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.

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

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  1. Alan said on 29th July 2011, 22:15

    where is the sense in this? The following of F1 in this country has increased dramatically since it went back onto the BBC and quite rightly so – they got it right! Why is Bernie Ecclestone getting into this with Sky at a very bad time with so much hanging over Sky and Rupert Murdoch. I bet Murray walker is seething over this and so he should be. I have never been a lover of Bernie Ecclestone as I fond his attitude totally obnoxious and rude. He has done himself no favours with this and cannot seeing him lasting long now and good ridence

  2. F1 fan said on 29th July 2011, 23:15

    Stupid idea! I hope sky get lost. I’ll just download my F1 coverage from torrent sites like most other people then. Are people really stupid enough to buy sky for F1? I hope not.

  3. bernies/boy said on 29th July 2011, 23:38

    i think the truth of it is that NewsCorp Sky will take over F1 and all its television rights. Lets face it the executives at the BBC have been pressured by con/lib government (cameron/coulson) to give Sky a share of F1. And very soon the execs at the BBc will be moving to new jobs at , guess Sky and Newscorp. They don’t care what we think, after all who hasn’t got ÂŁ600 pound to spare…. thats the way they think.. you must have a spare ÂŁ600 somewhere, give up smoking or walk to work..

  4. I will never pay a penny to Murdoch to watch F1, despite being a lifelong fan.

    Hopefully the teams will flex their Concorde Agreement muscle and throw this deal in the trash, where it belongs.

  5. John H said on 30th July 2011, 0:44

    I hate to mention it Keith, but I hope this isn’t bad news for f1fanatic going forward. You’ve built up such a big fan base but surely f1 fans will decrease in number. What else are you fanatical about? Snooker perhaps? I’d stay loyal if you made the switch to snookerFanatic.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th July 2011, 1:10

      Ultimately, yes, I suspect this will lead a decline in the total number of English-speaking F1 fans which will be bad for the site from a purely economical point of view.

      But on the other hand, with the output from a publicly available broadcaster declining and fewer people able or willing to take the content from a much more expensive broadcaster, there is potentially some opportunity for growth.

      In other words, it could be a question of getting a bigger piece (proportionally) of a smaller pie.

      But I prefer to think of the matter in the broader terms of what’s best for the sport, and I think the highly likely shrinkage in the fan base will be negative for everyone in the long-term.

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th July 2011, 1:23

        Good insight. It could go bad, people “leaving” the sport but it could go well: the website will be benefited in those non-BBC races, as people would log in to see the results and so on.

      • Elliot Horwood said on 30th July 2011, 1:37

        i liked seeing you on the BBC NEWS earlier Keith, Got a lot more fans i think too becauuse of it. GO KEITH! :)

  6. Richard said on 30th July 2011, 1:36

    what a bad day for F1 fans!
    I could wax lyrical for hours about the short ***** bob wearing little **** that owns the rights to F1, but I am sure he does not give a second thought to the true
    F1 fans.
    And Sky you are not getting 27.50 per month from me.

    well done Bernie!!!

  7. Rocky said on 30th July 2011, 1:47

    Not sure what will happen here in Canada I believe we purchase broadcast rights through the BBC Wow! I guess TSN (our provider) will have to make other arrangements. The decline in the sport from a TV perspective should grow the sport from an internet perspective “live timing” “streaming” etc. Is this Black F1 Day.

  8. Rocky said on 30th July 2011, 1:55

    My world travels may soon be over I get up in the morning (Canada) 8:00am for a 1pm start and tell my wife e.g. “well I’m off to Hungary” and then go the family room and turn on the TV. Crap I’ll have to stay home.

  9. Hazel J (@hazel-j) said on 30th July 2011, 2:19

    Reading this article was the first thing I did after waking up this morning and it made me furious! Complete slap in the face to all loyal F1 fans! I already have sky but I am in no way interested in football or cricket or any other sport broadcast on the sky sports channels but I will still be an extra 20 quid a month just so I can watch one channel every other weekend. Although i can’t imagine not following F1 or missing races and qualifying.

    My plan, Assumming that the BBC will most likely broadcast all the european races which are usually held between may-september, is to only suscribe to sky sports in the months when there are no Broadcasts by the BBC. I.e cancel my subscription between may-september and renew it for singapore ect. when the only option to watch will be sky and then cancel it again during the off season. This way i’m not paying evey month even though all the races during that month may be broadcast on BBC. This might make it possibly affordable!

  10. Muzza said on 30th July 2011, 5:34

    Im in Aus and currently Im happy with 10s coverage but dont they get it from BBC? What happens when BBC are not covering the race are we going to miss out here as well?

    I really do feel sorry for you guys over there.

  11. lloyd p said on 30th July 2011, 6:13

    Terrible decesion, the other thing sky will do is show it on all 3 sky sports channels so you just cant subscribe to one and they will state that has to happen because of clashes with other sporting events.
    I wont be paying it, maybe the public should boycott f1 and then when it starts hurting the teams and there sponsors bernie my realise people love this sport and its not just his personal cash cow

  12. In a sport that is bound tightly by its rules and technical specifications, I fail to see how it is possible to move away from the “free to air” agreement.

    What are the teams main sponsors saying about this move? If the audiences drop (as they surely will from the comments I have read across the internet about fans not buying the extortionate Sky packages)the teams revenues must be adversely effected.

    Why are we not hearing more voices from the teams? Are they being bribed with some of the Murdoch billions?

    As usual, the opinion of the fans was not sought it would seem. We need to be as loud as possible over this issue.

  13. Meisa said on 30th July 2011, 7:08

    Keith – there’s a petition going on at PledgeBank, could you help to spread the word?

    http://www.pledgebank.com/rescuebbcf1

  14. Trevor said on 30th July 2011, 7:57

    Seems the BBC is just showing the dictatorial and arrogant mindset that the lefty journalistic machine has developed. We pay the TV Licence Fee – but they consider all the revenue should be split up between them as salaries, expenses [in fine restaurants] and benefits, and the last thing it should be used for is content!! I will never subscribe to pay Sport TV, so after 50 years of being an ardent watcher of F1, another veiwer is lost – so much for the ‘eyeball count’, eh!
    Seems that BE has squeezed the golden goose once more – is he he not sated yet with his and his daughters billions or do they need some more houses?

  15. Vihar said on 30th July 2011, 9:32

    Yeah, Sky may be very good at covering sports; and they may well do a great job too! But the BBC’s coverage is absolutely fantastic, and for free! With this new turn of events, I am extremely disappointed that I will have to pay a sizeable amount every month for watching only about 75 hours EVERY YEAR!!! This might be ok for people who currently subscribe to these premium channels, but for those who don’t, it’s a nightmare; moreover for those on other networks (BT Vision, Virgin, etc.) its even worse. Let’s not mention those who don’t subscribe to these TV services. I always hated the idea of paying for TV, especially when these channels earn loads of money from advertising in the first place.

    Where else will we find an excellent F1 coverage team like Jake, David, Martin, Lee, and Ted?

    As many have mentioned here, F1 is in real danger now; that too in a country which is home to more than half of the teams on the grid, shameful!!!

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