Sky and BBC Announce Details of 2012 F1 Coverage

The faces that currently deliver F1 to the UK fans: (left to right) David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Jake Humphrey - Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
The faces that currently deliver F1 to the UK fans: (left to right) David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan and Jake Humphrey - Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


Broadcasters Sky and the BBC have, in separate announcements, given more information about how UK fans will be able to watch Formula 1 in 2012.

The deal to split the coverage, announced during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend to the consternation of many fans, means that all races will be shown live by Sky next season. The BBC, who desperately needed to offload some of the cost of the rights to show the sport, will now have just ten live races, and will show extended highlights of the rest.

Sky have announced that they will launch a new High Definition channel for their F1 coverage, which will broadcast for the entire season and feature other motorsport programming. It will be available not only to customers subscribing to Sky Sports 1 and 2, but also to all non-sports customers who pay for HD services. The satellite broadcaster also confirmed that there would be no advertisement breaks at all during the races.

There is no confirmation yet about who will front Sky’s coverage of the sport, but it is thought that Simon Lazenby has been chosen in the presenter role. The Times are today speculating that Martin Brundle is close to signing for the broadcaster, returning to his old pundit role, and that David Croft, the BBC Radio 5 Live commentator, will also defect. There are other rumours that pit-lane report Ted Kravitz will also be moving to Sky.

Jake Humphrey has confirmed that he will continue to present the BBC coverage, and that the team will continue to travel to every race. It is thought that David Coulthard is still under contract at the broadcaster, but there is no news about the commentary team.

It was known in June that the BBC would be showing the Monaco Grand Prix, the British Grand Prix and the final race of the season (in Brazil) live as part of the deal, but they have now confirmed the other seven live races. They are China, Spain, Europe (Valencia), Belgium, Singapore, Korea and Abu Dhabi.

For the other ten (or possibly nine, given the uncertainty over the race in Austin), there will be extended highlights programmes on BBC One. For Far Eastern races, this will be a two-hour show broadcast at 14:00 on the day of the race whilst, for European events, a 90-minute programme will be shown at 17:30. It is not yet clear what the BBC intend to do for the Canadian Grand Prix highlights, with the live race not beginning until the early evening.

For live races, the BBC will continue to show all three practice sessions on the Red Button and website, and continue the usual BBC One coverage of qualifying and the race, including the F1 forum. 5Live will continue to cover all the sessions live.

  • Omega1424

    The bbc could have saved some money by not having the hour long blurb at the beginning of
    the saturday and sunday shows.
    So it now means that to see all the races in full we`ll have to subscribe to sky, which if we do would mean the bbc would get less viewers.
    personal problem, I live abroad and the bbc signal disappears around 6pm so I`d miss half the races,and for some reason iplayer etc is not available in Spain so cant watch it there either.
    any comments

  • Squeeels

    So Bernie Eccelstone isn’t happy enough with having hundreds of millons in the bank, but no, he still wants more. So what I find amazing is (and this is aimed at Ecclestone & the BBC) how does it make sense to show ALL the practice & qualifying but only show 10 live full races? What planet are they on? I don’t blame Sky, (and I’m not a subscriber) of course they must be laughing all the way to the bank hoping that people get a FREE taster from the BBC and then have to scibe to Sky to finish off seeing the rest off the races. BBC, well done from doing Sky’s sales job for them, you muppets. It isn’t like football where I can travel the UK to watch the live games through the season (now it’s all on sky). I can even to choose another local team to follow. You won’t believe it but I don’t don’t earn quite enough to travel the world seeing each race, oh and 60 days annual holiday either. As per usual, it’s another sport being taken away from terestial TV. My friends and me are now watching lower league football as the ‘top flight’ game has lost the plot and has been out reach from REAL fans for years. F1/BBC/SKY, you are taking away another sport from the general everyday fan. Sponsorships won’t last forever, or maybe in these sad times of rescission and unemployment the cost of a Sky subscription will become to much and they will start falling away and and when you lose these, you’ll want the fans back to keep you going. Obviously I’m being naive. Good luck, Sky viewers enjoy. Like the Championship, looks like it’s a change to F2/F3 for 2012 then.

  • Rebelracer305

    What a load of crap, have watched f1for many years. I do have sky but will not pay the extra
    for sky sports or hd as I only ever watch f1. Now it looks like will miss out on the full event,
    come on BBC get your act together and keep f1 fans happy.

  • Jonfclarke

    I have only missed one race since 1984, Thanks to the B.B.C. that now looks to change.  I cannot get Sky,the terms of my property lease forbids any dishes,ariels,and other attachments to the building,and the cost is prohibitive for a pensioner.   I am “stuffed”.
             J.C. in  Dartford Kent

  • Nick

    What a tit. Goes without saying that you travel the country for sodding football matches. You talk about money hungry people such as Bernie, but still support anything to do with a sport that pays millions of pounds to hundreds of players and managers every single week! 

    Oh and half of your comment is about BBC showing all the practice sessions for every race but not the race itself, however if you spent less time watching idiots kicking their balls around and more time reading properly then you could have saved yourself the effort of typing all those words that I’m sure hurt your little head so much.”For live races, the BBC will continue to show all three practice sessions on the Red Button and website, and continue the usual BBC One coverage of qualifying and the race, including the F1 forum.”

  • Rob Worthington

    I am 65 and have followed GP since I was a lad … the days of the Vanwall’s , Cooper Climax Hesketh’s … still enjoy every second and still have a race party the day of the races … but I won’t be watching Sky

  • Melandchrisfriends

    bernie ecclestone its time you retired you greedy old man

  • Huracain

    sorry formula one r. i. p  il miss you

  • TinMan

    what about F1 coverage in the United States, I used to get most on “The Speed Channel”….

  • Riso

    You pay a licence fee, that should be enough. I am sure that the bosses at the BBC will get their bounses, they don’t care, they can afford to get SKY.

  • Colinjewsbury

    if the cameras/commentaters are at every race for practice/qualifying,what savings are they making by not showing the race/// come on bbc ,man up and put bernie in his all the races//,

  • Gordon

    i liked your comments, I have to agree, I got rid of Sky ages ago and wont be getting it back, F1 sponsors must surely be a bit worried at the massive tail off in viewers in 2012.

  • Gordon

    hopefully Sky will have a scandal like murdoch other businesses and have to close down so the Beeb can get the coverage back and not have to pay greedy ecclestone more money.

  • Apc Spain

    Would normally b gearing up 4 new season about now…!!  Just realised can’t c first race LIVE or in FULL..    ( Got a BAD feeling..about my 35th season watching )

  • Roy

    I am another loyal fan that has been watching F1 for more years than I would like to remember. I will not be forced to pay for Sky and put more money in Murdoch’s greedy pocket. It is disgraceful that we as BBC licence fee payers are being forced to pay another £30 per month to watch something we love. As said by others, let’s hope Murdoch & Ecclestone get their greedy little hands burnt. F1 I will sadly miss you. 

  • Keith Linnitt

    This decision illustrates just how deep is the contempt that the BBC has for its loyal viewers!  As for Murdoch and Ecclestone, they truly rule the world in  terms of the media.  What a disgrace.

  • Suzanne

    I am disgusted that after years of following the Grand Prix on BBC that I will be forced to buy SKY, well they can whistle.  I agree with other comments about paying for the licence etc., and as F1 is the only sport I am an avid fan of I am more than disgruntled.

  • Chriswasniowski

    time that poison dwarf bernie retired

  • Interceptor (Jenson, geddit?)

    Like all the rest of you, feel totally let down by the BBC.  It was only yesterday we were rejoicing that ITV – more ads than race, and mostly missed ‘the best bits’ – had lost the franchise.  Now, like almost everything else worth watching (love cricket too), I’m forced to get HD to watch it.  See how we go!  Pensioners are often ‘pushed’ to find ‘only a tenner’!
    Still next season its 1600cc!  My screen wash has got more poke!  That is one good reason to watch this year.  Oh…..and C’mon, Jenson!

  • Raymondevans42

    do as im going to do cancel my sky subscription im not being held to ransom by murdoch for an extra 10 pounds a month to upgrade to hd him and eclleston are just 2 greedy old men who think they can walk all over f1 fans                       i wish them both all the bad luck in the world   ray

  • Greatworkrick

    F1 is obscene anyway why not switch to watchin british touring car championship far more exciting

  • Vince Pettit

    I’ll be following via BBC TV and Five Live this year :)

  • Dylanmaleary

    I am so angry

  • Admin

    ive never missed F1 but wont be watching them now cant stand highlights and i dont like sky as it’s a load of rubbish and a waste of money

  • cocteau

     why would anyone want sky it’s usless

  • Reddragonbat

    Ecclestone your a greedy little worm, i have been a Formula One watcher since it began on TV, but that has just ended, i will not be held to ransome by Sky, i think i pay enough, £148 for a TV licence to be able see TV without having to fork out more to view something that has been free for so long.

    You and the murdochs deserve each other, you bunch of parasites.

  • Roger_sar

    Guess what? I’m still not watching Sky. I DO seem to be missing a lot, sponsors names mainly!!