Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012

2012 F1 season

Start, Silverstone, 2011

Start, Silverstone, 2011

The BBC will no longer show every round of the F1 season live, starting next year.

Under a new deal announced today the BBC will share coverage with Sky from 2012 to 2018.

Sky will show every race live. The BBC will only screen around half the season’s races including the British and Monaco Grands Prix, plus the season finale.

Sky will show all the practice and qualifying sessions live as well, while the BBC will only show practice and qualifying sessions for certain races.

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

“The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a ten-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.”

Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.

“We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

Sky passed a target of achieving ten million customers in the UK last November, however many of these will not have the Sky Sports package.

Are you happy with the new arrangement? Will this change how you watch F1 next year? Have your say in the comments.

F1 on television

Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

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443 comments on Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012

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  1. Clifton said on 29th July 2011, 15:11

    Will this effect DSTV subscribers here in Africa ? (South African station broadcasting through sattelite)


  2. denis007 said on 29th July 2011, 15:23

    Sky is too expensive. Too bad for F1 but money to pay high taxes to the government and food is definitely to be placed before tv coverage. There are other sports to watch on tv anyways so bye F1 and I can say that this is a sad day for all the F1 lovers. It is a money making machine after all. So, what can we expect? Long time ago, I would attend several GP live on a racetrack. Now with the exhorbitant prices I have stopped all together to attend F1 on racetrack. Now F1 is pushing me out of the tv because of money again. i guess until people accept to pay, prices will go up. For me, the limit has been reached.

  3. Jarv027 said on 29th July 2011, 15:23

    Why don’t BBC axe free practice and Qualifying which I could live with (just), and just show the race. They could even have Brundle and co in a commentry booth back in london. Im sure i heard stories about murray walker and James Hunt commentating on flyaway races back in london because BBC couldnt afford to fly him to the race.

  4. Peegeenyc said on 29th July 2011, 15:30

    The WORST thing about this deal: that the BBC is now little more than a promo broadcast for SKY. The idiots at BBC can’t see how they are being used by SKY to ease the pain of buying into F1 Pay TV. If they had refused point blank with an “all or nothing” attitude Bernie would have stepped back. As it is they are now just 10 long adverts for SKY Sports on BBC.

    Totally disgusted. Hope the F1 teams fight this. It will be a catastrophe for them with sponsors downgrading the sports value. Really bad day for F1.

  5. Awful, awful news, and a real slap in the face for the BBC team who have done such great work building up audiences. Sky have never had and never will have a penny from me – I will be trying to stream content from abroad and listening the Radio 5 coverage. I simply can’t understand what’s behind the decision…apart from money, of course!

  6. Merk said on 29th July 2011, 16:24


    For those of us outside of the UK, we received the BBC tranmission and it gets broadcasted by our local sports channels. (In Canada it is broadcasted by TSN, but still have BBC commentary).

    We do not have the ability to purchase SKY network channels in Canada. So, does this mean that we will not be able to watch these races at all? Or are we not impacted.

    I can’t imagine SKY providing the broadcast and not charging viewers outside of the UK. It’s more likely they just won’t share it.

  7. driftin said on 29th July 2011, 16:27

    “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.”

    Rich license-fee payers who are paying a lot more than the license fee. Durr…

  8. PaulH said on 29th July 2011, 16:44

    Our plan:

    Had sky and can say it is not worth it. My idea as follows:

    We will get Get BT vision : (yes have to have broadband & phone with, but you need that anyway if you have broadband.)

    12 a month for £4 a month : Pay for sky sports as you need, 1 month contract.


  9. Martin Young said on 29th July 2011, 16:51

    How can we keep 10% of F1 coverage on the BBC?
    We need to put pressure on the sponsers of the sport.
    Boycott the products of the sponsers!
    They are all in it to make money (out of us) If we can hurt the sponsers in their pockets, then we will get 100% coverage back on the BBC.

  10. chatterbollox said on 29th July 2011, 17:00

    Absolutely disgraceful. The BBC are skint and can’t put up the license fee so James Murdoch/Sky go on the offensive against them in the News Corp papers – for a change – with the Sun attacking BBC4 the other week with various lies about deal). And what does Eccelstone do? Take cash from a company who’s Chairman is at the centre of the most morally repellant story of our generation. And what do we do? Queue up for Sky? Never – they have systematically robbed us of everything and tried to tell us they’ve done us a favour. Eccesltone you are a disgrace sir!l 500 quid a year to watch adverts. Spend a week in the U.S and see what happens when you stop paying license fees – ads ads ads and channels full of bland sh1te, more sports on pay-per-view… a dark day indeed. Fight this with your wallets – do not subscribe. Fight this with your votes – lobby your MP and 38 degrees to petition this: sport cannot be monopolized in this way … screw the viewers.. money money money… ratings will drop….

  11. delboy said on 29th July 2011, 17:08

    change banks :-)

  12. Jess said on 29th July 2011, 17:42

    Sorry for you all, in the US we have to pay for most of it to or we only get 4 races on Fox, the rest are on SPEED and that is not free to air, but if I did not have it I would get no MOTOGP, F1, NASCAR Truck so for me it is worth it. I dont know SKY so I cant speak there but I understand the pay issue.

  13. The Dutch Bear (@the-dutch-bear) said on 29th July 2011, 17:47

    A very stupid decision. The casual F1 follower will stop watching and even some F1 fanatics will. Ratings will drop, causing sponsors to be less interested in F1 and (some) to pull out of F1. Only Ecclestone, who proves to be a money-grubber yet again, and the Murdochs are the benificiaries of this deal. I’m not a UK resident, but here in the Netherlands BBC 1 and 2 are free-to-air on both analogue and digital TV. The F1 coverage in the Netherlands is done by RTL 7 and is much worse than BBC F1’s. About five or six ad breaks (split screen though) during the race and the commentary by Olav Mol doesn’t come close to Martin Brundle and DC. Up to last year I had another escape route, when F1 was aired (ad-break free) on the Flemish public television, but with that gone to a commercial TV station, it means that from next year on I will have to watch pretty bad coverage on RTL 7.

    Thank you very much, Bernie, for making this decision. You are a genius and probably the most altruistic man I have ever seen.

  14. craig said on 29th July 2011, 18:18

    this is ridiculous i think they should scrap T.V licence i might be able to afford sky sports then. This is the end of f1 in the u.k

  15. Pathetic doesnt even describe how it feels to hear that sky is taking over the coverage. I guess Bernie has punched the final nail in the coffin. F1 will surely suffer in the future and risks losing its biggest fanbase. Its quite clear now that fans arent really a priority. Way to Bernie!!!

    HORRIBLE !!!

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