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Sky is the limit for Formula One!

Sky television will launch a dedicated pay TV Formula One channel in Britain next year with live coverage of every race in high definition (HD) and without the interruption of advertisements, the broadcaster announced on Friday.

Sky said it would show every practice and qualifying session live on Sky Sports F1 HD when the 2012 season starts in Australia in March.

The lack of commercials during races -- ensuring an uninterrupted 90 minutes at least -- will appeal to fans although the move to pay-television in Britain for the first time after decades of free-to-air has caused widespread anger.  A standard definition Sky Sports subscription currently costs more than 500 pounds ($780) a year.

The commercial broadcaster and the publicly-funded BBC, the current live television rights holders, are sharing the coverage in Britain between 2012 and 2018. The BBC will broadcast half a season's races.

Edinburgh festivals gear up to lure Olympic fans

The world's biggest annual arts extravaganza is gearing up to lure fans from the London 2012 Olympics up to the Scottish capital for three weeks of comedy, music, art, theatre, the skirl of massed pipe bands and fireworks over Edinburgh castle.

The Edinburgh festivals slot in neatly through August between the London Olympics and the Paralympics in the British capital.

The festivals originated in 1947 as an antidote to the austerity of the post-war years, and now encompasses the International, Fringe, book and jazz festivals and major art exhibitions, with the population of Edinburgh doubling during the month.

International Festival Director Jonathan Mills said the 2012 programme would bring in artists from around the world, including Australia, America, Russia, Japan, Europe and the Middle East for its three-week run from August 9.

Wilshere up against Spurs in charity challenge

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will donate 3,000 pounds ($4,700) to charity if his team finish lower than arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at the end of the season.

Spurs, who have not finished above their north London neighbours since 1993, moved into third position by beating Aston Villa 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Monday and are four places above Arsenal and three points better off with a game in hand.

"All Spurs fans are buzzing they are ahead of us in the league," England international Wilshere said on his Twitter feed. "It's a marathon, not a sprint.

"At the end of the season if Spurs finish above Arsenal I will give 3,000 pounds to charity and if Arsenal finish above Spurs every Spurs fan that follows me must send me a pound which I will send to charity."

Wilshere has yet to play for Arsenal this season following ankle surgery but hopes to return in the New Year.

Job pressure led referee to attempt suicide

A German referee who tried to kill himself before a Bundesliga game last week said on Friday he was suffering from depression caused mainly by constant fear and media pressure related to his job.

Babak Rafati cut his wrists and was found alive by his assistants in his hotel room bath tub on Saturday only hours before he was due to referee the match Cologne against Mainz 05.

He stayed in hospital for two days and has since entered in-patient treatment. "Mr Rafati believes it was mainly the growing performance pressure on him as a referee and the accompanying media pressure coupled with a constant fear of making mistakes that was becoming a growing burden," his lawyer Sven Menke said in a statement on the referee's behalf.

He said Rafati had been diagnosed with depression in the past days the symptoms for which the 41-year-old said stretched back a year and a half.

Shorts not skirts, say women boxers

Competitors in the first Olympic women's boxing tournament next year should not be forced to wear skirts, a member of the British team said on Wednesday.

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) is discussing proposals for women to be kitted out in skirts rather than shorts at the London Games — an idea which has not gone down well with those likely to be involved. "My personal opinion is if you want to wear a skirt it should be a choice, it shouldn't be forced upon anyone," lightweight Natasha Jones said.

"I just don't feel comfortable and I think that's important to let you feel comfortable and relaxed when you get in the ring."

The AIBA is expected to announce in January whether it will be mandatory for the competitors to wear skirts when women's boxing makes its debut at the Olympics.

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