Sky to broadcast Formula 1 live from 2012

BSkyB has won the right to broadcast Formula One races, plus qualifying and practice sessions live from 2012 to 2018.

The deal has been struck in partnership with current F1 broadcaster The BBC, who will also still screen half of the season's races and qualifying sessions live (including the British Grand Prix, Monte Carlo Grand Prix, and the final race at the end of the season). Any races that The BBC doesn't screen live will be shown on the channel as extended highlights.

So, in future, to see the whole season live, F1 fans will have to subscribe to Sky Sports on one of the paid TV platforms, something they may not already do because they're not particularly into football, cricket or rugby. However, to sweeten the blow, at least they'll get all of the practice sessions broadcast in HD live too - something that's not been available via BBC or, formerly, ITV for those without red button services.

In addition, all coverage of the F1 season from 2012 will be available live on Sky Go, Sky's online, iPad and iPhone app service. The BBC will also be continuing with its 'net and device coverage too, only to a lesser extent.

It will be interesting to see if this deal will also eventually include 3D coverage for Sky's dedicated channels, especially as the broadcaster is investing more and more time and effort in the technology. Although, as it took until this season to adopt high definition, we don't advise holding your breath.

Are you willing to pay a subscription fee for F1 coverage? Let us know in the comments below...