Italy is to follow the model in place for F1 coverage in the UK this season after it was announced that Sky Italia has secured the rightsh to to live coverage of the sport from next season.

The station, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp group, will show every race live with a second free-to-air broadcaster having live rights to around half of the races on the calendar.

The remainder will be shown with a time delay, in much the same way that UK viewers have a choice between watching every race live on the new Sky Sports F1 channel, with half of the 20 races being live on the BBC.

"We have worked with Sky Italia in the past and I have no doubts about their production standards," Bernie Ecclestone said. "We have a similar agreement in Britain that is working very well."

The free-to-air broadcaster has yet to be announced. F1 in Italy currently airs on state broadcaster RAI.