Will the BBC Axe F1?

So the Guardian have today added to the list of things the BBC allegedly want to cut to save money- this time they suggest BBC F1 as one of the cuts.

So here’s my analysis of it.

BBC F1 returned to the BBC for the 2009 season, amid much publicity and hype. To the BBC it was the return of the “jewel” they lost to ITV in 1996, to the viewers it was “Hooray- F1 without adverts!”

BBC’s coverage has been much praised- especially the dynamic of the pundits David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan as well as the Presentation of Jake Humphrey, who has proved to be a revelation in the role. On top of that effective use has been made of their online and interactive platforms, and their crossovers with Five Live for the practise sessions have been much enjoyed.

A recent BBC Trust review of Sports acquisitions was glowing in its praise for Formula One, stating that it “exceeded” value in its cost per viewer.

So everything is rosy. Please bear in mind that at present this is pure speculation- the BBC have been silent on this issue and at present, rightly so. Newspapers will do anything to fill column space.

So what would happen if the BBC wants to axe F1? I can’t see ITV wanting it back, given they’ve made huge cutbacks themselves and it isn’t something that feature annoying bints or Ant and Dec. Channel 4 are too busy repeating Friends and probably wouldn’t have the budget, likewise Channel 5.

What about Sky? No chance. Who remembers F1 Digital back in the early part of last decade? Where you pay a subscription to watch each race and get a few extra cool features, one of which was Ben Edwards (now the ITV BTCC commentator). It failed spectacularly and given we’re in a era of budget cuts, I cant see broadcasting it on Sky Sports working. I don’t think F1 sponsors would enjoy the reduced exposure either.

So one of two things are going to happen- either the source is telling porkies, or Bernie’s going to have to make some serious concessions.

And as a last thought- what part of the BBC hasnt been speculated for axing bar Top Gear? We’ve had BBC3, BBC 6 Music, BBC Asian Network, BBC Local Radio to name a few….

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2 Responses

  1. Great blog. good reading. Hopefully BBC keep F1, but I very much doubt it.

  2. […] posted back in March when the previous round of BBC speculation suggested that Formula One was for the chop, and since then I’ve had some time to think what […]

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