How much F1 did ITV miss showing adverts in 2007?

Television

ITV sport logoITV broadcast every round of the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship. But how much of the action was missed during advert breaks?

The total broadcast time for the live races, excluding build-up and analysis, was 26 hours and 46 minutes.

The average race last year was 1hr 34 minutes long (although that figure is slightly high given that some time was spent under red flags during the European Grand Prix while the clock was running).

Last year ITV spent a total of 4hr 6min showing adverts during live race coverage according to Jon McKnight. Each race, ITV typically missed almost a quarter of an hour of action to show advertisements.

(And if British fans aren’t happy I understand that these figures are often even higher for foreign networks).

Between this, dragging their feet on sorting out HD quality footage and the poor standard of ITV’s coverage generally, Britain’s F1 host is badly letting fans down at a time when F1 audiences are increasing rapidly.

At the very least, they should prioritise offering high-definition, advert-free coverage to F1 fans on a subscription basis as soon as possible.

You’d think a company that had lost 47% of its share value in 15 months would be a bit keener to develop a new source of income.

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16 comments on How much F1 did ITV miss showing adverts in 2007?

  1. Cooperman said on 29th January 2008, 9:37

    I felt that ITV’s coverage got worse in 2007. Not just because of the adverts but the quality of the broadcasting was lousy.

    I appreciate that ITV want to ride on the back of Lewis Hamilton’s rise to stardom to increase their viewing figures but their pre-race love-in was awful in so many ways.

    It’s not a great thank you to the loyal F1 fans who’ve been watching their coverage since 1997 is it?

  2. Too right. I’ve been watching F1 on ITV since 2000 and was used to their pre-race coverage being heavily focused on Coulthard and Button, with about 5 minutes on the actual pole-sitter (ie Michael Schumacher, Hakkinen, Montoya, Raikkonen, Alonso), but the bias to Hamilton was an extraordinary shock because of the sheer scale of it. The whole race build up on one driver? It’s not fair to ignore the rest of the grid, particularly last year when there were so many people who were doing as well as Hamilton in poorer cars (Kovalainen, Rosberg, Button, Davidson, Sato).

  3. Its fare enough to talk about the adds with ITV but I’d rather see ITV with F1 than something like Sky Sports or something.

  4. Perhaps the only advantage of not having regular live coverage in Australia is that we don’t miss any of the action. Most of the European rounds clash with Sunday night primetime programming so the telecasts are usually delayed by about an hour or so. Whilst that is frustrating, it allows our local network to ‘stop the tape’ whenever an ad break beckons, so we get to see the race in its entirety.

    You’re certainly not missing any genuine insight during the ad break. We receive the ITV feed and, quite amusingly, whenever James and Martin strike up a good conversation they will end up repeating it word for word once their British viewers rejoin the action. It got so ridiculous that our own commentators now step in to fill the two minute void.

  5. Robert McKay said on 29th January 2008, 11:50

    The thing with ITV is that the number/length of adbreaks seems fixed no matter how long the race lasts. Monza is my least favourite – it’s only 70 minutes long, so losing a quarter of an hour of that is quite a chunk, the ads keep coming every ten minutes, which destroys the flow of the race. Whereas Monaco is 1 hr 50 minutes long (110 minutes) so it’s much less noticeable. Add in the fact a SC is likely and you can get rid of a break there, and you see you can get a much longer uninterrupted stint.

  6. Robert McKay said on 29th January 2008, 11:52

    I’ll just clarfiy my previous statement by saying that stands for the European races: at least the races in the middle of the night in the UK (like Australia) have much less time wasted on ads. But if they all start showing night races, that’ll change too.

  7. Watching a race in the US (SpeedTV) can be painful with all the ad breaks. I don’t know the exact figures, but after seeing a race on ITV, I can guarantee ALOT more breaks here in the states.
    However, the commentary crew (David Hobbs, Bob Varsha, and Steve Matchett) are second to none. They are insightful, humorous and know when to be quite – in car shots they clam up and allow you to enjoy the engine sounds..More than can be said for James Allen & crew who seem to have a terminal case of “diarrhea of the mouth”
    All that said, I would gladly pay extra for a race without breaks. Hd would be nice too!

  8. Daniel said on 29th January 2008, 16:54

    In Brazil, Globo TV coverage doesn’t have any ad break… In fact, they have a few adverts on the upper left corner, five seconds long or so, during which the sound goes off and gives room to the sponsor (Skol beer, Petrobras oil company, to mention two common examples), but the image is never interrupted…
    In fact, the only ad breaks come after the pre-race coverage, before the presentation lap, and then during the slowing lap, before the podium ceremony…

    It’s a much more inteligent way, because it doesn’t bother the audience, and at the same time the public pays more attention to it than it would during a break…

    You should check for yourselves, during the infamous ITV breaks, the Globo TV coverage. Just search for “Globo International” on your menu.

    Yes, you won’t understand the comments, but won’t miss any second of the action.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th January 2008, 18:18

    Sadly, Daniel, I don’t think my receiver can pick up Globo International.

  10. I have to say that with my experience with American TV I somewhat feel like I’m watching ads more than any program…although I don’t know what its like watching an F1 race there.

    I hate it when they restart from the ads with “you have just missed…!”….no, ITV have missed it, we were always here. But to be honest, the ads always put me to sleep more than anything else (it’s a Sunday!) and thus make me miss the important parts when it’s actually on.

  11. Sam B said on 29th January 2008, 19:32

    Maybe ITV should start a subscription-based sport channel? They could call it.. ITV Sport.

    Wait, they’ve tried that one, and got burnt badly. I think it’ll take quite a bit to convince them to go into that game again.

  12. hmm went to google and it costs 119 euros for a globo receiver – but language would be a problem – itv and bbc as co-presenters through their new service either by freesat – it takes a lot of bandwidth to put hd transmission in place – ie – expensive!!
    whether through sattelite – they would have to broadcast on a different frequency from current sattellite providers to stop anyone tuning in through add channels – or on freeview – which would not be able to be received as current freeview boxes dont have the correct software/hardware to decode hd – cable would mean getting into mr bransons bed and with the latest story of bskyb having to sell their shares in itv – bought with cash money – how can branson move in when all he seems to do is borrow money – dont forget his virgin company was going to be floated on the american stock market – to raise money – but that was pulled because of the financial state there – before northern rock got into difficulties !!

  13. Daniel said on 30th January 2008, 0:58

    After reflecting better, I’ve noticed a problem:

    I only watched Globo International once, when I was in Argentina and wanted to see an important brazilian league game… they showed it live, of course, but I don’t know if with Formula 1 it would be the same, since it could violate contracts sign by FOM with other TV networks, granting them exclusive broadcasting rights over a given country or area…

    Good point for an investigation!

  14. Daniel said on 30th January 2008, 1:38

    Like I suspected:

    “6)Globo International transmits basically the same programs Rede Globo does in Brazil. However, since its an international channel (with posssible implications on international rights over each program) not everything can be shown. Products like foreign movies, brazilian national soccer team matches and F-1 are examples of what currently can’t transmited by Globo International.”

    Original:
    “6) Como é a programação da TVGI?
    A programação da TVGI é, basicamente, a mesma da Rede Globo no Brasil. No entanto, como se trata de um canal internacional (o que envolve os direitos internacionais de cada programa) nem tudo pode ser exibido. Produtos como filmes estrangeiros, jogos de futebol da Seleção Brasileira, e a F-1 são exemplos do que não é exibido no momento. Veja mais em Programação.”

    Source: http://tvglobointernacional.globo.com/FaleConosco.aspx?id_area=10

    Sorry for my first message!!!

  15. Cooperman said on 30th January 2008, 12:50

    Daniel – your level of interest in this is staggering!!

    Has anyone been to a Vue cinema to watch F1 in HD?
    I’d be up for the idea (although I like the live timings to hand on my laptop) if I could justify paying £15 when it’s free on ITV, and if the commentary weren’t done by Dr Jonathan Palmer. Nothing personal but he always put me to sleep with his thoughts when he replaced James Hunt on the Beeb.

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