Sky Sports wins F1 rights in UK

Sky Sports has won the rights to show every F1 race next season. The BBC has been the exclusive broadcaster for Formula One in the UK since 2009 but will now scale back their coverage.

From 2012, Sky will be able to show all F1 races, some of which will be exclusively live. The BBC will show half the races plus qualifying and practice, including the British Grand Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix. The BBC will show any non-live races in a highlights programme.

The BBC’s Radio Five Live coverage will remain unchanged.

The BBC’s contract with Formula One Management was due to end after the 2013 season and many believed that they were planning to stop showing the sport for financial reasons. However this new six year deal means the corporation will continue to show some F1 racing.

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

Managing Director of Sky Sports Barney Francis commented, “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.

“As well as unrivalled build-up to each race on Sky Sports News, we will broadcast in-depth live coverage of every session.”