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Formula 1: Does Bernie Ecclestone's New Idea for BBC Coverage Resolve the Issue?

SPA FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - AUGUST 28:  Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing leads from Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari and Adrian Sutil of Germany and Force India during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of Spa Francorchamps on August 28, 2011 in Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Getty Images)
Vladimir Rys/Getty Images
Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIOctober 17, 2016

There have been various rumours surrounding the transfer of half of the Formula 1 coverage from BBC to Sky this week. The news has now hit that the BBC will show reruns three hours after the initial races are televised on Sky.

One of the first outlets to reveal the news was The Guardian newspaper, who stated that the move will provide 'some solace' to spectators who were unhappy that 10 Grand Prix a season would only be available on pay-per-view.

Initially, followers of the sport in the United Kingdom were advised that the BBC would only show highlights of the Sky televised races, an idea that was met with a barrage of anger in the direction of Bernie Ecclestone.

With numerous frustrated fans using petitions on sites such as Facebook, it seems the opinions of those who keep the sport alive have been taken on-board.

However, I can't help but feel that this new development does not detract away from the main reason for our dissatisfaction. 

As Formula 1 fans, we watch Grand Prix for the thrill, the excitement and at times the unpredictable nature of the sport.

But most of all, we tune in at ridiculously early hours for the likes of the Australian Grand Prix, because we know what we are watching is happening there and then, and this adds to the adrenaline we feel pumping through our veins.

If a crash happens, we feel it. If a driver fights his way valiantly through the field, we are inspired by it. 

Whilst highlight shows or re-runs are great for people who miss the live action, for people like myself, who find it much more beneficial to watch the sport live and uninterrupted, this decision is still a loss.

Watching a re-run of action that has already happened takes away so much of the suspense which draws us into Formula 1.

We also have to wonder what Sky will think of the decision. If hoards of people were passionate enough to increase their spending and purchase the overpriced subscriptions for Sky, will they now reconsider their position if the BBC is going to just show the race in full anyway? 

The fact remains that sharing Grand Prix between two channels was always a ludicrous idea, and a catastrophic disaster for the majority who like continuity.

If Bernie and co. have buckled under the initial pressure, the best plan of action is to keep the pressure on, and maybe, just maybe, there may be a resolution more welcome than this lacklustre compromise. 

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