Formula 1

BBC to end Formula 1 television contract early

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Football News

The BBC are set to end its current Formula 1 television deal, three years prior to the original end date, as part of widespread cuts across the organisation.

The famous British broadcasters said they were doing so "reluctantly", with Barbara Slater (the BBC's director of sport) stating: "The current financial position of the BBC means some tough and unwanted choices have to be made".

The BBC's decision has also allowed a competitor to swoop, with Channel 4 securing rights to broadcast Formula 1 from next season onwards.


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Although the BBC has lost TV coverage of the sport, it has retained all radio coverage on its BBC Radio 5 Live service, renewing this particular service until the 2010 season.

Over the last season, the BBC's dedicated Sports service had broadcast 10 live races over Lewis Hamilton's title-retaining 2015 season.

As well as live coverage, BBC Sport also used to offer both a comprehensive build-up package before every race, as well as in-depth analysis and highlights after each race's conclusion.

After being tasked with saving £35 million from next year onwards, however, BBC Sport chiefs felt losing their TV rights to the Formula 1 season would go a long way towards this.

"A significant chunk of BBC Sport's savings target will be delivered through the immediate termination of our TV rights agreement for Formula 1," added Slater.

"Any decision to have to stop broadcasting a particular sport or sporting event is hugely disappointing and taken reluctantly."

BBC Sports initially regained the rights to Formula 1 from domestic rivals ITV in 2009, but due to similar cost saving initiatives in 2012, have had to share coverage with Sky Sports from the 2012 season.

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