BBC snatches F1 rights from ITV
Thursday 20 March 2008
The BBC has regained the British television rights to Formula One from rivals ITV in a five-year deal starting in 2009, the broadcaster and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said today.
The agreement will be seen as a coup for the public broadcaster, coming at a time when 23-year-old British driver Lewis Hamilton is leading the championship for the McLaren racing team after finishing last year as runner-up.
ITV have broadcast the sport in Britain since the start of the 1997 season, when Briton Damon Hill was Formula One champion.
The BBC said that the deal covered all platforms and will see Formula One broadcast on the BBC sport Web site as well as on radio and television.
"We were delighted when Bernie Ecclestone approached us about the return of F1 to the BBC," BBC Sport director of sport rights Dominic Coles told the broadcaster's website.
"F1 is a crown jewel of sports broadcasting, so to bring the rights back to their traditional home from 2009 is tremendously exciting.
No financial details were given but Ecclestone said in a statement issued by Formula One Management (FOM) he was delighted with the deal.
"I wish to thank ITV for their commitment to Formula One and the high quality of their coverage. It is an exciting time in Formula One and the BBC has some innovative new ideas to consolidate and expand our UK fan base," he said.
ITV said last October the 2007 title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix, in which Hamilton lost to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by a single point, was the most-watched Formula One race since 2000 with a peak audience of 10.6 million and an average of 7.3 million watching the entire three-hour event.
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward