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

  1. Jen said on 30th July 2011, 9:37

    What exactly was it that made the BBC corporates jump at a deal with Sky?
    Not bringing in enough numbers? MILLIONS more were tuning in than ever before. The team won an award for their shows for goodness sake!
    Still not decided if I’m going to be forking out for Sky Sports yet, the coverage will almost certainly be amateurish and littered with adverts – a dark day for F1

  2. UnsubSky Day said on 30th July 2011, 10:27

    I’ve had enough. September 10th will be my UnsubSky day.

  3. Carlh said on 30th July 2011, 12:10

    I used to watch boxing back in the 80’s ……. That got Skyified and I stopped having an interest. I used to watch England rugby and that got Skyified and I stopped watching and I have been following F1 since 1987 …… That will be Skyified and guess what will happen!
    I do not watch any other Sport and have never paid and will never pay for Sky Sports for a single sport experience. Like with the other Sports I used to watch we will see the viewing figures decline considerably, until it just no longer becomes important to the average Joe.
    This is just the start. Sky will soon start charging per race like they did for boxing (or introduce a “special deal” (sic) for full season coverage; and you’ll need to also Pay for Sky Sports) and only the die hard fans with money will pay, if their not at the race itself.
    Corporate Britain once again sees a way of thieving from the average man and seizes it with both hands.

  4. Steve said on 30th July 2011, 12:37

    This is terrible news for f1 fans.

    If there is a petition to keep free to air on the bbc set up I’d like to be counted.

    It would have many millions signing up.

    Imagine if Murdock had 100% of BskyB !?!

    • Steve said on 30th July 2011, 20:20

      I found this petition so signed

      Perhaps found on here, but posting becasue it’s got best support thus far. It’s already up to 15,604 petitioners at 20:15 sat 30th July. It was about 13,300 when I signed up 13:00 sat 30th July.

      So that’s about 2300 in 7 hours… if that rate continues it’ll reach 1000000 in about 126 days.

      Get signing !

  5. Baz Mc said on 30th July 2011, 13:57

    BBC coverage is great, best commentary team ever.
    Seriously thinking of cancelling my Sky subscription, so annoyed.

  6. Hi this is a very bad move, I won’t be watching on Sky Good luck to all genuine fans

  7. painey said on 30th July 2011, 18:52

    Absolutely furious!!! I don’t have Sky as am not going to subscribe just to help the BBC out so I can watch F1. I pay my TV licence to the BBC to watch uninterrupted coverage of F1!

    F1 will be the loser I’m guessing they will lose a whole load of viewers!

  8. stuart said on 30th July 2011, 19:05

    I like the BBC saying that it will show the last GP of the season it just shows that this idea come from someone you does not watch F1.If the championship is won by the last race it makes the last GP a non event pointless showing it,its like showing the last game of a football season knowing man utd have won the league.I can see how this will go in the years to come 1st BBC will drop F1 because no one is watching the live races it does show (why pay for sky only to watch half a season and the other half on the BBC) and then sky will have the F1 fan where it wants them and you and I will have to pay an amout to watch every race like you do now to watch boxing fights.

  9. xpres1000 (@xpres1000) said on 31st July 2011, 2:35

    There are over 5000 (and counting) comments on the BBC’s F1 website. If you haven’t had your say please do so. There are petitions and there is the BBC complaints website. Please make your feeling known.

    This is an absolute travesty. We all know where this is likely to end up eventually. I would be surprised if viewers ended up having to pay well over £400 per year to view a full race session.

  10. Menno555 said on 31st July 2011, 10:38

    Disgusted is not strong enough for this sell out deal. 99% victims because of this and 1% who will benefit.
    On the BBC there is a blog message from the head F1 BBC, Ben Gallop. In less then 2 days over 5500 (and still counting rapidly) reactions. And guess what? All negative. See

  11. timmymagic said on 31st July 2011, 10:56

    really upset by the F1 moving to sky…
    I’m looking online to find a “avoid the f1 campaign”…

    big business SKY/BBC and alike are interested in only 1 thing… viewers…

    BBC so than can provided logical reasoning why the tv subscrition should remain as high as it is…

    and sky so they can push a thousand and 1 adverts every 8-10 minutes.. ~ misisng the action in the process…

    I can’t believe after bbc now have it so right (coverage wise, time broadcasting, presenters, options)… that the rights for the f1 have now (or be it party) moved to sky!!

    please avoid watching sky whereever possible, they will soon pick up the lack in watchers/viewers makes this a bad business move and therefore a waste of money and therefore something (as a big business) to avoided…

    what coupled with all the media attention on the murdock family maybe its time to show that us english speaking fans of the sport we will now be pushed around & forced to pay yet again!!!…
    I’m a sky user already and already pay throw the nose… but i refuse to subsribe to yet another package..

    suggest we all switch off f1 every time its shown on sky..

    if you “must” see the action for each race (even the those broadcasted by sky), get yourself down your local pub…

    at least using the pub will help mask the belief that buy the rights to f1 for sky really isn’t quite such a good business move afterall… and with any luck will help ensure we dont end up adding yet another few ten’s of millions to the murdock already far too big empire.

    please please please, dont sit back and take this ****..
    please do not watch the sky races… but equally make sure your in place and ready for the bbc coverage (whichever that may be)…


    to give the fia and f1 soemthing to worry about…
    they are loads champsionships of other equally (or with the protentional to be equally good) good..
    maybe with the idoitatic move from f1 it time for a new proidigy driveing sport to coem to the forefront!

  12. worst thing to happen to f1

  13. Ian said on 31st July 2011, 12:35

    Absolutely staggered to read this news…. and reading the comments left here everyone is feeling the same as me. I love watching both the F1 and Motogp, but I will not be switching to Sky… so its no more F1 for me. This sport should be all about the fans. I really feel gutted for the current commentators, who do such a fab job, I’m convinced they feel just as gutted by the situation.

  14. Dawn said on 31st July 2011, 12:52

    How disappointing. I dont have the sky sports package and surprise surprise another sport that is going to lose its viewers. Whats the point of the bbc only showing half of the live races. It’s like only getting half of the story. Either I get to see the whole season or I will not be watching. Money is tight for everyone so now that the person called Bernie Eccleston has signed up the new deal with Sky, the genuine fans who watch live will not be able to afford it. I dont suppose Bernie will be out of pocket though will he?

  15. Martin Young said on 31st July 2011, 22:34


    Could you please make DVDs of these comments and send them to the Sponsers of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, and to ALL the team principals. Perhaps if the sponsers and the teams beleive that the UK fans will desert them, then maybe they can put pressure on Bernie to save our sport. (An organised boycott of Silverstone next year to show our disgust at this deal would frighten the daylights out of the teams and their sponsers.)
    I have been an avid fan of F1 since the days of James Hunt.
    I will not buy a subscription to SKY. I’ll go fishing instead!
    I don’t mind paying an extra £10 a year for my TV licnce to keep FULL F1 coverage on the BBC.

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