Investigation into the legality of the Recent BBC/SKY F1 deal

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Created September 26, 2011 by F1_Fan


Below is a draft of a letter we want to submit to the OFT who can then refer the matter to the Competitions Commission  unfortunately the OFT will not take up the complaint from the public even though they were formed to protect the Consumers of the UK?

Therefore we ask that you sign this petition so we can then ask Consumer Focus to refer this to the OFT on our behalf.

If you are not aware of what this is about here is a general outline,

On the 29th July the BBC announced it has signed a deal with SKY TV to share the rights to Formula One for 7 years with SKY showing all Races live and the BBC only allowed to show 10 (50%) of the races Live this in effect means that to watch the sport in its entirety fans would have to subscribe to Sky + Sky Sports equating to a bill of £600 p.a this is on top of your licence fee that you have to pay regardless.

We feel that the deal is illegal and was made purely to prevent the other TV companies from acquiring the sport.


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(or Junk folder) to confirm your Vote !! Your vote will not count if you do not verify it via the email link.


Firstly can I ask that you treat this report as a Anti Competition report and not a Broadcasting report as this does not fall within the remit of OFCOM.

Below I list a number of points that I think break both
Chapter I prohibition prohibits agreements between businesses that prevent restrict or distort competition to an appreciable extent in the UK.
Chapter II prohibition prohibits the abuse of a dominant position. Holding a dominant position is not unlawful but it is unlawful to abuse that position. The prohibition therefore relates to the conduct of the company not its position in a market.
of the Competition Act 1998

As you may be aware on 29/07/2011 the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced a 7 year deal to share control of the Broadcasting rights for Formula One within the UK with British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB), This new contract I believe breaks the above Chapters for the following reason.

Chapter I
I believe the BBC have Restricted/Distorted competition as they have entered into the deal during a period of dominance.

The BBC had exclusive rights under contract with the Formula One Management (FOM) to F1 until the end of the 2013 season and whilst this contract was in place the FOM could not consider any bids from any other companies who had shown interest in bidding for the rights.
On the 29/07/2011 the BBC entered into a deal with BskyB and extended the period for a further 5 years effectively preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid once the existing contract came to an end.
Bernie Ecclestone (head of the FOM) was qouted as saying

‘Ecclestone added with the BBC’s original contract not due to expire until the end of 2013, it effectively scuppered any moves to go with Channel 4 or even return to ITV.
also when Asked ‘ if the BBC ‘held all the cards’ over the new deal, Ecclestone added: “Yes, absolutely. If they [Channel 4] had said they wanted to sign a contract today to start Broadcasting for £45m a year, then we would have probably done it.

“But that’s the problem. We couldn’t deal with them, even if they had wanted to.”
“I spoke with ITV and came up with the same problem as Channel 4 had. We had a contract with the BBC which didn’t run out until 2014.“We couldn’t very well do a deal with other people for them to start doing something next year, because we had that contract.

As you can see from the above quotes ITV & Channel 4 were interested in bidding for the contract but were unable too until the existing BBC contract had ended
The BBC had also stated that they themselves may have had end the original contract at the end of this season (2011, two years early) due to finances.
So in effect the BBC have extended a contract by 5 years whilst they were in a dominant position although they were in no position to make a new bid once the contract ended thus preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid.

Chapter II
I feel that the BBC while in a dominant position (being in control of the contract and rights) abused this dominance by inviting BskyB to an extended deal preventing other interested parties from making a legitimate bid once the contract in place and ended.


If you would like to discuss this deal please visit and/or

 Important !!

Once you have Signed the petition please check your email (or Junk folder) to confirm your Vote. Your vote will not count if you do not verify it via the email link.

There are currently 577 signatures for this petition:

  1. Daniel Winter UNITED KINGDOM

    On BBC/SKY deal:

    I’m even more annoyed, firstly because it seems that the BBC won’t really save any money. They are still paying for a production team to be sent out to every race; still having the forum… The thing is, this wasn’t about money. F1 and Tennis are the only two sports that hit targets for cost per hour and cost per viewer per hour as well as viewer numbers. Rugby didn’t, yet they have extended that deal! Oh and the BBC hasn’t faced ‘cuts’, just a freeze in the amount they can charge through the license fee. Disgusting really!

    Oh, and as a result of the new deal, I bet that F1 cost per hour per viewer shoots through the roof and ruins the chance of the BBC retaining it in the future!

    I hope one day we get answers… Who made the deal? How much of a ‘saving’ is really involved?

  2. Adam Warburton UNITED KINGDOM


  3. Magnus Baird UNITED KINGDOM

    No to sky (With a small s)

  4. lisa turner UNITED KINGDOM

    no f1 no licence fee !

  5. lisa turner UNITED KINGDOM

    no F1 im not paying licence fee

  6. Christine Millar UNITED KINGDOM

    As a pensioner on the state pension I find difficulty in affording a tv licence Sky fees are quite out of the question. The BBC seems to have a Marie Anntionette approach of let them eat cake to ordinary people. They have no view of reality of living on the bread line.

  7. Alex Millar UNITED KINGDOM

    The Sky mole in the BBC must be feeling very smug about his apparent success. Let’s hope that the legal anti competitive approach is successful as we have to put paid to these Sky business practises. Out of principal I will not buy a News International/Sky product. We are at last seeing what the Australian has been up to with the phone hacking exposure. The senior Australian did not even have the decency to honour his home country when wanting to buy into the American media market, he just changed his spots. We are just now seeing the lengths to which they will go.

  8. mather UNITED KINGDOM

    the F1 should not go to ppv as its a national sport result I will watch my last F1 in Brazil and not bother next year at all after 30+ years

  9. james bernardi UNITED KINGDOM

    l dont normally visit bloggs etc and dont know where l have been for the last few months but the announcement on sunday regarding highlights of next years coverage and the deal with sky was a complete shock to me. l have always loved motor sport for as long as l can remember l dont have a massive income so paying to watch f1 on sky is out of the question as for the fans its another time their loyalty has been ignored again in favour of a fast buck its a pity a few drivers couldnt get behind this surely millions of fans voices cant be ignored again.

  10. anna weightman

    No to sky

  11. Sophia Brannan UNITED KINGDOM

    Paying for F1 would mean less new people interested in the sport. I only became a bigger fan this year, and if I’d had to pay it would definitely not have happened. Bring F1 to everyone!

  12. Alexander Corbett UNITED KINGDOM

    How can the BBC/SKY close the door on other company’s?

  13. Andrew Hipwell UNITED KINGDOM


  14. Christopher Mercer UNITED KINGDOM

    BBC scum

  15. k davies UNITED KINGDOM

    I love FI but i refuse to be forced to pay £600 pa to Skybsb to see it.

  16. Randy Mash UNITED KINGDOM

    FI is going the same way as the darts, down the pan and only available to those who can afford a sky subscription, and that’s not me.


    This is a disgrace, no-one wants to pay to watch F1, tax payers money goes towards elements in the sport, say no to sky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111

  18. james marshall

    i hope f1 fans dont give up the fight , the bbc stink the f1 deal stinks, ill never pay sky ,

  19. margaret mccabe UNITED KINGDOM

    Sky is doing to all sport what King did to boxing and all sport bodies let it happen. I will not watch any of it. Ecclestone is too greedy.

  20. Dave Carn

    I agree entirely, and will not pay Murdoch for anything

  21. Mike Brown UNITED KINGDOM

    F1 is one of the few programmes I watch on the BBC, as for the rest of it, “QUALITY PROGRAMMING” , don’t make me laugh. If the BBC don’t want to give the viewers what they want to watch, then why don’t they become a pay per view channel and stop mugging the British public to line their own pockets (the money certainly isn’t going into decent programmes.

  22. Andrew Foulger UNITED KINGDOM

    F1 was the only program on the bbc I watched on a regular basis. They can keep the rest.

  23. Colin Burroughs UNITED KINGDOM

    Utter disaster!

  24. Liam Dorcey UNITED KINGDOM

    PLEASE investigate this corrupt deal – we had 2 years of FTA F1, already budgeted for – we pay the BBC license, they are answerable to us, and so far have completely avoided giving sound reasons for this move.

  25. Geraldine Dorcey UNITED KINGDOM

    Something is not right and needs to be investigated.

  26. james oneill


  27. evelyn hunter UNITED KINGDOM

    the vote was rigged we did not get a fair vote

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