coverage when the current deal comes to an end, with the BBC viewing figures having been hit by the new deal.

However, Ecclestone's comments are unlikely to go down well with fans angered by the fact they are having to pay extra to see the ten races not shown live on free-to-air.

"We will never move all countries to pay per view only though it wouldn't make any difference here in the UK," he said. "Sky reaches over 10m. We don't get 10m on the BBC, normally about 6m or 7m.”

Ecclestone also suggested that the BBC had been complacent when it came to the rights to live coverage and suggested that fans weren't keen on delayed coverage in an era when results are hard to avoid.

"Sky have done a super job," he said. "The Beeb were sure we wouldn't be able to go anywhere else.

"The thing that TV stations want to buy most is live sport. People don't want to watch delayed stuff because nowadays it's hard not to know the result if you don't want to.”

Tagged as: Bernie Ecclestone , BBC , TV , Sky

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June 08, 2012 12:28 PM
Last Edited 1870 days ago

The Sky coverage is way behind the BBC, especially in terms of commentary. 4.6 million watched the Monaco GP on the BBC, .5 for Sky, if your a sponsor you have to question these figures in terms of exposure for your money. Anyway, bernie has never let the truth get in the way of a good lie, horrible little man.

mike - Unregistered

June 08, 2012 12:22 PM

I'd just like to put on (someone's) record, that I find the Sky coverage pretty dull and somewhat forced, and the BBC coverage entertaining and natural. Engineering Man by day & night, but I prefer no suited pyseuado-tech at the weekend thanks. Also, the Mrs enjoys BBC which technically makes it 'Us Time' thereby producing more 'Me Time' to be spent in the garage. Bonus. Also, I read that sky viewing figures for F1 were MUCH lower than the BBC?? Go on Bernie, Kill F1 for good why don't you.

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