F1 will get HD coverage this year

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

David Coulthard, Felipe Massa, Barcelona, 2007Bernie Ecclestone has finally confirmed that F1 fans will be able to watch the sport in high definition later this year.

It is not clear whether or when ITV will be able to broadcast the HD feed for UK viewers, but ITV Sport did acquire the necessary equipment earlier this year.

Global satellite broadcasting company SISLink was due to bring a HD-ready broadcasting truck to this weekend’s round at Barcelona. Now Ecclestone has revealed that HD broadcasts will be available to viewers later in 2007.

He also gave a telling insight into why it has taken so long for F1 to become available in HD:

The trouble with High Definition is that there are not many people who have got the equipment to receive it, so there is not much point. We are really broadcasting for the big screen now, rather than worrying about HD.

It’s ridiculous that it has taken Ecclestone so long to provide F1 in widescreen, which has been standard for many other sports for years. F1 HD broadcasts are long overdue and there is still no sign official F1 video being offered.

The reason for this is probably because Ecclestone got his fingers badly burned dabbling with an interactive, pay per view digital F1 service in the late ’90s/early ’00s that was a bit ahead of its time – certainly as far as the market was concerned.

With digital television now widespread it is surely time for a dedicated F1 channel that can broadcast widescreen, high-definition F1 without advertising at a fixed price.

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