F1 Racing - September 2011

Page 17

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STAR LETTER

96% Uproar and outrage over the new BBC/Sky split F1 coverage deal

Inside our postbag this month

4% People who’d written in before the BBC/Sky deal was announced…

There’ll be a bit less Brundle when F1 coverage is split next year…

The BBC has completely sold out!

So after years of brilliant free televised F1 coverage from both ITV and the BBC, the BBC will now go down in history as the channel that removed F1 from free-to-air television and totally sold out UK F1 fans. As a tax payer, a licence payer and a BBC customer, I cannot believe that the BBC is allowed to get away with something like this.

Barbara Slater, the director of BBC Sport, said: “With this new deal we have ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the [F1] action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.” Well that’s simply not true, is it Barbara? If UK F1 fans want to watch ‘all the action’ live from 2012 onwards we will now have to subscribe to Sky, because the BBC will only be showing half the races live – the rest will just be highlights... so not all the action then! And since all UK F1 fans will now have to pay to watch the rest of the races on Sky, we might as well watch everything on Sky and the BBC might as well not bother broadcasting Formula 1 at all.

Having set a new standard for brilliant Formula 1 TV coverage over the past few years, the BBC is now going to let down UK F1 fans by selling out to Sky. Shame on the BBC – give me my licence fee back and I’ll use it to pay for Sky. Oh I forgot – I have to pay my licence fee. What a rip off. Mick Miller By email

Not everyone can afford Sky I just want to say a big thank you to Bernie Ecclestone for selling the genuine F1 fan in the street down the toilet. How’s that for 20 years of loyal support?

Many F1 fans have not got and cannot afford Sky – times are tough, yet Bernie still needs to make even more money. Is he not content with what he has already made out of F1 over the years? Could he not have reached a deal with the BBC that did not make him any profit and let the genuine fans continue to watch races without the need to shell out money for a Sky package? How many fans will F1 lose over this?

Me and my husband have followed F1 for almost 20 years and it is the only sport we have in common – I am angry but also upset that this deal with Sky will take away some of our enjoyment of the sport. Why does it always have to come down to money? We genuinely love the sport but cannot afford to pay for a Sky package and are hugely disappointed today by this announcement.

Thanks again Bernie. Joanne Waddington Colne, Lancashire.

the teams. I look forward to watching the exciting climax of this season, but then it will be goodbye. Trevor Fisher Harrogate, UK

Give the fans a say As ever, the first casualties of commercial sporting rights are the fans. I could moan about the BBC/ Sky decision for days, but nothing will change. This is the start of F1’s decline on the BBC, and ultimately the sport will be covered solely on Sky. So what will Sky deliver for the cost of its subscription? I just hope they listen to the fans and that the fans now demand the type and level of coverage they want. Garry Kennie By email

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Mick Miller wins a pair of three-

day general admission tickets to the 2012 British GP. For more details visit www.silverstone.

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Is this goodbye? I wanted to voice my opinion on the deal reached between Sky and the BBC. It’s a sad fact that the cuts are needed and that something in the BBC budget had to give, but why cut a BAFTA award-winning show like F1? It’s a sad day for F1 and the ones who will suffer first will be the fans, then the sponsors – and then l Read it on your PC, Mac or iPad l Identical to print edition l On sale the same day as the print edition

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F1 Racing September 2011 17