BBC set for F1 bid

The BBC is set to out-bid ITV in an effort to bring Formula 1 coverage back after an eight-year gap according to a story in The Daily Mail

BBC set for F1 bid

The story alleges that BBC executives have given the green light to a proposed bid of £175 million for a three-year deal for the sport when ITV's contract expires in 2005. This is more than double what ITV paid in 1997.

The BBC is determined to increase its sporting profile after losing out in its bid to wrest Champions League football coverage away from its main terrestrial rival. ITV is said to be worried by a potential bid from the BBC as its finances are tight following the collapse of ITV Digital and a general downturn in advertising revenue.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could be tempted by a BBC promise to give the sport substantial promotion following more depressing news regarding the decline of viewing figures. (For separate story click here.)

The sport's popularity was at an all-time high during its BBC days, with Nigel Mansell and then Damon Hill drawing in huge audiences as they challenged for the world championship.

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