BBC confirms it is dropping F1 coverage, Channel 4 steps in

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The BBC has confirmed it will no longer broadcast Formula One as part of a cost saving initiative, with Channel 4 taking over the rights in the UK.

Having originally held full exclusive rights to cover F1 in the UK since 2009, the BBC agreed to share with Sky Sports from 2012 in order to cut costs, retaining just half of the races live. However, BBC Sport has been asked to save £35million from 2016 and has terminated its contract to broadcast F1 as it represents a large percentage of the required saving.

"The current financial position of the BBC means some tough and unwanted choices have to be made," said Barbara Slater, the BBC's director of sport.

"A significant chunk of BBC Sport's savings target will be delivered through the immediate termination of our TV rights agreement for Formula 1.

"Any decision to have to stop broadcasting a particular sport or sporting event is hugely disappointing and taken reluctantly. There are no easy solutions; all of the options available would be unpopular with audiences."

Despite ITV having been tipped to take over the deal last week, the BBC has announced Channel 4 will broadcast Formula One for the first time.

Channel 4 confirmed via Twitter it will take over the three remaining years of the BBC contract and promises to show races live without ad breaks.

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