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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

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

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

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

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

    ROFLMAO why in hell did BBC choose Valencia?!?

  14. 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!!!!!

  15. 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!!!

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