F1 UK coverage returns to the BBC

Formula One television coverage in the UK will return next year to the BBC following 12 seasons with ITV, the Formula One Administration announced today

F1 UK coverage returns to the BBC

The BBC lost its rights to Formula One after the 1996 season, and it was since covered by ITV, with Martin Brundle serving as commentator for the past 12 years, alongside former BBC commentator Murray Walker and later ITV commentator James Allen.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has now concluded a five-year deal that will see Formula One return to BBC Sports, which will also have exclusive rights to radio, mobile and internet broadcasting.

"I am delighted to conclude this new deal with the BBC," Ecclestone commented. "It is an exciting time in Formula One and the BBC has some innovative new ideas to consolidate and expand our UK fan base."

Dominic Coles, BBC Sport Director of Sport Rights, added: "The biggest motorsporting event in the world is returning home after 12 years.

"We were delighted when Bernie Ecclestone approached us about the return of F1 to the BBC. F1 is a crown jewel of sports broadcasting, so to bring the rights back to their traditional home from 2009 is tremendously exciting.

"Fans will be able to enjoy uninterrupted, state of the art and innovative coverage from BBC Sport, across all of our TV, radio and new media platforms, for the first time since 1996."

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