The BBC were always going to drop F1 when the money got tight. A minority sport in their eyes. Bernie was never going to make it easy for them, as far as he's concerned, if we want to watch, get Sky. He makes his money from the race tracks and Sky, enough to not care for the BBC to be of no interest to him.
They are moving BBC Three on-line as the target audience tend to view most of the content there. It's dinosaurs like me that still flick channels on terrestrial TV trying to find something to watch. As for F1, I haven't watched it on the BBC since Sky started it's coverage and even if they were to show all the races I still wouldn't.
F1 is a minority sport so why should the Beeb shell out licence fee payers money to cover it? If it's commercially viable let ITV, Channel 4 or C5 pay the money CVC want for the rights. If CVC are happy to take what is probably more money for fewer viewers well, that's up to them. I believe else where in Europe, apart from Germany, F1 is already on pay per view.
Anyway, I'm sure the BBC has yet another production of Poldark to fund and won't that be money well spent.
The biggest problem for the beeb is that Sky and BT are quite happy to pay far more than the actual worth of the rights to capture these sports. Great Britain has a new World Heavyweight boxing champ but you wouldn't have seen it because it was on Sky box office at £16.50. They must generate enough money from sales to justify it but anyone remember the last time anyone gave a toss about boxing?
There must come a time when people will no longer be able to afford or for that matter give a toss in any great measure to warrent pumping the cash in to subscription services.
The current rumour is that the BBC have backed out of the deal three years early.
They will have to pay a hefty termination fee to Ecclestone, although they will save approximately £60m per season so will still be better off overall.
Apparently ITV are going to broadcast F1 again from 2016 - with half the races live and half shown in a highlights program.
I won't miss the BBC show to be honest, it has been the worst set of presenters I can remember. So long as ITV don't show adverts through the race (which they thankfully dropped during their last stint showing F1) then hopefully things can only get better.
And no EJ please! And if they hire DC then at least hire someone else who's got a bit of enthusiasm alongside him.