Grapevine: BBC in Bid to Get F1 Coverage Back

British television company BBC is bidding to bring back Formula One to its original home channel after losing the commercial rights to rival station ITV almost six years ago, according to a report in Britain's Daily Mail.

Grapevine: BBC in Bid to Get F1 Coverage Back

British television company BBC is bidding to bring back Formula One to its original home channel after losing the commercial rights to rival station ITV almost six years ago, according to a report in Britain's Daily Mail.

The BBC station bosses, who have recently failed to secure high-profile football coverage, are reported to be preparing a £175 million bid for a three-year Grand Prix deal to begin when ITV's contract ends in 2005.

BBC lost out to ITV in 1997 when their rivals bid £70 million for the contract - ten times more than the budget that the BBC had been paying in their final agreement.

The company still covers Formula One across the airwaves through their Radio Five Live station, but they now face competition from not only ITV but also Sky Digital, who snapped up the rights to broadcast pay-per-view coverage this year.

With falling television viewing figures seen as a major problem, the sport's ringleader Bernie Ecclestone is keen to buck the trend - and the BBC are understood to be offering extra promotion of the sport if they win the contract.

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