Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Channel 4 snaps up Formula One after BBC drops contract

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Channel 4 snaps up Formula One after BBC drops contract

Channel 4 has snapped up Formula One as part of a three-year deal after the BBC decided to dump the sport.

The broadcasting channel will take on the sport from next season and has vowed to show 10 races a year with advert-free coverage as well as highlights of all 21 Grands Prix.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said: "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.

"I am confident 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."

Channel 4 - which has shared rights with Sky Sports - has announced it will also show live practice and qualifying sessions from the races of all 21 Grands Prix.

The BBC released a statement shortly afterwards stating it was "regrettably" dropping Formula One from its portfolio of sports three years prior to the end of its contract due to financial difficulties within the corporation.

Director of BBC Sport Barbara Slater said: "The BBC is announcing that a significant chunk of BBC Sport's remaining savings target will be delivered through the immediate termination of our TV rights agreement for Formula One.

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

But the corporation's money woes won't end there as it's thought Ecclestone, who revealed last month he had refused a plea from the broadcasting channel to renegotiate its contract, will no doubt demand a hefty termination fee.