The BBC and Sky have joined together in a 6 year deal to share the broadcasting rights for the 2012 F1 race calendar.
After negotiating the rights from ITV in 2008, the BBC has been the exclusive broadcaster for F1 coverage in the UK. However, last summer Sky Sports and BBC signed a six year deal to share the broadcasting rights of the Formula 1 coverage.
Sky Sports will broadcast all of the races and coverage live, while the BBC will show half of the races and have highlights on TV, iPlayer and mobile. Both will broadcast in high definition.
The new Sky Sports channel was launched on Friday the 9th March. This featured former BBC commentator and F1 driver Martin Brundle and ex World champion Damon Hill.
The new channel includes the broadcast of all three practice sessions, prior to Qualifying, this has never been shown on terrestrial TV before. This allows viewers to see drivers and teams prepare for the upcoming Grand Prix.
The downside is, viewers who do not already have Sky subscription, they will have to take one out if they wish to watch every game. This will be the first time that F1 races have not been free to watch in the UK.
At first the BBC angered a number of fans with their decision to only show ‘Key races’.
But with the success of the launch and added coverage available on the new channel, it appears fans will be getting their money’s worth if they choose to subscribe to Sky.
Managing director of Sky Sports, Barney Francis said: “As well as unrivalled build-up to each race on Sky Sports News, we will broadcast in-depth live coverage of every session. Sky customers with Sky Sports will also be able to enjoy F1TM across multiple platforms and devices, including Sky Go.”
For more information on the new Sky Sports channel visit http://f1.sky.com