The BBC and Sky Sports have agreed a new F1 deal to last from 2012 to 2018 – and it will mean that only half the races will be shown live on BBC. All will be shown on Sky Sports, however.
The BBC will have the British GP, Monaco and the end of the season, and will also show practice and qualifying from those races. It will show highlights from other events. Sky will show all races and sessions. Both companies will broadcast in HD.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, 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.”
Barney Francis, 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.”
The BBC may well be relieved if it has lost the likes of Canada, which while getting a lot of viewers filled up a huge evening prime time slot.
There will no doubt now be a musical chairs game among commentators and presenters as some BBC folk lose their jobs, some go to Sky, and ex-ITV people such as James Allen and Louise Goodman have a chance to return.