End of the F1 Road for ITV


Champion Elect
This Sunday sees the last F1 race to grace the ITV schedule. Is this a good thing or is it bad?

When they took over from the BBC, I was so gutted. All I could think about was that there would be adverts. A mate of mine said at the time, it's the money that adverts bring in, that allows sport to be on TV. He also argued that the money advances a sport. However, I thought that F1 already had loads of money and that adverts would be the end of enjoyable racing. After all, I hate adverts on TV full-stop!

Despite my reservations ITV were actually quite good to begin with. They kept Murray as commentator and brought in Martin Brundle. Lately, they cover Friday practice. How mint is that!

Ultimately though, the adverts blight it all in my eyes. Steve Rider & Mark Blundell, may not be to everyone's taste, but you can take them or leave them. Switch to ITV approximately 5 mins before the start of the race if they're too much to bare. BBC 5Live have excellent coverage. However, the adverts interupts the live pictures as inevitably as the call of nature interupts my night sleep after a heavy session on the tiles. Both are equally unwelcome...

All in all, I'm looking forward to next years coverage on the BBC. Whatever innovations they bring in, it's bound to be better than ITV's interupted coverage. They couldn't do any worse than James Allen.. can they?! They may even use their "red button" technology to good effect and have multi screen choices! Get in!

So, what does everyone else think of ITV going? Dancing with joy or down in the doldrums?
Read F1fanatics article for more...
Although I think ITV improved the format of F1 and as you say, expanded it to be on the web too, nothing they did could ever make up for the adverts.
Who can remember the race where they actually missed the end and had to replay it after the advert break? :mad:

If they can broadcast football uninterrupted for 2 45 minute sessions then there's no reason why they can't broadcast F1 for 2 1 hour sessions with a small break in the middle.
Sometimes the advert breaks seem to take up more air time than the racing, especially when they have 3 or 4 breaks in quick succession.

Peronally I don't have any issues with the presenters.
They all have their part to play and they do it well most of the time.
Yes James Allen might go on a bit about Lewis Hamilton but it is a british channel and he has been leading for a significant part of the last 2 seasons and fighting for the WDC for 2 years running now.

Martin Brundle however I would like to see on the BBC as he gives an excellent insight from a drivers point of view.

The icing on the cake would be if the BBC broadcast in HD but somehow I can't see that as presumably BE would want too much for the HD feed.
agree with the above points

The BBC better be spending a shitload of cash on a decent website tho - they better stream practise either online or on BBCi or I will go on the rampage LOL

@ Paul - It's been in HD for a while now, it's just the receiving end, I.e the point of distribution for the UK that then needs to broadcast it at local level in HD.
There were many ways that ITV could have dealt with them better. As Brogan points out they don't interupt football with adverts. One way would have been to show, say, the first 40 minutes uninterupted - then have a big advert beak, then come back delayed by 5 minutes so that we haven't missed anything, we're just watching it slightly late. Exceptions could be made for safety cars, restarts, etc, when some adverts could be sneaked in.

Even using the method that ITV have used, they still could have been better at covering the missed minutes. I'm sure they were doing a more professional job of showing replays in their first couple of seasons. More recently they just don't seem too bothered. A proper, competent, team would be more reactive to events that we are missing and be able to run them as soon as the adverts ended.

And, of course, there's no reason why the repeats should have to miss the same lost parts of the race, but they do! That is just plain cheap and lazy.

Technology has improved during the period that ITV had the contract, I don't think that they should be congratulated for doing the bare minimum that anyone would expect. I'm sure the BBC would have done similar if they were still showing F1 and I expect them to do better than ITV next year. My expectation of the Beeb is that they will use the web, red button and/or BBC4 to improve coverage.

James Allen:
Personally I'm not too bothered by his pathetic hero-worship of Hamilton. But I understand why some people hate it as his previous worship of Schumacher used to really bug me. He just can't think rationally while commentating. I'm not saying that I could do better, but nobody is paying me to spoil everyone else's enjoyment of the race. I find he is most annoying during qualifying, he gets everything wrong and can't say fractions properly. During the race I can mainly ignore his inane stupidity.
Can't comment on ITV as I only get Speed over here in the US, but the same problem of ads exists. I far prefer no breaks in a sport where things can go wrong very quickly and ads p me off bigtime. Wish I could watch the Beeb's presentation and hope that somebody will put the new start on YouTube so I can listen to The Chain again. It'll send shivers ...
Didn't realise you were in the US Mezzer.
Is that as a native or an ex-pat?

How is F1 percieved over there in general?
I'm guessing it's on a par with football (soccer)?
Very much an ex-pat. There's plenty of people over here who follow F1, but nothing compared to the domestic motorsports, like Indy, NASCAR (particularly here in Florida) etc. Have no fear, I slap them down when they get a bit too gobby! When in doubt I refer to the fact that this "World Championship" is one where people other than Americans are allowed to get involved. :victory:
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