ITV tipped to take over UK F1 coverage from BBC

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: ITV is tipped to take over the UK’s free-to-air F1 broadcasts, seven years after it last held the rights and four years after closing its F1 website.


Comment of the day

The ante-penultimate instalment of the Driver Rankings – with Sergio Perez at number three – provoked some discussion yesterday. Gilles suggested a few drivers who he believes drove better this year:

Verstappen – For having an immediate impact as a rookie and for scoring some great results as a rookie in a car, which was -based on the car performance list you posted – about the same quality as the Force India when they got their second chassis (and boy, that Renault engine was still so bad)

Rosberg – For pulling himself out of a slump and finishing the season beating Hamilton over and over and over (OK, the championship was finished, but Hamilton was pushing for the win in everyone of those races, Rosberg was just better in the end).

About the same ranking:

Bottas and Massa: Very similar season, the car was better than the Force India, but they scored a lot more points and both had a pair of third places and three forth places.
Gilles De Wilde (@Gdewilde)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Julio Mv!

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On this day in F1

Happy birthday to Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya who is 60 today!

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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69 comments on “ITV tipped to take over UK F1 coverage from BBC”

  1. if f1 does indeed return to itv then i won’t be watching as not only was there f1 coverage awful before but i also cannot stand watching with commercial breaks as that really kills the flow of the race as well as meaning you miss anything that occurs during the ad’s.

    i also cannot see itv broadcasting any of the brilliant extra on-car camera channels that the bbc did and this would be a massive detriment to the live coverage for me.

    time to go looking at going back to sky’s coverage me thinks.

    1. I seem to be the odd one out here but I actually quite liked the ITV coverage, except maybe for the adverts of course – but that’s life.

      I never really liked the BBC coverage, and I switched to Sky when it moved there. I would say the Sky coverage and the ITV coverage actually have more of a similar feel than the beeb one.

      As I said on a previous thread – wherever it goes just thank your lucky stars your not watching the US coverage which is what I am unfortunately stuck with ATM.

      1. It’s good news for Sniff Petrol

    2. And by giving Sky money you ensure that F1 stays behind a paywall. The UK have themselves to blame for the current state of F1.

    3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      18th December 2015, 9:10

      And we would likely lose the outro to ‘The Chain’ as the awesome F1 theme tune.

      Come on sing it with me guys:

      “Lift me up, lift me up, la la la laa laaa….”


      1. Again – this is the BBC, not ITV. The BBC block use of the chain outside of their own coverage, treating it as effectively intellectual property in that context.

        So you have a corporation which has thrown F1 fans to the dogs, more than once, and then will petulantly refuse to even let the new host have the ‘correct’ theme tune.

        Perfectly within its rights of course. But still we treat the BBC like the good guys, and ITV as the evil forcing us to listen to inferior title music.

        (By-the-by, I am a passionate defender of the BBC. It’s the world’s greatest broadcaster, makes the world’s finest factual tv, and is something we really should fight tooth and nail to keep. But in this case, they ain’t anything to F1 fans. They can’t keep letting themselves get taken to the cleaners for coverage – but they could at least do the right thing by fans by not standing in the way of other free-to-air providers)

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          18th December 2015, 11:04

          I can still hear them saying ‘you will never ad-break The Chain’

      2. I *LIKED* the lift me up tune! :)

    4. People have short memories (OK, so I’m talking back 25 years here, so maybe it’d just me getting older at an increasing speed), but…

      ITV did a great job with F1 coverage – they improved it no end and gave the sport a very real boost in the UK.

      The good things they did:
      – Pre-ITV F1 was a bit part for the BBC. It was very often consumed within shows like Grandstand or Sport on Sunday. There was very little pre or post race build up. Very often races could be cut short to get you the latest update from the Crown Green Bowls Championships. ITV changed this – gave F1 dediocated coverage, more people, more air time.
      – Qualifying live on the telly – started with ITV (at least as a usual thing). Again, they increased coverage so far beyond what the BBC did.
      – Better analysis & features. Pre-ITV BBC gave you two commentators (who were, granted, legends) – if you were lucky they were actually at the race. That was it. Possibly Steve Ryder might turn up to Silverstone. ITV brought in more people, pit lane reporting, expert analysis. They even persuaded Murray Walker to stay on, despite his being pretty clear he was using the switch as a nice point to take retirement.

      Basically, F1 went from being at best just the live race on BBC to being covered in huge detail. The downside was the adverts.

      Now lets look at how the BBC have treated F1 since the took it back.
      1) Initially, we were over the moon. They took the challenge and expanded things even beyond the ITV model. Practice sessions now on Red Button, post race expanded session on Red Button.
      2) However, within a year or two it became very clear they’d over-committed. They had a contract to deliver all races live for many years. They themselves opened the door to Pay TV taking over by letting Bernie give all live races to Sky. Sky did not rob F1. The BBC gave it them on a silver platter. We have a year of Jake Humphrey banging on about just what great news giving the show away was for fans, before he got what was always his end-game of presenting football and sailed off into the night too.
      3) Another year or two down the line and BBC are likely to pull the plug completely. If ITV don’t step in, the whole damn lot will go to Sky.
      4) C4 definitely and ITV probably both were up for taking on full season live F1 coverage. F1 needed some free-to-air – and instead of doing the decent thing and backing out, the BBC allowed the nonsense compromise of only half the season live. This gave Bernie enough to placate the teams (along with bigger checks) into accepting the deal. If BBC had just backed out, the likelihood is we’d have full season live coverage on C4 or ITV. They didn’t – just to then look to off-load even more within 1 or 2 years.

      There maybe rights and wrongs in a publicly-funded organisation allowing F1 to bend it over for more cash. But lets stop pretending the BBC are in any way defender of, supporters off or anything positive to F1. They are not.

      If some adverts are the price we pay for keeping something free-to-air, so be it. Lets have a reality check on what’s really important.

      Long term, the wind is blowing to more Pay TV, less free-to-air. I still believe this is a terrible model for F1. It’s going from almost blanket coverage on one of the top channels every Sat & Sun to almost nothing (it’s already shunted to BBC2 whenever Antiques Roadshow clashes). I did pay for Sky the first couple of years – but I’m a diehard. And even I’ve stopped. It’s all just more evidence of the sport driving itself into the ground for more $$$ in the short term (till the man raking in these short term $$$ disappears). I’m at the point of backing out and letting the whole shower destroy itself in the hope something good may at lease rise from the ashes.

      1. Well said. The BBC’s half-live, half-extended-highlights thing is still way bettter than what they were doing before ITV took over (although they did improve a bit through the ’90s). Whenever anyone mentions the Detroit GPs, the memory that sticks in my head is of sitting in our kitchen watching 45 minutes of highlights at midnight. There was no coverage of qualifying.

        So they built on what ITV had done, but the BBC basically stiffed C4, despite knowing they couldn’t really afford it. And I could pretty much have predicted how the coverage would decline. They always do this sort of thing: big splash to begin with, then it gets chipped away bit by bit. I must be one of the few people who was actually disappointed when they got the contract. I knew that F1 would be the golden boy of BBC Sport for a year or two, then it would get shunted off on to the back burner*. Yes, the adverts were intrusive, but that was pretty much all that was wrong with ITV’s coverage. What did the BBC bring to the party? The Forum, yes – which doesn’t even happen half the time now – and idiotic movie trailers voiced by Eddie Jordan. Does anyone actually watch that guff?

        And let’s not forget, ITV lost the contract eight years ago. They now have four channels themselves; there’s plenty of airtime to accomodate extended coverage. They may even have learned their lesson with the adverts. Less-traditional sponsorship models – the sort of thing many of us were advocating back in the day – are much more common nowadays.

        Even if they do bring them back, I can’t honestly get too worked up about this. It’s better than no FTA at all.

        (Oh, and by the way… if ITV are thinking about their commentary team, I caught Alan McNish on the radio for Abu Dhabi and was very impressed: he brings some of that trousers-on-fire excitement that’s been sorely missing since Murray packed it in. I’ve heard him a few times during free practice, of course, but his style really comes into its own during the race. Reminds me a bit of the late Bill McLaren, the rugby commentator.)

        *What are metaphors for, if not mixing? :P

      2. ITV did do a good job for the most part, but I’ll always remember back in 2005 (IIRC), as the Imola race was coming to an end with Schumacher chasing down Alonso in the final laps; ITV went to an ad break with about five laps left, and came back after the race had been won. Yes, they did eventually show those final laps, but that’s not enough to make up for the huge mistake of going to an ad break like that in the first place.

      3. Would it be called ‘Formula Phoenix’ from then on? 😋

    5. For me, the important thing is that F1 remains on free to air TV in one form or another. Even if the ITV coverage isn’t up to much (though let’s wait and see on that – but I will admit it is hard to get away from the memory of James Allen trying and failing abysmally to be Murray Walker and Mark Blundell stating the bleedin’ obvious, all while mangling the English language in every which way) you don’t have to watch the pre-race and post-race guff as you know when the race will start so just tune in for that time and skip the rest. These days, all the analysis you could possibly want is available online and usually within hours of the chequered flag, so you don’t really need to stick around watching a group of ‘experts’ standing around in the paddock banging on for whatever running time they’ve got left to fill – all of that is just a luxury. The only thing that matters is that the coverage of the actual racing does not disappear completely behind a pay wall.

      In these days of CVC sucking every penny they can out of the sport, I think that’s the best any of us in the UK can realistically hope for.

      1. +1 As long as it’s on free-to-air TV, I’m happy.

  2. When will the British start thinking about their Dutch neighbours ?

    A lot of Dutch viewers watch the BBC because over here it sucks, and you still have to pay for it. Germany with their commercials and poor coverage is also a bad alternative…that’s just bad news.

    1. BBC has such history with F1. As always bbc is the reference for F1. I miss the “dream team of 2011” Legard was pretentious and bias, so bbc put Brundle and Couthard and it was fantastic, that’s how quality is made. Sky they are struggling to justify their costs, so we get even more pretentious, discriminating, nationalist, sensationalist chatter. What I didn’t like on ITV apart from the breaks was the fact that James Allen was bias, although the bbc James Allen has been perfect on Friday’s P2 sessions. I guess this time it won’t be a quip for bbc , this may be the end. The ratings on bbc have been good yet the company must have surely thought of the sky/BBC deal as their opportunity of cutting on their investment till the end of their tender. Finally, what is happening will surely feel, the cost cutting gauntlet which has now, started to fall.

      1. itv have a british bias in all of their sports coverage – it grates on me so much. the idea that F1 would go back to itv is seriously disappointing.

  3. If the story about F1 going to ITV is indeed true then expect a further decline in Viewing figures in the UK.

    May seem strange as ITV is a FTA channel just like the BBC but there was a big drop in viewership when ITV took over in 1997 & big jump when it went back to the BBC in 2009. One reason is that many fans dislike the advert breaks & I know a lot of f1 fans online who brought satellite equipment & paid to watch the advert free coverage on the old premiere sport package from Germany (think thats re-branded as sky germany now?).

    I think there was also a general dislike of ITV’s coverage, Which was certainly not popular among fans back then.

    I’ll be sticking with sky, Especially now that i have a deal with 60% off for a year after calling them a month ago and saying i wanted to cancel my package & switch to talk talk because it worked out cheaper for me. Came back with a 20% discount which i refused, Came at me with 30% discount which i again refused so they offered me 50% which i also refused & finally the woman said 60% was the final offer so i accepted.
    The 60% off as well as free broadband & half price multiroom, HD & talk takes my bill down to around £25 a month (For variety with sports & movies with sky talk & unlimited broadband).

    1. I tried that trick (Threatening to cancel) recently but didn’t manage to get to 50/60%, The man I spoke to would only go down to 30% discount.

      Still took my bill down to £57.13 a month which i’m happier with than the £106 I was paying a few months back before I dropped the sports pack in September. Fortunately I could still get SSF1 without sports as I was still on the old Variety HD pack which had SSF1 included.

      Regarding ITV, There coverage in the past wasn’t great but who knows what there future coverage will be like. They don’t show Ad-breaks during there Formula E race coverage so maybe that will carry over to there live F1?

      1. It always amazes me that people will pay over £1000 per year for Sky (complete with adverts on most channels) yet begrudge the £145 TV license for the BBC which includes far more original (and quality) content and local and regional radio. Even taking into account the bundled Broadband, it’s crackers.

        1. I’m perfectly happy to pay the license fee just like i’m perfectly happy to pay for sky because i like the service they offer & get a lot out of it.

          its expensive (unless you haggle a discount as i did), but i feel its worth it for what you get… especially if as we do you watch a lot of tv & enjoy watching the wide range of programming you get on sky from the movies, sports, documentary, drama & kids channels.

          and most importantly is all just works, we’ve had telewest, virgin, freeview & talk talk in the past as well as bt internet and had various issues with all of them… since we had sky 4-5 years back there have been zero problems… very happy with the service :)

  4. “In 2017 there are a lot of rule changes and the last thing I want to do is an Alonso, jumping ship and then the ship you’ve left is the one you want to be on.”

    He could also do an Alesi. Stay in the same team for five years without any results, in the hope that one year they will design a good car, but it never happens.

    In all seriousness, Red Bull is a good bet for 2017. Newer (assuming he’s still around by then) has always excelled at aerodynamic rule changes (1998, 2009) and with the help of Ilmor, perhaps Renault can at least close the gap to Mercedes’ engine.

    1. @kingshark Aaa! You mean Alonso again! (Ferrari years) :D

      Just kidding!

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        18th December 2015, 7:06

        Or take a gap year!
        popularly known as ‘doing an Alonso’. @kingshark, @neelv27

      2. @neelv27

        You beat me to it! I’m thinking of all the Alonso-esque situations ->
        1) Jump ship, only for your boat is now floating and sailing fast.
        2) Stay on a sinking ship for way too long.
        3) Get off at port for a short break, and catch the next ship out.
        4) Or join the ship which you were on earlier, only to realise it’s sinking and you have to jump ship

        Any bad decision regarding team movements could be Alonso-esque

  5. Gotta say RBR is looking better for 2017 than McLaren … But some link him to Ferrari.. Maybe replace Nico Rosberg? Or Lewis Hamilton, when he decides to pursue a career in Music?

  6. Why the status of F1 TV rights in Britain is worthy of a headline spot? How does it affect sport as a whole? If TV rights’ owner would change, say, in Lithuania or Moldova or anywhere else would that make the headline as well?

    That Ferrari and VW piece for example would have been better choice. It’s directly related to the sport and it’s global.

      1. Yep the web address gives it away @huhhi

          1. @philipgb @3dom but when asked about it Keith has said F1Fanatic isn’t British site despite its domain name.

    1. You can’t be serious.

    2. I think its perfectly fine for a shift in where one can watch F1 for one of the larger audiences as the headline @huhhii. When RTL re-signed in Germany it was also on top. And the change to Sky in Italy also was.

    3. @huhhii Because it says something about the value of F1 sports rights and its popularity if, in the country where most of the teams are based and which is home to the world champion driver of the last two years, the biggest free-to-air broadcaster is prepared to drop a contract on which it has three years left to run.

      1. @keithcollantine, to be honest, I think it says more about the state of the BBC than it does about the state of F1 in the UK.

        The BBC has been ditching a lot of its sports coverage – MotoGP was ditched a few years ago, the Open golf tournament has been sold off to Sky, they are splitting future coverage of athletics events with Channel 4 and there is talk that the BBC may be ditching the Wimbledon tennis tournament, or at the very least significantly cutting back on coverage, when their current contract expires in 2017.

        With the current government squeezing the BBC very aggressively, the BBC is trying desperately to cut costs and is being pushed to scale back its coverage – and sporting events, tending to be more expensive to cover, are one of the first inevitable targets.

    4. And maybe because BBC is broadcasted in several other European countries as well (in contrast to ITV). In the Netherlands for example the BBC is the only way to watch a race with a quality coverage.

  7. It’s wasn’t so long ago that I was so envious of the UK fans and the coverage they received meanwhile here in Australia we where in the dark ages. But the switch to Fox Sports for this seasons coverage has been amazing. With Channel 10’s coverage we used to get qualifying on delay and the race live, full of ad breaks. Now we get practice, qualifying, race and pre and post race coverage for both qualifying and the race, as well as live coverage of GP2 and GP3. Plus Red Button options for stats, onboard coverage and race tracker. All in all about 15 hours of live coverage every race weekend.

    I just want to say a big thank you to Fox Sports for providing what Australian motorsport fans have been asking for and deserved for years. Keep up the great work.

    1. @macca Is it the Fox Sports that broadcasts from Singapore?

      1. Fox Sports Australia. Sky Sports and Fox Sports are owned by News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s company and thus share lots of content.

        Fox Sports is an Australian group of sports channels which is owned by News Corp Australia.

    2. +1. I have been very pleased with the Fox Sports/ Sky coverage. The Hamilton-centric coverage is a bit annoying but what can you expect from a British broadcaster.

      It is well worth the $170 I’m paying a month for the Foxtel (inc. HD), Internet and phone. I just wish the IQ3 box would stop being a colossal pain in the rear.

      Channel 10’s coverage was and still is abysmal. I was forced to start watching dodgy online streams of Sky whenever I could and was so pleased I didn’t need to continue down that route.

  8. ITV coverage was… ugh. Thought I’d never again have to hear the words ‘while you were away, [insert key moment/amazing occurrence]’. F1 isn’t in any way suitable for adverts, so I hope they either find a way to avoid putting them on during the races or maybe split-screen it… or run adverts under or at the side of a slightly smaller race feed from time to time.

    If I didn’t already have Sky, I’d be calling them in the morning.

    1. ‘while you were away, [insert key moment/amazing occurrence]’

      Better than on RTL Germany, where they say “you didn’t miss anything while you were away” – at the same time on the live timing you can see that there were the two only overtakes of the race and a successful undercut at the pitstop…

  9. Many of the big car manufacturers are not in F1. It isn’t just VW and GM. Looking at one version of the top 10, it’s also relatively recent F1 participants Toyota, Ford, and BMW as well as other large manufacturers, Peugeot-Citroen and Hyundai-Kia. Those from the top 10 who are represented are just Honda, Nissan-Renault and Fiat-Chrysler. Mercedes (Daimler) might crack the top 15.

    So we can conclude that F1 isn’t a necessary investment for car companies. Rather a shame, isn’t it?

    1. @scalextric I’m really ambivalent about this. I do like to see big manufacturers trying to prove themselves in the top flight of motorsport. But we all remember 2008/09 and we al know they can leave on a whim. Watching the BTCC in the late nineties made me particularly sensitive to this. So yes, F1 should welcome them in, but ensure the independent teams can always thrive because those are the ones that won’t leave.

    2. @scalextric, you could say that most forms of motorsport are not “a necessary investment for car companies” though – after all, Hyundai has had a negligible involvement in motorsport (a handful of years in the junior ranks of rallying and a couple of years in the World Rally Championship), and it hasn’t had any measurable impact on their growth to become the 4th largest manufacturer in the world.

      If anything, some of those manufacturers you’ve mentioned, such as Peugeot-Citroen, are cutting back on motorsport altogether due to financial pressures on their companies (Citroen’s pulling out of the WTCC after 2016 and Peugeot has more or less halted all motorsport activities since 2011).

  10. Ha ha ha. Try watching F1 in the States!!! You will beg for BBC or ITV or Sky or anything except the commercial filled BS that is American F1 coverage. I watch pirated Sky or BBC broadcasts. The American TV broadcast is total commercials. Learn to love what you have.

    1. I have been very lucky to get Sky coverage in Australia this year and have been very loving of that after the commercial filled FTA rubbish I had to cope with.

      Over in the US I can’t believe there are ads on Pay TV motorsport, that would never happen over here.

      1. @ambroserpm Sky put them on during their practice coverage, don’t they?

        1. They do put ads in practice but my main focus is on the qualifying and most importantly the race, of which both are ad free. They previously were not in Australia on FTA. We didn’t even get practice before, so it is a massive improvement.

          1. @ambroserpm – you will still get ads anyway on FOX Sports. No matter what. Australia gets practice so that is a lie – only for Australian round. Qualifying isn’t ad free and nor is the race. Essentially, Ten puts the ads and FOX Sports follows the network – for the Australian round. Practice, qualifying and race.

          2. @William I am more focused on the entire season. You are correct for the Australian GP. There were ads last year in practice, qualifying and the race as per a deal with Channel 10 with that race. I did watch the coverage last season apart from Albert Park (I was at the circuit), so I’d think I would know.

    2. Not to mention that sailor Finn, BOAT-TAS.

      Man that annoyed me for the week I was in the US and watched a race on TV :)

  11. Sad for me that BBC will not follow F1. Means I will have to watch it on La Une with thoroughly boring non-commentary from the likes of d’ambrosio..

    1. At least D’Ambrosio knows a bit what he is talking about. The main commentator (I think Gael something?) often misses important points of the action until realising a few laps later that a major swap of places has taken place during the pit stops.

  12. Grosjean joining a new team and all he does it talk about another one. He needs to be quiet.

    1. “use of the Ferrari simulators” – his plan must be to outshine Kimi on the Ferrari sim! They’ll be able to see how he stacks up compared to Vettel and Raikkonen..

      Does anyone know what the KERS issue is he is referring to? I wonder if it’s Australia 2013 – Kimi won the race but Grosjean was subdued in 10th. Also lost places at the start, like Webber, who couldn’t use KERS off the line.

  13. ColdFly F1 (@)
    18th December 2015, 7:47

    The Claire Williams article made me think of a (deputy) team principle ranking. I’ll have a crack at it:
    10. Monisha Kaltenborn – just can’t forget the contract mess she got the team in; and how poorly she managed them though that.
    9. Christian Horner – Even though he tries to explain away his flogging of Renault as ‘getting attention from the board’, it did a lot more harm than good (not even sure if there is any upside for RBR)
    8. Gerard Lopez – I know it’s tough when you do not have the money (although Lopez himself has it), there was too much negative press and hungry team members.
    7. Ron Dennis – He’ll keep on falling on this list until he delivers on his promises (be it the performance or even getting that title sponsor)
    6. Franz Tost – tried at one point to mimic Horner in his Renault bashing, but mostly kept quiet. Huge kudos for hiring two of the most exciting rookies.
    5. Toto Wolff (Paddy Lowe) – The car and the drivers are (among) the best, but you can see already where the paint starts to peel off. Too many stupid little mistakes in communication, decisions or even keeping your dirty laundry inside.
    4. Vijay Mallya – even with his disastrous business/legal developments in India, he has performed very decently, and lead the team focussing on steady improvement to end up a well deserved 5th.
    3. Maurizio Arrivabene – especially stellar performance during the early months of 2015; the way he turned the whole team around and made them act like a team rather than a group of in-fighting people.
    2. John Booth – well done on helping the team resurrect, and focussing on the good news rather than the bad. And he’s been a gentleman at the end when parting ways with the team.
    1. Claire Williams (maybe it should be FW here, but he stays out of the news) – all but praise how she managed the team, and some really good/insightful interviews this year. She seems to have found the right combination of keeping the team well oiled and functioning with sharing some parts in the spotlight.

    1. I even forgot that Gerard Lopez was the team boss. So I think he deserves 10th.

    2. Pretty good list you’ve got there and I can’t disagree with most of it – perhaps I would switch Dennis and Lopez, maybe put Kaltenborn higher as I seem to recall that she did what she did to bring money into the team that ultimately stopped it from folding – but I am working from memory here, so do correct me if I am wrong!

      1. I’d probably be kinder to Horner, in light of Red Bull’s recent history (you can’t be a bad team principle and win 4 championships in a row, no matter how good a driver/car combo you have), but great list overall. I thought your analysis of Toto Wolff was spot on, good job!

        Arrivabene really surprised me with his approach to management, though I think he needs a second year to prove he is the real deal.

    3. As much as I respect him, does Franz Tost have any say in which drivers he runs? Surely that all comes from Helmut Marko.

  14. Surely the new tyre rules will mean nothing if all teams choose mediums and softs as their tyre selection for Melbourne?

  15. Oh God, the return of ad breaks and terrible intros. I’m already having bad memories of cringy ‘Lift me up’ intros in my head! I will give ITV a chance, but I will lose my interest for F1 if their coverage is the same as before.

    1. If you thought “lift me up” was cringeworthy, try googling “Sky F1 Intro theme song” – the lyrics start: “There is a star that lights the road”.

      1. @williamjones I’m quite fond of the Sky intro TBH…. Well the music anyway I think the actual video package that goes with it has not been good since they changed it last year, The one they used the 1st year & there classic f1 intro were cool.

        1. Don’t get me wrong – I think the song is fine, as a piece of music, but, as with the theme tune to Enterprise, there are some really good pieces of music that just don’t work in the context of a tv show theme tune.

  16. I think what we’re looking at here in the wider context is that BBC’s business model based on the license fee is utterly flawed. The way in which we follow and engage with sport has changed along with the technology that allows us to do so. Sky’s offer of a 24hr subscription through Now TV is one way of attracting fans online. When the BBC haven’t been showing the live race I have used this option and I think it’s a reasonable deal. If the BBC could offer something similar I would have definitely gone for that. By simply slashing budgets, cutting coverage and not adapting their business model the BBC is entering a phase of slow death. Sad to see because IMHO, the BBC along with the music offers the best Formula 1 coverage and insight. I will miss them with possibly the exception of Suzy.

  17. I’m so disenchanted these days I’m not sure that I’m even bothered, whereas a few years ago I would be rabid about this. The BBC’s coverage is fairly poor compared to their product in 2009, and as seeing only half the races live has made me feel detached from the whole process of watching F1, for live races I only tend to watch the race itself and nothing around it. If I have something important to do like make a sandwich or empty a bin I might even end up watching the live race on delay anyway.

    When I do watch some of the surrounding coverage I’m constantly amazed that Suzi Perry is allowed in front of a camera, blundering her way through some flustered comment or other while the highly competent Lee Mckenzie is undoubtedly just off camera- or hopefully doing valuable journalistic work so that she isn’t entirely under-used. The only good thing about the highlights is that Mckenzie is finally better utilised and the presentation style doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out.

    Speaking of the highlights, the decision to show USA highlights at 10pm on a Sunday is utterly ridiculous. Yes it’s a late race and it must be awkward to turn around a highlights package in a time that people with normal jobs can reasonably watch, but that just emphasises how betrayed I feel that they gave away the rights in the first place. And on top of that, if the process for selecting live races allows a situation like the US race to occur, then it is a flawed process.

    Often I miss qualifying, and if I see the result by accident I won’t even bother catching up, or I’ll skip all but the last 2 minutes.

    Essentially, the probable return of ads and (possibly) poorer quality coverage no longer even feels like an affront, just an inevitable continued degradation of the viewing experience, and it is a test to my commitment as a fan that I’m almost prepared to fail.

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