BBC reveal free-to-air live F1 races for 2012

2012 F1 season

Start, Melbourne, 2011

The season opener won't be live on free-to-air TV in the UK next year

The BBC has confirmed which races will be shown live and free-to-air in the UK in 2012.

The BBC says it will show half of next year’s races live and in high definition, plus delayed highlights of the remaining races.

The highlights programmes will last around 90 minutes and usually be shown around 2pm for early morning races, 5:30pm for European time zone races.

All the races will be shown live on Sky’s dedicated F1 channel, announced today, which will cost a minimum of ??363.

The first two races of 2012 will only be shown live on Sky, who also claimed exclusive live rights to the Canadian and Italian Grands Prix.

BBC will show the final race of the season live, but did not pick up live rights to the United States Grand Prix, which is under threat of cancellation.

Round Race Circuit Date Channel
1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Melbourne March 16-18th Sky
2 Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit March 23rd-25th Sky
3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit April 13-15th BBC/Sky
4 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit April 20th-22nd Sky
5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya May 11-13th BBC/Sky
6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo May 24-27th BBC/Sky
7 Canadian Grand Prix Montreal June 8-10th Sky
8 European Grand Prix Valencia June 22nd-24th BBC/Sky
9 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 6-8th BBC/Sky
10 German Grand Prix Hockenheimring July 20th-22nd Sky
11 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring July 27-29th Sky
12 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 31st-September 2nd BBC/Sky
13 Italian Grand Prix Monza September 7-9th Sky
14 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay September 21st-23rd BBC/Sky
15 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka October 5-7th Sky
16 Korean Grand Prix Korean International Circuit October 12-14th BBC/Sky
17 Indian Grand Prix Buddh International Circuit October 26-28th Sky
18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 2nd-4th BBC/Sky
19 United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas November 16-18th Sky
20 Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 23rd-25th BBC/Sky

F1 on television

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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201 comments on BBC reveal free-to-air live F1 races for 2012

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  1. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 25th November 2011, 16:19

    Disappointed they didn’t pick up the season opener. No idea why Barcelona appealed to them more…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 25th November 2011, 16:51

      Its probably about the way they went through picking them. first 3 for the BBC (UK, Monaco and Brazil) then 3 for Sky (prob. Aus, Italy, Canada) then it was single pics. Choosing Spa over Japan and Singapore over US or Malaysia.

      And when we take in account both Bahrain and the USGP might be dropped, its an understandable pick.

      • Andy G (@toothpickbandit) said on 25th November 2011, 17:23

        Hmm I initially subscribed to this ‘draft’ theory but when trying to apply it I couldn’t find a way it worked. Unless the BBC/Sky went for viewing figures as opposed to what the fans deem the most exciting race.

        • Gridlock (@gridlock) said on 25th November 2011, 18:59

          Maybe their priorities are more esoteric, such as the cost of providing the broadcast, the quality of the bacon sandwiches etc :)

        • OldIron said on 26th November 2011, 10:05

          One of the papers ran a story with the BBC picks, then Sky picks (etc), so it might all pan out. I wonder if the BBC turned down some of the decent races in favour of Olympics or similar – if thats the case, theres a chance following years might see better picks.

          Having said that, Spa, Brazil and Silverstone are the one races I rate that they do have; its not going to be a good year.

      • I suspect Barcelona appealed to them more due to the price.

        I doubt the BBC had much choice as to what to choose. Think about it, the most expensive races to cover,- season opener, season closer, and monaco.
        Now, the season closer and monaco are must-haves for a television station, so that’s a no-brainer.
        Then great tracks/viewing figures in silverstone and spa would also be highly expensive, so the other ones would be mainly down to seeing what’s relatively cheap.

    • Gutted they chose Barcelona and Valencia over Melbourne and Monza.

    • UncleBob said on 25th November 2011, 19:29

      What about the qualifying???

    • keep F1 on BBC, have your say and join the petition.

    • sumedh said on 26th November 2011, 19:09

      Read Keith’s report. They are getting 90 minutes worth of highlights of every race.
      BBC’s negotiating team hence must have decided not to retain races that end in less than 90 minutes (as BBC would get those full races anyways).

      Hence, Monza, Montreal, Suzuka and India weren’t picked!

  2. Amazed they won’t have the first race. :/

    I honestly feel sorry for people who won’t be able to see it.

  3. matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th November 2011, 16:21

    BBC has most of the worst circuits.

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 25th November 2011, 16:40

      Really ?

      Monaco ?
      Silverstone ?
      Spa ?
      Singapore ?
      Brazil ?

    • I agree. China, Barcelona, Valencia and Abu Dhabi over Australia, Germany, Hungary and Suzuka? Montreal and Monza not being there is enough of a shame. Not having a season opener, especially if it is in Melbourne, is a terrible choice.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 25th November 2011, 18:56

        How can anyone say China is boring? Did you not watch the past 3 races (09,10,11)? All of them were classics, and so was 2006 for that matter. 2004 and 2005 were also exciting, in fact, the only boring race at Shangai I can remember was 2008.
        And what’s so special about the modern Hockenheim?I’m happy they chose China over Germany.

        • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 25th November 2011, 20:23

          It’s sad about the lack of Melbourne and Montreal – generally two of the most entertaining races of the year, but I subscribe to the view that the BBC had little choice in the matter. They’ve already committed to Monaco and the season finale, two of the most popular races, and I suspect Sky had first picks on which ones they wanted exclusively.

          Still, the positive is that if you do have/get Sky you’ll be treated to a resurgent IndyCar series and, although this is a hunch, possibly GP2 and GP3 too, given how shocking Eurosport’s shocking coverage this year was, combined with Sky wanting to make their package good value.

  4. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 25th November 2011, 16:21

    so dissapointing they didn’t pick up Australia. It’s such a great venue. So Montreal.

    They will basically miss all the good tracks, but Spa, Silverstone and Monaco.

  5. Andy G (@toothpickbandit) said on 25th November 2011, 16:22

    Lack of season opener, Canada, Monza and Japan is quite gutting, but at least they salvaged Monaco, Silverstone and Spa.

    Then again, we also get thrilling tracks such as Valencia, Barcelona, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

    3/10 for me.

  6. peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 25th November 2011, 16:22

    Absolutely shocking selection.

  7. I wonder who negotiated on behalf of the BBC.

    I’d have tried to drop as many of Valencia, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi as I can get away with, and swap them for Australia, Suzuka, and USGP

  8. Wallbreaker said on 25th November 2011, 16:24

    I´m not living in the UK and getting the whole season on free TV but I´m quite disappointed that BBC is not broadcasting the Australian, Canadian, Italian and Japanese Grand Prix. Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia, Korea and Abu Dhabi are quite lame.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 26th November 2011, 0:32

      I’m not affected either, but I know that a choice of forking out 363 pounds, or missing out… It’s just terrible for them.

      It’s times like this when I wish Murry Walker was in charge.

  9. MattHT (@mattht) said on 25th November 2011, 16:24

    No Melbourne, Montreal, Hockenheim or Monza for BBC viewers. Ouch.

  10. Scalextric (@scalextric) said on 25th November 2011, 16:26

    Kind of one per month on BBC. I suspect internet streams will be more prevalent next year.

  11. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th November 2011, 16:27

    I wonder if the BBC gambled the Bahrain and US races won’t happen?

  12. MattHT (@mattht) said on 25th November 2011, 16:27

    Does anyone know for sure whether Virgin Media customers who currently pay for Sky Sports will get this Sky Sports F1 channel for “free” (when I say free I mean “included for my £75 a month”)?

  13. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1) said on 25th November 2011, 16:29

    Very disappointed by their choices. Makes sense by doing alternate, but why would anyone choose Korea at 6am rather than Monza at 12pm or Canada at 5pm?

  14. chase shikari said on 25th November 2011, 16:31

    It’s just another reason for me to say “I shouldn’t have to pay for the BBC if I don’t use it” Football and F1 are virtually the only things I watch on the BBC and now I’m going to have to get Sky for the F1 so I can watch them all. £140 a year for Match of the Day twice a week seems excessive if you ask me. Time for a change in the law, pay for what you use not so a minority can watch cultural rubbish on BBC4 !!

  15. FullSpe3d (@dryyoshi) said on 25th November 2011, 16:33

    Looks like online streams next year then…

  16. Mark (@marlarkey) said on 25th November 2011, 16:35

    I was reading on the Sky site today that Sky will launch a dedicated F1 HD channel… free to all Sky+HD subscribers and those already subscribing to full Sky Sports… and I also read that they are launching it as an add-on pay channel on freeview/freesat.

    So it doesn’t cost a minimum of £363…

    • Stig 3 (@thestig94) said on 25th November 2011, 16:38

      No addon to Freeview/Freesat according to the Twitter feed so I think it would cost £363 minimum.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th November 2011, 16:41


      Read the article:

      Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel

      The price quoted is right, the Freeview thing the Daily Mail ran a story about isn’t happening.

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 25th November 2011, 16:51

        Yes what you wrote in that article is more accurate… what’s in this article is a little misleading…

        I already watch F1 in HD on Sky+HD. So for some people the cost is a minimum of £363, for others the cost is zero.

        By the I dont’ subscribe to Sky Sports… I was fearing that I’d have to or that they’d really screw people by striping the races across Sky Sport 1 and Sky Sports 2 so you had to take a higher rate packge.

        So all in all I’m relieved by the news.

        Can’t remember where I read about the freeview/freesat thing. It wasn’t on the sky site and I can’t find it again now.

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 25th November 2011, 16:56

          Mind you I was previously thinking that if I had to upgrade to Sky Sports I might as well go the whole hog and throw in the ESPN subscription so I can watch Indy and NFL.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th November 2011, 17:00

          I already watch F1 in HD on Sky+HD. So for some people the cost is a minimum of £363, for others the cost is zero.

          No it isn’t.

          This is the spin Sky are trying to put on it: “free for Sky Sports/Sky HD Subscribers”. It isn’t free, it’s being added into a service you’re already paying for.

          • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 8:41

            Yes right now I pay X for the service I get from Sky and in future I pay the same. I pay Y for my BBC licence and that doesn’t change either.

            So net ost to me = zero.

            But its a transfer of value… I get more value from my Sky package than I do now and less value from the licence fee.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2011, 12:50

            Yes right now I pay X for the service I get from Sky and in future I pay the same.

            There you go. If it was free you wouldn’t be paying anything.

      • Estesark (@estesark) said on 25th November 2011, 22:54

        What a shock – the Daily Mail were wrong about something.

    • Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 25th November 2011, 16:41

      The Freeview/Freesat rumour has been denied by Sky. The £363 price is if you go for the HD route (paradoxically this means Sky F1 is cheaper in HD than SD).

    • Steven Addlesee said on 27th November 2011, 23:41

      Great, but it still means i’d have to give my money to Murdoch. Which isn’t happening! Saying that i don’t give my money to the tv tax either :D

  17. Alianora La Canta (@alianora-la-canta) said on 25th November 2011, 16:37

    I wasn’t expecting the BBC to be allowed much, other than the scraps on the table. If anything, the fact it’s managed to keep Spa is a pleasant surprise.

  18. Gyllias (@gyllias) said on 25th November 2011, 16:43

    What a waste of time that is. Hmm. Let’s pick all the snooze – fest races to show on the BBC. And they’re trying to make it sound good. Pfft. Waste of time. Why didn’t they just sell all the rights to another terrestrial channel? Especially since they’re not going to do it properly.

  19. frood199 said on 25th November 2011, 16:52

    this is absolute rubbish though at least they got spa. the sport will lose an insane number of viewers through this. pubs won’t be showing the races (well, some will, but not if there’s football on – besides, it’s not a pub sort of sport) and casual fans will not be bothered.

    i’ve watched every single grand prix (minus at most, 3 or 4) since the beginning of 1995 and now i won’t be able to watch 50% of a whole season, including some of my favourite races like the Australian, Canadian, Italian and especially Japanses GPs.

    I sadly await further disappointment.

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 25th November 2011, 20:58

      “besides, it’s not a pub sort of sport” Now there’s a point that should be noted. I have watched 100s of F1 races, even when I was on holiday and only once in a pub/sports bar which was the worst viewing experience of the lot. Next season I will watch the BBC races and boycott the others, on principle I wont watch it on Sky.

  20. alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 25th November 2011, 16:58

    No Australia? Valencia but no Monza? No Canada OR Japan? No India? What a joke :-(

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