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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Pingguest said on 25th November 2011, 18:13

    The more is revealed about next year’s coverage, the more I think it’s the beginning of Formula 1’s end in Britain. In this economic crisis it can’t be expected people will subscribe to Sky for ten races only.

    • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 26th November 2011, 0:14

      Well it is all turning into greedy business. You can thank Bernie for that. F1 is only for the rich it seems. The poor never even go to watch the races so Bernie doesn’t really care about them hahaha…

      • F1’s been a greedy business for decades, the only reason it’s this obvious is because most free capital is now in area’s outside of Europe. It’s certainly not a cultural choice we’ve seen an Asian Grand Prixs pop up in each of the past four seasons. South America is next, it is that simple.

        I’m from the Netherlands and truth be told I think sports have no place on public television, especially those popular enough to stand on their own feet. It does surprise me from a British point of view, considering most of the intellectual property, facilities and engineers are over there. It’s a huge testament to the engineering capabilities of the country and something that undoubtedly inspires many, of which many will end up working in different branches of technology.

        With record numbers watching and a huge focus on technical aspects, this is something any country should be jealous about. Too bad you’re going to get a watered down version to only those who can afford it, rather than for all that care.

        If only that argument was persuasive enough, I’d still have full BBC coverage here in Holland next year as well, but I really shouldn’t be complaining. Cheers for three awesome years of free F1, as I don’t see the BBC carrying this on for much longer. :P

        • That graphic smiley is horribly out of place in that context, sorry about that.

        • Morpheus (@morpheus) said on 26th November 2011, 14:03

          Public TV for which we pay a pretty hefty sum every year. Don’t forget about that.

          I wouldn’t complain if it was free but I am because I am already paying for it and I think we should have some saying over what they show. But we’re just people, we can’t do anything against billionaires like the money grabbing w***e Bernard Charles “Bernie” Ecclestone.

    • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 8:50

      Everyone I know who is interested in F1 is ALREADY a Sky Sports subscriber or Sky+HD subscriber… so it makes no difference to those people.

      I understand its different for those who don’t have Sky but I personally don’t know anyone interested in F1 who falls into that category.

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

        Then you know a small select group of people. I don’t know ANYONE (F1 fan or not) who has Sky Sports or Sky+HD…

        • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 12:15

          It would be interesting to see some stats on that… eg what proportion of F1 viewers already have Sky Sports or Sky+HD… I would imagine that BBC and Sky discussed exactly that because that info would be needed to work out the valuation.

      • Mark (@marlarkey) said on 26th November 2011, 12:17

        And also I would imagine that Sky intend to try to entice those people who Sky Sports subscribers (to watch footbal/rugby/cricket/etc) into watching F1…

        So another interesting stat would be – what proportion of existing Sky Sports subscribers watch F1 now… but would in future.

        All of this is precisely the kind of modelling that BBC and Sky would do to determine the value to Sky of the deal.

      • Of the people I know that watch F1, only two have sky. And where I live we cannot get sky, too many tall trees too close. So I live in hope that Virgin, which I have min TV package, get the F1 channel.
        If they don’t then it’s start finding streams that work or move house.

  12. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 25th November 2011, 18:20

    Great deal for existing Sky Sports and Sky HD customers.
    Better than expected deal for standard Sky customers.
    Massive slap in the face for non-Sky customers.

    Totally didn’t see that coming.

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 25th November 2011, 19:31

      “Massive slap in the face for non-Sky customers.” and
      British fans and the British motorsport industry and fairness and commonsense.
      I still find it difficult to understand how your government can allow a product, which is what the BBC coverage is, that was developed with your taxpayers money to be sold on, denying those same taxpayers of the product their money created.
      We have an expression in Ireland called GUBU. It stands for Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizzare and Unprecedented. It describes the situation perfectly.

  13. jamman960 (@jamman960) said on 25th November 2011, 18:40

    Not as bad as I thought it’d be… figured sky would have at least 1 race to themselves every month.

    Hopefully they allow customers to add/remove packs – should only need the HD pack for March, April, June, July, September, October, November :-)

  14. UKFan (@) said on 25th November 2011, 19:02

    BBC got the boring races but the British GP and SPA and some might argue Monaco.

  15. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 25th November 2011, 19:10

    Those opposed to the Sky F1 deal seem to be banging the same drum. We know that you’re not favourable of the deal – that much has been evident since day one.

    But there’s no reason to constantly but a negative spin on things. Maybe, instead of picking Sky’s plans apart we should be more grateful.

    F1 will have it’s own channel, with regular magazine programmes, and more programming than ever before. Instead of thinking “that’s stupid, how can they possibly fill the time”, be thankful that you’ll be getting more F1!

    Of course, that’s only really applicable if you have Sky or will be buying Sky.

    If your not, then you don’t really have much to shout about regarding their programming. We know you don’t like the deal. We know you won’t be getting Sky. There’s no need to drag you heels at every piece of news.

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 25th November 2011, 19:57

      “Those opposed to the Sky F1 deal seem to be banging the same drum. We know that you’re not favourable of the deal – that much has been evident since day one. ”
      But you are not listening. People cant change the picture just to make it more interesting for those who dont care or aren’t interested.
      In my view if you are one of the above then you should let those who do care and object to it get on with it. If you have a problem with people expressing their democratic right to complain about things you should review your own approach to this matter.
      Personally I dont live in the UK but I was considering boycotting the Sky races in support of those fans who wont be able to see them because of monetry or location restrictions. Having read several dismissive comments like the above I am left with no choice other than support a boycott of those races. If they cant understand the importance of showing the first race to everyone, how can they be relied on to do anything with a modicum of commonsense or decency. It raise far to many questions and upsets too many people during the bigest financial crisis we have seen in our lifetime. It is so ridiculous that I cant understand why there are people who think its ok. F1 thinks it is bigger than it’s fans and is ignoring a glaring reality. I cant wait for next season, just to see how this plays out.

      • Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 26th November 2011, 0:18

        I was considering boycotting the Sky races in support of those fans

        Mate, you ain’t gonna boycott anything. You’ll be the first lining up ready to watch on the new Sky channel haha. We all know it, Sky knows it. Even if you do boycott for a while, none will notice or care ;)

        • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 26th November 2011, 1:51

          Well thats what they are banking on but I wont be watching it on sky. As for the impact on viewing,that remains to be seen. I believe freeview in the UK was an integral part of the growth of the F1 brand and shouldnt be thrown away for thirty pieces of silver.

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 26th November 2011, 11:18

        @Bobdredds

        This isn’t about democracy, I’m simply making the point that there’s no point dragging your feet at every opportunity if you have no intention of getting Sky.

        You knew BBC would only screen 10 races live. Now they’ve announced the specific races, it seems it’s not good enough. At the end of the day, if they chose the Australian GP instead of the British or Belgian they’d be loads more complaints.

        Let’s start living in the real world. The BBC couldn’t afford F1 anymore. That’s a sad fact. No amount of complaining and “boycotting” is going to change that.

        • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 26th November 2011, 12:46

          It may not be about democracy but it is about freedom of speech. Having been a fan of F1 since the 60’s I think I’m entitled to complain about these developments if I’m not happy. Just because there was a lull in complaints about this doesn’t mean it was forgotten about. Common sense would realise that the off season was going to get heated in this matter. Some people dont give up so easily.:)
          What I cant understand is why people like you are upset if it doesnt affect you. If it bothers you dont read about it otherwise you are going to be very annoyed come next season.

        • David Smith said on 28th November 2011, 9:06

          No amount of complaining or boycotting will change that – “Wake up and smell the coffee” If Sky make no money from F1 then will they pay the vast sum of money for it no! If no one went to a grand prix to spectate due to high admission prices then sponsors would leave. Problem is its turned into a rich mans sport fed by richer people. We need to make it more accessable to the ‘average family’ by simply boycotting everything. Think about it a race with only a 100 or so fans, 500,00 watching it would have no appeal to sponsors! So the messsage is simple boycott boycott boycott.

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