A fairly significant note from the Sky Media advertising release is that they are stating that Sky Sports F1 will be screening all 60 practice session exclusively live. Just to put it into context, this is the section that it was included under:
Sky Sports F1 HD will run from February 1st to November 30th 2013, showcasing the best in live, highlights & magazine shows, including:
– 10 exclusive races & 10 shared races.
– 10 exclusive qualifiers & 10 shared qualifiers.
– Exclusive coverage of all 60 practice sessions.
– Live coverage of the GP2 & GP3 race seasons.
– The F1 Show
– F1 Legends
The way it has been included definitely appears to suggest that BBC have lost the rights (or passed on the rights?) to screen practice behind the Red Button for their ten live race weekends. Please note though that this does not affect 5 Live, they will still have radio rights (which is covered under a separate deal), it would only affect the Red Button service for the ten live weekends. It could simply be a human mistake, but someone has gone into the trouble to work out that there is 60 practice sessions in the 20 race weekends. Is the news true? If it is, then it is hugely disappointing as even in 2012, BBC do practice fantastically well, and as I described yesterday, there is potential scope for improvement. Time, shall tell, it will be interesting to see if BBC counter the Sky advertising release to confirm that they will not be screening practice live on the TV or whether the Sky release is an oversight.
Update at 12:55 – Sky have amended the Sky Media document, removing the ‘exclusive’ element, confirming it was human error. So the answer to the title is ‘No, BBC have not lost the rights to screen practice live’.