Start, Melbourne, 2011

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

2012 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. 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.

    1. 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…

      1. 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

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

        2. 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.

    2. 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.

      1. 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…

        1. 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.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. “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.

  3. 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 :-)

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

    1. Isn’t China the highest rated race this year?

  5. 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.

    1. “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.

      1. 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 ;)

        1. 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.

      2. @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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

  6. What time do we get to see Montreal then? Thats quite a late race, especially this year! Are we going to have to be watching it at midnight?

    I have to say, I bloody hate highlights though. As much as I like Jake and the way they present it, I really hope they keep that to a minimum so we can actually watch 90 mins of race, rather than half an hour of race and and hour of Jake taking the mick out of EJ’s shirt. If it was a full race reply I wouldnt mind so much, but I bloody hate highlights!

    1. I can only regurgitate what @Mark-McCubbin has said. Shame I forgot to put it in my comment, but there’s one big thing about sport which a lot of people who doesn’t follow it fails to understand: all sporting events have to be watched LIVE.

  7. I’ve been following F1 since 1967 and totally gutted about coverage for next season. I’ve even managed to watch the races live wherever in the world i’ve been on holiday, so to not see it here at home is sad. Not all of us can afford Sky so I will have to find another way of watching it live

    1. Same here, I always managed to find a place to watch it. But I think it’s time to let go a bit for a season and see if they come to their senses. If they dont, they dont deserve a loyal fanbase.

    2. If you’ve been following F1 since 1967 you’ll know that the F1 coverage you’ll get now… even from the BBC will be better than you used to get 30+ years ago.

      I remember in the 70s and even early 80s that F1 coverage was hard to come by and live coverage was unusual. Can anyone recall when the BBC started covering all the races live because I suspect it was not as long ago as people assume ?

  8. Whats happing about qualifying is the beeb going to be showing that andwhat about pratice

    1. as far as I know Sky will show everything live covering even more than what BBC ever did.

    2. The BBC will show practice (online) and qualifying for their 10 races.

  9. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND I’M SURE I speak on behalf of all my fellow hardcore F1 Fans!!!
    That greedy slimy little Bernie Ecclestone needs to have his head put in a vice and have it crushed slowly until his death!! I’ve followed F1 since 2001 (I’m 17) and feel deeply saddened by this decision. Man.. I feel sick.

    1. You shouldn’t allow yourself to get so upset that you have to stoop to insults. Think what you can do as a petrolhead with the money that Sky are looking for and the time you will have on your hands. You can invest in a pc racing sim and go racing yourself, 24-7 instead.

    2. You don’t speak for everyone, I would LOVE to have the SKY deal in Australia, it sounds awesome, the price is not cheap but affordable to 99% of Western world, unless you are an unfortunate already living beyond your means.

  10. *gets ranting hat on*

    Sky claims that creating a new channel will give even more value to Sky customers.

    …It will give even more value to Sky customers and create another reason for others to consider pay TV.

    There’s a couple of things I find a bit odd about this…

    1) What, if any, extra coverage will Sky viewers (of which I am not one of, will NOT be one of, or ever intend to be in the future as long as I have to pay for it) get as a result? Last time I checked, there’s only 20 races (if USA/Bahrain/Korea etc. goes ahead), so what will it be used for the rest of the season and year in that case.

    2) Why on Earth would I want to consider paying to watch TV when I can stream it on the internet?

    Sky Sports F1 HD viewers can also follow the action wherever they are with all live coverage on Sky Go, through online, mobile or tablet devices, at no extra charge.

    If you’re a big enough F1 fan, you’ll know how to how to keep up with live action for practise, quali and race anyway. There’s no need for a dummied simplified version, which casual fans will not use anyhow.

    EXTRA LIVE CONTENT: Through Sky’s interactive service, fans can follow the action through on-board cameras, go behind the scenes with the teams in the pits, and follow race data, to take them further inside the sport.

    Extra live content? From the looks of it, that’s the exact same thing that the BBC currently provide. Where’s the extra bit?

    You will need a Sky HD subscription to receive the F1 channel

    How much is Sky HD or the Sky Sports Package? And does that mean F1 will be shown on SD channels or can you only watch F1 on the F1 HD channel? It’s all very confusing and unclear. And for those without either package, it seems you’ll need to upgrade.

    According to what Keith’s said, it will cost me (a student, struggling to get by as is at the moment) £363, which, in my view, and many other fan’s views, is exactly £363 more than it should cost.

    I was livid when I first heard of the deal, and I still am. If anything, I’m probably more *insert relevant expletive here* than I was to begin with. Both the BBC and Sky have played down this whole charade, and it seems the rest of the media is beginning to sway their side. The true fans know what they are talking about at least.

    P.S. I WILL be watching Formula 1 in 2012. No, not on Sky, but on some feed deep on the internet somewhere.

  11. Occupy F1 is born.

  12. I looked for Canada first. Being that evening race in the UK that’s seems to always have a great race. Disappointed it’s not there.

  13. I already know where the good SKY feeds are kept at present. Thing is, FOM must be the most dedicated company I know in taking down feeds faster than you can say Afghanistan backwards. It’ll be interesting to see how long those feeds last…

  14. There are several glaring omissions that I’m surprised that some teams are putting up with. For a start Monza, come on Ferrari, the Tifosi in Britian are being screwed unless they subscribe to Sky. Your exposure will be drastically reduced and with the level of clout you have dont be surprised if some of the blame is directed towards you. This could hurt you more than any other single entity.

    McLaren, how can you continue to say that fans are important when in one move a large section of them in “the Home of Motorsport” are disenfranchised and prevented from watching the sport that they have given unbending loyalty to for years. To all those who supported YOU in the FOTA vs MAX war, this is a huge slap in the face. No wonder Bernie says there is no point in FOTA. That he even said is disgrace. That you let him get away with it is even worse. BUT, that he is shown to be right by your inaction in this issue, is the worst of all.

    Red Bull, you are supposed to be about freedom, fairplay and fun but without the freedom to watch your favourite sport, there is no fun and there is nothing fair about this deal.

    Williams, Frank, please talk some sense into them.

    Why are F1 drivers being so quiet in all this.

    Races should be watched live other than exceptional circumstances such as nuclear war or the end of time. Replays do not have the same impact.
    All commentries and commentators and post race roundups and throwing people into swimming pools etc are only bits of flim flam that have no real attraction when removed from the live experience and the same goes for replays.

    The reality is that F1 will be less accessable to fans next season ans less people will be watching. How in the hell is that better?

  15. I’m tempted to pay for Sky+HD at £34.75p/m. On the other hand, I could spend the money on going to see some national racing. I could go to most rounds of the BTCC for the same amount and to be honest I prefer that option.

  16. Why can’t the BBC show Canada instead of China.

  17. if canada and USA aren’t on until 5 or 6pm, what time will the highlights be on the Beeb?

    1. Good point.
      and what about a rain delay? Well I know it was quite unique this year, but if that happens we could find highlights are at very early hours of the morning.

  18. Some info from the BBC Website

    “Extended highlights (90 mins) on BBC One and BBC One HD, 1700 for European time zone races and (120 mins) 1400 for early morning races

    Qualifying: Extended highlights (75 mins) BBC One and BBC One HD, Saturdays at 1730 for European time zone races and 1300 for early morning races

    (Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying and highlights will be on BBC Two and BBC HD)”

    More or less what Mr C has said

  19. We’ve all heard the phrase: Be careful what you wish for.

    Well, to all those fans who love the BBC so much and wanted F1 to remain on the BBC: You got your wish.

    To all those who said they can’t stand adverts: You got your wish.

    To all those who said ‘the BBC is the home of F1’: You got your wish.

    And now you have exactly what you wished for: Crummy, pre-ITV, highlights only race coverage. Well done all those who didn’t want it to go back to a commercial station.

    As I said before, be careful what you wish for.

    1. I think most people would rather have all the races on an advertising-supported free-to-air channel than half of them on the BBC and half requiring a very expensive subscription.

      Nobody wished for this. And since when did FOM take fans’ wishes into consideration?

  20. I don’t think I will be affeted by BBC will miss the season opener, but they have included Spain,Valencia,& Abu Dhabi, Korea?
    Missing Italy,CANADA, Hungary won’t help them to compete with them.

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