Teams cautiously welcome split British TV deal

Bernie Ecclestone has dismissed suggestions the new television broadcasting deal for Britain is a breach of the Concorde Agreement.

It is understood the highly-secreted agreement between the commercial rights holder, the FIA and the teams includes clauses guaranteeing free-to-air coverage in F1’s key markets.

But chief executive Ecclestone said after a meeting with team bosses at the Hungaroring that they are “very happy” with the deal that will involve “a lot more coverage” in Britain.

As for the potential Concorde breach, he insisted: “I shouldn’t worry too much about the Concorde Agreement. We might not have another one,” the 80-year-old is quoted by Reuters.

The immediate reaction from many fans, however, was far from negative, even though a Telegraph reporter can’t understand the outrage.

“Sky-less petrol-heads must remember formula one has split its television coverage — not the atom,” wrote Simon Briggs.

And at the Hungaroring, it appeared the majority of the teams had also sided with Ecclestone.

“I think it is rather good news,” said Renault chief and FOTA deputy chairman Eric Boullier, while Virgin’s Graeme Lowdon added: “Everything in formula one changes. Everything moves forward.”

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told the Express: “It’s disappointing for fans who have grown used to the coverage out on the BBC but, faced with the prospect of losing the sport entirely, this is hopefully the best solution.”

And McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh, who doubles as chairman of the teams association, is quoted by The Sun: “There won’t be a premium for watching F1 on Sky, so it sounds like good news.”


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