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

  1. Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 25th November 2011, 17:10

    And still no confirmation of what will be available on iPlayer….

  2. Kamui Fan (@kamui-fan) said on 25th November 2011, 17:11

    Canada and Japan on Sky…. NOOOOOOO!!!!
    cant see KAMUI at his grand prix for free…sob

  3. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 25th November 2011, 17:12

    Take half the current F1 races and you’ll always get some boring tracks. I wonder what time the Montreal and Austin highlights will be on?

    More concerned now about a) who’s commentating on BBC, and b) Sky grabbing exclusive rights to more and more races each year until they have them all (this happened to cricket, and European Cups for rugby and football)

    Decent commentators can make or break the show, and I’m hoping BBC either share the rumoured Sky commentators (both from BBC: one from TV, one from radio), or use some combination of John Watson, Coulthard and Anthony Davidson.

  4. jw393 (@) said on 25th November 2011, 17:18

    BBC have got Valencia. Thank god for that…

    Honestly I’m almost in tears, just gets worse and worse. For F1 and the fans.

  5. No India??? Clearly the most exciting of the new races!! Why choose Korea???

  6. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 25th November 2011, 17:29

    Oh God, typical. Those choices are awful. The worst races in my opinion, Spain, Europe, Singapore, Korea and Abu Dhabi are all on the BBC great! Glad they didn’t give us a proper kick in the teeth by giving us Bahrain.

  7. Dimitris 1395 (@) said on 25th November 2011, 17:29

    No Montreal, Monza and Suzuka? The selection is plain rubbish. We’ll be bored with Valencia and Singapore once again.
    At least Spa is in…

  8. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 25th November 2011, 17:33

    ROFLMAO why in hell did BBC choose Valencia?!?

  9. Andrew Hall said on 25th November 2011, 17:33

    Sky must have so much money if they can afford to reimburse the teams for all the money they are going to lose in sponsorship next year. Then again, people like me that can’t/won’t afford Sky are maybe not the target market as we have less money to buy the brands being advertised anyway. The facts are, less races on the BBC means less overall viewers, some will get Sky obviously, but a lot won’t, and with only half the races being available, interest for a lot of casual viewers will wane considerably. As for myself, as much as I love F1, if I can’t watch all the races, I may find myself losing interest too… a sad time indeed. Watched F1 with my dad since I was 5 yrs old :o(

    • CeeVee (@ceevee) said on 25th November 2011, 18:46

      and a lot of tech-savvy pensioners like myself who can’t afford Sky will be watching live streams on the web.
      I subscribed to Bernie’s dedicated F1 channel some years ago, I can’t remember if it lasted one season or two before he shut it down because it couldn’t get enough subscribers!!!!!

  10. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 25th November 2011, 17:38

    Who’s watching Bahrain? Not only is it renowned as one of the most boring races on the Calendar but its only on Sky!!!

  11. Tristan Cliffe (@tristancliffe) said on 25th November 2011, 17:39

    There is no way on this planet I’ll give money to Sky. I’d rather watch a low resolution choppy online stream (like most LeMans streams!) than get Sky.

    I wonder if the viewing figures next year will give the BBC hope.

    • The BBC will lose many viewers too…

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 26th November 2011, 0:02

      I’d rather watch a low resolution choppy online stream (like most LeMans streams!) than get Sky.

      So will another couple of million people or so. The so called “choppy” is going to become a still picture with 10 min moving frames. Good luck with that.

  12. I wonder how the BBC’s deal works with regard to choosing races.

    When the initial announcement was made the BBC said they would always show Monaco, Britain and season finale.

    I assume that after that BBC and Sky took it turns to divide the remaining races between them in the same way you often picked teams when at school.

    The things I am uncertain of are if there is condition that the gap between the races the BBC doesn’t show cannot be more than so many races, if you look at the schedule the biggest gap is two races in a row which are Sky exclusives.

    Also apart from the races the BBC will show every year do they have to alternate so that if a race is not picked in 2012, in 2013 it will get priority over a race which was shown in 2012.

    If these had to be taken into consideration you could understand why the races the BBC will show are a mixed bag and wouldn’t be any fan’s pick of the ten races they would choose to see.

  13. taurus (@taurus) said on 25th November 2011, 17:44

    Safe to say I wont be watching a single minute of next year on the BBC. Appalling choices (that is, if they had a choice). I couldn’t care less about their ‘award winning coverage’, the only thing I tune in for is the racing and Brundle’s gridwalk. Hopefully he’s going to Sky too.

  14. AlanF1 (@alanf1) said on 25th November 2011, 17:48

    If Sky deny the option of live coverage to Virgin Media as well as Freeview customers, my MP will be asked to take that up with the competition commission.

    On the BBC coverage, their constant bleating about money saving when this deal was first announced is made even more ridiculous with the announcement that they will send their own contingent to every race,including the non-live ones. Their lunacy knows no bounds…

  15. Antranik (@antranik) said on 25th November 2011, 17:50

    This is one of the dumbest deals ever… One channel shows half and other channel shows other half.. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. I genuinely feel bad for everybody in Britain who will miss 50% of the races..

    • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 25th November 2011, 19:12

      You mean miss 50% of the race live

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 26th November 2011, 0:07

      One channel shows half and other channel shows other half.

      No, one channel will show all of them and the other channel will show half of them. I think BBC still got a pretty good deal. But I think Sky will phase them out in time to come, or force them to pay lots.

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 8:47

      I think the real practical alternative to this deal was that BBC got NONE of them, and Sky got all of THEM.

      The fact that the BBC are covering ANY of them is a good deal for them.

      • Adrian J (@adrian-j) said on 26th November 2011, 10:08

        No it’s not.

        The real practical alternative was that Channel 4 got the contract and showed ALL the races on free-to-air…

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 12:13

          You’re missing the point…. the BBC already owned the rights but needed to get out of the contract…

          So the only option for them was to sell the whole package – and the only non-advert buyer in town was Sky… that the BBC negotiated to retain some rights was the only option available to them.

          • Estesark (@estesark) said on 26th November 2011, 20:23

            They had another option: fulfil the remaining year of their contract as it stood, and then let other broadcasters fight it out for the contract.

  16. d3cpo (@d3cpo) said on 25th November 2011, 17:57

    In Canada we get the races on TSN who carries the BBC feed. Now with the changes coming next year are we also only going to get to see the BBC races and not have an option to purchase a package to get the sky races????

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th November 2011, 18:21

      It depends on the exact nature of the deal. if the BBC are still the main holders of the rights, but “renting” them out to Sky, Canada should be unaffected. If it’s Sky, then some new negotiations will probably take place. Either way I don’t think you’ll be losing races.

  17. matt90 (@matt90) said on 25th November 2011, 17:58

    Not having the season-opener on the BBC will surely lose a lot of casual viewers whose first chance of watching a race will be round 3- I can imagine that putting people off.

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 25th November 2011, 19:18

      That is probably the clearest indication that they were all drunk when that deal was done. It’s like some idiot came up with a strategy to kick start the Sky coverage but had no idea of what they were really doing. In my view when, you miss the first race, the interest to follow the rest of the season diminishes drastically. If you miss the first race of 2 seasons in a row then you become a casual observer at best. In a world of instant access and choice
      this looks like commercial suicide.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 26th November 2011, 0:11

      That is the idea. The best way for Sky to build publicity is to provide sole live-TV coverage of the season opener.

  18. Grammo (@grammo) said on 25th November 2011, 17:58

    “The fans are the most important people in F1” What a load of…
    Spa makes €5m loss, yer we know why! and will probably become an every second year event.

    Yours truly
    Fed Up

  19. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 25th November 2011, 18:08

    For those who want things easily filtered ;)

    3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit April 13-15th BBC/Sky
    5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya May 11-13th BBC/Sky
    6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo May 24-27th BBC/Sky
    8 European Grand Prix Valencia June 22nd-24th BBC/Sky
    9 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 6-8th BBC/Sky
    12 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 31st-September 2nd BBC/Sky
    14 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay September 21st-23rd BBC/Sky
    16 Korean Grand Prix Korean International Circuit October 12-14th BBC/Sky
    18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 2nd-4th BBC/Sky
    20 Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 23rd-25th BBC/Sky

    China
    Spain
    Monaco
    Valencia
    Britain
    Spa
    Singapore
    Korea
    Abu Dhabi
    Brazil

  20. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 25th November 2011, 18:09

    One thing I do hope with the BBC coverage is that the delayed highlights are shown on BBC’s main channels and not purely on the Red Button.

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