Executives from the BBC have been forced to defend their decision to put up over £30m a year for the broadcasting rights to Formula 1 racing. Bosses at the corporation state that compared to the rights for football coverage. Formula 1 represents good value for money, when trying to attract a young male audience.
The Beeb said yesterday that it had completed a deal for a five-year contract to broadcast F1 after more than a decade of ITV dominance of the sport. They also described reports that the corporation had offered 35 million per annum as being inaccurate. And the actual figure was around the £30 million mark, which ITV had previously been paying.
Executives from rival ITV claimed that they had decided to break from F1 two years earlier than expected to concentrate on their upcoming three-year contract for the UEFA Champions League football matches. They said this was due to the prime time nature of football, as opposed to the Sunday afternoon slot occupied by F1, which was not as cost-effective.
The Beeb has faced off criticism, saying that last year’s viewing figures of over 10.5 million people watching the final race of the year show that F1 still has a very strong appeal to British audiences. They went on to add that last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix was the most viewed sporting event in the world.