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Murdoch muscles BBC out of Formula One driving seat

'We're absolutely delighted,' insists Beeb

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BSkyB has snatched the full Formula 1 broadcasting rights from the BBC, which had been the exclusive channel showing the live races since 2009.

It's a deal sure to upset fans of the Beeb's recent slick coverage of F1, which has won bumper TV ratings.

BSkyB will – from the start of the 2012 motor-racing season – broadcast every race, qualifying round and practice session of the popular sport.

Formula One Management had a contract with the BBC, granting it exclusive broadcasting rights, that was expected to end in 2013.

However, a six-year agreement was announced this morning whereby Sky Sports will show full coverage of F1, while the BBC will broadcast half the races live alongside qualifying and practice sessions.

The cash-strapped BBC welcomed the deal this morning, saying it would help keeps costs down.

"We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC," said BBC Sport director Barbara Slater.

"The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.

"With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers."

But true F1 fans who want to soak up every single moment of the Grand Prix will no longer be able to do so courtesy of Auntie. ®

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