The announcement today that the BBC is to in effect stop providing coverage of Formula One racing should not probably come as a great surprise to any of us – the suggestion was in the press weeks ago – no doubt leaked to prepare people. I am sorry to see it go, their coverage has been first class and the viewing figures rather good - getting over 6m viewers for a race puts F1 behind only football as the most watched sporting event in the uk, and its getting these viewing figures 20 times a season, apart from football no other sport can say that.
I like my motor racing, but not enough to pay Mr Murdoch for Sky Sports – I don’t want any of his other sport offerings so why would I pay to see them? A pure F1 feed might be different (and cheaper) but I can’t see that happening.
For the BBC to say that they are still covering the F1 season when only 50% of the races will be on BBC is frankly crazy – and has made me consider quite what we should be getting from our licence fee?
I am a Virgin Media user – and despite my spat with Virgin Mobile – really rate their service. I pay a monthly fee and get lots of channels (including the BEEB). So why do I need to pay a licence fee as well? I think the time has come to allow advertising on the BEEB and let them compete with Sky directly. Or if we need a public service broadcaster put the money into news radio and internet coverage – something that they do really well.
And as for Bernie saying just a few weeks ago that F1 needs to be on free TV – what happened there (or does half the season count)?
Yes I am feeling cross at the announcement, but it highlights the fact that the BBC is not what it was and never be again, those days have gone - either it goes back to its roots and produces quality stuff or continues to ‘dumb down’ and produce brainless cheap TV – you know the sort of thing – Strictly or other Saturday night rubbish……