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Sky and BBC to share UK F1 television coverage from 2012 to 2018

Television crew in MonacoHalf the Formula 1 calendar will be taken off free-to-air television in the United Kingdom from 2012 as part of a new share deal between Sky Sports and the BBC.

While all grands prix, qualifying and practice sessions will be broadcast on pay channel Sky Sports, only half the races will be shown live on the free-to-air BBC in the new arrangement, which runs from 2012 to 2018.

The BBC will continue to show highlights of the races it is not covering live, and its Radio 5 Live arm will have live commentary on all rounds.

BBC Sport director Barbara Slater 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."

Sky Sports' managing director Barney Francis added: "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 had a deal to exclusively broadcast F1 in the UK until the end of 2013, but the company had been under pressure to reduce costs.

The Monaco and British Grands Prix and the season finale are among the races that the BBC will continue to show.

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