ITV tipped to take over BBC F1 deal

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The ITV is set to take over coverage of F1 in the United Kingdom from the BBC in 2016, according to television and radio industry website Broadcast.

The BBC has a deal to cover Formula One until the end of the 2018 season, with half the races live and the remaining races provided as highlights while Sky Sports shows full live coverage of every round. However, with the BBC attempting to cut costs it is now looking to drop F1 three years before the end of its contract.

Broadcast reports ITV is ready to step in and take on the BBC deal from the start of next season, continuing the current structure of F1 coverage in the UK. The report claims the BBC is likely to have to pay Bernie Ecclestone a hefty termination fee but will save substantial amounts over the coming years as a result.

F1 returned to the BBC from ITV in the UK in 2009, securing rights to full live coverage before agreeing to share with Sky Sports from 2012 onwards.

ITV previously held the rights to broadcast the sport in the UK from 1997 until 2008, though it often received criticism for the presence of advertising breaks during a race. The broadcaster opted to focus its resources on its UEFA Champions League coverage from 2009, but it has since lost those rights to BT Sport.

Broadcast reports Sky Sports' deal will be unaffected by any change of free-to-air rights holder.

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