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BBC answerable for Sky Sports contract – Bernie

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Aug.20 – Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says he was answerable for half of next year’s F1 races being only presented on subscription TV in the UK, insisting it was the BBC who did the contract with Sky Sports.

“BBC had a contract in force already, from 2012 all the way through to 2014,” Ecclestone told the Mirror.

“They got to grips with Sky themselves. I spoke with ITV and came up with the same problem as Channel 4 had. We had a contract with the BBC which didn’t run out until 2014.

“We couldn’t very well do a deal with other people for them to start doing something next year, because we had that contract. Other broadcasters wouldn’t want to wait until 2014 to decide what they wanted to pay.”

Question, if he would have amused the prospect of doing a deal with Channel 4, he replied: “Yes, absolutely. If they had said they wanted to sign a contract today to start broadcasting for £45m a year, then we would have probably done it. But that’s the problem. We couldn’t deal with them, even if they had wanted to.

“I think the two of them will eventually do a good job. Sky aren’t going to get the live viewing figures that we had with the BBC, but I think with the combination of the two across all the F1 that is broadcast there will be a lot more viewers. In the short-term, I think that collectively taking in the amount of broadcasting that’s going to be scheduled between the two of them next year, there will be more eyeballs watching than we have now. That’s good for us, good for the teams and good for the fans.”


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