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2016 F1

UK F1 coverage move from BBC to Channel 4, free-to-air and no ads breaks

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Channel 4 takes a 3-year deal for the 2016 F1 UK TV coverage

Channel 4 takes a 3-year deal for the 2016 F1 UK TV coverage

UK F1 Television coverage move from BBC to Channel 4, free-to-air TV rights and they promising no ads breaks during the live race.

British public-service television broadcaster Channel 4 will telecast ten races live in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons, and will bring highlights of the remaining Grands Prix.

The BBC had a contract to air until 2018 but have decided to end their contract earlier in an attempt to address the £150 million shortfall in the 2016 budget.

Channel 4, which carries advertising, has pledged to show live Grands Prix without interruption.

“I am sorry that the BBC could not comply with their contract but I am happy that we now have a broadcaster that can broadcast Formula One events without commercial intervals during the race,” said F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

“I am confident that Channel 4 will achieve not only how the BBC carried out the broadcast in the past but also with a new approach as the world and Formula One have moved on.”

David Abraham, the Channel 4 chief executive, added: “Formula One is one of the world’s biggest sporting events with huge appeal to British audiences. I’m delighted to have agreed this exciting new partnership with Bernie Ecclestone to keep the sport on free-to-air television.”

Barbara Slater, the BBC’s director of sport, revealed that it was not a decision that was taken lightly.

“The current financial position of the BBC means some tough and unwanted choices have to be made,” Slater told the BBC.

“A significant chunk of BBC Sport’s savings target will be delivered through the immediate termination of our TV rights agreement for Formula 1.

“Any decision to have to stop broadcasting a particular sport or sporting event is hugely disappointing and taken reluctantly.

“There are no easy solutions; all of the options available would be unpopular with audiences.

“These are very challenging times for the BBC and sport is not immune to those financial pressures.”

The BBC has been screening Formula One in the UK since 2009, when it took the rights back from commercial rival ITV, and has been the junior partner in shared coverage with Sky since 2012.

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