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. I will be watching half the races on an European Sat Dish , the commentary on 5live .
    No way I’m giving SKY a penny.

  2. Does anyone know how this will affect the coverage in Australia?

    1. I’m just gutted that my VPN to iPlayer won’t work half the time. It’s been so great to be able to cut over to BBC coverage during ad-breaks or when Darrel Beatie starts droning on about motorbikes.

      That and I assume I won’t be able to watch FP1, FP2 and FP3 through iPlayer either. One HD has all the rights to all the practice sessions and the online rights but doesn’t show them, preferring Nascrap repeats. /rant

  3. Just unexpectedly heard you on 5Live Keith! Thanks for being honest with the comments at the end of the interview, think you summed it up very well.

    I think if he BBC had the opener (not least because Melbourne is always a good race) instead of Valencia or similar, then the list would probably be about ok. It feels like they’re one race short of what would be ‘satisfactory’ for us fans, especially as they did the deal one year before their contract expired.

    1. Which 5Live programme was Keith on, @john-h?

      1. I did a brief interview this morning at around five to eight – I should be on again tomorrow morning around the same time, with Jody Scheckter apparently.

        1. Excellent – I’ll try to find the morning’s programme on the iPlayer, and listen out for you tomorrow!

          1. In case anyone else is interested:


            The F1 discussion starts at 1:56.44, with Keith introduced shortly afterwards.

        2. Scratch that – just had a call with them, now not on! That’s why I tend not to give much advance warning with these things, they do change stuff around at the last minute sometimes.

  4. I am tired of feeling upset about this. One thing is certain never did and will never pay sky to watch sports. Don’t want to take part in something that only foments greed.

  5. Ok, so here’s the thing.

    Would I subscribe to Sky just to watch F1? Yes actually, I would. Can I afford to? No. Could I convince my girlfriend that we need to pay out for Sky? No. Even if I could, can I have a Sky dish put on the side of the (listed) building my flat is in? No.

    I’m holding out hope that, either the BBC Highlights programs will be pretty good and acceptable, or that they are able to put the full race on iPlayer later on that day.

    Otherwise I might seriously consider looking into the Sky Go route, as I would only need to pay for the months with races in them and could probably just about afford that…plus it looks like it’s pay-as-you-go so I wouldn’t be signing up to a 12 month commitment or anything.

    Or if the Sky F1 channel is made available to Virgin Media customers then I might look at switching our broadband across to them as well and going that route…depending on cost…

  6. I live in Australia but grew up in Britain where I watched F1 since the mid eighties. F1 coverage in the UK has grown better and better in quality over the years, even on ITV. I have always been jealous of this while living in Oz where they have ads, a rubbish studio team (who have to lead in and out of the ad breaks I think this is to satisfy local content regulations).
    Anyway I digress. If costs really are the issue for the Beeb then lose the gravy train that Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan, Andrew Benson, Lee Mckenzie and the other woman who appears on the BBC website but seems to contribute nothing else are riding on. Cut down the coverage to qualy and the race and lose all the pointless interactive red button rubbish which savvy fans access elsewhere any way. If the BBC wants to base it’s decision making on financial impreatives rather than serving a massive section of it’s viewer ratings, then it’s time it was made into a self funding commercial entity. The BBC and Bernie have in my opinion been completely dishonest about this deal and the reasons for it, the Beeb wants rid of the obligation of F1 being live during it’s prime Sunday schedules- no more upset Antiques Roadshow fans, especially during the olympics. And Bernie knows that revenue wise, the future of F1 globally is a user pays model, so why should the UK be any different. If I lived in the UK I would write to my MP insisting that the compulsory license fee be abolished and I would subscribe to Sky as at least their motives are transparent – offer a good product at a fee to people who want it.

    1. I’d recommend a VPN, which I’ve been using all season, but you’ll only get half the races next year.

      I would gladly pay to cut One HD out of the loop and get FP1, FP2, FP3 and all the content we miss out on. Coverage is crap in Australia.

      1. Not Sure if i can ask here, but what VPN would you recommend?

  7. I need to say – The deal for existing SKY customers is excellent.. It will probably disappear next year though.

  8. Interesting blog article today on the Daily Telegraph site:

    Explains how the races were picked.

  9. Given that the Australian race is now no longer on free to air in what I presume was the largest FTA market in Europe, can the Australian race now start at a sensible time of day?

  10. Does anyone know when the Italian GP was last not broadcast on UK terrestrial TV?

  11. A decent selection, all things considered. Remember, this is a commercial outlet for Sky, why would they allow the BBC to have 10 absolute fan favourites? It just reduces the amount of casual viewers they could otherwise persuade to invest in Sky.

    However, i’m not out of the woods yet. Still waiting on how this works for Virgin Media customers.

  12. Two questions folks –

    1) Will the BBC still be showing all the practice sessions or will those also correlate with the channel showing the race for that weekend?

    2) And secondly, will Virgin TV subscribers also get this new dedicated F1 channel that sky is setting up?

  13. i’ve just been on to SKY about the whole thing and the advisors told me that NONE of the races, practice or qualifying is available for free. I have kept a transcript of my conversation as I was so horrified at the hard-sell. Just thought I’d stick that in…

  14. I forgot to add blame bernie!!!

  15. I would guess that the BBC had very little say in the races they will cover.

    SKY are showing them all anyway, so basically this years BBC coverage is no more than an attempt to ‘convert’ people to the way of SKY.

    I’m sure SKY could have taken the coverage over completely, removing the BBC alltogether, but some people may have worried that sponsors etc will panic about the loss of the audience.

    Make no bones about it, next season will be the last one with live coverage on terrestrial tv for us in the UK. I also suspect it will not be that difficult for sky to get the live streams shut down.

    Overall, do you sell out to sky, or make a stand?

  16. What the hell do the bbc do with the licence fee. I only every watch bbc for F1. I wont be paying for sky sports as i cant justify it. I dont watch football being a girl but have always watched F1 since being small. Tyne tees gives you xfactor, im a celeb, downton. There is nothing on the bbc worth watching and i am really annoyed to be paying a licence fee for nothing.

  17. There are plenty of alternative methods to obtaining high quality HD F1 footage that I believe true fans without the means to buy SKY can figure out.

    How else would I be able to watch brundle say something handles like a cross-channel ferry when I live in the US? :D

    If it were available, I would watch Sky over our ESPN coverage, even though ESPN gets free to air coverage of all races.

  18. I’ve heard that all races will be shown on a German free to air satellite channel that can be picked up in the UK, I’m looking into that as I outright refuse to line the pockets of either Murdoch or Ecclestone.

    1. darren Check your messages for a suggestion.;)

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