Losing Formula One from the BBC would be gutting

Posted on March 13, 2011

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The BBC is considering dropping Formula One from its sports line up, a report by the Guardian has claimed.

The story, based on internal sources at the corporation, said F1 is considered expensive and non-peak time programming. The £40m a year deal could be a big step towards saving £600m from annual budgets.

It would be a real shame. The BBC coverage has been outstanding, arguably raising the bar for sport on television across the board. It’s been slick, professional work that has deservedly won a number of awards.

Beautifully shot films have linked together fantastic pre and post race shows and, of course, there have been no advert breaks during the race. The post race forum has been a great innovation and it’s great to be able to see practice sessions online with radio commentary.

It’s all contributed to rising audience numbers and I know the BBC getting the coverage back did a lot to bring me back as a “full time” fan.

It does require a big commitment to follow Formula One around the world and to do it in such an excellent way.

But the most worrying thing is what might happen to the coverage. I can’t see ITV picking it back up and none of the other free to air stations are likely to be able to afford the rights. Losing Formula One to pay per view on Sky or ESPN would be devastating.

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Posted in: Formula One, News