Posted on March 5, 2014

When you watch next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, some of what you see and hear on your screens will be being operated by technicians sitting next to an airfield in Kent, collaborating in real time with colleagues 10,500 miles away. This is something a little different – the first time we’ve been behind the scenes at F1′s Technical Headquarters in Biggin Hill, in the South of England and we’ve made a video of it with our colleagues from Tata Communications. As well as much of the equipment needed to put on a Grand Prix at 19 venues around the world, More…

Posted on February 14, 2013

[Updated] France has become the latest major European market for Formula 1 to switch to a Pay TV model, as Canal + snapped up the rights starting this season. The 11th hour deal is exclusive, which means that long time free-to-air broadcaster TF1 is out of F1 after many years of association and it is another nail in the coffin for Free to Air broadcasters as purveyors of premium live sports. It also means that three of Europe’s largest markets for F1 coverage are now under the control of Pay TV, following the UK which switched to Sky in 2012 More…

Posted on July 31, 2011

Since the bombshell was dropped on Friday that F1 in the UK is to be taken over by pay TV channel SKY, with BBC being only bit part players on the scene, the fan reaction has been very strong with 81% of a poll sample of 5,000 JA on F1 readers saying that they will not buy a SKY package to watch F1. We’ve had 1,400 comments in 48 hours on the subject, with some very eloquently expressions of regret and anger. Here is my selection of the best of them: Ed Arran writes

Posted on July 29, 2011

FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh has given a cautious welcome to the news that F1 in the UK will be partly on Pay TV and partly on terrestrial as SKY will share the coverage with BBC. Whitmarsh has long maintained his position that Free to Air is the model the teams wan and he seems to be trying to force Ecclestone into a position where the BBC will show entire race deferred on Free to Air TV, a few hours later. The financial package is also clearly attractive enough to teams, who share 50% of all the sport’s commercial revenues. I’ve More…

Posted on July 29, 2011

Bernie Ecclestone arrived in the F1 paddock at 2pm this afternoon and is set to meet with the F1 teams after the ninety minute practice session to discuss the SKY/BBC F1 broadcast deal which was announced this morning. Both Ecclestone and the teams have made it clear in the past that F1 must remain on Free to air TV and yet the Sky part of the deal, where they will broadcast all 20 F1 races and practice sessions live, would seem to contradict that. I’ve spoken to FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh in the last hour and he says that the More…

Posted on June 20, 2011

Yesterday’s story in the Sunday Times that the BBC is thinking of dropping its coverage of F1 has certainly lit a blue touchpaper. Printed as it was in a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which has announced that it is looking at a joint bid for F1′s commercial rights with the Agnelli owned Exor group, this has added another dimension to the story and put the subject of the commercial model for TV coverage centre stage. As someone who has worked in TV for over 20 years, I’ve seen plenty of shifts of emphasis within networks, as executives More…

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