Sky to show F1 races without adverts in 2012

2012 F1 season

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Start, Valencia, 2011

Sky has confirmed its F1 race coverage will be free of adverts when it begins in 2012.

A spokesperson told F1 Fanatic: “There won’t be any ad breaks. Every second of every race will be live and uninterrupted.

“It will be the only place to watch every race live.”

Sky’s plans are at an early stage having just announced the deal, and decisions are yet to be taken on who will be involved in its coverage.

While Sky has begun broadcasting some sports in 3D the spokesperson said it was “way too early to say” whether this could also be used for F1 – which has only made its debut in HD this year.

The spokesperson said the price of a Sky subcription would not increase before September 2012 and added: “We’ll give it the full Sky Sports treatment: it will be on Sky Sports News, Sky Sports dot com, across mobile and online.”

BBC/Sky F1 2012 deal

Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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235 comments on “Sky to show F1 races without adverts in 2012”

  1. Shame I can’t afford it.

    1. same, means absolutely nothing to me. They could do the greatest coverage ever, with no ad breaks, all the bells and whistles but for me and many other fans, the simple fact is, F1 has been taken away from us

      1. Unfortunately same for me, though I see this “no adds” as a marketing ploy by Sky and they will eventually phase in adverts then pay per view.

        1. There will be adds from 2013 season. Sky said no adds in 2012, that’s to pull people in from the BBC who don’t like adds.

          I cannot see the Beeb holding onto TV rights for long, and their presenters (at least the better ones) will jump-ship to Sky.

          1. shame loyal fans mean so little to the bbc.

            sky is going to be way overpriced and it already is. the majority of the schedual is made up of a game of S*** cricket being ‘played’ all day. not work £40 odd per month.

            sill not be tuning in again this year to show my disgust.

      2. People I know it sound a bit weird but if you have around 10 F1 fan in a city can’t you all share the 600 grand between you?

        I honestly feel sorry for you all.Hope you will make a life out of it.

        1. where did that figure come from? ratings for most races regularly top 6 million people. which would indicate that more than 10 people in a city watch it

          1. i think he meant that if you found 10 people, you could split the price and all go round to theirs to watch the race. However, practicalities would make this pretty difficult, eg. Early morning starts, People working etc etc.

          2. He means 600 quid subscription fee, not 600,000 people watching. Quid not grand.

          3. Also, most rooms do not comfortably seat 10 people, and even £60 a person for 10 races is too steep for a lot of them.

            In practise, you’d be looking to charge more like £1-2 a head per race, at which point your living room would need 30-60 people in it.

      3. I for one will not be buying Sky, full stop.
        So as a lifelong fan of F1 since Moss and Hawthorn were racing I will not be seeing all the races.

    2. Douglas 62500
      29th July 2011, 12:02

      and it would be even more of a shame if we could not see, or hear commentary from Brundle, Coulthard & EJ again….. such epic BBC F1 CREW.

      1. this is what I would miss the most

        Such a funny trio, and brundles grid walks with his love intrest from german TV

      2. This is what crushes me the most, the fact that this team will likely be split up and it will never be the same. :(

    3. I’m a die-hard fan. But I may be switching off now. I’d rather see ITV have it with ad-breaks. It somehow seems a bit pointless to watch only half a season.

      1. Agree – would be much better on ITV!

        How to destroy F1 in the UK.

        6 million fans sold out and outraged by The BBC, Bernie, FOTA and the sponsors of all the teams who will now be shunned. Their images leave a bitter taste.
        Why should anyone have to pay twice to watch the series!!? The BBC should withdraw and save the money all together, cause how can you pay so much for something that isn’t worth watching, judged by the people who did?

        Sold out!

    4. I’m not going to pay £500 or even £600 to Murdoch, just to watch ten races in a year. That’s ridiculous.

      1. We Want Turbos
        30th July 2011, 9:42

        Get Virgin Media add the sky sports package and Murdoch gets naff all extra!! As Virgin pay sky a substantial amount for Sky sport but to my understanding it’s not based per head. Also cheaper-no extra for HD and I’d rather give my money to Branson than Murdoch.

    5. Yep, totally irrelevent as i won’t be watching F1

    6. Still can’t believe we’re really talking about this. F1 on Sky. Oh the humanity!

    7. I am quite happy that the peasants have now been priced out of the market.

    8. ‘Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told BBC Sport: “It’s super for F1. It will mean a lot more coverage for the sport.
      “There’ll be highlights as well as live coverage on two different networks now, so we get the best of both worlds.”‘


      There was already full races and highlights- just because t is split over 2 networks does not mean there is ‘more.’ Is he a toddler- has he not grasped that 2 small piles of toys is the same as one large pile, they’re just in 2 different places- and one of those is locked in a cupboard most people can’t get in to.

    9. So many claims of people who can’t afford it and also that it will devastate viewing figures. As I understand it there are around 6m viewers watch a typical F1 race (in the UK) whilst Sky has over 10m subscribers. Obviously the 6m isn’t a subset of the 10m but I bet there’s a pretty large overlap. Thinking of my experience I can’t think of a single person at work or in my family who doesn’t have a Sky subscription and many (if not most) of those will have a sports package.

      Clearly some people will need to get a sky package (and will) and others may need to upgrade to include sports (and will). Most F1 fans will also be general sports fans so have a more than average chance of being a sports package subscriber anyway. My guess is most people who call themselves fanatics will install or upgrade.

      Viewing figures are more than likely going to be less, but I can’t see he devastation being talked about coming about.

      Is the cost really 60 pounds per year? I know when I had sky all I had to do was call them up once a year to say I wanted to end my subscription and they gave me a half price deal – assuming I do subscribe for next year I’ll work to get the best deal I can given I’ve got the equipment installed already anyway.

      Finally – saying you can’t afford it is almost certainly untrue for most on here, it’s a matter of choice and you may reasonably decide to spend that money on something else. I don’t have an HDTV, surround sound, fast broadband or a fast car but I will probably choose to pay for Sky next year. I couldn’t afford all of those things at the same time but that doesn’t mean I can say honestly I can’t afford any of them individually.

      I will choose to pay for Sky and will watch F1 live on my 10 year old cathode-ray tube because that’s the set of choices I make.

      1. That is ridiculous. I for one have none of the things you say you will have instead of Sky and it still isn’t close to being an option financially. This is the case for a lot of people – remember that there are over 2 million unemployed people in the UK (and between 10000 and 20000 vacancies, so that’s not going to sort itself quickly) plus the large number of people reliant on other benefits.

        A lot of other people are on low-paid jobs, and the Sky deal works out at over a week’s wages even for someone on the average wage. Plus some people above average in wage will be in protected planning permission areas or houses where dishes (or extra dishes) cannot be fitted for various reasons.

        For a lot of people, not going to Sky next year isn’t a choice but a necessity.

      2. Is the cost really 60 pounds per year?

        No it’s far more than that – you’ve missed a zero off the end and then some.

        If you haven’t got Sky and want to continue watching F1 live and in HD next year, 12 months will cost you £610.

        Details here: So much for keeping F1 free-to-air

  2. Well at least that’s one bit of good news – the streams I watch won’t have adverts!

    1. Yeah that was worrying me as well!

    2. Agreed. Now just need to hope there are good quality streams somewhere.

      The fact that BBC show half the races means the Sky subscription is an even bigger waste of money. Essentially you’ll be paying £600 to watch 10 Grand Prix. THAT’S £60 PER RACE!

      Save the £600, stream the 10 Grand Prix you won’t see on BBC and treat yourself to an F1 holiday in the process. Me and Katy managed to go to Germany for the Grand Prix for less than £600 last year.

      1. What about qualifying and practice? What about pre-race build up and post race analysis? All ruined by 5 minute advert breaks at every opportunity no doubt.

        Also, possible return for James Allen? Don’t see why the existing team couldn’t just do both Sky and BBC coverage but wouldn’t expect that to happen.

        1. JA tweeted that he wasn’t interested in TV anymore

        2. Sky will have John Watson surely? He’s already been on Sky Sports talking about what a great decision it is.

          I think it’ll be him and Ben Edwards.

          1. Nooooooooo! Please no! JW ruined the A1 GP coverage as far as this household was concerned! Ben Edwards was OK but not really comparable with the Brundle / Coulthard pairing.

      2. so presumably the races that the bbc will drop will be the non european GPs. lets all go to brazil!

    3. Can you tell me how I can watch a stream of it. I have no intention of paying for Sky Sports as I am only interested in F1.

      1. haha Itchyes!!!! I’d rather not say to much about that online as I don’t want them streams taken away!!

        So Sky’s getting of the TV rights isn’t just going to suck its also going to make most of F1fanitics fan base break the law! hah

        1. Damn right. The cost of Sky Sports is absolutely insane.
          There are several sites which stream Sky Sports 24/7. It would be foolish to name any here, but as always Google is your friend…

    4. Streaming wouldn’t be used if the races were shown for free. Now I expect a peak in those.

      1. Boy, I feel like a dinossaur..but, could somebody tell what a stream is?

        1. Just means watching it over the internet.

          It’s kinda useful to keep quite about where to go for streams to prevent potential action being taken to stop them. However, if you get on F1FANATIC’s live chat people might help you out.

  3. Well at least that is something. Still not going to be watching F1 anymore though. I can’t believe how devastated I feel today….. I feel like someones died!

    1. And so starts the death of F1 in the UK.

      1. Damon Hill must be absolutely livid.

        This will mean that Silverstone gets even more fans going to watch, but that’s current fans. Where will F1 get new fans from? Nowhere.

        1. It would do if Silverstone wasn’t selling out already. Maybe the ones who can’t get Silverstone tickets can save Spa…

        2. Think this is a bit strong. Whilst I disagreed with the ECB’s decision to take cricket onto Sky the Test matches I go to still seem to be sold out.

  4. Get ready for lots of commercialisation of the coverage though, a la NASCAR. Even if they don’t go for full advertising breaks, they’ll still find a way of squeezing as many adverts and logos and sponsor’s names into the coverage as they possibly can.

    1. I can just imagine a British version of this:

      1. Oh good grief! I had forgotten how bad those were when broadcast on Fox News!!


        I almost expect these to be Michael Bay productions and for the cars to transform into giant ROBOTS!!

      2. Icthyes that is hilarious, I’ve never seen it before. Brilliant.

      3. Well that’s cheered me up! :D

      4. I didn’t know there was a team called Ronoo

      5. Welcome to American style telvision :|

        And we have to live with it…

        1. I thought it was a joke video! Its real???

          Oh my god….. Are you…. Are you ok?

      6. Wow, I would hate to have to watch this each race.

      7. roasted_ground
        29th July 2011, 20:59

        This is amazing!! I really like this…every thing seems much more EPIC and INTENSIFIED..I…THINK….I…WILL…SPEAK…LIKE…THIS!!

        OR NOT

      8. OMG …… Tell me it is a joke. I had problems watching the whole stream through the tears of laughter in my eyes

    2. More logos on the cars and jump suits? More corporate sponsors mentioned in the driver interviews?… drivers grabbing that bottle of milk after race for their “got milk?” sponsorship? Is more even possible? To tell the truth, if the commercialization is limited to that sort of thing, why do we care?

      For me the most important thing is the uninterrupted coverage. In the US we are subjected to breaks every time the producer, who I swear is always watching a different race, thinks “oh look, ALO (or HAM) is closing in on his arch-rival, now would be a good time to go to commercial, so we can catch it on replay”

      1. In the uk, it is exactly this.

        1. Oh for heavens sake. So does having Football on Sky mean the death of that? No, if anything Sky have made it far more popular than ever before. With full commitment too F1 they could do the same.

          1. I have to agree with RIISE, it will not be the death of F1… If anything, it may be even better than on the BBC… No more Jake Humphries – that has to be a good thing…

          2. Football is the most popular sport in the UK. Jack up the price. people will still pay or go to pubs to watch it.

            F1 is a sport followed by diehards but with a lot of casual fans who watch it just because it’s on during a boring part of the weekend. Take that away from them and viewing figures will drop, leading the BBC to get rid of all their coverage, which would mean even less coverage and there you go.

          3. For the price of 1 month’s subscription to Sky Sports you can go and see a football match.

            You can also go to your local pub to watch Premier League matches.

            If football, supposedly the national passtime can only attract 1-2million viewers on Sky Sports, how do they think F1 will attract more?

            As for me, the best news I’ve had this morning is that someone I know will let me use their Sky Anytime login to watch the online stream (assuming there is one – which there surely has to be).

            I also thought that it wouldn’t be so bad if the BBC was allowed to have the full race available on iplayer straight after the race – at least that way you wouldn’t be spending half the day avoiding the news etc.

          4. Well the teams can look forward to not caring how many people watch their sport – Sky has 9 million total subscribers of which 3 million get Sky Sports so any talk about bringing F1 to a wider audience is just lies.

            And that hugely popular Football that isn’t actually watched by more than 1.5 million at a time on Sky. 8.5 Million watched the FA Cup final free to air and 14.5 MILLION watched the Champions league Final on ITV.

          5. It worked for football, partly due to it suddenly made home matches look cheap in comparison. It failed for every other sport Sky’s tried it on, but Sky keeps them simply because it makes a little extra profit for them. But F1’s so expensive that there would need to be a spectacularly high conversion rate from the BBC to Sky for it to break even, let alone make a profit.

            So if Sky can’t make a profit and most of the fans can’t see it, where does that leave F1? At least in other countries the pay TV people did their sums first.

  5. Im sure this will make everyone feel better

    1. Yeah, that’s instantly convinced me to add a couple hundred pounds to my yearly outlay.

  6. So it should be no ads, they’ll be getting enough money anyway

  7. I’m too much of a sucker for the sport not to watch it, I already have Sky (not sports). I don’t like the way this is going, especially for non-die hard fans… seems like they’ve got my by the short and curlies :-(

  8. Note the use of “in 2012”. Sky HAVE to at least match the BBC’s race coverage else they’ll have no viewers at all in the shared races. If they eventually get exclusive rights of all races they’ll stick the adverts in, don’t you worry.

    1. To be clear, there was no indication from them the situation will change after 2012.

    2. pretty much certain,.

    3. Maybe after 2012, Sky will put in adverts the same way they put in adverts for cricket.

      1. How is that, with the game in a small box in a corner, larger box with ad next to it or full screen behind?

        1. They show one quick advert every now and then. So maybe for F1, they will show an advert every ten minutes.

          1. For the cricket Sky show adverts whenever there is a break in play (between overs or after a wicket has been taken). There are no similar breaks in F1, which is how ITV got around the OFCOM requirement that adverts during sports events should be taken when there is a natural break in the action. If Sky wanted to show adverts during the F1 they’d just stick them in the middle of the race as ITV used to do.

          2. During a safety car period.

  9. of course they should!!!

  10. As a Sky Sports customer, this does console me a bit. However waking up to this news is terrible, I hope this is just a bad dream.

  11. I’m sorry, but everyone who has been whinging about this for the past four hours no longer has any cause for complaint. Here in Australia, we’ve been living with regular ad breaks for years. In fact, for as long as there has been Formula 1 on the television, we’ve had ad breaks to go with it. We also have delayed telecasts, and no coverage of practice or qualifying. Formula 1 might be going to pay-per-view in England, but you know what? The coverage will still be better than anything Australia has ever had.

    1. The thought of the coverage does disappoint me but 99.999999% of my annoyance is having to pay a fortune to watch a sport I love.

    2. Don’t even try to make out we have it worse than what Britain is now going to have to deal with.

      Yes we’ve always had ads but we also don’t have to pay A CENT to watch the broadcast, assuming we own a digital ready TV and if you don’t and can’t afford it then you have bigger problems than watching a car race every two weeks.

      You’re one of the ‘name’ commenters around here PM so I wouldn’t have thought I’d need to explain to you that this is the equivalent of F1 going to Foxtel on a $60 per fortnight pay per view basis. It sucks for the UK and if you think us having to watch Greg Rust makes up for it you’re sorely mistaken.

      And where on Earth do you get the idea that we don’t get qualifying or live telecasts? Do you not actually have access to ONE HD?

      1. Well said Lachie, I watch OneHD and I completely agree with you- I’d rather watch the OneHD coverage (which isn’t as bad as PM makes it out to be) than pay that much every fortnight.

      2. Great comment @Lachie.

        Prisoner Monkeys – there is absolutely no point complaining simply because you have to put up with adverts and we don’t. Those of us complaining about this are doing so because it’s going to cost £400-600 to watch the F1 season ‘properly’. I enjoy watching the odd practice session when I can, particularly FP3, we get the BBC iPlayer if anything is missed, the F1 Forum for analysis – all of this will be halved or possibly under the axe, but none of that has got anything to do with what you get or don’t get in Australia.

      3. if you don’t and can’t afford it then you have bigger problems than watching a car race every two weeks

        So I guess that means being a graduate student in his first year out of university on an award that pays considerably less than others in the same field (I have a Graduate Diploma in Education, but teachers with a Bachelor of Education get paid much more) is a serious problem.

        Do you not actually have access to ONE HD?

        No, I don’t. I usually watch races on the live feed when I can, but the application keeps crashing. Like in China, when it froze two laps before Hamilton passed Vettel.

    3. If this announcement does not effect you down under then why don’t you go and read something else while we discuss it? I don’t care how bad your coverage is and I’m guessing you don’t care about ours.

      The point is, you have coverage, as of next year we don’t. We have highlights.

      This will destroy the sport here.

    4. @PM:

      Rubbish. I’d much rather put up with commercial breaks than have to pay to watch it at all.

      Commercial breaks are flexible. My income and what I can afford to pay for my entertainment not so much.

    5. Coverage ain’t to bad here in Australia any more. Almost always live and they actually care about the sport and really try their best with the placement of the ad breaks. Much better then 7’s coverage of the V8’s for instance. I was fuming when the apparently “live” telecast of Bathurst finished half an hour later on TV then the actual race…

      I have to admit though, I’m actually quite worried about what’s going to happen with coverage here in Aus. As I’m sure you already know PM, Ten has lost the rights to the footy and I’m scared that after next year. They might just throw in the towel all together with the 24/7 sports channel. They are already showing less and less sport as it is, and are just filling the gaps with movies and over Americanised car shows (as much as I love Pimp my Ride :P. In all honesty I wouldn’t mind seeing a similar rights deal to that off the footy from next year.

      Where you are getting 3 games a week live on FTA and all 8 live on Foxtel. It’s your choice. Maybe have the race broadcasted live on FTA,in much the same way it is now. Then with Practice, Qualifying, and the race broadcasted on a more dedicated show on Foxtel. Hopefully ad free. Just as long as it doesn’t go to channel 7…

    6. and do you pay for this service in AUS like we do for the BBC in the UK??

    7. COTD. Because of everyone should get to see a perfect example of someone missing the bloody point.

    8. I’m sorry, but everyone who has been whinging about this for the past four hours no longer has any cause for complaint

      I’m sorry but people who can’t afford to watch some races at all have it worse off than people who can watch it but with ad breaks.

      I know that in the UK we’re insanely lucky with the amount of coverage we have and especially for free but now a lot of that is going. The fortunate fans will be paying ridiculous fees to see half of the races while plenty won’t be able to do that. I know we’ve had a good deal for years but saying that UK viewers have nothing to complain about isn’t entirely true.

      1. Thank you Steph. My thoughts exactly.
        At least you have full coverage in Australia, even with the adverts.

      2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        30th July 2011, 2:22

        I think you don’t quite realise just how lucky you have been in the UK, in Aussie they have it free to air as well but with ads, which was worse than you but is now better.

        However in little old NZ, we have NEVER had it free to air, i have always had to pay the equivalent of £47 each month to watch F1 as that is what the Sky sports package costs here, and add to this the fact that I can’t even watch 75% of the races or qualifying live as they are at midnight and £30 a month for full uninterrupted coverage at decent times doesn’t really sound to bad now does it?

    9. I’m sorry but someone who does not live in the affected area has no cause to stick his oar in to the discussion.

      Particularly when the oar is covered in a slime of antagonism, irrelevance and self importance.

      1. I wish I could have put it so succintly when replying to PM on another thread. I suspect he is more happy than anything else that the UK no longer has significantly better coverage than him.

  12. Please support petition for BBC F1

    License fee payers want free to air F1, and we should have been asked about the change or

    *Please* Sign it, tweet it, and pass it on!

    1. I’ve actually set up a petition on the website – it should be avaliable on August 8th. Then all it needs is 100,000 signatures and it will be debated in the house of commons :)

  13. If this means I could get an online stream from them for practice etc., I would still feel miffed.

    I had much rather that I could just watch it on a tv, but I anyway have my laptop present when watching F1, and right now, being outside of the UK, I can’t watch the FP’s on my tv anyway.

    Guess that’s what Adam Parr is referring to, and we talked about it earlier with newscorp being potentially interested too – F1 needs to do more with the new media and internet. And I do think that will have to mean for profit, or they can’t do it.

  14. a sad sad day. Been watching f1 since 1995, seemed like we were entering a golden age of f1 with coverage on the bbc and codemasters making the games. Can’t afford Sky like many others and will probably lose interest as a result. Bernie you have broken my heart and that of millions of uk f1 fans. Hoping FOTA can change things but i very much doubt it. Rest In Peace F1 x

    1. Bernie you have broken my heart and that of millions of uk f1 fans.

      Um, Bernie didn’t do this. The BBC elected not to renew their contract to broadcast all the races.

      1. This is not strictly true. The BBC contract runs until 2013, they have made an arrangement to dip out early, passing rights onto Sky.

        This could not be done without Bernies involvement.

      2. Bernie put the fee so high despite pointlessly high profits for him and CVC. If he was a fan of the sport as well as the rights holder, he would know that the BBC coverage is the best thing that has happened to F1 in years and would make it work.

      3. In that I think you are right. Bernie might share some blame for not being willing to reduce the FOM fee, but it was the BBC board that got this ball rolling.

        If anything, it gave Bernie and Sky a change to try and see how well they could do this, while still leaving some important races on free-to-air in the UK.

        But it still means a move away from access for most people, towards access for a smaller, perhaps richer, demographic; allowing the trend for ever more expensive races with lower attendance to continue.

        As such, I find it a sad development for the sport, though I hope it might eventually lead to easier casual access via more different media, and especially via internet.

        1. The BBC already provide great access to F1 coverage. It’s on two channels, BBC1 & BBC1 HD. We can watch on IPlayer both live and after the event. You can also listen to the race on Radio 5 Live. They host a post race forum, offer great interaction through twitter & email.

          What is missing from that list? Sky have a tough act to follow.

          1. i-player is useless, as I don’t live in the UK.
            Same goes for the forum, and the practice sessions: only through streams.

            Since this September my cable company is going to reshuffle its offerings, getting rid of themed-channel packages and going for “basic”, “plus” and “extra”, and I’d need to get extra to keep the channels I care about.

            If I could just watch them online (from same company!), I could drop most of the swathe of uninteresting stuff, like football etc. sports, and in return pay for good online content,and make sure I can view it on my tv.

            But that is in reality not possible here, as far as I know. If Sky would help enable that (and not just on the way too small phone screen) I would like it.

            In effect, I don’t care about having it in Dutch, so a great quality international show in English would suit me just fine (I could live with German, but not with RTL Vettel racing), which I could order via creditcard or something.

          2. In that case, I wouldn’t count on getting anything out of Sky without paying through the nose for it.

            A sad day for us all indeed.

      4. Not true. The contract was still in place, it was to do with the BBC budget. BBC can’t afford it as (a) Bernie’s fee is too high, and (b) the government fixed the price of the licence fee for the next x years which means a reduction in their budgets in real terms.

        So if anyone’s to blame, it’s Bernie and the government, but I would say mainly Bernie.

  15. No interuptions! Well that makes it alright then *sarcasm*.

    I for one will only be happy when I hear that it no longer requires a monthly fee (not holding my breath on that one though).

  16. No adverts during the race, but before and after you can bet that most of the broadcast time will be taken up with ads and “FORMULA ONE SUPER SUNDAY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY…!!”.

    This is what really angers me though. Sky have millions of people paying hundreds of pounds a year, and yet they still run adverts on their own channels. I understand the need for the private and independent channels that use Sky as a host to have adverts in their programming, but Sky 1, 2, 3, sports, etc… whatever else they have nowadays. These are put out by Sky, and so should not have adverts on. And it’s not even low-key British-style advertising breaks, it’s full-on American-style 5 minute advert breaks.

  17. Anayone have any suggestions on how to watch streams online?

  18. If Brundle goes to Sky, you can probably guarantee that everyone who has Sky Sports will follow him. The BBC may as well drop it altogether and stop wasting our time with this half-hearted claptrap about free-to-air etc etc.

    1. he said on twitter that he is out of contract and was ‘not impressed’ by the new deal. sky will sign him, they have to

  19. Well…… that will be nice for the 6 or 7 people watching it….

  20. I’m still not paying for it. I actually have Sky now but dropping it tomorrow.

    1. I currently have sky tv (not sports). I too am seriously thinking of dropping it at the end of my contract out of principle.

  21. Listen to the wind blow, down comes the night.
    Run in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies.

    And if you don’t love me now you will never love me again, I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain.

    Chain… keeps us together, run into the shadows.

    It was good while it lasted.

  22. Sorry but i don’t believe it.

  23. No ads? Don’t care – not paying £500 per year to watch f1. I’ll just go to a couple of races, and not bother following the season. I’ve watched every race for 20 years, but I’m not paying £50 per race. NO way.

  24. there is more to this story – the BBC has two more full seasons of F1 left on the old deal, and they are selling that all to Sky as part of this new deal.

    there must be a reason why they did it starting next year instead of at the end of the existing BBC deal, which was due to expire at the end of 2013

  25. Yeh the bbc didnt elect to continue their contract because just possibly bernie set the cost too high, and he knew sky would pay more for it

  26. RIP The posion dwarf is selling F1 to a company that hacks the voice mail of murdered children, its a match made in heaven.

  27. Seems to me that the reason Sky were so interested in F1 was the record viewing figures the BBC were pulling in. But Sky are not going to get anywhere near that, and could possibly drop F1 a year or two down the line when they realise this. And hopefully it will be back on free to air. I think the sharing deal the BBC has done is a good idea, why couldn’t they share with Channel 5? Damn you Bernie!

    1. This is probably nonsense, but could the timing i.e. before the end of the BBC’s current contract be a ploy. Could they be hoping that F1 on Sky is a complete disaster so that when it comes time to renew their contract, Bernie and the teams want F1 on free-to-air and so will offer them a better deal? Or is this a new deal that takes the place of the previous one?

      1. New deal replacing previous one, but I could definitely see that happening in 2018 – or at least ITV or Channel 4 taking F1 instead.

  28. Thats brilliant news. Problem is I won’t be able to stream it either as I have rubbish broadband since I live in the country.

    Also there’s little chance of races being shown in pubs apart from a few when football isn’t on. There’s no ad breaks for people to go to the bar and “refuel”. Football is established and has many more fans then F1. Finally It’s not likely the pubs are going to be open at 6 or 7am for the Australian, Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, Singapore or Korean grand Prix, or 3am for Friday practice sessions is it?

    At least I’ll get a (probably) rather cheap imitation of the current coverage on the BBC for half the races though. Hurray!!! Though for the other half I’ll have to put up with Crofty and Davidson on the radio. (which would be good, apart from the fact I’d actually like to watch the sport).

  29. This whole thing have to be the worst F1 news I have heard in 8 years in F1,it is even bad then the beak away series row.

  30. Currently the cheapest possible way to get Sky Sports is £500 per year.

    The BBC are going to have to come up with something brilliant to persuade people to watch them and not Sky. Surely Brundle and EJ will move to Sky Sports otherwise they’ll only be covering half the races.

    But even if the BBC coverage is much better then Sky’s, I not sure I want to alternate between two different channels each week.

    This is an utter joke. I don’t watch a lot of TV, so if I were to get Sky in the future, it would ONLY be for F1. But £500 per year? Jog on Rupert Murdoch. You’re having a laugh. And thank you very much Bernie and the BBC.

    1. I don’t watch a lot of TV, so if I were to get Sky in the future, it would ONLY be for F1. But £500 per year? Jog on Rupert Murdoch.

      My sentiments exactly.

    2. I totally agree!! I have ben following F1 for 11 years and this is a DEEPLY sad day for all true F1 Fans who can not afford Sky.
      This is an utter disgrace, I like, millions of people are outraged, we do not deserve this.
      This is my favourite sport and now you’ve ruined it all!!! R.I.P. – Formula 1.

  31. Not happy at all.

    If your a keen sports fan then the total SkySports package may be worth it. But if you only like F1 then there is no way its good value for money.

    If the option was there to view just the race with a one off cost (like Boxing) I would pay (despite my hate of Rupert Murdoch).

    50% of races & the highlights for me I guess.

  32. What I really don’t like about this deal is that Sky will want to recoup as much money as it can, meaning a massive dumbing down of the content. Imagine a 2-hour buildup show consisting of Adrian Chiles and Justin Lee Collins desperately trying to describe what a tyre is, and you’re just about there.

  33. It really will be interesting how low the viewing figures are for skys coverage of the races that the beeb are showing live as well…..

    1. I have a bad feeling that Sky may actually be better. I just don’t see the likes of Brundle/Coulthard sticking with the BBC when they’ll only be covering half the races. Surely they’ll go to Sky?

  34. Well that’s it I’m afraid, I will only see half the races, Mr. Ecclestein please take note.
    I will not be buying Sky


    When Senna died the portuguese parliament stopped for a minute to honour him (08:00). Now i dare you to come in the streets of portugal and ask if anyone still sees F1. Since it went on payed channel(SportTV) alot and i mean a lot of people stopped watching it.

    1. UKfanatic (@)
      30th July 2011, 11:17

      How do you watch F1 now? through bbc?

  36. Enjoy Formula 1 whilst it lasts everyone! For anyone­ whom is interested, and enjoys watching Formula 1, as I­ do, 2012-2013 will be the last season to watch the­ WHOLE Formula 1 season on Freeview! It has,of course,­ been hailed by both Bernie Eccleston and Sky Sports, as­ a great deal. The truth is that, after next year, and­ until the BBC Sport cannot afford to any more, BBC­ Sport viewers will only be able to see 50% of the races­ live. I appreciate that, if you are already a Pay per­ View Sky Sports user, this will be great news. But to­ millions of Formula1 viewers (whom cannot afford Pay­ per View and Sky Sports0, it will be not good news. It­ may well be that Ecclestone believed that he had no­ choice, and he did try to keep the BBC Sport as a sole­ owner of the rights. But his hand has been forced and­ as usual, it is the fan`s that are going top suffer!­ Would I be silly to even suggest that this will be just­ one of many `death knells` of the BBC, when they begin­ to loose viewers at an alarming rate as the stardard of­ programmes begins to fall and TV License revenue is­ lost?

    1. Actually you are watching the last F1 season on freeview…

  37. How many of you brits will choose to watch online streams now? They aren’t usually up to the same quality as watching on TV, and its illegal, but surely that has to be better than paying through the nose for a Sky subscription?

  38. on the plus side we will know exactly what the drivers think of each other as sky will hack their phones !

  39. Horrible, horrible news.

  40. Don’t live in the UK but love watching BBC covering Formula 1. Its a shame because I only watch the BBC and it excludes commercials. Guess I wont be waking up early morning anymore.

  41. It’s worth remembering that the BBC’s commitment to F1 over the years has been inconsistent. For many years they never showed all the races live. Also they used to interrupt the live races they did show with horse racing etc. Live qualifying for all races were shown in ’96 but not before that. However, their coverage since they got the coverage back has been very good. I’m a big sports fan so I have sky sports, although I feel for the fans that don’t have it. Their coverage of sport is excellent though (whatever your opinion of the larger organisation!) A couple of things that I would suggest for the BBC coverage:
    – Of the races they don’t show, ensure they include all the ones at unsociable hours (Malaysia etc.)
    – When the highlights are for races they didn’t show live, show them on BBC1 or BBC2 at a good time (8pm before top gear for example)

  42. Robert Edwards
    29th July 2011, 12:38

    My son and I will miss F1 as there is no way we will be paying sky to watch as with cricket its greed again , what is the point in showing half the races BBC save the money
    spend it on the cricket. or Motor Bikes GP.Why did you take it off ITV it least we could see all the races , BAD SHOW ALL ROUND F1 WILL LOSE A LOT OF VIEWERS!!!

  43. FOM will eventually force the FIA to structure the races in a way that allows for ad breaks.

    You just wait. It will happen.

  44. I know, this sucks! I own a pub and the TV comes in through the pub rather than our flat which means Sky would cost up in the region of £6000 a year as they never believe I’m not going to show it in the pub.
    What about Top Up TV? I’m loathe to give Sky ANY money but at £19.99 a month it is slightly better.

    1. Also, if you already have Virgin, sky sports is only an extra £20 a month as well.

  45. Gwion Daniel
    29th July 2011, 12:48

    £48 per race is a astonishingly poor value. As previously mentioned, football fans have much better value due to the very high number of games shown.

  46. another case of punish the poor who cannot afford sky’s extortionate costs. there will be a huge surge of die hard fans signing up to sky for next year but if the coverage is rubbish then even they will turn away from it. I for one can’t afford sky as I am sure allot of people can’t. what really makes me angry is the fact BBC are keeping all the middle class sports like tennis olympics etc. good to know that we will have coverage of the olympic tourches 70 day journey and 24 coverage of the games but only 10 F1 races and then none in 2013. we all need to boycot the licence fee as its a waste of money. maybe then the bbc and the government will get the message and let bbc go it alone.

  47. I mentioned earlier that the beeb never used to show all the races live (in the first period of regular coverage ’79 – ’96). Does anyone remember (or have a list) of the races they did show live from ’79 – ’96?

    1. or more likely the ones thet DIDN’T show live?

      1. I think they showed the European ones live and the non-Europeans ones as highlights the next day.

  48. Ive watched F1 since 1979 and from memory all were shown live. Youd get no quallifying coverage, just a card showing the top 6 inbetween a “top” rugby league match on Grand Stand. Race coverage would start about 1 minute before the start and finish as they went through the chequered flag. Theyd then quickly cut back to European ice skating from Gstad or something.

    As for the coverage, it really was a joke, youd get a long lense lazily following the wrong car and the producer would invariably cut to De Cesaris ambling along in 27th whilst the dice of the century was going on elsewhere.

    Whatever the wrongs and the rights of the deal. Youve never had it so good.

    1. I remember Brazil ’93 & 94 were not shown live also Japan & Australia in ’93. I started watching in ’92 so don’t know about before then…

  49. Trying to figure out the races the beeb won’t show live:

    Early starts:

    Clashes with prime-time programming:

    Clashes with the Olympics:

    Thats only 9… USA would be another prime-time clash but then it’s the penultimate race so that wouldn’t be cool…

    1. I imagine they might not show races that take place while Wimbledon is on to avoid scheduling conflicts.

      1. True, Figure these as the races they’ll show live then:

        Round 5: 13 May, Spanish GP
        Round 6: 27 May, Monaco GP
        Round 9: 8 July, British GP
        Round 10: 22 July, German GP
        Round 12: 2 September, Belgian GP
        Round 13: 9 September, Italian GP
        Round 14: 23 September, Singapore GP
        Round 17: 28 October, Abu Dhabi GP
        Round 19: 18 November, US GP
        Round 20: 25 November, Brazilian GP

        1. Open golf on 22nd July so maybe:

          Round 5: 13 May, Spanish GP
          Round 6: 27 May, Monaco GP
          Round 7: 10 June, Canadian GP
          Round 9: 8 July, British GP
          Round 12: 2 September, Belgian GP
          Round 13: 9 September, Italian GP
          Round 14: 23 September, Singapore GP
          Round 17: 28 October, Abu Dhabi GP
          Round 19: 18 November, US GP
          Round 20: 25 November, Brazilian GP

          1. I hope not! I for one would like to see at least one or hopefully two of the early season Asian races, Australia, Malaysia or China. I quite like the specialness of getting up at 3am to watch the first Friday practice sessions and race of the season.

            Plus having races more spread out during the season would give the BBC a better narrative to their coverage rather then missing the first chunk of the season.

            However your point about choosing the most prestigious races and others that don’t clash with other events is valid. Also sending a crew to the Spanish grand prix is probably a lot cheaper then the Malaysian grand prix!

            Having said all that I wouldn’t want to sacrifice seeing any of the races on your list!

      2. Obviously not an F1 fan mmmm !!!

    2. If you’re right, we’ll keep Monaco, Britain, Belgium and Italy. I hope so!

  50. There’s no way I’m paying for a SkySports subscription just to watch F1, don’t get me wrong I’m a loyal fan, but I just can’t justify spending an extra £500-600 a year on television.

  51. I currently have a basic Sky package but will not be paying £600+ on top of what I already pay just to watch 10 races per year. Watching half a season does not interest me, so its bye bye F1 and I’ll do something else with 4 hours of my time on a Sunday.

    I have been watching F1 since the 80s so this is a gut wrenching decision, but I am not subsidising football by paying for F1.

    I really hope we hear from FOTA about this as decisions can be overturned – as was proved with Donington.

    1. If you have a basic Sky package already adding Sky Sports is £243.

      It’s £600+ plus if you don’t already have Sky and you take a basic package with Sports and HD.

  52. Are we supposed to be grateful that paying nearly half a grand a year we get races without ad breaks? Gee thanks.

    The worst thing about all of this is that it was always going to happen at some point. Everything is eventually sliding onto Sky and coming with a massive price tag attached. I understand and accept that it’s fair enough that Sky wanted it, the BBC clearly didn’t want F1 that much and done deal and this is sort of a compromise. What I hate though is that this is just the beginning and soon enough we’ll be paying for every session. I saw some arguments that it’s natural that luxuries have to be paid for but why? It may be a product of the times but it doesn’t make the notion that only the wealthy can afford to be F1 fanatics any easier to swallow. When I read comments from people such as Tommy who I know is a diehard F1 fan that paying for F1 will be impossible it’s just such a sorry state.

    We’ve had it really, really good in the UK and I’m not denying that but any suggestion that we’ve got nothing to complain about is completely absurd. We’ve had it good but that doesn’t make this right. If other country’s don’t invest then that’s a really sorry state but the idea of “well we get this amount of coverage so it’s still a good deal” isn’t fair. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    I’ve been a true Bernie believer for years even through the whole Silverstone/Donningtone debacle I thought he was doing the right thing but I really think he’s missing a trick when it comes to F1 coverage. He’s been slow on the uptake anyway with not exploiting all the new possibilities the internet brings but now there’s going to be so many who just won’t or can’t pay for F1. I guess this is typical Bernie and not really his fault but the BBC’s and the times we live in.

    I’m appalled at how the BBC have handled this too. Hearing from Brundle who has loyally followed the F1 circus for years that he didn’t even get a warning about this is just horrid. You think they’d at least have the decency of telling their employees the situation.

    This is like a very bad break up. “It’s not you it’s me” as cuts need to be made so now “we need some space…” which probably will one day mean “later gator”. So thanks for the last perfect few years but right now this is a mess.

    1. I feel a bit torn on a particular issue…

      Brundle is a fantastic commentator and knows the sport inside out. It would be a shame for Sky customers to miss out on that but I can’t help but think he would be wasted at the BBC, only doing half the job he did previously.

      This is a mess, you’re right.

      1. BBC are still covering all the races, so Brundle might just stay there and do the 5Live radio commentary for the rest.

    2. I’ve been waiting for you to comment Steph, so I can simply agree with you and won’t have to type it all out myself!

      Brilliantly put Steph and I agree with all your points.

      1. I was waiting for you Dan :P

  53. I guess this is Ecclestone’s way of coming out in favour of “assisted suicide”.

  54. Appalled,in the last 3 years bbc have provided in depth fantastic coverage,those irritating ad-breaks will come back,,F1-ITV horror show all over again…LONG LIVE AUNTIE BEEB

  55. Then I must feel previleged to watch F1 in Nairobi Kenya for several years without seeing a single commerical till after the race ends

  56. No ads? So? Might as well have nude pit babes too, I won’t know because I can’t afford Sky.

  57. Does this mean we will have super mechanics and super tyre changers and super visor cleaners who will be paid millions, the same way Sky has done for football. I havent watched a single live top team football game since Sky turned it into the premier league.

    Sky can expect more dodgy Sky cards being sold at your local boot fair and market. Not to mention their easy access stream.

    Wimbledon will be next.

  58. Bernie stated frankly that he doesn’t care what happens to F1 when he’s gone. If he wanted to he could avoid this.

  59. I’ll add my voice to those saying that it will not matter, because I will not be watching. I’ll stick with the BBC races for as long as they are still on, and the highlights of course.
    Has Bernie considered that no advertising and a smaller audience might mean fewer sponsors aiming at the British market. That might mean the British Grand Prix going the same way as the French. Does he really want that?

    1. Well the British GP will be shown on the BBC so that should soften the blow, I see where you’re coming from though. I would imagine the British GP is pretty safe. The BMDC did a wonderful job with Damon Hill in charge and they have the deal they needed from FOM to keep things stable for a good few years yet.

  60. Good news. I think they would struggle to justify commerical breaks, they will know just how discontented people are at the moment.

    I did think that may be the case when the news said that they hope to continue the ‘revolutionary’ way in which broadcasting the sport has developed.

  61. “We’ll give it the full Sky Sports treatment” = some blonde with big maracas who know’s fun all about the sport she’s covering…..

  62. The most shocking thing, is this is for four years…and after that, what’s going to happen…yep it’ll be solely on sky…

  63. Shame – who remembers how popular boxing was until Sky got hold of it, and now I don’t know who watches boxing apart from the real heavy weights (pardon the pun)!

    Formula One will go the same way, which means less sponsorship for the sport in the UK. Its the end of F1 as we know it, enjoy the last season 2011.

  64. a small river or brook

  65. What a sad day, I can’t believe it. Can someone who’s a computer ‘expert’ copy all these comments and somehow post them on the sky website! That’ll show them the utter disgrace we all have for this decision, sky is not the answer. Chanel 4 would do a better job! Atleast I could watch it on free air tv then! Absolute disgrace.

  66. UKfanatic (@)
    29th July 2011, 16:28

    I prefered to have to watch adverts than watching no races at all, I know that it must be ultra expensive, but F1 is an national sport it is from the interest of all british to have the right to watch all their drivers and teams.

  67. What we need to no now is what will FOTA do. They have said numerous times F1 is staying on Free to Air TV, so if that is the case then they will have to flex there muscles and sort this mess out. Not only does this situation effect the viewers in the UK but this will also effect other countries that take the BBC feed as it will mean that they will need to pay for the rights from SKY. I just hope that it can be sorted by the start of the 2012 season, and one thing is for sure i have lost total faith in the FIA and F1.

  68. So everyone a looser:
    – the fans who will not see all races
    – the BBC who will loose audience to Sky for ALL races (if people pay for Sky they’ll use it)
    – and F1 who will loose fans (and related advertising)
    – and Sky?

    1. – and Sky?

      Sky lose because the massively popular sport that they’re taking on to attract premium ad revenue will slump in the UK. All this “moving f1 to new territories” (india, russia etc) is crap. F1’s premium sponsors want cash out of Europe/UK and the USA. I don’t care if every kid in india sees this years race, you can bet TAG won’t be selling any extra watches over there.

  69. Its hard for me to have sympathy for you guys in europe when I’m here in the US paying $70 a month for a premium cable package just so that I can watch F1 races.

    I wish I were more optimistic, but I cant see F1 increasing it’s fan base in the states unless they put more than 4 races a year on free TV broadcast, Austin GP or no.

    1. $70 is less than the £50 a race the UK is being charged, plus it’s being done in such a way as to stop some people even having the pay option for some races.

    2. If you’re finding it hard to sympathize, then imagine if the NFL was shown only on pay-per-view channels.

      Then you’ll get the idea.

  70. Ho,here we go again, the kiss of death for another sport. F1 will never be the same now the Murdoch crew have got there sticky fingers on it. it will end up as pay per race and adverts all over the coverage. I for one will not be bothering with the 2012 season , what is the point of watching half a season live ? and I will certainly not be subscribing to Sky Sports. what a shame, the BBC coverage was spot on, but I suppose you cannot compete against naked greed, shame on you Bernie. RIP F1 as we know it. and one final point I for one are not interested as to how F1 is shown in Timbuktu or where ever, it is F1 coverage in the UK that is of concern to the fans.

  71. What difference is this going to make? The mere fact that Sky can broadcast without adverts during the race certainly isn’t enough of a pro to drag people into forking out for a Sky subscription and for a channel that many like myself would only watch for F1. What a complete joke. Im sad to say my 20 years of following this sport will come to an end this season. I only hope the season tightens up a bit or my last F1 season is going to be over sooner than i had hoped. Thank god i started getting into moto gp.

  72. The problem for the US is that F1 isn’t really very popular, compared to Europe and Asia. Even with the Austin GP, I doubt F1 on free-to-air TV would be financially viable.

    However in Europe, specifically the UK, it IS financially viable. Other counties like Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain get free-to-air F1 coverage, so why can’t Britain?

    I don’t blame the BBC, so much as Formula One Group. If they wanted to keep F1 on free-to-air in the UK, they could.

    The BBC currently pays about £40M per year to host F1. Compare that to Bernie Ecclestone’s net worth of something like £2.5B. Formula One could easily set aside a tiny percentage of their massive annual profits to subsidise the BBC.

  73. According to some news reports Channel 4 was interested in the rights.

    I’d rather it went to Channel 4 than Sky :(

    1. If C4 got F1, I assume the commentator would be that guy who does Big Brother.

      But on a serious note, at least C4 is free. I would rather put up with adverts than fork out £50 per race on Sky. We managed with ITV after all.

  74. Not sure if anyone has pointed this out already, but although Sky will not show adverts during the on-track coverage, they WILL be commercials during the pre- and post-race shows.

  75. So the BBC has stuffed us and lost F1, what a disaster it means we will now not see most races, why has Eccalstone allowed this, does he not like the fans does he not think we are important? I dont have SKY and will NEVER have SKY, i dont watch any other sport so sky is on no use top me what options do i now have? Why would F1 do this to loyal fans, i cant believe how they would do this to us?


  76. SKY and Bernie Ecclestone KILLS F1 in the UK

    So the BBC and Bernie Ecclestone has stuffed us and lost F1, what a disaster it means we will now not see most races only highlights, why has Bernie Ecclestone allowed this, does he not like the fans does he not think we are important? I dont have SKY and will NEVER have SKY, i dont watch any other sport so sky is of no use to me what options do i now have? Why would F1 do this to loyal fans, i cant believe how they would do this to us? why does Bernie want to KILL F1?


  77. a sad day for all us working class that cant afford SKY SPORTS. Sign the petition please.

  78. Damn, I only watch open wheelers (ie F1) and I have a strong dislike for Indy. A10 World Series better get their fingers out, I loved the old A1GP, and I only have Sky Sports 2 so F1 as a major event would probably go on SS 1.
    I’m waiting for the time when a phone-hacking **** completely gets hold of F1 from Bernie and CVC, then it will be truly dead. This is simply the first step.

    1. If anyone wonders about my hate for Indy, think oval and you’ll have your answer.

  79. I’m wondering what the BBC paid for their London 2012 Olympics coverage…

    And whether it broke the bank?

  80. I think most people have failed to realise that we do pay for the the F1 via our TV licence. Its down to the BBC to provide a variety of sports on the free channels.

    So with that in mind the question is why did the BBC decide to amend/terminate thier current contract, when the deal actually ends in 2013 after the olympics?

    The BBC have a lot to answer for.

  81. Ok, so we know that it’ll be advert free during the race (pre and post race obviously fair game) and, uh, that’s it. Not much of an announcement from Sky at this point. Who’s going to head their coverage? Who’ll be in the commentary booth? What happens to those of us in Canada that love the BBC commentary that we get on TSN? Brundle being without a contract gives me hope that he’ll have the chance to jump over and take Coulthard with him.

  82. £31.95 per month for a Sky sports package (assuming you already have sky – more if you don’t) means that x 12 = 383.40 divided by 19 races = just over 20 quid per race weekend. Add the regular monthly sky fee – of between 20-50 quid per month – and you’re looking at forking out at least £60 per month if you want to watch every race, which is about £38 per grand prix.

    Suddenly the BBC license fee looks rather good (I’d pay £145 a year just for Radio 4, but that’s another rant).

    The fools at the Beeb say they will be saving 16 million, but this is chicken feed for them – they must spend more than this on taxis every year.

  83. Someone posted this on RaceDepartment:

    Kudos to FOTA for trying, but a primetime delay is the best we can hope for I guess. Better than 50% live on BBC and the rest exclusively on Sky I suppose. Looks like the phone hacker will get less money after all. Win.

  84. And so they should if I’m paying for the ‘privilege’ of watching F1. Thanks Bernie and sky. Actually, you can shove it!

    Once the BBC have been gotten rid of and sky are the sole transmitter of F1 in the UK, they will make the ITV coverage seem like the best thing since sliced bread. Advert central every time there is a safety car for rain, or Billy Hopeless parks it against the nearest hard object. Then you’ll be paying to watch the same adverts over and over again.

    F1 really is in danger of lapping itself and disappearing up its own exhaust. Bernie appears to be pricing the Circuits and TV companies to ridiculous levels and given the current economic climate, I think it is unsustainable.

    I’ve watched F1 since ’86, but I am not going to pay sky/murdoch a penny.

  85. I’m going to go against the grain a bit here and look at this from another angle. It is a pain to think that you have to pay extra for sky sports, but recently sky have announced they now supply 10m home in the UK and many also have virgin media instead which means that access to sky sports is possible so actual coverage isnt a problem. Sky sports has been a great platform for football to improve and given their track record with that, I believe they can improve on what currently exists. One of the major complaints about coverage, even on this site, is the simplicity in which the coverage is presented on the BBC. The complexity of our glorious sport is not put across by the BBC for pursuit of the casual viewer. The fact that the coverage will now be by a well established sports provider should bring the sport back to the true fan. Also let us not forget that it is not just F1 that will be on sky. They also have Indycar, so it is now not just an F1 question, but a motorsport question in general. If you are a fan of motorsport then we need to get behind this and hope that sky really do a great job with the coverage. Hopefully they will get someone like crofty from 5 live. Someone who can really hold it together. No more kids presenters talking to us and expert pundits like kids. I am willing to pay the price to watch my sport, as many football fans have been doing for years. If paying for F1=better and more in depth coverage then I for one will be happy

    1. I may be wrong, but my impression of sky sports is not one of high intellect. To be fair, I am basing this on their bread and butter – football.

      Perhaps with a commentary double act of Eddie Jordan and Eddie Irvine, well oiled on Guinness, I could be tempted to subscribe sky!

    2. Football has not improved from where I’m sitting because I don’t get to see any if it.

    3. If you think their football coverage is ‘improved’, then I don’t want to think what kind of misogynist ******** were up in that place before. Because Sky comms are among the worst I have ever had the misfortune to hear.

  86. Such a shame. I am really uPSET ABOUT IT.

    1. Ooh, caps lock interfered.

  87. i dont care im not getting sky anyway i doubt many people will be watching the races sky cover. (waits for ratings)

  88. As Obama says, you can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig.

  89. I could probably find the money to subscribe to sky, but guess what?

    I won’t

  90. dominikwilde
    30th July 2011, 2:22

    People are mentioning the football on Sky but think about this, in the English Premier League, how many players are actually English? These days, how many teams are English owned? OK, now F1, 3 Brit drivers, 3 british teams with a further 5 teams based in the UK with primarily British staff. Surely then having F1 on free to air is important for the country, jobwise, industry wise and it gives us something to do on a sunday morning. But seriously, who gives a toss about footy on sky? It didnt make it better at all it just brought in foreigners ruining the ‘english game’. If people have to pay for f1, itl be dead over here, the spiritual home of the sport, the home of the very first race and one of the with one of the best and most passionate motorsports backgrounds there is!

  91. dominikwilde
    30th July 2011, 2:29

    Oh and the comment by Jarred Walmsley, well sorry (and i don’t mean to offend anyone here) but with no current drivers from new zealand or no new zealand grand prix, its understandable that you have to pay to watch F1 because the percentage of the population watching would, I presume, be smaller that that of a country with drivers, teams, factories and races in the championship making it pointless to have it on free to air because the audience would be small and the network would loose money. This is all just an opinion though but i do believe it to be a valid one :)

  92. The New Pope
    30th July 2011, 2:56

    Anyone know if, in the USA, we will still see the races on Speed TV?

  93. Pubs will love the news… I for one would rather spend the money on beer and watch the races, than give the money to Sky. Heck I can have lunch out each race weekend and a whole day out for less money than the cost of Sky+Sports.

  94. autosport: F1/teams can’t change this deal, but believe it is good for the sport, largely Believing that the prime time highlights might bring more viewers.

    Not sure about that, but I mainly quote the article for this brilliant quote from Paul Hembley (who has strong doubts about it as a sponsor):

    As a licence payer I just hope there aren’t more reality shows.

    Not being in the UK, I still really appreciate the sentiment.

    1. Hm, just realised I have been consistently calling him by e wrong name, it’s Paul Hembery. Sorry!

  95. Face facts people, F1 is on Sky, no amount of complaining is going to change it. Just accept that fans come second to money, it’s the same with football, sky made it an elitist sport.

    I reckon Bernie thinks this …. “If you can’t afford Sky to watch F1 you’re not good enough to be watching it anyway. He thinks it’s a sport of kings and the masses should think themselves lucky to be allowed to watch.

  96. I have been an avid follower of F1 for 20+ years, never missed a beat, spent shedloads going to Silverstone on numerous occasions too.
    NOW I will regrettably stop following F1, this BBC/Sky deal is a royal rip offfff, FREE TO VIEW is the rule and always has been, NOW it will cost what ?? £40+ to get carp SKY + sky sports 3, SHAFTED that’s what they have done to the loyal followers.

    NOTE to dishonorable Ecclesone, you may think you are theee man in F1, but you are nothing, yes NOTHING without us, it is the viewers and circuit spectators that makes F1 and nothing else, YOU have SOLD us out you greedy little muppet, I PRAY now that the F1 teams DO fight you on this through their FREEEEE to view policy and should they fail to get this overturned then PLEASE, PLEASE stick it to your muppet leader and set up a new breakaway F1. leave the clown with nothing, that is the usual result of GREED bernie, GREED !!!!!

  97. No adverts ……. If I was daft enough to pay for Sky Sports anyway I would like to think there was no adverts because why should I pay to be spammed with adverts. In 2013 the adverts will be back and to watch uninterrupted coverage there will be a “special deal” on “premium” coverage and then there will be the extra to pay for races of season significance (first, last, UK, Monaco, Nurburgring etc). That is just the start, in time Sky will then get their grip on some of the sports rules to make it so that the sport works around their schedules and agendas “if we change this rule here, then we can fit a sponsors message in there” type stuff.
    RIP F1

  98. This is a disaster for F1 fans. I don’t have Sky and will not ever buy Sky. Pretty soon all the races will be on Sky and don’t be surprised if eventually, you will have to pay for each race and each qualifing session, complete with adverts.

    This is a disater!!!!

  99. I think most people are missing the target why should’nt Sky step in the BBC wanted out because they had to reduce the cost. One of the problems of the BBC is they have to many people in any production be it Golf, football and F1.
    They would’nt cut Wimbledon 2 weeks wall to wall coverage, Open Golf would’nt touch it.
    The BBC are the bad guys in all this not Sky or Bernie.

  100. “We’ll give it the full Sky Sports treatment”

    I couldn’t think of anything worse.

  101. Sky will kill F1 if they are going to charge the viewers to watch it like they did for football. They are jumping on the F1 money making machine, we all know there is a lot of money in F1 but did you realise how much ?. I suggest you get Bernie Ecclstones book called ” NO ANGEL ” to see how much is involved. I love F1 but i think Sky should show it for free because viewing figures will go down and so will the sales of sponser goods that are advertised in F1. KEEP IT FREE FOR THE BRITISH PUBLIC

  102. I grew up READING about F1 in the States. Frankly, I enjoy reading about it more than I actually like watching it on TV… the TV experience lacks, for me, the spectacle. It is just watching cars drone around, without the gut shake and ear tingle of the real thing.

    I don’t suppose that anyone who grew used to the sport on TV would enjoy reading about it, instead, but I won’t mind a bit. Often do it, by choice, anyway.


  103. Andrew Wingham
    13th January 2012, 16:36

    Sky want an extra £20.25 for sky sports or £10.25 extra for HD and I dont have an HD television yet. They are not considering it as a stand alone channel either yet. The BBC say they have to cut costs so I presume they mean keep Eastenders etc and all the reality crap they love paying out for on the telly. Yawn !
    Come on Sky most people dont mind a fair price, but to have to buy all the football to watch motor racing , thats taking the ****

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