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'BBC consider abandoning F1 coverage'

'BBC consider abandoning F1 coverage' | Planet F1 | Formula One News
Monday 14th March 2011

Although the BBC only took over Formula One coverage in 2009, the broadcaster is reportedly considering scrapping their deal as they need to save £600m annually.

The Beep is having to deal with a licence fee freeze, forcing the company to look at various ways to cut costs. Sport is set to be hit hard with BBC's senior management reportedly targeting Formula One and Wimbledon.

'Senior managers drawing up cost-saving options have alighted on the £40m-a-year motor racing deal and the long-running tennis coverage as ways in which the BBC could help achieve a £600m annual saving targeted for 2014,' claims The Guardian.

The newspaper added that Formula One, for which the BBC brought the rights back in 2009, 'is not peak-time programming, and as a result is viewed as a relatively expensive part of the sports schedule.

'Having been on ITV as recently as 2008, the sport is not seen as a mainstay of the BBC calendar.'

The BBC, though, have refused to comment on the reports.

A spokesman said: "We are looking at a range of ideas and it would be wrong to comment on what is speculation."

The idea to scrap Formula One has already been welcomed by the Guardian's Peter Preston, who apparently believes that everything about the sport from Bernie Ecclestone's millions to saving the planet to Lewis Hamilton's 'Swiss tax exile' are just wrong.

"Why on earth should your (and my) licence fee keep Bernie Ecclestone and, until recently, Max Mosley in the manner accustomed?" he wrote.

"How, as the planet warms, do we justify flying tons of heavy metal from Rio to Kuala Lumpur in order, once a fortnight, to send them gas-guzzling and carbon-emitting round yet another ring of concrete?

"The whole notion is a simple affront to anyone who even vaguely registers climate change. It's a suicide note we underwrite year after year. Let Bernie (and Lewis, in his Swiss tax exile) knock on somebody else's door."
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