Sky Sports and BBC to share UK coverage from 2012

From next year, the excellent BBC coverage of Formula One will be shared with Sky Sports. That means all the practice and qualifying sessions, plus the race itself can be only be seen on the pay channel, while only highlights will be available on the Beeb.

But at least the Radio 5 Live commentary will continue in all the Grands Prix next season.

Why the change? The BBC was forced to cut costs significantly and even though the coverage this season has been great with record numbers of television audience at every Grand Prix, the lost to ‘free-to-air’ broadcast is bad news for Formula One fans. There were rumours that it was heading back to ITV or possibly to Channel 4 and Five, but in the end it went to Sky.

I will certainly miss the in-depth analysis on the red button, plus the live broadcast on all the sessions available on the BBC Sport website. Can Sky Sports provide a better ‘show’? We shall see.

As for the deal, both the BBC and Sky are happy with the outcome.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.

“The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a ten-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.

“With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports, said: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.

“We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

This is a sad day for true Formula One enthusiasts. Even though I have a Sky subscription (High Definition), I don’t think it is good value for money to watch twenty races next year, even with advert breaks!

Which means I have to resort to the radio and some kind of television feed available on the interweb to get my racing action.

11 thoughts to “Sky Sports and BBC to share UK coverage from 2012”

  1. Half the Formula 1 calendar will be taken off free-to-air television in the United Kingdom from 2012 as part of a new share deal between Sky Sports and the BBC.

    While all grands prix, qualifying and practice sessions will be broadcast on pay channel Sky Sports, only half the races will be shown live on the free-to-air BBC in the new arrangement, which runs from 2012 to 2018.

    The BBC will continue to show highlights of the races it is not covering live, and its Radio 5 Live arm will have live commentary on all rounds.

    BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “We are absolutely delighted that F1 will remain on the BBC.

    “The sport has never been more popular with TV audiences at a 10-year high and the BBC has always stated its commitment to the big national sporting moments.

    “With this new deal not only have we delivered significant savings but we have also ensured that through our live and extended highlights coverage all the action continues to be available to licence-fee payers.”

    Sky Sports’ managing director Barney Francis added: “This is fantastic news for F1 fans and Sky Sports will be the only place to follow every race live and in HD.

    “We will give F1 the full Sky Sports treatment with a commitment to each race never seen before on UK television.”

    The BBC had a deal to exclusively broadcast F1 in the UK until the end of 2013, but the company had been under pressure to reduce costs.

    The Monaco and British Grands Prix and the season finale are among the races that the BBC will continue to show.


  2. Formula 1 teams are to seek clarification from Bernie Ecclestone on the new BBC/Sky television deal amid concerns about the sport moving away from free-to-air television in 2012.

    In a shock announcement on Friday morning, the BBC and Sky announced that they would be sharing coverage of F1 in Britain next year – with Sky showing every race on its subscription channels and the BBC showing only half of them.

    That move has led to outrage from fans, who are unhappy that they will not be able to follow every race on free-to-air television.

    Team principals have also expressed some surprise at not having every race shown on free-to-air television, but they want more details from Ecclestone to find out what the specifics of the deal are.

    McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said that he would seek more information from Ecclestone, especially because he felt it important F1 was not taken off free-to-air.

    “As I understand BBC are covering half the grands prix, and Sky are doing every practice session and everything else. It’s interesting,” he told AUTOSPORT. “I don’t think anyone should be immediately reacting to say this is good, bad, or indifferent.

    “What we need to understand is whether the large audience we currently enjoy in Formula 1 will be maintained. I think we also need to understand exactly how this is being done.”

    Whitmarsh said moves to take F1 off free-to-air could be viewed as a breach of the Concorde Agreement, with him claiming that there were clauses in the deal that ties the teams, Ecclestone and the FIA together that guarantees the sport’s broadcast platform.

    “We’ve got a range of safeguards within Concorde, and the right thing to do is to explore how the Formula 1 coverage is going to be dealt with in the future, and take a view from there,” he said. “I don’t know how many homes in the UK have Sky, but it is a pretty high proportion.”

    Williams chairman Adam Parr said the key was understanding the finer details of the arrangement – because what teams lose in widespread television viewing figures could be gained in an increased revenue from Sky.

    “In principle I have no issue with optimising the balance between the revenues that we need, and getting a good reach in the audience,” he told AUTOSPORT. “The devil is in the detail.

    “I think it is a balance and, without knowing the details, you cannot comment on whether it is good or bad. What I do know is that Bernie is a very passionate believer in getting the broadest audience possible and I think he has almost certainly done this in order to do that. ”

    When asked what his message would be to disappointed fans, Parr said: “I am sympathetic to them. I understand it is difficult – but English Premier League fans have had that for a while haven’t they?

    “The one thing I would say, which I have said before, I know that whether you are coming to a race or are watching the sport at home and have to do that on pay TV which seems expensive, people have to bear in mind what it costs to put on this show. It is part of the character of F1.

    “For us to design and build the two cars that we will have on the grid on Sunday here, without putting an engine in them, without putting a driver in them, without accounting for the 70 staff that we bring to each race – without all of that those cars cost £2 million. You multiply that by all the cars on the grid and that is £24 million minimum of the costs just to make the parts. That is part of the show.

    “It is not a bloke or two blokes with a tennis racket and a pair of plimsolls with zero cost. It is a very, very expensive sport. The best thing we can do for fans, whether they want to come to the races or want to watch it on TV, is to reduce the cost of the sport without spoiling the show.”

    Parr also pointed out that the Sky/BBC deal was part of a changing media platform – and he drew comparisons between it and the ‘freemium’ platform of AUTOSPORT.

    “I think that media distribution has changed so much, whether you have gone from paper magazines to a combination of magazine and online,” he said. “For example, if you are a lover of AUTOSPORT you have a subscription service there as well as a free-to-air element. The whole media landscape is changing so quickly.

    “The argument from AUTOSPORT would be: we cannot do this for free. We can get some revenue from advertising on the website, some from selling magazines, but we have to optimise our income – and if you want the really good quality of the coverage that you love it is not free, we have to pay to get people to the events.

    “It is a question of degree and balance but also recognising that the way media is distributed is changing. It may well be that the next time around it is not Sky because Google has won the bid and we are all watching it live on the Internet.”

    BBC commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle said on Twitter that he was “not impressed” with the deal.

    “BBC/Sky/F1 2012+. Found out last night, no idea how it will work yet I’m out of contract, will calmly work through options. Not impressed,” he wrote.


  3. Sky Sports will not show adverts during the Formula One coverage. Some positive about the new television deal! has the details.

    Sky Sports has confirmed that it will not run adverts during its broadcast coverage of Formula 1 races next year, and will instead limit them to the pre and post-race show.

    The broadcaster announced on Friday morning that it will screen every race, qualifying and practice session of the 2012 F1 season live while BBC Sport will scale-back its coverage to include just half the races.

    Adverts became hugely unpopular with UK television audiences when F1 switched from the BBC to ITV in 1997, and a number of key moments during races – including Damon Hill taking the lead of that year’s Hungarian Grand Prix in an Arrows – were missed as a result.

    A spokesperson for Sky Sports told AUTOSPORT: “We won’t have adverts while the races are running. We know they were very unpopular in the past and we don’t have to go down that route.”

    The broadcaster has no plans to introduce a ‘pay-per-view’ scheme for races, meaning that fans will have to purchase a Sky Sports package and pay for it on a monthly basis.

    Sky Sports News, which is available on all Sky packages without the need for a Sky Sports subscription, will feature pre and post-race analysis in addition to that broadcast on Sky Sports.

    Everything broadcast on Sky Sports will also be available online and via mobile and tablet.

    BBC will continue to show highlights of each race it does not broadcast live.

  4. The BBC has defended its decision to renegotiate its Formula One contract and share coverage with Sky in a deal expected to save the corporation at least £25m a year, claiming it would have otherwise been forced to ditch the sport altogether.

    The BBC has given up the final two years of its exclusive five-year deal, which cost around £50m a year, and reinvested the proceeds in a new shared deal with Sky that runs until 2018 but will mean it shows only half the races live.

    The BBC’s director of sport, Barbara Slater, would only say that the savings were “genuinely significant”, but it is understood that the corporation is saving at least £25m a year.

    The decision has already been criticised by some of the BBC’s on-air presenters, including Martin Brundle, and fans who will have to subscribe to Sky Sports to follow every race live. But Slater said: “This deal strikes a really good balance between continuing to make Formula One available and operating in tough financial times.”

    Some of the teams gathering for this weekend’s grand prix in Hungary were quick to point out that their approval for the deal would be needed in the new Concorde agreement that governs the sport, the current one being due to run out in 2012.

    Given that BSkyB will be paying far more than £25m per year for full live rights, which it will exploit across all platforms, the expectation is that Bernie Ecclestone has again negotiated a significant increase of the total flowing into the sport. Ecclestone, the Formula One supremo, hailed the deal as “super”, saying: “There will be highlights as well as live coverage on two different networks now, so we get the best of both worlds.”

    The deal is modelled on a similar arrangement with the Masters golf, where the BBC now shows the final two days live and Sky shows the entire event.

    Slater said: “Any loss is a shame. But in a very tough financial climate, both of those deals make real sense and deliver real value and continued access for the audience. It may well have been we would have had to have lost these rights simply because of our ability to manage our portfolio going forward. The renegotiation has allowed us to come up with such a good package that we have tried to make this sustainable.”

    The loss of exclusive grand prix rights could help the BBC when it comes to retaining the rights to other flagship sports properties such as Wimbledon, the current deal for which runs until 2014. “There will always be events we would want to acquire exclusively. In each individual sport, it’s possible to take different approaches,” Slater said.

    The BBC will show the qualifying and the race from half the grands prix, including Silverstone, Monaco and the final race of the season. Sky will show all the races live, plus extensive coverage of the build up and qualifying, and Slater said there was a possibility that they could share production resources and even on?screen talent. “We will seek to share production resources where appropriate, that is something we are working through.”

    Sky Sports has said it will not run adverts during its coverage and will instead limit them to the pre and post-race show. They proved highly unpopular when on ITV and a Sky Sports spokesman said: “We won’t have adverts while the races are running. We know they were very unpopular in the past and we don’t have to go down that route.”

    It is understood that the deal was signed at 5am in order to enable Sky to unveil it before it announced its results to the City. The new deal will give added impetus to ongoing attempts by News Corp, which owns 39% of BSkyB, to put together a consortium to buy Formula One from the venture capital group CVC.

    Brundle, the former driver who is one of the faces of the BBC’s Formula One coverage was not happy about the deal and tweeted: “Found out last night, no idea how it will work yet – I’m out of contract, will calmly work through options. Not impressed.”

    The popularity of Formula One has blossomed in recent years with the success of the British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. But it has not been a regular ratings winner for the BBC because many of the races are broadcast outside of peak time. The flagship races remain a big draw, however, and the sport reaches audiences that the BBC otherwise finds it hard to attract. This year’s British Grand Prix peaked with 6.6 million viewers on 10 July. The race, won by Fernando Alonso, averaged 4.9 million viewers across three hours of coverage on BBC1. It was substantially up on the 3.6 million average audience who watched the British Grand Prix – on ITV – in 2001.

    The BBC was the traditional home of Formula One motor racing for many years until the rights were bought by ITV in 1997. Formula One remained on the commercial broadcaster until 2009 when it returned to the BBC. ITV exercised a break clause to ditch the sport with two years of its deal remaining to free up cash for Champions League football.

    The presenter of BBC’s Formula One television coverage, Jake Humphrey, said on Twitter: “Feels like the right time to say how proud I am of the whole BBC F1 production team & the programmes we’ve produced for you guys since ’09’.”

    Jeremy Darroch, the BSkyB chief executive, said that the satellite broadcaster became involved in the negotiations for Formula One very late in the process. Channel 4 reportedly expressed an interest in buying the rights, while ITV rejected the idea of making a bid. “Formula One is in the top tier of sports properties,” Darroch said. “It is very much a blue riband event.”

    The BBC has been under pressure to cut costs since last year’s hastily agreed licence fee settlement with the government. The level of the licence fee was frozen and the corporation took on a number of new funding responsibilities, including the BBC World Service, prompting the director general, Mark Thompson, to embark on a 20% cost-cutting exercise aimed at saving £600m a year by 2014.

    Formula One had been mooted as one of the sports it was most likely to drop in a bid to save money on rights deals. The future of its Wimbledon coverage was also speculated on, but it was always likely to prioritise tennis over motor racing.

    Source: The Guardian

  5. Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has promised that the sport’s audience will grow with the onset of Sky’s pay-to-view television deal from 2012.

    A surprise deal was announced on Friday morning that the BBC and Sky Sports will share coverage of the sport in the UK from 2012 – with the satellite and cable broadcaster showing all live sessions while the BBC transmits only half on terrestrial digital television – prompting a wave of angry responses from license holders on internet forums and Twitter.

    But Ecclestone, speaking after leaving a meeting to address the subject with F1’s team principals, insisted that the deal is positive for the sport.

    “It’s good for Formula 1,” he said. “For sure there are going to be a lot more people viewing, and a lot more opportunities for people to view, so from that point I’m very happy.

    “I’ve been finalising this all night long and one or two things might change a little.”

    “Sky will broadcast everything, all the races, live. The Beeb will do 50 per cent live, and when it isn’t live, they will be putting together a very good highlights package.

    “They [BBC] may yet do the whole race deferred, we have to see.”

    Asked what he would say to fans who could not afford a Sky subscription, Ecclestone replied: “That’s where the problem is, I know, but from what I understand Sky has enormous coverage, 10 million homes.

    “For those who can’t watch Sky, they can still watch on a Sunday night, which will probably be better than watching the whole race live half the time,” he added.

    Ecclestone added that the deal was not complicated by issues surrounding the current Concorde Agreement because the covenant comes to an end prior to the beginning of the Sky contract.

    “The Concorde finishes in 2012,” he said. “After then there may not be one, we don’t need one. We’ll see.

    “But I think this is all positive, and having spoken to the teams, they think it’s positive too.”

    Along with indicating that the deal was likely to mean more income for the teams, Ecclestone spoke about the general onset of pay-per-view television and how the media landscape affected F1 in the future.

    “We do have to do the best we can, and I’m interested in getting the maximum coverage because we have to invest in the future for the good of the teams and for Formula 1,” he said.

    “I think in the end people will be more happy with this than they are at the moment.”


  6. Martin Whitmarsh believes the new television deal with Sky Sports and the BBC will be good for the viewers with more details about the new share coverage. has the story.

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh says early indications about the detail of the deal for Sky Sports and the BBC to share Formula 1 television rights in the United Kingdom are encouraging for teams.

    It was announced this morning that from 2012 to 2018 only half the F1 races will broadcast live on the free-to-air BBC as part of the new arrangement.

    But despite initial concerns about the implications for viewing figures, Whitmarsh said after talks with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, he could see more positives for F1 – especially as Ecclestone had suggested that the BBC would still show full-length versions of its ‘non-live’ races rather than just highlights.

    “From what Bernie has said it’s better than expected,” said Whitmarsh.

    “The BBC will show every grand prix in full, half of them live and half of them deferred, so free-to-air is available to everyone.

    “Sky sound like they are really going to commit to it as well, so it sounds like there is a little bit of competition between the BBC and Sky.

    “So overall, from Bernie’s view, it will increase the total viewership within the UK.

    “Bernie assured me, and I asked him several times, the deferred coverage will not be highlights, it will be a full race.

    “That, to some fans, will be very important, depending on exactly races they are, so hopefully that means it’s a good deal for everyone.”

    Whitmarsh said teams were becoming more receptive to the deal as more details emerged.

    “Based upon that, if it increases the total viewership, and it maintains the ability of free to air for all of the viewing public in the UK, then cautiously it’s good news isn’t it?” he said of the paddock’s reaction.

    He accepted that many fans were likely to be angry, but hoped the cost implications would be less severe than they feared.

    “I can understand why,” said Whitmarsh. “Based on what I’ve heard there won’t be a premium for watching Formula 1 on Sky, so it sounds like it’s good news rather than bad.

    “We have to try and maintain the show, work harder, try and reach out to fans, listen to them, we’ll continue doing that, hopefully we can all work together to make the sport much bigger.”

  7. Formula 1 teams will have to accept Bernie Ecclestone’s decision to put some races on pay television only next year, AUTOSPORT has learned, with there being no protection in the Concorde Agreement against taking it off free-to-air viewing.

    Although it had been widely believed there were clauses in the Concorde Agreement which prevented Ecclestone taking the sport off free-to-air television, it has been revealed that the wording of the deal does not stop him activating the kind of share deal that has been put in place with the BBC and Sky.

    High level sources have revealed that the wording of an Appendix in the Concorde Agreement relating to the broadcasting of the sport states: “The Commercial Rights Holder may not permit Formula 1 events to be shown only by pay television in a country with a significant audience if it would materially adversely affect audience reach in that country.”

    As well as Ecclestone’s deal ensuring that not all the races are shown ‘only’ on pay television, there would be no way of challenging the move to Sky as potentially ‘adversely’ affecting the audience ahead of the move happening.

    Although the Sky/BBC deal has resulted in an angry reaction from fans, who are furious that they will have to pay to continue watching every race from next year, teams’ concerns have been placated by the financial benefits of the new deal.

    Ecclestone met with teams on Friday afternoon to inform them of the details of the deal – which could net each outfit a extra benefit of around £1 million per season over its duration – with the Sky/BBC deal bringing in around £55 million per year, compared to the estimated £40 million per season that BBC currently pays for exclusive rights.

    HRT team boss Colin Kolles said any F1 squads criticising Ecclestone for the move were wrong, because of the huge financial benefits the new deal brings to teams.

    “If you would ask my colleagues after the meeting with Bernie Ecclestone, everybody is very happy,” Kolles told AUTOSPORT. “Bernie has shown again to his people, who are criticising him, what fantastic deals he has done.

    “He has also done fantastic for the fans because it is not only 10 races on BBC live, you also have the other 10 races on at prime time, at 6pm, on BBC – which is even better because I don’t believe that someone likes to wake up at 4am to watch an F1 race.

    “This will bring much increased viewership and it brings a quite amazing deal to the stakeholders of F1. I think Bernie has shown again what a fantastic job he is doing and this has to be really appreciated.”

    But although the teams will enjoy financial benefits from the new BBC/Sky deal, other stakeholders in the sport are not totally convinced about the situation.

    Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery said he was eager to know whether F1’s viewership would be hurt by the move to pay television.

    “It is more to do with viewing figures from our point of view, as we look at it from the sponsors’ view,” he told AUTOSPORT. “The more people that watch it, the better it is for us.

    “I am quite sure that medium term, such a move will have a great impact on the viewing figures because you have improved the product given to the fan, and that will still bring great viewing figures.

    “Teams will be worried about income streams and other sponsors, like us, will want to know what impact it has on viewing figures. That is how you calculate your return on being in the sport. It is the equivalent of the advertising rate card. You need seconds on the screen multiplied by the number of people watching it. It is a very simple calculation.”

    Hembery said he was not surprised that fans are angry about the move – and said he expected many casual fans to simply turn away from the sport.

    “You can understand the fans’ point of view,” he said. “They have had something for free and now they have to pay for it. It is human nature to say ‘I had it for free’. As a licence payer I just hope there aren’t more reality shows.

    “Tuning into a free-to-view channel, or getting yourself a dish and signing up to a financial contract is very different. You reduce the chances of the casual viewer tuning in, but it might be one of those cases where you have to go back a step to go forward. We will be disappointed if the great work that has been done this year to the sport is lost, particularly in a key market such as the UK.”


  8. Williams chairman Adam Parr believes Bernie Ecclestone did the right thing in putting together that BBC/Sky shared broadcast deal for next year – because there was a risk of Formula 1 coverage being off free-to-air television entirely.

    While British fans remain angry about the prospect of not being able to watch every race live on the BBC from 2012, Parr says that those unhappy about the move should actually be happy that Ecclestone has managed to keep at least some races on the channel.

    Although sympathetic that fans will feel they are worse off in 2012, Parr says that they must take into consideration that they could have been even worse off if the Sky/BBC share deal had not come together.

    “I can understand why a British fan who has had free non-advert coverage, amazing content, and brilliant presenters will be saying that anything else is going to be less good,” explained Parr.

    “I am sorry that the BBC could not carry on doing what they are doing, but they made that decision. I don’t think that the fees being charged to the BBC are unreasonable compared to Wimbledon or any other major sports event.

    “I am sympathetic, but to be fair the teams have not had any involvement in this. We don’t negotiate these deals, but when Bernie briefed us as a group about this, the universal view was, okay we get it. We understand why you’ve done it. We see the benefits; we know where you are coming from – fair enough.”

    When asked by AUTOSPORT if there was a prospect that F1 could even have been off free-to-air television totally with the BBC unable to continue its current contract, Parr said: “I think that is true. I think Bernie put this deal together to ensure that the fans would have as much of what they have been enjoying as possible.”

    He added: “If you are Bernie, and you are looking at the situation where your current partner is stopping – what do you do? I think he has sat back and put together something which is the best that could be done under the circumstances.”

    Amid scepticism about claims that the Sky/BBC deal could actually boost viewing figures in the UK, as Ecclestone has argued, a number of sponsors have expressed private concern about the impact the deal could have on the sport’s popularity in 2012.

    McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh insisted, however, that he was not too worried about the situation.

    “I don’t think there are any [concerns] here. I think that is just speculation,” he said when asked if he had any fears of dwindling sponsorship revenue because of smaller viewing figures.

    “At the moment we have to do a careful analysis of it, but the view yesterday was that the viewership would increase as a consequence of the amount of time and coverage that F1 will present – because you have got BBC and Sky competing.

    “You have got deferred coverage as well, and for a lot of grands prix it will frankly probably be better to have it in the UK a few hours later in any case.

    “I think we have to be aware of that. It is important in the UK market that we have as much coverage as possible.”


  9. Realistically, on hindsight , with ITV disinterested, Channel 4 being broke and Channel 5 lacking resources plus having next to no experience in large scale live sport broadcasts; Bernie was always going to ask SKY first rather than drop his ever rising financial demands. Under the circumstances this deal is probably the best that could be hoped for. It could easily have been a Highlights only package a la Premiership football.

    There will be a big drop in the viewing figures for the SKY only races – even SKY only claims 10 million subscribers in total, with only a proportion of those having any of the skysports packages. Those without would have to pay £300 to £600 a year for the privilege of watching the other 10 race weekends live. Can’t see there being a great flood of people taking that up in the current economic climate and the “casual” fans will certainly not bother. That won’t help the overall viewing figures to grow , whatever what Bernie might say.

    The smaller teams like HRT might find the extra £1m a year worthwhile but it remains to be seen if sponsors to the bigger teams sees it that way in the longer term. Teams (and circuits) might well find they lose as much as they gain when it comes to squeezing money out of Santander, for example.

    I think Bernie and others is a bit naive to think that the BBC would show the full races deferred on a regular basis. For some of the Far Eastern races maybe – there’s a nice afternoon slot for them on BBC1 or 2 . For the Euro races you’re talking taking up 2 hours of evening prime time….. for what is a “repeat” in reality. Or it can sit uncomfortably on the light entertainment channel thats BBC3……which currently opens at 7pm…… . As for the American races – what? 10 o’ clock to 12? Hope you got no kids interested, or SKY+. Sticking with highlights makes more commercial sense.

    Naturally all this talk is just trying to make the best of a disappointing outcome for many. We’ve been spoilt in the past but we’ll get used to it. Let’s hope the broadband infrastructure will be good enough by then for people to make use of eg. iPlayer effectively.

  10. So the financial ruin of the world has finally reached and touched the fans of the highest level of motorsport. The BBC has, for a good year now been cutting costs left, right and centre. Some popular, some not so popular and some areas left untouched to suck money out of the coffers. We heard a few months back that the Beeb is struggling to meet the budgets needed to keep certain programs. The two main ones mentioned being Wimbledon and F1. Unfortunately, it seems F1 is the one to suffer. I say that of course in reference to the Government making Wimbledon a protected event so no matter what happens to the show, it’ll be on terrestrial TV. Not so with F1 despite it having a massive following and so much of it is based in the UK, or at least have the UK as a huge part of any particular team.

    So the Beeb has reached out to Sky to help them out. Given Sky are getting the contract early, perhaps this is the reason why 2012 on Sky will be “ad free”. I just don’t believe the race will stay ad free for the whole contract. I truly hope it does, but even ads during the before and after show will annoying having gotten used to being completely ad free.

    So what do I think? Well I have Sky Sports and HD so in essence it’s mean eff all to me. However, while I think Sky is the future, I have very little doubt they’ll fuck it right up! Anyone remember the last time Sky had F1? It died on its ARSE! OK so it was Pay Per View, but I think literary 10’s of people watched it on Sky. And that was despite the fact that they had their red button in action, which at the time was the most interactive TV channel in the world.

    But that was back then and now the BBC has triumphed in it’s broadcasting of the sport, offering everything Sky did back then, with the greatest pre and post shows we have ever seen. So with that said, I seen nothing that Sky can add to make it better. All I can see is they will just make it worse, with flash overlaid graphics and shite presenters trying too hard to make those left watching that we are better off.

    What happens in 2013? Will we get ads? Of course we will and in that case, I’d prefer to see ITV to get it back again!

    Of course, the BBC will get extended highlights and will get to show 10 races. But what use is that? If you can’t see the rest of the season, you will loose all the tension, fights and repercussions that have gone on before. I mean what shows will the BBC get? I know Silverstone, Monaco and the final race is there’s, but is it going to be one every other race or are we going to have to wait for 3 races from one to the other? How on earth is everything that went on going to be explained and for us to any real feeling and emotion from it? While there is the excellent Radio 5 live commentary, if I’m at home to watch, I don’t like listening to just the audio broadcast. I can sound awful depending on where they are and it’s still interrupted. So for me, this means nothing.

    Now, of course this all sucks for those who don’t have Sky Sports and refuse to pay for it. There are ways around this of course, since well, illegal sharing on the Internet is not quite dead yet. Also there are some other ways such as card sharing, so way to go to stop illegal ways watching content guys!

    So yes it all sucks even if you have Sky Sports, but this is the big picture. It costs a fortune to show each race. The BBC only has so much money which wont be going up anytime soon and while it gets wasted on shit shows or expensive wages, they all pail into insignificance to the millions required each race. Hell, Sky will use the same gear as the BBC uses now, so it’s obvious Sky didn’t want to foot the bill for the whole thing either. So we get a crappy 10 shows, but it could so easily have been zero. For all those crying and “Doing an Alonso” and refusing to watch F1 again: just like all those that said they would drop AT&T when Verison got the iPhone and then just didn’t, I don’t believe any of you. Hardly anywhere else in the world is it “free” (you do pay for the license fee right?!).

    So I’ll still be watching every race, but I do feel for all those that don’t want to have anything to do with Sky. While TV shows disappear to satellite TV or just disappear, it’s seems tradition that it’s sport that suffers the most. One thing that is for sure though, we wont be seeing absurd wages and bonuses that the likes of football has been treated to. There will never be the viewing figures to fund it, so how on earth Bernie could ever spout the shit he has been saying about viewing figures will rise I don’t know. Again though we’ll just add this bollocks to Bernie long list of talking in fact, complete bollocks.

    Like I said, this is the best we could have hoped for. Sorry, but really was a case of it could be worse, so be thankful for small things and watch what you can. IF the Beeb will get to show all races with some being shown later, then it’s not an altogether a complete loss. I don’t think it’s know 100% yet how much later the BBC can show Sky’s races, but at least you get to watch what happened in a nutshell and then can watch the whole shebang later if needed. Oh and don’t forget there’s at least 3 races you can probably afford not to watch at all! Oh yeah, the BBC will probably get lumbered with them. Still it’s nice trip for them out to the UAE lol.

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