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. Slim Lad said on 29th July 2011, 8:00

    Half the issue lies with the budget constraints the BBC now faces, and with the freezing of the license fee, that gives them even less headroom for live sport. Why the hell couldn’t they get rid of BBC Three for one, eh?

    Anyway, the way I see it is that most of the faraway races, which unfortunately include Japan, Canada and Brazil, will not be live on the BBC. They will most likely do live in Europe, where it’s more ‘value for money’

    • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 29th July 2011, 8:04

      Adam Cooper said they’ll show the final race of the season in Brazil. I’m guessing they will actually show the Americas races (Canada, US) because they will fit nicely in UK primetime. The Asia races (except Singapore) will be badly affected, though.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 29th July 2011, 14:11

      I do have to wonder how this will influence the contracts they have with channels in other countries – part of those are just “show UK public channel”, others have bought specifically F1, and for some the lack of F1 will degrade the value of getting BBC.

      I lobbied my cable operator to get BBC HD, but I can now tell them thanks but don’t bother after this year, it’s not worth the high price.

      This will reduce costs, but I think it is more that no one in BBC management cares about, not nearly enough as they do about those old grumps who complained the Canada GP went too long and delayed a non-live show.

  2. silentbob said on 29th July 2011, 8:02

    I will now be pirating every race that is not covered by BBC. It makes no sense for half the races to be free to watch, and the other half to be paid to watch. Makes utterly no sense. BBC have been doing an outstanding job. Surprised they needed to make such a drastic budget cut with record breaking viewers.

    • Slim Lad said on 29th July 2011, 8:06

      Not wanting to bring party politics to this, but it seems that ever since the Tories came to power, the BBC has been increasingly put under pressure to deliver more for less.

      Meaning keeping the Archers for core voters ;)

      • SparkyJ23 (@sparkyj23) said on 29th July 2011, 8:32

        You do know the money that the Govt needs to save was spent by the previous government right?

        The deficiet didn’t suddenly happen the day the Tories came into power.

        So all those complaints about low viewing figures are irrelevant now it seems

  3. HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 29th July 2011, 8:06

    I assume that the teams (and their sponsors) have been involved in this. And I sort of expect that they looked at it as “Loose four or five million viewers in the UK, gain 40 or 50 million in India and China . . .”
    I think it’s a poor argument as consumer affluence and spending power is much higher in the UK, but maybe that’s not their point.
    Even though I have Sky Sports (mainly because I live in a ‘difficult’ area with virtually no aerial reception), I will object to paying to watch races and having to pay to watch the blasted advertising at the same time. This is going to damage the UK market enormously. And if News Corp manages to buy the F1 rights from CVC, it’ll be game over.

  4. micahel counsell said on 29th July 2011, 8:08

    Why not boycott all team merchandise and all sponsors associated with Formula 1.

    Force the teams to put pressure to get F1 back on free to air TV.

  5. JACoz (@jacoz) said on 29th July 2011, 8:08

    Unbelievable, One of the worlds biggest sports gets a bits and pieces TV deal like this???
    This is the kind of deal the IndyCar series made because they’re struggling for cash and viewers.
    Not Formula One please!

    I dread to think how this will affect our already minimal Aussie TV coverage…
    Thanks for completely spoiling my weekend to whoever is responsible for this terrible idea..

  6. Tall Paul said on 29th July 2011, 8:08

    It gets worse the more I read about this….

    ‘The BBC and Sky Sports will broadcast Formula 1 in the UK between 2012 and 2018 under a new rights deal. The BBC has been the exclusive broadcaster of F1 in the UK since 2009 but its contract with Formula One Management was due to expire after the 2013 season. ‘
    – translation = ‘BBC have given up their exclusive right to 2012 coverage – and fans lose a year of free to air, but at least we can pay lip service to a small number of our licence fee payers. The majority don;t care and want us to focus on utter drivel sit-coms with tin-pot British thesps.

    and Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.
    – translation = ‘we’re off the hook for the production costs and can stop slashing wages back at the office’

    Barney Francis, 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.
    – Translation = ‘if I say this with enough conviction and a bit of a smile, maybe they’ll believe me.’

    “We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”
    – Translation = ‘screw the fans for everything they’ve got’

  7. luke6040 (@luke6040) said on 29th July 2011, 8:09

    This is most stupid idea EVER, im going to have no way of watching half of the races now, so i feel like i may as well not bother! I fear that this is the start of the end for F1!!

  8. Dan Newton said on 29th July 2011, 8:09

    In two words – Not Happy!

  9. NickTheGeek said on 29th July 2011, 8:09

    I am tempted to stop watching right now, absolutly furious that they have sold us out like this. I will not be held to random by Murdoch to watch my sport. Forget it Bernie you greedy****

    absolutely gutted.

  10. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 29th July 2011, 8:09

    Accidental side effect: European audiences decline, Asian audiences get a bigger share of the pie. Voila, Bernie now has a justification to move more races away from Europe to Asia.

  11. Novotny said on 29th July 2011, 8:11

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

  12. Sam said on 29th July 2011, 8:11

    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.

  13. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 29th July 2011, 8:12

    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

  14. Chris said on 29th July 2011, 8:12

    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.

  15. David H said on 29th July 2011, 8:15

    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.

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