BSkyB to offer pay-per-view interactive broadcasts of F1 races

SATELLITE TELEVISION operator BSkyB announced Friday that it has worked a deal with Formula One Management to broadcast live interactive coverage of the Formula One World Championship in 2002 and 2003.

The programs will cover all three days of each race weekend, uninterrupted, with a choice of views and information. The service, offered to 5.5 million homes in the UK and Ireland, will cost viewers a yet to be announced fee for each three day event.

British fans who do not receive Sky digital service, or simply do not want to pay the fee, will still be able to watch the races on ITV, as they have in the past.

The details of the deal between BSkyB, of which 36% is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management were not disclosed, but Ecclestone said of the deal, "We are so pleased to be working with Sky and excited that F1 can now offer British viewers such radically different coverage. It has taken time, with F1 investing heavily in the best broadcast technology so we can genuinely take fans closer. Now, alongside traditional race broadcasts, we can offer truly interactive coverage of Grand Prix weekends. It's going to be exceptional."

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