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Sky Sports F1 channel to launch on March 9

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Sky Sports F1 logo
Sky has confirmed that Sky Sports F1 is to launch on March 9, and a major marketing campaign will commence tomorrow (February 17) for the satellite broadcaster's first ever HD channel dedicated to just one sport.

Sky Sports F1 has been created to air every Grand Prix practice, qualifying and race session each season, under Sky's controversial joint TV rights deal with the BBC.

It will be available in standard and high definition on Sky's satellite platform and the Virgin Media service (only in SD), but not on any free-to-air platforms, which has angered some viewers as half of each season's races from 2012 to 2018 will only be available live on pay-TV.

To promote Sky Sports F1, Sky will tomorrow launch a major marketing campaign across various media, including a TV advert, print and outdoor activity, an augmented reality initiative and a 3D installation on London's Cromwell Road.

The television advert emphasises Sky's forthcoming HD coverage of Formula One, along with highlighting that Sky subscribers can also watch the action on second screens using the Sky Go multi-platform service.

Nationwide posters will feature smartphone-enabled augmented reality, while the 3D installation will comprise a set of six panels featuring F1 cars emerging from a Grand Prix scene.

"This campaign is all about bringing Formula One to life. We're targeting new and existing audiences and the creative reflects Formula One being given the Sky Sports treatment," said Sky's director of sports and news marketing Corin Dimopoulos.

"With stunning cinematic film, incredible close-up imagery and interactive augmented reality, the campaign reinforces the fact that the race is only part of the story on Sky Sports F1 HD."

The channel will start broadcasting on March 9, and the first Grand Prix of the season, in Australia, will air the following weekend.

Live coverage of race weekends will be presented by Simon Lazenby, with commentary coming from former BBC employees Martin Brundle and David Croft, backed up by expert analysis from ex-F1 driver Anthony Davidson and former World Champion Damon Hill. Reporters Ted Kravitz and Natalie Pinkham will bring news, interviews and insight from the pit lane and paddock.

Alongside the race coverage, the channel will also feature "legend interviews" with Steve Rider, and a weekly magazine show presented by Georgie Thompson and former BBC analyst Ted Kravitz.

Sky Sports F1 will launch at channel 408 on Sky's electronic programme guide and be made available at no extra charge to all Sky Sports package customers.

Watch the Sky Sports F1 television advert below:

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