BBC says Sky Formula 1 deal is the best possible solution

The BBC insists that its share deal with Sky to broadcast Formula 1 in 2012 was the best possible solution that was available to viewers

BBC says Sky Formula 1 deal is the best possible solution

Although the move, which will result in the BBC broadcasting half the races with the other 10 on Sky's subscription channel, has prompted fury from fans, the channel reckons there was no other option available.

With the BBC under pressure to cut costs, Ben Gallop, the BBC's Head of F1, says that keeping half the races on free-to-air should be welcomed by fans - as it was impossible for the coverage to continue with the way it is currently being done.

"While our coverage from 2012 may not be as extensive as it has been up to now, the bare facts are that the BBC needs to save money," he wrote on a blog on the BBC.

"Given the financial circumstances in which we find ourselves, we believe this new deal offers the best outcome for licence-fee payers.

"In a sense this partnership with Sky is another example of how the landscape of sports broadcasting has been transformed in recent years. There was a time when the BBC and other public service broadcasters could expect to televise all the big sports themselves. Now though we have a 'mixed economy', with some events on satellite while others are on terrestrial."

He added: "This new F1 arrangement will allow us to tell the story of the whole F1 season for BBC viewers, while providing extended access to the biggest moments in the calendar: including the glamour of Monaco, the excitement of the last race of the season, plus the British grand prix at Silverstone, which remains one of the highlights of the UK's sporting summer."

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