Start, Silverstone, 2011

Sky and BBC to share UK F1 coverage from 2012

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. I’ll give up the sport before I watch it on Sky. Very sad day for me.

  2. Terrible news. As an american treated to SPEED’s constant commercial interrupted coverage, I know firsthand how annoying and non-immersive that is.

    Bernie is just a greedy toad, I doubt he even realizes that fans drive the sport.

  3. The actually makes me feel sick. This is such awful news, not just for viewers in the UK, but all the other viewers across the world that enjoy the BBC’s feed.

    The BBC have provided the best F1 coverage in years and I fear SkySports will not do it justice whatsoever. Are we going to get adverts?!

    This is fantastic news for F1 fans

    How? How is this the case? Take a look at twitter or any of these comments and that will give you a picture.

    F1 is driven by money, and this is the biggest example of it. BBC you’ve let me down

  4. I cannot believe anyone thought his was a good decision! Us diehard fans want to watch practice, qually, and not only every race in full but also the great pre-race info and interviews plus the brilliant F1 forum provided by the BBC.

    Jake, Eddie, DC, and Martin are well respected in the paddock and get interviews that other presenters cannot. Tthink of Eddie grabbing Stefano Domenicali after the ‘team orders’ fiasco last year and the brilliant fun on the forum after the Monaco race this year (it makes me laugh just thinking about Eddie being repeatedly pushed into the pool in the Red Bull boat!!).

    Also will Martin’s excellent grid walks be stopped or maybe he can still do these and they could be shown on the ‘highlights’ show. I love the way he completely understands and respects the drivers preparing for the race yet still gets great interviews.

    Can Sky really live up to all this? I don’t think so but will never know as I don’t subscribe to Sky.

    This is a sad day for F1 fans. We may buy tickets for races at extortinate prices and pay £40 for team t-shirts but ultimately our thoughts and opinions count for nothing.

    1. micahel counsell
      29th July 2011, 8:15

      Excatly don’t pay that £40 hit the teams where it hurts.

  5. Bernie you money grabbing little sellout. F1 is on the crest of a wave with great races, British drivers doing well, and great BBC coverage free to all. This will bring it crashing down to where it used to be. Disgraceful.

  6. Is this a joke? No way I’m going to pay £30 a month to watch F1. Time to get a dish sorted to watch a Euro feed & 5Live commentary.

  7. mclaren boy
    29th July 2011, 8:16

    I am so disappointed in all this so basically im only going to see three races in a year. As only people who can afford sky will get to watch the races. This is a majorly bad decision. If it was just three races I can see I will ….. I will. .. Well I don’t know what I will do :'(
    Foolish move.

    1. I am so disappointed in all this so basically im only going to see three races in a year.

      This is what you get when you only read the headlines. Sky will broadcast all of the races, but the BBC will show half of them. They list Monaco, Silverstone and the finale as the races they know they will show, but those are not the only races that will be broadcast.

  8. What a total mess – I can’t afford the extortionate Sky fees. Even their online SkyPlayer doesn’t reduce the cost enough. I guess that’s the end of years of watching every race in full for the past X years.

    So, from the biggest audiences ever in 2011 to the lowest ever in 2012…I see the commercial sense there, well done FOM.

  9. Do you people not understand what is happening here?

    The BBC don’t necessarily want to give up coverage of Formula 1 – they feel they have to because it’s too expensive otherwise.

    1. So FOM should’ve cut its fees, plain and simple. If they really wanted to, there was a way. Otherwise, there’s always an excuse.

      1. As I said before, getting rid of BBC Three would have sorted this out quite easily.

        The country can happily live without Snog, Marry, Avoid…

  10. BYE BYE F1.I won’t pay sky any money and I won’t watch half a season on BBC.

    To bernie and FOTA..kiss this and it ant asda price!

  11. Can’t ITV and Channel 4 (and maybe even the BBC) come up with some kind of package, there was talk of Channel 4 wanting it!!! Even if those three shared the broadcast rights, at least it would have still been free to watch.

    1. <blockquote.Can’t ITV and Channel 4 (and maybe even the BBC) come up with some kind of package, there was talk of Channel 4 wanting it!!!
      You don’t think they tried? If they wanted it, they would have made a bid for it. If they made a bid for it and Sky have the broadcast rights, what does that tell you? The answer: that the Channel 4 bid was not enough.

      1. In addition, I also heard that ITV pulled out of the bidding because they couldn’t afford it. They didn’t even make a bid.

  12. As a massive f1 fan im gutted, i can’t afford to pay sky for this “amazing” coverage! Not sure i like the idea of being cornered for cash just so i can keep up with my beloved sport. Does anyone else wish bernie would just bugger off and enjoy his billions and leave f1 to the people that actually care?

  13. Well thats the worst news ive heard all week. If audiences drop due to lack of people willing to pay to watch F1 in the UK, then that means revenue will drop for Sky, which means that ONE HD in Aus will have to either pay more for the F1 or simply drop it. Considering that it’s on at weird times and probably doesnt pull the biggest audiences, the likely outcome is that F1 will be dropped.

    Hey Keith, would you be able to set up a poll on this? I would like to seem some figures on who is for or against!


  14. Dear F1 fans, no need to despair. I am sure F1 live streaming online will get a boost next year with so much demand. That’s how I watch half of the races that I cannot watch live while I am in UK. Yes the quality is bad, it sometimes buffers all the time, but now you get more than enough of okayish streams. I’ve actually caught on in HD for the British Grand Prix!

    Plus by watching it online you get the full satisfaction of not having to pay Bernie a cent.

  15. acidhell2 (@)
    29th July 2011, 8:19

    I’m not willing to pay £50+ a month for 10 races.

    This means either finding a European feed or the end of watching f1, despite it being the only sport it truly finish and have been watching since I was in nappies.

    The only possible way I see is if sky put it on sky player and charge a fee just for f1. Either that or European feed and r5l commentary over the top.

    I bet the sponsors will be happy, losing so may fans from what is considered the host country.

    1. I’m not willing to pay £50+ a month for 10 races.

      Except Sky will be showing all twenty Grands Prix, while the BBC will be showing ten of them. The coverage will likely be identical on both stations, so you’d really be paying £50 per month for all twenty races.

      1. But as acidhell2 can watch 10 on the BBC without having Sky, the return on paying for the full year’s Sky coverage and only using it is to watch only the other 10 races.

  16. Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans”
    Yes its really fantastic that I’ll only be able to see half the races next year.

    And as I’ll only be able to watch half a season will I even bother doing that. Having watched just about every race live since the start of 1985 I’ll probably go and find something better to do with my weekends

  17. Sorry day today, no way we could afford sky and certainly won’t be keeping my tv purely for half the races.

  18. big mistake F1, no point in watching half a season and sky can kiss my hairy ones so wont be watching F1 anymore after the end of this year! bye bernie you greedy midgit

  19. Terrible decision. I will not be blackmailed into paying Murdoch & Co to watch F1. The sport is now dead to me. Not missed a race in 18 years and now they pull this rubbish. True loyalty to their fans, the BBC, The teams and Bernie should all be ashamed of themselves, this is not a good deal for the people that matter – THE FANS!

    1. Almost everything I want to say at the moment is likely to be blocked by the swear filter. I’m really angry! I don’t have Sky; I don’t want Sky; I can’t particularly afford Sky.

      F1 coverage is at an absolute pinnacle this year – from next year I won’t have the same sense of continuity over the season which is so vital to following the “story arc”. Nor, if I do manage to watch a few races on satellite (presumably at a friend’s house – pubs will still show football or rugby in preference to motorsport) will I get any continuity during a race: how many ad breaks will there be?!

      The sponsors will have less airtime in UK households, all the fans worldwide who follow BBC commentary will suffer, and the Murdochs inflate their grip on the UK market a little more. Sky claim they’ll offer superior coverage, but if there’s a single ad between the warm-up lap and the podium ceremony, they will have failed in that PR promise.

  20. Chris Scott
    29th July 2011, 8:24

    Sad and angry to hear this news, although I guess it was likely in the context of the Beeb’s need to slash budgets. The cost of living is going through the roof as it is, and now I’m going to have to look at purchasing a Sky Sports package that I’m only going to watch when the F1 is on. This feels like a retrograde step in every way…

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