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Formula One rights 'wanted by Channel 4'


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Channel 4 has reportedly opened preliminary talks with Formula One bosses about snapping up broadcast rights to the motorsport when the BBC's deal expires.

Channel 4 wants to pick up Formula One because its young male audience is ideal for attracting advertisers, according to the Evening Standard.

The broadcaster declined to comment on the speculation, but a source said: "There's a perception that Channel 4 isn't interested in sports but they've got the Paralympics next year and the IAAF athletics."

Last weekend, the Sunday Times reported a senior source at the BBC as saying that the corporation will not extend its current five-year deal to cover F1, which is worth an estimated ?40 million a year and runs until the end of the 2013 season.

The newspaper claimed that the BBC feels the money spent on F1 would be better used elsewhere, as it attempts to slash its budget by 20% under the new licence fee settlement.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has stressed that he wants to keep the sport on free-to-air television, despite speculation that pay-TV broadcaster Sky could move for the rights.

"We want Formula One to stay free to viewers. That is 100%," he said.

Channel 4 has reinvested much of the money it saved from axing reality TV series Big Brother last year, but it still has a considerable cash pile for investment.

Alongside its financial results announcement last month, Channel 4 revealed that it has cash reserves of ?261m but it wants to retain ?100m as a 'rainy day' fund, while a further ?100m is required for upfront costs, such as paying suppliers in advance.

That leaves a pot of around ?50m that can be invested in content, of which ?15m has already been allocated to boost the annual budget of film financing division Film4.

Fellow commercial broadcaster ITV is also thought to be interested in the F1 rights after previously showing the motorsport up to 2008 when the BBC agreed its latest deal.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/news/a327663/formula-one-rights-wanted-by-channel-4.html

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I'd rather pay Sky than miss what are usually the most exciting parts of the GP. Anyone remember some of the clangers from ITV?

And if BBC do drop F1, then I'll begrudge paying the license fee even more - as that and Top Gear are the only things I watch on BBC channels.

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I wonder what would get more precedence if they have F1 and horse racing on at the same time. I know when Channel 4 used to show cricket they would cut away to races or switch the cricket onto Film4. Was pretty annoying, especially as i find horse racing really tedious.

Shame because i really like the BBC coverage.

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Used to love Formula 1 on BBC. Bring back Murray Walker.

Didn't like the adverts on ITV but now that I live in the US I can only get F1 on Speedtv which is full of adverts, so guess I'm kind of used to it now but still think it ruins a race, especially when they go to break and you miss something crucial to the race (bad pit stop, crash etc.). Sometimes they'll replay it but sometimes not.

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I'd rather pay Sky than miss what are usually the most exciting parts of the GP. Anyone remember some of the clangers from ITV?

And if BBC do drop F1, then I'll begrudge paying the license fee even more - as that and Top Gear are the only things I watch on BBC channels.

Sky are getting to big for their own boots...buying everything and driving everyone who uses the net to find other sources :(

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ITV ruined it...BBC revived it...CH4 will destroy it!

ITV poured a lot of technology and ideas in to broadcasting Formula 1 which I think made it much better, and iirc Jake come from there originally and he is a good presenter.

I however also think that CH4 would not be the most suitable place for it, especially if it overruns like on some races Channel 4 would probably take the show off air for its next re-run of friends :(

Or perhaps it will become less about the race and will allow viewers to vote off the driver they don't like each race :( :(

But seriously, no please do not let SKY or CHANNEL 4 get it

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ITV poured a lot of technology and ideas in to broadcasting Formula 1 which I think made it much better, and iirc Jake come from there originally and he is a good presenter.

I however also think that CH4 would not be the most suitable place for it, especially if it overruns like on some races Channel 4 would probably take the show off air for its next re-run of friends :(

Or perhaps it will become less about the race and will allow viewers to vote off the driver they don't like each race :( :(

But seriously, no please do not let SKY or CHANNEL 4 get it

all I remember is that ITV coverage was bad at the good moments...it went to a break came back and something amazing happened.

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As I remember it, F1 on ITV wasn't as bad as it could of been; ie the ad breaks were more spaced out than in regular programming, but they were still unwanted and I do also remember times when something interesting had happened in the ad break. That was bad enough when F1 was as boring as it was back then, but if this and last season are anything to go by, ad breaks will ruin it, considering the amount of action in the races these days. The BBC coverage is the best it has ever been imo, and I hope the Beeb can re-think their finances and keep F1.

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I'd rather pay Sky than miss what are usually the most exciting parts of the GP. Anyone remember some of the clangers from ITV?

And this is where, oddly, and American idea should come in: product placement. They're just starting to allow it here in the UK, but if they allow full-blown product placement for the F1 (like what you see whenever you watch a UFC show), then they could show the whole race uninterrupted. I'd happily put up with product placement if it meant no ads. :)

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And this is where, oddly, and American idea should come in: product placement. They're just starting to allow it here in the UK, but if they allow full-blown product placement for the F1 (like what you see whenever you watch a UFC show), then they could show the whole race uninterrupted. I'd happily put up with product placement if it meant no ads. :)

Or they could have product placement AND adverts and get loads of money and have really ###### coverage :p

EDIT: the sponsors would probably have something to say if other products were allowed as well.

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^ I don't even wanna think about what that would be like. I detest watching the football on ITV, and I've only just started to watch the F1. I'd be really miffed if that went over to ITV :(

awww come on Adrian is awesome ;)

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I gave up watch the GP on itv, just got too frustraiting with the add breaks, always missed something and just as you were getting into it, there would be a break, i think channel 4 would properly ruin it for me.

The BBC coverage is amazing in my opinion the commentators and the talks after the race, i now watch the whole program start to finish.

I really hope they do keep it, think more people watch it because the coverage is good

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^ I don't even wanna think about what that would be like. I detest watching the football on ITV, and I've only just started to watch the F1. I'd be really miffed if that went over to ITV :(

I don't understand why there's so much hate for ITV's football coverage. They never do ads during the match, and that's good enough for me. Unless you're all talking about the presenters, in which case, carry on. :p

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Personally I really hope they don't get it. This is the type of sport that shouldn't be interrupted by adverts.

When it was on ITV I used Sky+ it and watch it about an hour into, so I could zip through the break, normally I was only about a few mins by the time the race finished.

I do remember Sky did a great job of televising it, so if it goes back to them hope they do the same, extra cost isn't a problem, some of us get it for free. :whistle:

Saying all that the BBC are doing a bang up job, and I can't see them loosing it.

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BBC rock on the F1 coverage! ITV were **** .. no other way to put it....

Either way - Martin Brundle should revise his contract if it moves. He's awesome!

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BBC rock on the F1 coverage! ITV were **** .. no other way to put it....

Either way - Martin Brundle should revise his contract if it moves. He's awesome!

I don't think he needs telling :p He loves his job and from the stories at the end of last year with regards to Legard being fired from the commentary job, he has a fair amount of power and is the main reason the BBC coverage is so good.

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I don't think he needs telling :p He loves his job and from the stories at the end of last year with regards to Legard being fired from the commentary job, he has a fair amount of power and is the main reason the BBC coverage is so good.

+1

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The Beeb will fight tooth and nail to keep F1. I'm personally not really into F1, but everyone who I know who likes it can't say enough good things about the Beeb coverage.

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