A new deal between Fox Sports and Network Ten that will see just 10 Formula 1 races shown live on free-to-air will start this season.
Statements announcing the five-year agreement confirm that the subscription service will carry live coverage of practice, qualifying and races from this season.
Ten of those races will also be simulcast live on Network Ten, which had exclusively hosted F1 in Australia since 2003.
The free-to-air station will continue to broadcast all sessions from Albert Park’s Australian Grand Prix as part of the agreement.
The 10 races that are exclusively live on Fox Sports will be seen on Ten’s sub-channel One HD in 60 minute highlights form at 9:30pm on the following Monday.
News of the impending reduction in free-to-air F1 coverage, initially reported to start in 2016, caused a wave of heated social media response when it emerged on Monday.
The new deal has been introduced with a year to run on the cash-strapped Ten’s current contract with Formula 1 management.
Fox Sports’ Patrick Delany promises that his network will give F1 unprecedented coverage in Australia.
“This is a monumental deal for F1 fans and is in line with our V8 Supercars and MotoGP arrangements, bringing Australian viewers through Fox Sports on Foxtel Live coverage of every practice, qualifying and championship race from this season,” he said.
“On top of this, we have reached an extraordinary affiliate agreement with Sky to deliver through Fox Sports the same incredible Formula 1 coverage which is provided by Sky Sports in the UK.”
Fox has also renewed deals with IndyCar and NASCAR, although the latter’s races will not all be shown live this year, which is the first full season since the demise of Fox Sports’ Speed channel.
Ten meanwhile says it will show Formula 1 practice and qualifying highlights on its Sunday afternoon magazine program RPM, which like its F1 coverage will be hosted by Matthew White.
Ten will apply its own commentary to the AGP, featuring Mark Webber, while 1980 world champion Alan Jones will co-host preview and review segments for Ten’s live races alongside White.
Despite the Fox F1 deal, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation has confirmed that the Albert Park V8 Supercars races will again not count for championship points this season.
While TV was seen as the final hurdle in the process of adding the AGP event to the championship, the late nature of the deal is said to have delayed that plan for another year.
Australian live broadcast schedule for 2015 Formula 1 World Championship
1. March 13-15: Melbourne, Australia (FOX & TEN)
2. March 27-29: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (FOX)
3. April 10-12: Shanghai, China (FOX)
4. April 17-19: Sakhir, Bahrain (FOX & TEN)
5. May 8-10: Catalunya, Spain (FOX)
6. May 22-24: Monte Carlo, Monaco (FOX & TEN)
7. June 5-7: Montreal, Canada (FOX)
8. June 19-21: Spielberg, Austria (FOX & TEN)
9. July 3-5: Silverstone, Great Britain (FOX)
10. July 17-19: TBA, Germany (FOX & TEN)
11. July 24-26: Budapest, Hungary (FOX)
12. August 21-23: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium (FOX & TEN)
13. September 4-6: Monza, Italy (FOX)
14. September 18-20: Singapore (FOX & TEN)
15. September 25-27: Suzuka, Japan (FOX)
16. October 9-11: Sochi, Russia (FOX & TEN)
17. October 23-25: Austin, United States (FOX)
18. October 30-November 1: Mexico City, Mexico (FOX & TEN)
19. November 13-15: Sao Paulo, Brazil (FOX)
20. November 27-29: Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi (FOX & TEN)