Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2010

Ecclestone says BBC’s race reruns will be edited highlights


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Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2010
Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore, 2010

Bernie Ecclestone says the BBC will show edited highlights of the races it does not screen live in 2012.

Under a controversial new broadcasting deal with Sky, the BBC will broadcast ten of next year’s races live and delayed highlights of the other ten.

Reports last week claimed full race replays would be available alongside the highlights package.

But Ecclestone told The Independent: “The BBC will broadcast 75 minutes of every race.” Races this year have generally lasted between 90 and 105 minutes.

A petition to keep F1 on free-to-air television in the UK has attracted almost 25,000 signatures.

F1 on television

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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169 comments on “Ecclestone says BBC’s race reruns will be edited highlights”

  1. That’s a shame!! I wanted to see full race re-runs!!! Am I right in thinking this breaches the Concorde agreement?

    1. Apparently not – the relevant passage in the agreement says: “The Commercial Rights Holder may not permit Formula 1 events to be shown only by pay television in a country with a significant audience if it would materially adversely affect audience reach in that country.” (emphasis mine)

      1. Obviously the emphasis is on the word ‘only’, but do highlights count as an event being on regular television?

        1. It’s the highlights of an F1 event, so yes, this counts

        2. Its 75 minute highlights (cutting about 1/3-40% of the race laps to cover qualifying, I guess) for 10 races and 10 races shown live.

          That deals with the “only” part.

          1. It can’t be that. Imagine a situation where they decide that Sky gets 18 races, and BBC will show only two. No delayed highlights for the remaining 18 races. Two races is all you get for free.

            Well, it would be fine according to that interpretation. F1 events wouldn’t be shown only by pay television, because we would still have two F1 events shown for free! If we accept this interpretation as legitimate, we will be in a world of trouble.

            Clearly it was not the spirit of the agreement. Why even bother with such a rule, if effectively it does nothing?

        3. The highlights arent the thing that count as an event on regular television, its the bit on the agreement that says half the races will be brodcasted live, as far as i understood they have got to the extreme, bbc may only broadcast a race that it would be legal.

      2. Having drafted a my fair share of agreements that have “material adversely affect” clauses in them I imagine that they could do a lot worse than the current Sky deal without causing a MAE.

      3. Are Finland and Japan exempt from this clause then…? I would say they each have a significant audience which had been adversely affected.

        Japan’s fan base has nose dived. There are many reasons beyond it’s availabilty on television contributing to this, but F1 not being on free-to-air cannot of help them.

      4. Well, half of Formula 1 events will be shown in full only by pay television. In my opinion it clearly breaches the agreement.

    2. Does the Concorde Agreement have a say in who broadcasts F1? I don’t think so…

    3. why Bernie why cant f1 stay on bbc not sky

    4. Frankly, I can’t think of more than 5 races in the past 10 years that were interesting for more than 75 minutes.

  2. What will happen to the pre-race team on the Beeb? Jake, Eddie and DC. I can’t imagine BBC would want to keep them on the payroll for only 10 races. As I understand it Sky is getting their own team together; but the live race commentary is to be shared with the Beeb; with the Brundle-Coulthard combo.

    Do you know, Keith?

    1. Last I heard they would have the same commentary team but different ‘studio’ teams.

      1. Studio? Does that mean Sky will not be fielding people into the actual races, rather going on broadcasting from a studio?

        I hope we don’t lose Mr. Brundle’s grid walk.

        1. I don’t know, that’s why I put studio in inverted commas.

          1. Aha. Got it. Cheers mate.

        2. It will be interesting to see which way Sky will go with this.

          They could replicate whats currently done with the Australian coverage (One HD basically do the front & backends of the broadcast from a studio, with BBC commentary in between). Whether they’ll go to the lengths of sending their own production crew to intro/outro the race on location is another story.

          1. Well, they would have to send a team for the races the BBC don’t do, wouldn’t they?

            I guess it will be rather the BBC doing something like using the Live feed from Sky and adding things to that.

      2. It would make sense to take Martin and DC.

        It’s the best commentary we’ve had in a while, informed and teh guys are passionate about the sport without being false.

        Lets face it, when the contract runs out the passage in teh concorde agreement will be almost certainly erased and Sky will take over completely. The BBc won’t ever go back to proper coverage will they?

        I don’t want to buy Sky, I would hope they may do a cheaper pay per view option, but otherwise I’ll go to the pub or a mates or something.

    2. No idea about Eddie and DC, but Jake is being used more and more by the BBC as a top-line sports presenter, I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the crew that’s covering the Olympics next year as well.

      1. Good. I won’t miss his contrived style.

      2. One HD also contract people like James Allen to do a pre-race commentary. He even goes so far as to wear a One HD shirt during the segment.

  3. I remember Bernie previously saying that this was the case, but then adding that the BBC has the rights to show the full race delayed but was choosing to only show highlights. I have to start work soon otherwise I’d try and find the quote.

    I don’t think this is really anything more than Bernie restating what has already been said…

  4. I must say, the ‘full race repeats versus edited highlights’ argument leaves me cold. If it’s not live I don’t care.

    I always watch GP2, IndyCar etc… live, I rarely bother to watch repeats that aren’t shown live.

    For me, you just don’t feel the drama if it isn’t live – even if you manage not to find out the result beforehand.

    And with so much information available in real-time during races these days, you miss out on so much not being able to watch live.

    1. If it’s not live I don’t care.

      I’ve got to agree with that statement completely. Showing the majority/entirety of a race is secondary to seeing it as it happens. Any reasonable F1 fan will want to watch the race as it happens, and will be unwilling to wait however long the delay will be. Look at how much demand there is for TV shows, movies or DVDs that arent released simultaneously across the world – the online community always finds a way to fill the gap.

      1. Whilst I do agree that seeing an event as it happens is the best way to see it, you do get a real sense of excitment from seeing it in its’ entirety if you have no idea of the outcome.

        Due to family commitments I regularly have to record the race and avoid like mad all news/info feeds until I get chance to sit & watch it. That level of avoidance has its’ own little friction & excitment!

        I think if the beeb can be persuaded to play it in full then you’d very quickly adapt & whilst it wouldn’t be perfect it wouldn’t mean you’d need to go to the hassle of either finding a poorer quality feed or worse, pay Murdoch!

        1. you do get a real sense of excitment from seeing it in its’ entirety if you have no idea of the outcome.

          I have to say, that’s not been my experience.

          1. It has been mine. I used to miss some of the long-distance races due to church on Sunday mornings, and I’d catch up on iPlayer afterwards. So long as I didn’t catch the result I was fine. That was before I used live timing and Twitter to augment the experience, however. On the one hand, I’d be missing out on that. On the other, I’d be able to fully concentrate on the race instead of looking at Twitter and Live Timing every so often…

          2. I agree mantolwen. In the past, if I’ve been on holiday or whatever and missed a race, I always avoid spoilers and watch it when I get home.

            For example, I watched Singapore 2008 a week after it happened, and still found it very absorbing.

          3. Things often come up to prevent me seeing a race live. I missed spa while I was at Reading, but I avoided the result and watched it the next morning- almost as good as seeing it live. A full rerun would’ve been acceptable if not as good as live, but I hate highlights. If you’re watching a race for the first time and it skips forwards a few laps at random, it’s annoying and becomes difficult to properly understand the story of the race. Not much may have happened in those laps, but it’s like taking some of the less essential dialogue out of film that doesn’t need any more editing. It still takes something away.

            So illegal streams it is. You pushed me to it BBC/FOM/CVC/FOTA…

          4. Admittedly I missed live qualifying in Hungary and although I don’t make a habit of it, it was a little exciting having to avoid the result.

            I wouldn’t like it week in week out though.

          5. I’m with LolaF1 on this – I never miss live races but if I do, no matter where I am in the world, I’ll get on to a proxy for BBC iPlayer and watch the entire race. I switch off data on my phone and stop taking calls from friends I know would’ve seen the race.

            As mentioned by others, it creates it’s own excitement, and for me, it would be better to see delayed races rather than edited highlights

          6. If I can’t watch F1 with the timing it just doesn’t feel as real. During the middle of the race when the cars are spread out half the fun is knowing the exact lap times the cars are running and being able to predict what will happen before the commentators work out the go.

          7. Living in a country where ‘Live’ could mean 2 a.m. on a Monday morning, I’ve watched a lot of races on delay (recorded) and avoided learning the result. It’s almost as good, for me anyway.

            Recently I’ve stopped looking at the timing screens during racing, because I found I wasn’t watching the actual race, jut the timing screen! The race is actually more enjoyable for me if I put the computer away.

          8. Since I have become accustomed to sit in front of the tv with a laptop, live timing, F1fanatic live, twitter, autosport live, and bbc race-coverage blog, I can’t say I enjoy a delayed recording as much as I do the live experience.

            Had I never experienced that, I could live with it better, but now, I usually record it in case I can’t see it. But it is a very poor substitute. Time permitting, I do like to watch the recording when I did see it live, to relive the moments.

        2. I do enjoy keeping up with the live timings and the discussions here and on Facebook/twitter, but to be honest I’d say I have to record around half the races and watch them later on (due to child and/or girlfriend demands, hangovers, etc) and that’s fine with me.

          For the majority of people (in the wider world, obviously not on this site) I think that a delayed rerun is ok. I’m not into football, but I imagine that loads of people tune into MotD after avoiding the results all afternoon.

          The biggest problem I find is avoiding the results in this hypernetworked modernity. Say I record one of the flyaway races early one morning to watch in the afternoon – that means no twitter, no Facebook, no BBC news, no TV, no radio… actually, it’s probably quite good for me ;)

        3. Great to see you manage to get as exited. I missed some races and found myself just browsing though them with replays/recordings for lack of real exitement.

          I think that for the edits about 45minutes- 1 hour would be perfectly sufficient to show the best on track actions, a few controversial moments and give the results. But its very far from viewing live.

        4. While that is true, that means we’d have to forego any kind of internet access between when the race happens and when it is shown. The dedicated fans may be willing to do that but casual supporters won’t.

          1. This is the nail in the coffin for me.

            Due to my work being on a fairly random shift pattern and never really knowing when my shift will end I probably watch over half the races delayed on my + box anyway. It’s not ideal but it’s my reality and although admittedly it does lose some of the exciting edge I get to the end of each race knowing exactly what has happened throughout. Even when I am watching live I usually end up on about 20mins of delay by the flag after creating my own reruns of things FOM don’t bother reshowing.

            If you watch F1 for the crashes and the odd spectacular overtake then the this set up will do you fine. Is that what Bernie thinks we watch for? He can go and run a banger racing series then. I watch it for the strategy and development, a lot happens 10 laps when ‘nothing happens’ as my non F1 fan friends would say. Little mid field battles, tyres coming in and going off at different rates loads of little tells adding to the excitement and expectation of how the race will unfold.

            It really hurts me to say this, but absolutely will not invest so much of my time and emotion into something I can not see in it’s entirety throughout the season. Something that I can not fully follow and that I can not have a complete understanding of gained by being fully engrossed in the event throughout; even the ‘dull’ bits.

            I’m pretty damn sure I have not missed a single moment of any televised race (whether live or taped/+ boxed) since 1994. If this deal does remain and this ‘highlights’ issue doesn’t change then next year I will be missing 20 races, not 10.

    2. Yeap; as is the case with all sporting results. The excitement just isn’t there.

    3. And these days, with the ‘Live Blogs’ and Twitter and other places I visit during races, you get to watch how F1 fans all over the world react to what happens on track almost instantly. I love that. It really adds to the drama of watching a race – as you say – as well as making you realise you’re watching a truly global event with truly global fans.

      We only get 18-19 races a year, each lasting for a maximum of 2 hours. Next year, we’re only going to have half of those races where we’ll all be able to watch them all live together. I’m really not looking forward to next season when Twitter and the Live Blogs are segregated every other race between those who can afford Sky Sports and those who can’t. That’s going to be such a shame.

      And one more thing. 75 minutes? So if you’re going to be cutting only 15 minutes off of the length of a typical Grand Prix, you might as well show it in full! Can you imagine football fans if they were told they’d not get to watch a game in full delayed but only 75 minutes out of 90? That’d be completely stupid.

      I still say that what they should’ve done is to have let the BBC take live World Feed coverage and show it online on the BBC Website but charge an extra subscription fee for those who wanted to access it.

      1. Thats called football first by SKY. The top game (game of the day) gets very extended highlights @8pm ish and the rest get less extended highlights @10pm ish. With the occasional game shown live throughout the season. Football gets less coverage per team than F1 does and will do so thats not a good comparison. Football first works for me and i am as passionate about Football as i am F1 (just).

      2. I agree, but F1 existed long before the internet and live blogs.

        Also, I’m sure there could be some sort of chat system for British fans watching it on delay. As long as it’s well moderated to avoid people spoiling the results it could work.

        Alternatively, why not just set up a Messenger/Facebook/mIRC live chat if you want to watch the race on delay with people you trust?

        Don’t forget live streams as well, so I think that most fans will still be watching the race live some way or another.

      3. 75 minutes would surely include the pre- and post-race bits. Since there’d be a need to include qualifying recaps, the state of the grid and any element of the build-up/immediate aftermath essential to understanding the story of the race, I’d expect a maximum of 60 minutes of race to be shown – and often less.

    4. Very much agree Keith. Live timing etc is vital for me. As good as the commentators are they always miss out certain crucial things (for us stattos) as they are having to watch out the window, and on a monitor and talk all the time, while also being yakked at in their ear pieces.

    5. Either way it’s a shame it won’t be live, but I could live with it if I knew I was still going to see the whole race start to finish. Hacking lumps out of it to make a ‘highlights’ programme removes a good deal of tension and excitement of what is left that is). These days there are very few periods where something at the very least interesting if not downright exciting is happening on track – if it turns out that someone else is going to choose the moments they feel are the ones I should see or not see then I’ll be very unhappy. Watching one driver chase down another lap by lap, waiting to see the gap rise or fall each sector – trim that down to ‘highlights’ and you kill it.

      If I can’t see it live, so be it – but I want to see it all.

    6. While I can understand where you’re coming from (since until 2 years ago I used to watch most, if not all, races live), I’ve gotten used to watching the race after it happens due to other commitments that prevent me watching it live.

      So to me, having the full race available online a few hours after it actually happens wouldn’t make that big a difference.

    7. if not watching live you cant also check live timing so it’s usless

      1. Oh yes you can. There are torrents with that too.

        (Living in sweeden where free to air is gone since a couple of years back) I’ve heard that people put the race on the TV and the live timing on the computer and sync them quite easilly.*

        *Of course I’d never do such thing myself, it’s illegal you know


    8. For me, you just don’t feel the drama if it isn’t live – even if you manage not to find out the result beforehand.

      So true. There’s something about watching a recorded race, knowing that the result has already happened that takes away a big part of the excitement.

      1. I agree completely, although if I think of it I can’t tell you why specifically.

        1. I get that a bit, but it doesn’t take much away for me, and although still not great compared to getting it all live, I wouldn’t have minded anywhere near as much if full replays were available.

          I wonder if there will be a quali highlights show on Saturday, or whether the 75 minute Sunday show will include that and some background too, making the race only 60 minutes long.

    9. While I understand what you’re saying, what you will experience now if you choose not to shell out for SKY is exactly what aussies and kiwis have been having for ages, as a general rule only about 5 F1 races a year are on at a time that isn’t the middle of the night or even later.

      And as F1 Fanatic is my homepage whenever I boot my computer up, I always find out the race result in the morning and so I very rarely get the excitment of a live race. At least you have a reasonable option, paying for the races as opposed to having to get up at 12 or 1 in the morning on a Monday to watch a race before going to Uni or work.

      1. If £120,000 is in your definition of reasonable (my house can only have one dish up at once and it’s needed for Freeview, so I’d need to buy a house to be able to be in an area getting Sky or the video element of Red Button).

        1. Why would you need freeview if you had SKY? doesn’t that make it a bit redundant?

      2. I love getting up to watch live races. It’s the only time I can watch a race in peace without feeling guilty about not spending anytime with the family!

        It’s not the same at all.

        1. True, slightly different when you’re only 18 though,

      3. For years in Australia I’d record the race at night (when it was ‘live’ at 1:00 am) and watch it in the morning before school. Watching live wasn’t an option. I honestly can’t see how a true formula one fan would choose not to watch even a highlights package if they can’t watch the race live. It seems contradictory to the term ‘F1 Fanatic’. The ‘drama’ is the race, it’s not the fact that it has already happened! (And I’d be happy if the highlights deleted a massive rain delay, ála the Korean GP last year!)

        *Sorry if that sounds like an accusatory rant, it’s just my opinion!

    10. I agree. I think the Sky deal is a very bad one for British F1 and its fans, but I have no problem with this particular aspect. I’ll be watching it online anyway. I’m sure some will want to see it all delayed and don’t have access to internet streaming and that’s a shame.

      I think this will actually be better for many people who are only casual fans of the sport. I’ve known many to say “Oh I’ll watch the start and then tune back later for the end” because they just don’t want to watch 90 minutes of F1. To compare, many people prefer watching Match of the Day to whole football matches.

      And from Sky’s perspective, why should they pay all that money for the BBC to show it all in full at a better time slot? Personally I hate not seeing anything live but I know plenty don’t. But to be honest if I’m not getting it live I would far rather see highlights than wait at least 90 minutes to find out something that’s already happened.

    11. I have to agree with this as well. I’ve missed a couple of Quali or Races over the last couple of years and watched them on iPlayer asap when I’ve got in. Even if you’ve managed to ignore all the news and stuff on the internet, the atmosphere and excitement just isn’t the same with a re-run.

      This whole thing is so sad for the fans that aren’t going to be able to afford the Sky coverage. It may have been unavoidable in the long run to keep F1 out of the clutches of Sky etc but the way the BBC have handled it is appalling.

    12. I totally agree with Keith. I invested a lot of effort in avoiding the Belgium GP result while I was at Reading festival.

      I succeeded in avoiding the result but watching qualy and the race on Iplayer left me pretty cold. I was watching with a totally different mindset, just trying to read the result instead of thinking what will happen next. Resisting F1fanatic had never been so hard!

      I also really missed the live timing, twitter etc that I feel completes watching a GP these days.

    13. Keith, I could not agree more. For me it,s either live or forget it.

    14. Absolutely. Without the live timing, you miss out on a lot. You might be able to pause live TV, but you can’t pause the rest of the feeds that your TV is not picking up.

      Saying that, it would be possible to write an app to pause the data, I’m sure, but still not much use if the highlights are edited.

      I’m not going to fork out for sky, though. Certainly not for a year, when half the races will be on the BBC. This is an insult!

  5. Bernie works for BBC now?

    why is he announcing what they are doing?

    word elsewhere is that there’ll be highlights on BBC*HD and full re-runs in SD on red button.

    what’s next then, Bernie? how about you announce something Sky’s gonna do?

    1. why is he announcing what they are doing?

      Because he sold them the rights and he should know.

      1. he knows what rights they have, but what they choose to do?

        he’s previously said they could air full re-runs i believe.

        either way, it’s not up to him to make editorial announcements on bbc’s behalf. maybe he’d like to pre-empt the commentary announcements too?

        1. he’s previously said they could air full re-runs i believe.

          I don’t believe that’s the case but if you’ve got a link I’d be very interested to read it!

          Martin Whitmarsh did say something along those lines, but Eccletone is clearly better placed to know.

          1. Bernie definitely said BBC could show the full race delayed or highlights but then he added he preferred highlights.

            I’ll try to remember were seen it and get a link.

          2. From what I remember, Bernie has always wanted a ‘Highlight Show.’ He seems to think that is what people want, to turn on the tv at 7pm and watch F1 every other week. I personally think that Bernie is a mad man. He’s been losing it slowly for years.

          3. He says that’s what he thinks people want but I’d say that’s just Bernie’s sales talk as the opposite is really obvious.

            Find it hard to believe BBC can show the full rerun without some type of extra payment or something in the contract. Otherwise why wouldn’t they as their viewing figures are going to be way higher than for highlights or any other usual thing they would be showing.

            Whole thing is a disgrace with BBC teaming up with Sky to block channel 4 then trying to say its in peoples best interest.

          4. Sorry for double posting but I found the video interview with Bernie – . He’s talking about the full/non-full at 2:20+

          5. Much though I wanted answers, I’d rather hear from Bernie some of the details of the deal, and from the BBC the details of the coverage next year. It is strange that he spoke on behalf of the BBC.

          6. Maybe I was thinking of Whitmarsh, yes. A lot of people have had something to say about this :-)

            just saw Tom Cary on twitter just now:

            “Still think this is still all up in air/being fought over. My understanding is 75mins represents the minimum time BBC must commit to.

    2. Bernie’s telling the world what the BBC has the right to do; because he sold those to the BBC

    3. I don’t mind who tells us what’s happening, I just want to know what’s happening. We’ve been told many different things and this is what the whole MP thing is about.

      F1 Fans deserve to know what deal they are actually going to get.

  6. Martin said on twitter last week that he has not resigned with the BBC

    No I haven’t signed with BBC, they know exactly how I feel about diluting F1 show. Just think BBC is one of best things our small island has

    1. I was slightly confused with that and not sure what to make of it; does it mean he will sign for Sky?

      1. He also said this
        “No I haven’t signed for Sky either. Act in haste, repent at leisure as they say. Relax team, first 2012 race is March. Still 7 more in 2011”

        1. If no one else, Brundle is on our side.

          I wish I could hear what Murry Walker would think of this, I still think he should be the boss of F1.

    2. Expect an announcement from the BBC that this is “Great News for British viewers”….[/sarcasm]

      1. They did that the day the deal was announced.

  7. I hope they skip the boring parts of the race

    1. That’s a dangerous comment on here! I think you’ll find 99% of us find the entire GP interesting and exciting!

      1. Not in valencia

        1. Does that mean we’ll see only 10 minute highlights from Valencia? :P

          1. There’s 10 minutes worth of footage from Valencia?

          2. don’t be ridiculous! it’s 5 minutes

    2. We don’t do ‘boring part’ around here ;)

  8. There simply must be a bigger picture to it than this. When all the reports came out a week ago regarding the BBC showing full race repeats, why did the BBC not instantly release a statement clearing up the details of the package.

    Either they are working on something behind the scenes or are embarrassed and want to draw as little attention to the whole affair as possible.

    I still think there is more to come from this…

    1. As far as I can tell, Autosport put an article in their magazine saying the BBC were “planning” to do it, and a bunch of people copied them (sometimes citing them as their source, usually not).

      I haven’t seen a corresponding version of the Autosport magazine article on their website, though I did see an article on there where they said the BBC were “hoping” to show full race reruns.

    2. That was the chat in Spa; red button reruns

      – James Allen

  9. So you sure you haven’t been approached by Sky for their pre-race buildup team Keith? ;)

    1. If he was I’m sure many more F1 Fanatics would subscribe to Sky ;)

    2. When we go to f1fanatic and are stopped by a page demanding payment to view the site with sky logo’s all over it then it’s probably a bad sign!

      Could be wrong but have a feeling JA is going to have some part in Sky with some of the slants with some of the articles he has been writing.

      This has to be one of the very few sites that isn’t affiliated with anyone which is good!

      1. SKY have a habit of hiring pathetically poor commentaters that ruin whatever event they’re commentating on so I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find JA on SKY next season.

        1. They used Ben Edwards and John Watson for their A1 Grand Prix coverage, which was usually very good. And it too was ad-free.

          1. Indeed, Ben Edwards is always very good. BBC missed a trick there by using Legard back in 2009 when Edwards should have got the gig.

        2. I think that’s very harsh on ‘JA’ (who i’m assuming is James Allen).

          His commentary was not everyone’s cup of tea, but he was always very knowledgeable and allowed Martin Brundle plenty of time to talk. He did have his moments of annoyance, but don’t all commentators. I thought he did a very good job.

          1. I know a lot of people didn’t like James Allen. But it was always going to be extremely difficult following Murray Walker.

            I personally didn’t mind him. Legard though I absolutely did mind!

          2. Wouldn’t think they would get James Allen for commentating but say he is going to be in some type of role!

          3. James Allen is a great print journalist but his commentary style was so bad I’d often end up throwing things at the TV; I’d rather bite my own ears off than listen to him droning on in the commentary box.

          4. Well now we know what would be the highlight of James Allen commentating.

            Watching beneboy bite his own ears off! lol

          5. In my opinion, Allen was terrible. It’s just that the Legard years made him seem quite good in relative terms.

            Brundle and Coulthard I find an excellent combination, even if DC is obviously biased to Red Bull now and again!

          6. I think the Legard years would make Stevie Wonder seem good at commentating!

          7. Whatever the merits (or not) of James Allen, he has already written in his blog, that he has no intention nor interest to get back on live TV.
            So all of you who are “afraid” of that, rest peacefully knowing that is hightly unlikely an option.

  10. That’s a real shame,now UK fans will watch F1 like we watched for the last 5 years.16 minutes of ad beak in 90 minutes of race.What Bernie is doing now is that he will force people to go for SKY.

    1. I seem to remember a statement from Sky saying that the race itself will be advert free. Not sure about the build-up and post-race analysis mind you.

        1. Until they convince the FIA to structure the races in a way that will allow for commercials. It will happen, folks, if F1 goes to pay TV.

          1. Yeah i can imagine.

            Race Control to Drivers: “Pull over everyone Sky wants to go to an add break”

          2. Oh goodness – will we start seeing phantom cautions/SCs like they do in NASCAR to allow networks to go to a break?

  11. I must say, the ‘full race repeats versus edited highlights’ argument leaves me cold. If it’s not live I don’t care.

    I always watch GP2, IndyCar etc… live, I rarely bother to watch repeats that aren’t shown live.

    For me, you just don’t feel the drama if it isn’t live – even if you manage not to find out the result beforehand.

    And with so much information available in real-time during races these days, you miss out on so much not being able to watch live.

    But if you were not able to watch it live for work or whatever and can’t afford Sky, would you just not bother watching or try and record it for your own rerun? Would you forget it altogether, prefer a full rerun or accept highlights? Different situation I know for you keith because this is your job.

    I’ve spent the last couple of years watching delayed from my hd pvr with pretty good success. Yes you miss out on twitter etc but with the iPhone F1timing app I can delay the live timing to sync that up. With highlights I won’t be able to do that. A delayed run will still miss out on some of the ‘experience’ but the main job is the race itself. I’m quite happy watching the safety car and listening to Mb/DC (surely some of what gets cut).!

  12. Also… you just know that the BBC being the BBC, you’ll tune in to watch the highlights and there’ll be a News clip just seconds before telling you the result…

  13. Well that does it, illegal streams and 5live commentary for me :D i tried to watch the belgian gp on the monday morning after getting a late callup for the sunday cricket team on raceday and; trying to watch, knowing that nobody else was watching with me and no live blog etc was awful, even if i’d avoided every bit of news and friends telling me the result to take the mick (yep they all think im the saddest person on earth) I just didn’t get that sense of excitement or tension as i knew it all happened the day before. Full race re-runs would have been a consolation, but not enough, as they just don’t convey that feeling of a live event.

    1. This is why I always get up for a race early in the morning rather than wait for the re-run. It makes all the difference! :)

  14. Given that everything that comes out of Bernie’s mouth is a lie. This is encouraging. Perhaps it is full race re-runs… One can hope…

    1. Yes it’s looking good we will get the full rerun now. lol

  15. Trenthamfolk (@)
    5th September 2011, 10:43

    This whole episode stinks… half here, half there… hybrid commentary teams, edited races, multiple channels… F1 went to ITV and it sucked… no end of messy ad breaks, no consistency, loads of frankly ridiculous talk about obligations to advertisers! I made a point of sunning those advertisers products’ who insisted on spoiling the race, so that worked!

    I cheered when it returned to the Beeb, but now fear that it’ll all end in the same mire of revenue over racing. It’s not like Bernie needs the money, let’s face it! There’s a good reason why people watch football on dodgy streaming websites sites (not me, can’t stand football!) but you get the point… SKY is expensive, especially if you want HD. So much for Freesat/Freeview HD being a viable elternative! Grrrrr…… :-(

    1. Hang on though, it was the BBC that sold us out.

      He has been quoted he would have sold it to less to say channel 4 that what is currently on the table.

      sky just picked up 2/3 of the contract the BBC are paying.

      Sky are showing every race by the way, the bbc are getting half.

  16. I attempt to watch every race live and usually do, but for the people who don’t/can’t; The simple worst thing of watching highlights/re-runs, especially morning races, is avoiding all types of media and social interraction before the re-run. I’v experiened it a few times and it must be the biggest enemy to all f1 fans. TV is a big no-no, radio also has to be avoided, facebook, twitter etc usually have the result somewhere, for me-friends cos they like to be awkward about f1, i can’t even go near my ipod to play angry birds in case that has notified me the results and left them on the lockscreen in plain sight, all of my most visited websites are out of the question. This gives people however long before the re-run to do what? Go in a room and nod off for a few hours and not speak to anyone, that’s definitely not feasible nowadays.

    in these days of the internet, TV etc where information is available everywhere and anywhere, its almost unfeasible to have a re-run as evrybody will know anyway and i really feel for the people who watch re-runs/iplayer for the majority of the season simply because they are good hard working people with other commitments who can’t watch the race live

    1. Well, here in the Netherlands, TV at least isn’t a big problem; I’m glad when my newspaper says anything about F1 – this weekend they had a feature about the Austin race (with DC in the red bull demo car on dirt :), was good to see that. But the internet is a killer, and I use it for too many things to avoid it.

  17. Wouldn’t it actually save money for the BBC to show the race in full? To actually pay people to edit the race in a short time frame seems a little pointless.

    1. It is a measure of how out-of-hand the Bernie fee is that it’s cheaper to spend some of the 50% discount on additional production costs than to take the full race fee.

      1. Good point, I hadn’t thought of it that way.

    2. The BBC don’t need to save any money, BBC TV gets over £2.3 billion of funding from TV licenses every single year with BBC One getting £1.3 billion.

      S4C gets £32.5 million of funding a year from the TV tax and their highest rating TV shows attracts fewer than a hundred thousand viewers with most of their programs getting fewer than 50 thousand viewers.

      So the government would rather spend £32.5 million of our money that we’re forced to pay on threat of imprisonment serving an audience that rarely gets above 50 thousand yet are unwilling to spend £40 million of our money serving over 5 million F1 fans.

    3. I see where you’re coming from, but Sky would have something to say about that.

  18. The future really looks bleak for F1. Here’s 3 reasons why:
    The essence of the sport is lost in a plethora of contrived rules. I don’t know about anyone else but I want to watch wheel to wheel racing and genius engineering solutions, not tyre management experts and constantly changing rules which add nothing to the sport
    The passion of the sport has been sucked out and replaced by greedy businessmen who think that glitz, glamour, Fancy Tilke-dromes, single-file twilight races in the desert and pussycat dolls can entertain F1 fans.
    And now they tell you that you that your once favorite sport doesn’t even have a dedicated coverage provider. And you have to pay for half the races. Highlights??!! Another decision that demostrates no understanding of an F1 fans passion for watching the sport. How can you fully emmerse yourself in a sport that happened hours ago and which you’re only viewing snippets of.. Good Lord the depression!!!

    So in the words of Peter Finch in one of my all time favorite movies, its time for F1 fans to stand up from their Beeb highlighted coverage, go to the window and shout:


    1. I love this comment and couldn’t agree more.

      And Network is one of my all time favourite films too; if anyone hasn’t seen it get yourself a copy (it’s only £3.50 on Amazon) as soon as possible !

    2. 1. The rules have always been a minefield. You could argue it makes for great engineering innovation, i.e double diffuser and the f-duct to name a couple. Tyre management is part of the excitement, we didn’t have that last year and I am almost certain than 9/10 F1 fans appreciate what Pirelli has brougt to the sport..

      2. If it wasn’t for the money, chances are F1 would be a shadow of what it is now. These same businessmen have brought the sport to you for decades, don’t be so quick to bite the hand that feeds.

      3. There is a dedicated provider, Sky. I know many people who will suffer with this deal but I also know many people who’ve had to put up with this for years. Remember, the UK is only a fraction of F1’s global appeal.

      1. Andrew your responses remind me of this joke…

        How many Irish housewives does it take to change a lightbulb?….
        “Ah sure I’ll be grand here in the dark”

        They represent the weary, apathetic responces of many the brow beaten F1 fan.

        The Pirellis and DRS mean that drivers really don’t need to risk the a “proper” overtaking manouver. They can use the under cut or sail past with the DRS deployed. These are not good solutions to the inherent problems with F1 racing.
        It would be ridiculous to have an issue with money in F1. My issue is that the money is being spent on adding more exotic locations to the calender, and promoting the exclusive and glamorous image of the sport. The sport itself needs an overhaul and by people who have a passion for true motorsport racing.
        I am talking only about fans who have watched full F1 coverage on BBC for free for years. They can’t do that anymore.

        On the up side, I share an excellent trait with the rest of the general public, and that’s the ability to be fickle.. I’ll probably get into MOTO GP for 2012, great overtaking skill, spectacular crashes, I would actually pay to watch that!

      2. Andrew, I fully support the comments of MW. Please look at some of the races of the sixties and early seventies, before Bernie turned it into a cash-cow.
        If you look at the cars the first thing you will notice is that there are no advertisements on the cars then look at the track, very little advertising but plenty of spectators. In these days people raced because they were passionate about it not because it was a route to fabulous wealth. People who were passionate about motorsport, engineering or were involved in the automobile business somehow, spent large sums of money to keep the racing going, sometimes their investment reaped rewards sometimes they lost their shirt, names that come to mind are Ferrari, Cooper, Vandervell, Brabham, Colin Chapman, Costin and Duckworth. These people never made a fortune out of racing but some of them built a successful business because of the reputation they gained through racing success, this was before worldwide telecasting,the internet etc. Nowadays there are huge income streams to support a formula1 team yet the teams are constantly crying poor even though the most unsuccessful team can sell for millions. F1 is now a business, team bosses expect to become Multi Millionaires in very short order, look at Eddie Jordan for example, and the fans are just a statistic for Bernie to use to become even wealthier and remember every time Bernie makes a billion the teams get a couple of million to keep them happy. Bernie rules F1 like Britain ruled the Empire, divide and conquer, a few handouts,secret favouritism,assistance in gaining a position of power, as long as Bernie keeps the Lions share.
        I feel a deep sense of sorrow seeing F1 going from a sporting passion, to show business with the emphasis on business. In the days when drivers really risked life and limb, Graham Hill modestly said ” I am always amazed that people are prepared to pay me to do what I love to do. All the passion nowadays is for the money.

        1. …love to do”.

        2. This is one of the greatest comments I’ve ever read on this or any other site !

  19. 3 parts of this I don’t understand.
    1. What will happen to quali and FP? Will the Beeb show any of that?
    2. For the races that ARE shown live, will the Beeb be fielding their trio of EJ DC and Jake?
    3. What happens to the races that are shorter than 90 minutes? Will that mean the whole race is shown? I mean, wasn’t Monza last year less than 90 minutes?

    1. On point one see:

      Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012

      On point three I think you mean shorter than 75 minutes, and so far there haven’t been any.

      Last year’s Italian Grand Prix was slightly longer at 1:16’24.572.

      1. Whoops. Thought the highlights were going to be 90minutes. Sorry.

  20. I don’t think it’s impossible that the BBC will show edited highlights on TV, but make the full race available on iPlayer, which would be OK I suppose.

    No, actually it’d still be crap.

    I’m watching this season in the sure and certain knowledge that I won’t be doing it next year. Maybe I’ll start going to cricket matches on Sundays or something.

    1. Accidental Mick
      5th September 2011, 12:57

      Thanks to an indulgent petrol-head uncle, I have been warching GP racing since I was 5 (i.e. for 62 years).
      I have also reconciled myself to not following it next season. I have found before (when I had very young children) that if you dont see EVERY race then you soon lose track of the details which make the sport so absorbing.

      1. That seems a little ridiculous to me. Obviously you have the internet, so why can’t you watch a live stream. If you’re a real fan, you’d rather watch a perhaps lower quality feed online than nothing at all.

        Alternatively, maybe you have a friend or neighbour who has Sky and you can watch F1 with them?

        1. What seems far more ridiculous to me is that Bernie and the teams are willing to risk losing lifeling fans, such as Accidental Mick, in the persuit of even more profits when the “sport” already generates what could only be described as obscene amounts of money.

          1. Well that’s yet to be proven. It seems to me that the BBC are the ones that backed out of the deal, not that Bernie forced them out. Don’t forget they had a long-term deal, and they’ve broken it.

            Hopefully the Don Forster inquest will help find out the answers to the chain of events that led to the deal.

      2. I agree with Mick, if you can’t follow the season fully it becomes a chore not recreation to work out what is happening.

    2. This season will also be my last. I hope others follow suit. If SKY makes no money, they will lose interest and maybe a FTA outfit will pick up the pieces. The Fans have the power to change things, but most are selfish, shortsighted fools.

  21. the petition is now over 25.000 signees.

  22. This is the obvious outcome in my opinion. Why would Sky agree to allow the BBC to show half the races live and the other half on a time delay? Who on earth would ever subscribe to sky for half a season worth of races when you can get the full season for ‘free’.
    I fear for my Canadian coverage now as our provider buys the feed from the BBC and the Canadian radio and television ‘pigs’ blackout the speed coverage because it competes with our Canadian channel.
    sad days indeed….

  23. DRS and Sky are perfect for each other. It’s like eating an empty sandwich.

  24. A last comment, while I feel we all should be able to watch high-speed billboards racing past trackside billboards free of additional charges and watching “live” adds greatly to the experience but if you get 75-90 minutes of edited highlights you will be seeing a far better broadcast than US fans get on Murdoch owned SpeedTV where about 20 minutes of each hour is devoted to ads. and usually passes, crashes and other drama happens during the ads.meaning we get to see only the replay and don’t see what is happening during the replay. I often think that it would be a lot better watching if Speeds afternoon re-run was properly edited, but of course it’s not, it’s just the live broadcast re-played with all it’s faults.

  25. 75 minutes of Valencia will still be painful to watch..

  26. A proper highlights program is always better IMO. A Re-run is never anywhere near as exciting even if you have avoided the result- you just always have in the back of your mind that everyone else already knows. I don’t mind that I miss a few laps if I’m not watching live, its not as if a live broadcast shows you what every driver does every lap is it? Of course I’d much rather be watching live but if I miss a race (which due to work does happen now and again) I never watch a full re-run.

  27. There’s the makings of a poll in here somewhere!

    For myself I would rather watch live. However, full race delayed is ‘almost’ as good (I’ve watched several races in the last two years on iPlayer) – so long as I don’t hear diddly about the race before I see it (which involves casting all links to technology and wearing a sign saying ‘please don’t mention the Grand Prix’*).

    Highlights is just rubbish. It ruins the flow of even a dull race, and spoils it completly. If for me a full re-run is worth 90% of watching live, highlights is worth 30% at most.

    I’ve always thought Beeb would only have highlights – so many people I expect found the difference between highlights and full race the thing that would decide whether they’d get Sky or not. I know it was for me.

    *Only once has someone gleefully told me the result of the Grand Prix when I asked them not too. They won’t be doing it to anyone else. Turned out they made it up anyway.

  28. This is suicide for the sport in this country. If not having it live wasnt bad enough, have edited highlights will only dilute the following further. Sure, a lot of fans dont want to watch a full race, but conversely there is a substantial number that do. Many of those, myself included, are probably less inclined to watch F1 next year as we’re getting a half baked show.

    And for the record, I have Sky in my house, I just see it being a misserable attempt of covering a sport. I hope they have some decent contributers, but I’m not holding my breath

    1. As the current Autosport article suggests, I reckon they may do both. Put the highlights on the terrestrial channel, and then have the full race on iPlayer or Red Button.

      I think that’s a win-win situation, as who knows, having F1 highlights in primetime may actually attract MORE casual viewers.

      This deal will not hurt F1’s casual fans, only the hardcore ones.

      1. Accidental Mick
        7th September 2011, 8:17

        I think the BBC is unlikely to do that.

        How are they going to save money if they do?

  29. It’s always been 10 full races and 10 75min highlights, they said that when they announced it so i’m not sure why everyone has forgotten that.

    As for what will happen next year, from what i’ve heard Brundle is very unhappy with the BBC about cutting the coverage but is not sure he wants to work for Sky.

    DC will move on and spend more time racing, he may well do the BBC live races though.

    Eddie will go where the money is so expect to see him in a Sky Sports Shirt next year.

    Jake will stay at the BBC and not move to Sky.

    As for how Sky will broadcast the races, i believe it will be like ITV was, live on track intros etc at European races but studio based pundits at long haul events.

    It’s will not be as good as the BBC was or as in-depth, expect pundits to treat the viewer as someone whos never seen a wheel go round before, let alone watched an F1 race.

    I agree with Keith about LIVE races, re-runs just don’t cut it, it’s old news.

    1. i’m not sure why everyone has forgotten that.

      It’s not a case of it being “forgotten”. As mentioned in the article, there was a report last week claiming it would be more.

  30. I think bbc wanted to show full race reruns but sky didn’t want them to
    because people wouldn’t watch sky

    In america I have to pay 40 dollars a month to watch f1

  31. I have sometimes missed the race live (qualifying more often) and it depends really how quickly I can watch it whether I want to know results beforehand. In Malaysia 2006 I wanted so, it was a morning race of course and I was set to be watching it after 10 pm earliest.

    Singapore last year – I recorded the race and was able to not know what happened. Funnily enough my uncle called when I was watching it and asked for what had happened. I was not able to do that, I told him that Hamilton had retired (as I had already seen that happening).

  32. Here in Finland the live GPs have been with pay-TV since 2007 and the free-to-air channel shows two highlight programs. The first one takes one hour and the second one and half usually, however that includes adverts and some stuff before the start. As I watch the races live I don’t usually watch highlights at all.

    This year in Canadian GP the highlight program became mostly live thanks to that long stoppage.

  33. in my opinion anyone settling for edited highlights is not an F1 fanatic and is on the wrong website.
    edited highlights?? who decides what bits to edit out? and how do they know what bits people actually want to see? the start a few crashes and overtakes and the finish. what about all the good stuff they talk about while the safety car goes round or when the action on track is a bit dull. for me this is all part of the fun and is whats kept me watching LIVE races for 25 years. I am one of these poor people who cant afford sky who bernie the teams and sky dont care about (cant afford sky then you cant afford the stuff they advertise so you are not the target audience) I will give it a try next year like others like me will do but I think it will ruin F1 for me and I will have to stop watching the only sport I watch/love.

  34. With the commentary team; The thing is for Brundle. If he stays with BBC, when the contract runs out (or before probably given the beebs record) he’ll be without a job as by that point the BBC will pull F1 altogether, it’ll then probably be just highlights on Channel 5 or some crap.

    Its coming, we may as well accept it.

    Its never going to be as good as what we’ve had it can only get worst.

  35. look on the bright side, we’ll miss out on boring and extended safety car periods!

  36. Well, welcome to the rest of the world. Been like this in Scandinavia since 1997. I don’t subscribe to the live channels that show F1 here since I HATE the commentary team. So i usally watch F1 downloaded or iPlayer with proxy. But i understand the emotion and why you are all upset. BBC has been very good, Brundle is great. But why do this to the country that has 10 of 12 teams? It’s a shame, what about the jobs this industry makes, the taxes the goverment earns through motorsport? Then cheat the public for what is pocketchange… Shame on BBC, Bernie, FOCA and Sky!

    1. By the way, here the races start with the FIA logo, no build up, no nothing, just race. Ends as soon as possible after, not even time for interviews most of the time. So no wonder i won’t subscribe and pay £50 extra a month to watch sub standard F1 coverage! And did i mention the commentary team is truly awful. Very bias and no talent.

  37. Folks, the BBC has NOT made a decision yet. Bernie is probably talking about what will be on Freeview, but Red Button may still show races in full. Nothing is set in stone yet.

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