Ecclestone claims his hands were tied over BBC/SKY deal

Bernie Ecclestone hits back at critics over Formula 1 sports deal

22 August 2011

Over the weekend Bernie Ecclestone decided it was time to defend his honour with claims that it wasn't his fault that only half of next years races will be screened free to the UK, he says it was all to do with negotiations between the BBC and Sky.

He also claims he wasn't able to do a deal with anybody else due to the contract that was already in place with the BBC from 2012 through to 2014 and the other broadcasters wouldn't wait that long to decide what they wanted to pay. The BBC was also not interested in sharing the sport with a terrestrial rival. For those of you still in the dark, BBC and Sky Sports have struck a deal which will see both the broadcasters transmit F1, but with Sky Sports screening every live race and BBC Sports only half the races. The new arrangement will run from 2012-2018. The 80 year old Billionaire F1 boss said

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.

I'm not 100% all the fans will agree with the above statement, I myself have always been thoroughly impressed with the BBC's coverage and now that only half will be available free-to-air I feel the sport commentary may well loose its consistency.