This morning F1 along with BBC and Sky Sports released the following statement:
All races, qualifying and practice sessions live on Sky Sports across TV, Online and Mobile and Tablet devices
Half the races and qualifying sessions remain live on BBC TV, Online and Mobile including key races such as the British Grand Prix, Monaco Grand Prix and the final race of the season.
Extensive BBC highlights on TV, Online and Mobile, of all races and qualifying sessions that BBC is not covering live
Build- up coverage of each Grand Prix on BBC News, Sky Sports News and Sky News
Extensive multi-platform coverage including red button, bbc.co.uk/sport and skysports.com
That is exactly the news I wanted to wake up to on a Friday morning. Oh no wait. It’s not. It is awful news. Now I have Sky Sports so it isn’t exactly a huge deal as I’ll still get to watch every race live but at times I’m not a selfish soul and I know so many people who do not have Sky who love F1 who will be absolutely gutted by the news.
The mis-mash of some races live on the BBC and every race live on Sky just isn’t right nor is it fair. The sport has always had a home on free-to-air television and there is little doubt the whole calendar could have been shown live somewhere on free-to-air TV but clearly when it came down to it Sky were happy to kill a sport’s future and F1 themselves were happy to kill the sport in this country.
Whilst F1 are saying that having half the races on free-to-air TV will still satisfy their commercial interests I question this as people will give up on the sport. F1 has had a long hard fight to become popular again but it was getting there due to a mix of good coverage and great racing. Now though that good will has gone.
In commentary news it is really interesting that Martin Brundle is out of contract and will surely be wanted by Sky for their coverage. Whether they want him as the main commentator or if they want him to revert to a co-commentator or analyst role we’ll have to wait and see. I suspect Brundle and Ted Kravitz are the only members of the on-air team that Sky Sports will have legitimate interest in but time will tell.
What time won’t tell is how annoyed I am. I can tell you the answer right now. Very.
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