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

2012 F1 season

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The season opener won't be live on free-to-air TV in the UK next year

The BBC has confirmed which races will be shown live and free-to-air in the UK in 2012.

The BBC says it will show half of next year’s races live and in high definition, plus delayed highlights of the remaining races.

The highlights programmes will last around 90 minutes and usually be shown around 2pm for early morning races, 5:30pm for European time zone races.

All the races will be shown live on Sky’s dedicated F1 channel, announced today, which will cost a minimum of 363.

The first two races of 2012 will only be shown live on Sky, who also claimed exclusive live rights to the Canadian and Italian Grands Prix.

BBC will show the final race of the season live, but did not pick up live rights to the United States Grand Prix, which is under threat of cancellation.

Round Race Circuit Date Channel
1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Melbourne March 16-18th Sky
2 Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit March 23rd-25th Sky
3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit April 13-15th BBC/Sky
4 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit April 20th-22nd Sky
5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya May 11-13th BBC/Sky
6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo May 24-27th BBC/Sky
7 Canadian Grand Prix Montreal June 8-10th Sky
8 European Grand Prix Valencia June 22nd-24th BBC/Sky
9 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 6-8th BBC/Sky
10 German Grand Prix Hockenheimring July 20th-22nd Sky
11 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring July 27-29th Sky
12 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 31st-September 2nd BBC/Sky
13 Italian Grand Prix Monza September 7-9th Sky
14 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay September 21st-23rd BBC/Sky
15 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka October 5-7th Sky
16 Korean Grand Prix Korean International Circuit October 12-14th BBC/Sky
17 Indian Grand Prix Buddh International Circuit October 26-28th Sky
18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 2nd-4th BBC/Sky
19 United States Grand Prix Circuit of the Americas November 16-18th Sky
20 Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 23rd-25th BBC/Sky

F1 on television

    Image © Red Bull/Getty images

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

    1. Disappointed they didn’t pick up the season opener. No idea why Barcelona appealed to them more…

      1. Its probably about the way they went through picking them. first 3 for the BBC (UK, Monaco and Brazil) then 3 for Sky (prob. Aus, Italy, Canada) then it was single pics. Choosing Spa over Japan and Singapore over US or Malaysia.

        And when we take in account both Bahrain and the USGP might be dropped, its an understandable pick.

        1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
          25th November 2011, 17:23

          Hmm I initially subscribed to this ‘draft’ theory but when trying to apply it I couldn’t find a way it worked. Unless the BBC/Sky went for viewing figures as opposed to what the fans deem the most exciting race.

          1. Maybe their priorities are more esoteric, such as the cost of providing the broadcast, the quality of the bacon sandwiches etc :)

          2. One of the papers ran a story with the BBC picks, then Sky picks (etc), so it might all pan out. I wonder if the BBC turned down some of the decent races in favour of Olympics or similar – if thats the case, theres a chance following years might see better picks.

            Having said that, Spa, Brazil and Silverstone are the one races I rate that they do have; its not going to be a good year.

        2. I suspect Barcelona appealed to them more due to the price.

          I doubt the BBC had much choice as to what to choose. Think about it, the most expensive races to cover,- season opener, season closer, and monaco.
          Now, the season closer and monaco are must-haves for a television station, so that’s a no-brainer.
          Then great tracks/viewing figures in silverstone and spa would also be highly expensive, so the other ones would be mainly down to seeing what’s relatively cheap.

      2. Gutted they chose Barcelona and Valencia over Melbourne and Monza.

      3. What about the qualifying???

        1. As per the races.

      4. keep F1 on BBC, have your say and join the petition.

      5. Read Keith’s report. They are getting 90 minutes worth of highlights of every race.
        BBC’s negotiating team hence must have decided not to retain races that end in less than 90 minutes (as BBC would get those full races anyways).

        Hence, Monza, Montreal, Suzuka and India weren’t picked!

    2. Amazed they won’t have the first race. :/

      I honestly feel sorry for people who won’t be able to see it.

    3. BBC has most of the worst circuits.

      1. Really ?

        Monaco ?
        Silverstone ?
        Spa ?
        Singapore ?
        Brazil ?

        1. you’ll miss monza, melbourne, canada, gernamy, suzuka, hungary… all great venues.

          1. Hmm… well personally I won’t cos I have Sky+HD

            1. @marlarkey I don’t even live in the UK, but I feel for the guys over there… the whole thing is dissapointing.

          2. And I wanted to see the American GP (If it does actually goes ahead)

        2. Not a fain of Singapore, so 4/10 are good. I don’t consider that a great ratio.

          But that wasn’t my point. I said they had most of the worst circuits- Spain, Abu Dhabi, Valencia and Singapore are among the worst on the calender. In comparison, Sky’s worst races are Bahrain (overly hated after the last time they used the dodgy configuration), Hungary (often provides surprisingly good races) and India (dull race but the circuit itself is great).

          1. But the BBC would hardly go for Hungary when that’s on the Weekend the summer Olympics start, would they?

      2. I agree. China, Barcelona, Valencia and Abu Dhabi over Australia, Germany, Hungary and Suzuka? Montreal and Monza not being there is enough of a shame. Not having a season opener, especially if it is in Melbourne, is a terrible choice.

        1. How can anyone say China is boring? Did you not watch the past 3 races (09,10,11)? All of them were classics, and so was 2006 for that matter. 2004 and 2005 were also exciting, in fact, the only boring race at Shangai I can remember was 2008.
          And what’s so special about the modern Hockenheim?I’m happy they chose China over Germany.

          1. It’s sad about the lack of Melbourne and Montreal – generally two of the most entertaining races of the year, but I subscribe to the view that the BBC had little choice in the matter. They’ve already committed to Monaco and the season finale, two of the most popular races, and I suspect Sky had first picks on which ones they wanted exclusively.

            Still, the positive is that if you do have/get Sky you’ll be treated to a resurgent IndyCar series and, although this is a hunch, possibly GP2 and GP3 too, given how shocking Eurosport’s shocking coverage this year was, combined with Sky wanting to make their package good value.

    4. so dissapointing they didn’t pick up Australia. It’s such a great venue. So Montreal.

      They will basically miss all the good tracks, but Spa, Silverstone and Monaco.

    5. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
      25th November 2011, 16:22

      Lack of season opener, Canada, Monza and Japan is quite gutting, but at least they salvaged Monaco, Silverstone and Spa.

      Then again, we also get thrilling tracks such as Valencia, Barcelona, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

      3/10 for me.

      1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
        25th November 2011, 16:23

        And at least Brazil is there too.

      2. Should be happy they didn’t pick either of the 2 races that might be dropped from the calendar next week!

    6. Absolutely shocking selection.

    7. I wonder who negotiated on behalf of the BBC.

      I’d have tried to drop as many of Valencia, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi as I can get away with, and swap them for Australia, Suzuka, and USGP

      1. and I forgot Canada too.

      2. You’re assuming they had a choice.

        1. well, “as many … as [they] can get away with”. I’d be happier with at least one of those gone.

        2. Exactly. I don’t think BBC had a choice to begin with. It is all about publicity. Season opener is the most important.

      3. Probably the same fool who thought the deal was a good idea in the first place.

    8. I´m not living in the UK and getting the whole season on free TV but I´m quite disappointed that BBC is not broadcasting the Australian, Canadian, Italian and Japanese Grand Prix. Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia, Korea and Abu Dhabi are quite lame.

      1. I’m not affected either, but I know that a choice of forking out 363 pounds, or missing out… It’s just terrible for them.

        It’s times like this when I wish Murry Walker was in charge.

    9. No Melbourne, Montreal, Hockenheim or Monza for BBC viewers. Ouch.

    10. Kind of one per month on BBC. I suspect internet streams will be more prevalent next year.

    11. I wonder if the BBC gambled the Bahrain and US races won’t happen?

      1. Thought that too, still shocked that Monza and Montreal miss out. Was sure they would do nearly all the european races due to low travel costs.

        1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
          25th November 2011, 16:42

          Aren’t the BBC team going to be at every race? Just what they broadcast live is different. So I don’t think costs really came into it.

          1. Still strange choices though. I doubt their is a single fan who would rather see China/Korea over Italy/Canada

            1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
              25th November 2011, 16:46

              I really don’t the BBC had much ‘choice’ at all to be honest…

        2. Was sure they would do nearly all the european races due to low travel costs.

          They’re still sending a production team to all the races. Production costs are a drop in the ocean compared to Ecclestone’s huge hosting fees.

    12. Does anyone know for sure whether Virgin Media customers who currently pay for Sky Sports will get this Sky Sports F1 channel for “free” (when I say free I mean “included for my £75 a month”)?

      1. The Twitter feed for the Sky channel said that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

        1. Thanks for the update.

      2. The sky site doesn’t say anything about it being available on Virgin… only to Sky+HD and Sky TV subscribers

        1. Although htere was also a story about it being available as a pay channel on freeview

          1. Which SkySports have since said will not happen. They are still in talks with Virgin I think, they’ve said they’re not currently in a position to comment.

      3. Virginmedia page that they will update on this.

    13. Very disappointed by their choices. Makes sense by doing alternate, but why would anyone choose Korea at 6am rather than Monza at 12pm or Canada at 5pm?

      1. THey had a choice ?

        1. Thats the word I believe, but if they hadn’t I doubt they would have had races such as Spa/Monaco/Brazil.

          1. Well even if they had a choice… I doubt Sky would have let them have a free choice of any 10 from 20. I’m sure they’d have had a selection process that guaranteed the BBC got some good ones and also had to take some duff ones.

          2. I am fairly convinced that BBC did not have a complete choice in their selection.

        2. I understood the BBC had first pick of 3, then Sky picked 3, then BBC and SKY picked 1 by 1

    14. It’s just another reason for me to say “I shouldn’t have to pay for the BBC if I don’t use it” Football and F1 are virtually the only things I watch on the BBC and now I’m going to have to get Sky for the F1 so I can watch them all. £140 a year for Match of the Day twice a week seems excessive if you ask me. Time for a change in the law, pay for what you use not so a minority can watch cultural rubbish on BBC4 !!

      1. pay for what you use

        Enjoy your ads during the football… :D

    15. Looks like online streams next year then…

      1. Oh yeah, no need to get SKY just better specs or a massive Laptop lol

      2. presidenbertho
        25th November 2011, 17:45

        that good choice, lol

      3. Of course, mate!

      4. I’m thinking of opening some F1 Pubs, with all the sessions and free drinks every time a British team wins the WCC :D

      5. Yep, there’s some good ones around, even found a HD one once……

      6. @DryYoshi

        Short and sweet, but certainly COTD.

      7. Hehe. That is not going to work. When everyone starts streaming and servers get clogged you’ll be begging Sky for the channel. Sky knows that if people have the money and “love” the sport, they will pay.

        1. Sky also has the motivation to crack down on the streams.

          1. …and people always have the motivation to make new streams for every closed stream

    16. I was reading on the Sky site today that Sky will launch a dedicated F1 HD channel… free to all Sky+HD subscribers and those already subscribing to full Sky Sports… and I also read that they are launching it as an add-on pay channel on freeview/freesat.

      So it doesn’t cost a minimum of £363…

      1. No addon to Freeview/Freesat according to the Twitter feed so I think it would cost £363 minimum.

      2. @marlarkey

        Read the article:

        Sky launch dedicated UK F1 channel

        The price quoted is right, the Freeview thing the Daily Mail ran a story about isn’t happening.

        1. Yes what you wrote in that article is more accurate… what’s in this article is a little misleading…

          I already watch F1 in HD on Sky+HD. So for some people the cost is a minimum of £363, for others the cost is zero.

          By the I dont’ subscribe to Sky Sports… I was fearing that I’d have to or that they’d really screw people by striping the races across Sky Sport 1 and Sky Sports 2 so you had to take a higher rate packge.

          So all in all I’m relieved by the news.

          Can’t remember where I read about the freeview/freesat thing. It wasn’t on the sky site and I can’t find it again now.

          1. Mind you I was previously thinking that if I had to upgrade to Sky Sports I might as well go the whole hog and throw in the ESPN subscription so I can watch Indy and NFL.

          2. I already watch F1 in HD on Sky+HD. So for some people the cost is a minimum of £363, for others the cost is zero.

            No it isn’t.

            This is the spin Sky are trying to put on it: “free for Sky Sports/Sky HD Subscribers”. It isn’t free, it’s being added into a service you’re already paying for.

            1. Yes right now I pay X for the service I get from Sky and in future I pay the same. I pay Y for my BBC licence and that doesn’t change either.

              So net ost to me = zero.

              But its a transfer of value… I get more value from my Sky package than I do now and less value from the licence fee.

            2. Yes right now I pay X for the service I get from Sky and in future I pay the same.

              There you go. If it was free you wouldn’t be paying anything.

        2. What a shock – the Daily Mail were wrong about something.

      3. The Freeview/Freesat rumour has been denied by Sky. The £363 price is if you go for the HD route (paradoxically this means Sky F1 is cheaper in HD than SD).

      4. Steven Addlesee
        27th November 2011, 23:41

        Great, but it still means i’d have to give my money to Murdoch. Which isn’t happening! Saying that i don’t give my money to the tv tax either :D

    17. I wasn’t expecting the BBC to be allowed much, other than the scraps on the table. If anything, the fact it’s managed to keep Spa is a pleasant surprise.

    18. What a waste of time that is. Hmm. Let’s pick all the snooze – fest races to show on the BBC. And they’re trying to make it sound good. Pfft. Waste of time. Why didn’t they just sell all the rights to another terrestrial channel? Especially since they’re not going to do it properly.

    19. this is absolute rubbish though at least they got spa. the sport will lose an insane number of viewers through this. pubs won’t be showing the races (well, some will, but not if there’s football on – besides, it’s not a pub sort of sport) and casual fans will not be bothered.

      i’ve watched every single grand prix (minus at most, 3 or 4) since the beginning of 1995 and now i won’t be able to watch 50% of a whole season, including some of my favourite races like the Australian, Canadian, Italian and especially Japanses GPs.

      I sadly await further disappointment.

      1. “besides, it’s not a pub sort of sport” Now there’s a point that should be noted. I have watched 100s of F1 races, even when I was on holiday and only once in a pub/sports bar which was the worst viewing experience of the lot. Next season I will watch the BBC races and boycott the others, on principle I wont watch it on Sky.

        1. When in Spain and Italy I’ve watched lots of F1 in bars… they really go for it.

          I think the lack of F1 in pubs is a British thing.

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

      1. 2 Races in Spain, probably the WORST combination ever as their races are normally less entertaining (no offence).

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

        1. What’s iF1 ???

    22. Canada and Japan on Sky…. NOOOOOOO!!!!
      cant see KAMUI at his grand prix for free…sob

    23. Take half the current F1 races and you’ll always get some boring tracks. I wonder what time the Montreal and Austin highlights will be on?

      More concerned now about a) who’s commentating on BBC, and b) Sky grabbing exclusive rights to more and more races each year until they have them all (this happened to cricket, and European Cups for rugby and football)

      Decent commentators can make or break the show, and I’m hoping BBC either share the rumoured Sky commentators (both from BBC: one from TV, one from radio), or use some combination of John Watson, Coulthard and Anthony Davidson.

      1. Don’t think there’s any news to date on the commentary teams.

      2. I saw a Times guy tweeting, that Sky can only make announcements after the last race (because of the guys going from the BBC, I guess)

    24. BBC have got Valencia. Thank god for that…

      Honestly I’m almost in tears, just gets worse and worse. For F1 and the fans.

      1. Couldn’t agree with you more! Absolutely gutted.

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

    26. Oh God, typical. Those choices are awful. The worst races in my opinion, Spain, Europe, Singapore, Korea and Abu Dhabi are all on the BBC great! Glad they didn’t give us a proper kick in the teeth by giving us Bahrain.

    27. Dimitris 1395 (@)
      25th November 2011, 17:29

      No Montreal, Monza and Suzuka? The selection is plain rubbish. We’ll be bored with Valencia and Singapore once again.
      At least Spa is in…

    28. ROFLMAO why in hell did BBC choose Valencia?!?

    29. Sky must have so much money if they can afford to reimburse the teams for all the money they are going to lose in sponsorship next year. Then again, people like me that can’t/won’t afford Sky are maybe not the target market as we have less money to buy the brands being advertised anyway. The facts are, less races on the BBC means less overall viewers, some will get Sky obviously, but a lot won’t, and with only half the races being available, interest for a lot of casual viewers will wane considerably. As for myself, as much as I love F1, if I can’t watch all the races, I may find myself losing interest too… a sad time indeed. Watched F1 with my dad since I was 5 yrs old :o(

      1. and a lot of tech-savvy pensioners like myself who can’t afford Sky will be watching live streams on the web.
        I subscribed to Bernie’s dedicated F1 channel some years ago, I can’t remember if it lasted one season or two before he shut it down because it couldn’t get enough subscribers!!!!!

    30. Who’s watching Bahrain? Not only is it renowned as one of the most boring races on the Calendar but its only on Sky!!!

    31. There is no way on this planet I’ll give money to Sky. I’d rather watch a low resolution choppy online stream (like most LeMans streams!) than get Sky.

      I wonder if the viewing figures next year will give the BBC hope.

      1. The BBC will lose many viewers too…

      2. I’d rather watch a low resolution choppy online stream (like most LeMans streams!) than get Sky.

        So will another couple of million people or so. The so called “choppy” is going to become a still picture with 10 min moving frames. Good luck with that.

    32. I wonder how the BBC’s deal works with regard to choosing races.

      When the initial announcement was made the BBC said they would always show Monaco, Britain and season finale.

      I assume that after that BBC and Sky took it turns to divide the remaining races between them in the same way you often picked teams when at school.

      The things I am uncertain of are if there is condition that the gap between the races the BBC doesn’t show cannot be more than so many races, if you look at the schedule the biggest gap is two races in a row which are Sky exclusives.

      Also apart from the races the BBC will show every year do they have to alternate so that if a race is not picked in 2012, in 2013 it will get priority over a race which was shown in 2012.

      If these had to be taken into consideration you could understand why the races the BBC will show are a mixed bag and wouldn’t be any fan’s pick of the ten races they would choose to see.

    33. Safe to say I wont be watching a single minute of next year on the BBC. Appalling choices (that is, if they had a choice). I couldn’t care less about their ‘award winning coverage’, the only thing I tune in for is the racing and Brundle’s gridwalk. Hopefully he’s going to Sky too.

      1. Hopefully he’s going to Sky too.

        I hopes so too, and something tells me Sky have already thought about this.

    34. If Sky deny the option of live coverage to Virgin Media as well as Freeview customers, my MP will be asked to take that up with the competition commission.

      On the BBC coverage, their constant bleating about money saving when this deal was first announced is made even more ridiculous with the announcement that they will send their own contingent to every race,including the non-live ones. Their lunacy knows no bounds…

    35. This is one of the dumbest deals ever… One channel shows half and other channel shows other half.. I’ve never heard of anything like that before. I genuinely feel bad for everybody in Britain who will miss 50% of the races..

      1. You mean miss 50% of the race live

      2. One channel shows half and other channel shows other half.

        No, one channel will show all of them and the other channel will show half of them. I think BBC still got a pretty good deal. But I think Sky will phase them out in time to come, or force them to pay lots.

        1. Yeah sorry I don’t have the best English but thats what I meant to say.

      3. I think the real practical alternative to this deal was that BBC got NONE of them, and Sky got all of THEM.

        The fact that the BBC are covering ANY of them is a good deal for them.

        1. No it’s not.

          The real practical alternative was that Channel 4 got the contract and showed ALL the races on free-to-air…

          1. You’re missing the point…. the BBC already owned the rights but needed to get out of the contract…

            So the only option for them was to sell the whole package – and the only non-advert buyer in town was Sky… that the BBC negotiated to retain some rights was the only option available to them.

            1. They had another option: fulfil the remaining year of their contract as it stood, and then let other broadcasters fight it out for the contract.

    36. In Canada we get the races on TSN who carries the BBC feed. Now with the changes coming next year are we also only going to get to see the BBC races and not have an option to purchase a package to get the sky races????

      1. It depends on the exact nature of the deal. if the BBC are still the main holders of the rights, but “renting” them out to Sky, Canada should be unaffected. If it’s Sky, then some new negotiations will probably take place. Either way I don’t think you’ll be losing races.

    37. Not having the season-opener on the BBC will surely lose a lot of casual viewers whose first chance of watching a race will be round 3- I can imagine that putting people off.

      1. That is probably the clearest indication that they were all drunk when that deal was done. It’s like some idiot came up with a strategy to kick start the Sky coverage but had no idea of what they were really doing. In my view when, you miss the first race, the interest to follow the rest of the season diminishes drastically. If you miss the first race of 2 seasons in a row then you become a casual observer at best. In a world of instant access and choice
        this looks like commercial suicide.

      2. That is the idea. The best way for Sky to build publicity is to provide sole live-TV coverage of the season opener.

    38. “The fans are the most important people in F1” What a load of…
      Spa makes €5m loss, yer we know why! and will probably become an every second year event.

      Yours truly
      Fed Up

    39. For those who want things easily filtered ;)

      3 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit April 13-15th BBC/Sky
      5 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya May 11-13th BBC/Sky
      6 Monaco Grand Prix Monte-Carlo May 24-27th BBC/Sky
      8 European Grand Prix Valencia June 22nd-24th BBC/Sky
      9 British Grand Prix Silverstone July 6-8th BBC/Sky
      12 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps August 31st-September 2nd BBC/Sky
      14 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay September 21st-23rd BBC/Sky
      16 Korean Grand Prix Korean International Circuit October 12-14th BBC/Sky
      18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina November 2nd-4th BBC/Sky
      20 Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos November 23rd-25th BBC/Sky

      Abu Dhabi

    40. One thing I do hope with the BBC coverage is that the delayed highlights are shown on BBC’s main channels and not purely on the Red Button.

    41. 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.

    42. 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.

    43. 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 :-)

    44. 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?

    45. 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.

    46. 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.

    47. 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 ?

    48. 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.

    49. 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. @Joseph94 illegal streaming?

      3. 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.

    50. *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.

    51. Occupy F1 is born.

    52. 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.

    53. 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…

    54. 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?

    55. 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.

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

    57. 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.

    58. 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

    59. 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?

    60. 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.

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

    62. 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

    63. 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.

    64. 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.

    65. 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…

    66. 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?

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

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

      Explains how the races were picked.

    69. 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?

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

    71. 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.

    72. 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?

    73. 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…

    74. I forgot to add blame bernie!!!

    75. 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?

    76. 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.

    77. 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.

    78. 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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