In a press release yesterday afternoon, Sky Germany anounced that they will be showing F1 in true HD (as opposed to upscaled HD up to now) for the 2011 season, also adding that they have renewed their contract to show F1 in Germany.
As broadcasters get their signal from the official feed, this means Bernie has taken the plunge and upgraded to HD. As speculated in a previous post on the BBC’s 2010 coverage, he will be looking to monetarise the move and pay for his investment in the new technology. Similarly, broadcasters like Sky Germany will be looking to differentiate themselves from free TV offerings like the BBC (UK) and RTL (Germany), both of which have HD channels (although RTL HD is only available in Germany for a nominal subscription and the right decoder AND carries adverts during the race). It’s therefore not yet clear whether these broadcasters can afford, or will even be offered the opportunity to broadcast in HD. We await with bated breath.
Update: Formula One Management (FOM), the rights holders, have confirmed that the HD feed will be made available to all broadcasters and the BBC have in turn confirmed that they will broadcast in HD.