F1 will be televised in true 'native' High Definition (HD) for the first time in 2011, with Sky Deutschland promising its viewers 'a great expansion of the market-leading HD offering from Sky'.

In becoming the first of the sport's broadcasters to offer the service to its subscribing customers with HD-ready TVs and set-top boxes in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Sky Deutschland could open the floodgates for a whole number of counterparts in other countries to follow suit as F1 bids to improve the standard of its global coverage.

"This agreement is a late Christmas gift to our customers," revealed Sky's sports chief Carsten Schmidt, whilst Sky Deutschland CEO Brian Sullivan described the announcement as 'a great expansion of the market-leading HD offering from Sky' and added: "The broadcast of F1 in true HD is something that millions of racing fans in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have yearned for."

Last year, F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management (FOM) company experimented with HD and 3D cameras without publishing any results - but the pre-emptive move by Sky Deutschland hints that the British billionaire is now ready to press the green button for full HD coverage around the globe.

After unveiling its F1 2011 commentary line-up this week [see separate story - click here], the BBC commented only: 'Further details about BBC plans for 2011 will be released in due course.'

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