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Virgin Media to carry Sky Sports Formula One channel

The new Sky Sports Formula One channel WILL be available to Virgin Media customers when the channel launches on March 9, 2012.

The new channel, Sky Sports F1, will be added to the complete Sky Sports package available through Virgin Media, alongside Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and 4. Subscribers to this package will have the channel added automatically at launch. Sky Sports News is separately included in all pay TV tiers.

However, The High Definition (HD) version of the channel will not be available to Virgin Media customers.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer this new channel right from the off as it’s certain to be an exciting Formula 1 season with a record number of races and six former or current world champions racing for the title.”

The dedicated Formula One channel will include live coverage of every race, practice, and qualifying session.

Rob Webster, director of Sky’s commercial group, said: “As the new home of the world’s most exciting motorsport series, Formula 1 is going to get the full Sky Sports treatment. Extending the distribution of our dedicated channel is great news for all Sky Sports subscribers, enabling millions of pay TV homes to enjoy the benefits of our innovative coverage and investment in must-see content.”

The BBC will show ten races live on BBC One, including the British, Monaco and Brazilian grands prix.

There will be extended highlights programmes on BBC One of the other 10, of either 90-minute or two-hour duration depending on the location of the race.

Races in the Far Eastern time zone will have highlights broadcast on BBC One at 2pm, with those in the European time zone getting 90 minutes at 5.30pm.

Updated: Monday 16 January 2012