BBC: No HD F1 in 2009

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 remains stuck in the past with no HD service yet again in 2009
F1 remains stuck in the past with no HD service yet again in 2009

F1 will not be broadcast in high definition on the BBC in 2009.

Director of BBC Sport Roger Mosey said ??we?d very much like it to be?? but HD F1 broadcasts are not available yet.

He also suggested practice sessions will only be available online and ??via the red button?, and said the BBC is looking into broadcasting GP2 as well.

Mr Mosey has made a series of remarks about the BBC?s plans for F1 coverage on the BBC?s sports blog pages. Here are a few of the major highlights:

The races will be on iPlayer, but precise red button plans are yet to be confirmed.

The idea is that F1?s home will be BBC One, with all qualifying and races live and uninterrupted on that channel. The rest will be online and on the red button.

We?re still working on GP2 and other scheduling details. Clearly, we?ll have a lot of new content from F1 itself ?ǣ which will start with practice available online on the Friday of a race weekend. Catch-up F1 will later be on iPlayer with highlights on the site.

F1 won?t be available in HD though we?d very much like it to be. I?ll keep you posted.

I?m surprised at the choice of BBC One for the shows ?ǣ I expected them to screen it on BBC Two, to keep it clear of any clashes with mainstream programming. It makes no difference as long as they stick to their promise of ??live and uninterrupted?? broadcasts ?ǣ even if Eastenders is on, even if England finally wins a cricket tournament, even if the queen?s 17th cousin stubs her toe.

Having qualifying and races live is the bare minimum but he says ??the rest will be online?? indicating F1 fans will still get to see free practice live next year. Good news.

It would be a shame if nowhere could be found on the BBC?s many channels to show GP2 live. At the very least I hope it?s screened live on iPlayer. It?s provided some of the best races I?ve watched in the past four years. If BBC isn?t going to show it live on one of their channels I hope Eurosport or Motors TV can pick it up instead.

I?m very disappointed that F1 will not be in high definition in 2009. Once again it seems Formula One Group?s laughably slow adoption of new technology is to blame.

More on the BBCs 2009 F1 coverage