BBC F1 is great but motor sport coverage in Britain is getting worse

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Few motor sports are covered anything like as well as F1
Few motor sports are covered anything like as well as F1

BBC F1 are doing a marvellous job in their first year back as F1’s broadcasters in Britain. That much is clear on the live blogs whenever fans outside Britain get a glimpse of BBC’s work and comment on how good it is.

But although it’s great to finally see some improvement in Formula 1 broadcasting, it’s getting harder to watch other quality racing series in Britain.

GP2

Before 2009, GP2 spent three years on mainstream satellite channel Eurosport and one year on major British broadcaster ITV.

However BBC elected not to pick up the GP2 broadcast rights, which were instead acquired by subscription service Setanta.

Setanta’s subscription costs are steep, and they aren’t committed to showing all the races live.

But that pales into insignificance given that the company is now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. If that happens, will anyone sweep in to pick it up? Or will the most popular feeder series for F1 be without a broadcaster?

Indy Racing League

Sky Sports’ commitment to its Indy Car contract has noticeably waned since it started broadcasting NASCAR.

Fewer races are now broadcast live, and those which are shown are often missing replays and other video elements, making following the races much more difficult. This was even the case for the Indianapolis 500.

Given how many British drivers are in Indy Car this year, and how much closer the sport is much to European-style racing than NASCAR, I think Sky have their priorities wrong.

DTM

The German Touring Car Championship, home of some of Britain’s most promising up-and-coming talent like Paul di Resta and Oliver Jarvis, is also lost in the GP2 wasteland.

It was poached off Motors TV, which had a great community following for its slightly eccentric style of coverage.

Formula Three

Motors TV’s loss of the DTM to Setanta has also led to the disappearance of the Formula Three Euro Series from our screens.

This has sent many drivers in the direction of F1, including Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil.

Britain’s F3 championship has not been broadcast live in a long time, though bizarrely I managed to stumble across an old race from 2006 being broadcast on Channel 4 a few weeks ago.

World Series by Renault

Renault’s major single-seater championship, which promoted the likes of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, was on Setanta last year.

It has now moved to Eurosport where it may be exposed to a bigger audience, but there’s little point if they aren’t showing the all races live.

What’s next?

Britain is not completely bereft of motor racing coverage beyond Formula 1. ITV’s comprehensive British Touring Car Championship coverage is very good, and Sky do a much better job with A1 Grand Prix than they do with the IRL.

Eurosport are broadcasting all of the increasingly turgid World Touring Car Championship live. More interestingly they’ve also picked up the rights to the nascent Formula 2 championship, which is definitely worth keeping an eye on. And we will be able to see much of the Le Mans 24 Hours this weekend.

But if it weren’t for BBC’s exemplary F1 broadcasts, British motor sport fans would be much worse off in 2009 than 2008. If these championships want their races to be seen by British viewers, they need to start broadcasting them live online.

Is motor racing coverage any better where you are? What other motor sports besides F1 do you follow?

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54 comments on “BBC F1 is great but motor sport coverage in Britain is getting worse”

  1. I have been watching Motors TV for years, great for insomniacs, Setanta were allways doomed to fail as their business plan was about subscription, Sky have consistently stayed ahead of the game, now we have to wait and see who will pick up the rights for DTM, Gp2 etc, in the end it gets down to money….

    1. It’s. time. for. change. for. BBCSPORT they should take a look at Endurance Motorsport because there is a wider fan base and cheaper than F1 yes the races are long that is the sport.

  2. What i would like to see is the bbc create it’s own sports channel free to air (well paid by the licence fee i guess).
    Then maybe they could show more motorsport comprehensively.
    I’d like to see them show GP2 during the F1 weekend and DTM properly. WTCC and BTCC, though the race series themselves need to be improved. I stopped watching BTCC a couple of years ago because the coverage was intermittent at best and the series itself was getting less competative.
    It would be nice to have Indy Racing League shown properly.
    Also i’d like Australian V8’s with the Bathurst 1000 shown.
    World Rally would be nice to see too.

    It would be nice if motorsport was shown on tv in a way that does not patronise the fans. A consistent and long running coverage is needed.

    In britain there has never been a place to to watch motorsport for adults to appreciate.

    Europsort tried in years past, but just got to a point where you couldn’t rely on a race being shown when it was supposed to have been.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      10th June 2009, 14:49

      You should check out the BTCC now, it’s still not massively competitive but the coverage is brilliant. A whole 6 hours of live BTCC and support races.

      I agree with you about the V8s, there are highlights on 5 at some ungodly hour but I think they keep switching what day and time it’s on.

  3. It would be great if the BBC gave a free live global internet feed. I’m in Australia, so I’ve got Channel 10 broadcasting, 4 hours delayed, with 20 minutes of ads and no qualifying or build up. I don’t watch live F1 anymore, I just download a copy of the race (BBC feed) the day after and sit back with some popcorn.

    1. Svlad Cjelli
      10th June 2009, 9:01

      Glad you don’t get our BBC feed live. Bloomin cheek, we have to pay a license fee for the privilege.

    2. Depends on the location but for the European races delay is more like 2 hours. But then that changes depending on how long their crappy reality TV shows overrun. I used to think the Channel 10 coverage was OK but the delaying was poor…

      Until on Sunday arvo I downloaded and watched the BBC coverage of qualifying. It was informative and enjoyable, not like Channel 10 which almost makes watching a chore. From now on I too will be avoiding Channel 10 and any news the next day until I have downloaded the BBC coverage to watch

    3. In Australia we have channel one, which is a sub channel of channel ten.

      One shows the F1 qualifying, most of the time it isn’t live. It was especially frustrating when channel one was also broadcasting the Indian Premier League, and the qualifying got squeezed in between matches in the middle of the night.

      One also broadcasts the F1 races with a pre race show. This is broadcast live. I think it’s also broadcast on a delay on channel ten. The race is also replayed during the week on one, on a Tuesday I think at about 7pm.

      As for other motor sports series, channel seven broadcasts the V8 Supercars and some of the support races. SBS has a weekly motor sports show called Speedweek. It’s quite good. It shows different national championships, and occasional speedboat racing. Channel nine sometimes shows some drag racing. Channel one also broadcasts Nascar Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup qualifying and races. The Australian Rally Championship is also shown on channel one, as is as show called raceworld or something, and the World Rally Championship is also shown on SBS I think.

      Then there is pay tv, which I don’t have, although I do remember waking up in a hotel room one morning and turning the TV on to find motor racing on at 6am in the morning. I was impressed with that.

      1. We don’t get OneHD yet in the seventh largest city… instead we get a HD demo loop showing various country towns :(

  4. I’m in Canada, and it’s pretty terrible here to be honest. The only channels which show racing, as far as I know, are TSN and Speed TV, both of which you can only get through subscriptions to the more expensive cable packages. Neither of them stream the F1 races. As for other racing series, I’m not entirely sure, but I’m pretty certain that if they are shown, they’ll only be the IRL or NASCAR, and none of the Eurasian based series like GP2 or the WTCC etc… so yeah, pretty bad here… the internet is a godsend.

  5. Eddie Irvine
    10th June 2009, 8:12

    You are very lucky to have the ability to watch these series, in Greece (my country) the only motorsport events that are being covered are F1, MotoGP, WRC and SuperLeague Formula last year.

    1. yassou, philosmou!

  6. Jonesracing82
    10th June 2009, 8:12

    aside from F1, we dont get any of those here(oz)!
    we get delayed quali (was even chopped up to accomodate the IPL) and this is on our new dedicated sports channel, they have somehow managed to show f1 races live tho.

    1. They should pause playback of the race/qualifying and insert the ads in, rather than cutting out 20 minutes of racing to accommodate ads.

  7. Here in New Zealand it’s on Sky Sports which you have to pay for, but it’s on the main sports channels, they show every race live, and all practice and qualy sessions either live or delayed. Sky also shows GP2, IRL, NASCAR and WTCC regularly. So no complaints from me!

    The feed is the BBC so it’s good quality. I suppose my only gripe would be they don’t show any of the studio stuff, just straight to Legard and Brundle (or Croft and Davidson). But I’m not that bothered about missing out on EJ to be honest.

  8. God bless the internet – without it, I wouldn’t even know about F1!

  9. Svlad Cjelli
    10th June 2009, 8:57

    It’s not often I can praise ITV sports, but I have to say I’m glad they’re still televising all the BTCC races live. OK, it’s not the greatest series anymore, but there is still lots of great racing.

  10. Michael Schumacher
    10th June 2009, 9:02

    In Slovenia we only have Formula 1 and Moto GP (without 125 and 250 cc) and to be honest, comentators are lousy (F1 comentator Miran Ališič hardly ever hears Team radio transissions, but he doesn’t stop blabing when the sign comes on screen & he talks about non-race related things for most of the race).

    and, since the International signal is now for digital TV, the ratio of the screen is distorted if you watch on older TVs.

    And one more thing, that bothers me the most…in recent years there has been more and more graphics during live covergae, but it is mostly unusefull. I have a 7 years old Tv with 22inch screen and if i watch the race from my bed (3 metres away) i just can’t see the text show in graphics. soi sit behind my computer and i have to watch F1.com live timing to see relevant timings between drivers. they show times for a couple drivers, just so they say they do.it ws better 10 years ago, they timed what needed to be timed!

  11. ConcedoNulli
    10th June 2009, 9:17

    In UK terrestrial Five shows the V8 Supercars highlights show, ITV4 does the WTCC highlights, Channel 4 does F3, FIA GT, FIAGT3, FIA GT4, British GTs. Rolex Protos, NASCAR, IRL are also shown. Dave does WRC. In Northern Ireland Ulster TV does RPM for Irish Tarmac championship and various other Irish track series (I don’t know whether RPM is available across the rest of the UK).

    I think we’re pretty well served – however you need to scan the EPG to record them as they are mainly shown in dark hours.

    What really annoys me is Autosport’s TV pages don’t include these programmes on their TV schedule – they only detail Eurosport/Motors TV/Sky. But they do include Roary the Racing Car!

    For live coverage BBC Northern Ireland do the North West 200 live and stream on the net. It might be bikes but it is real road racing and the camera work is excellent.

    I think a very well done to BBC and ITV for their live F1 and BTCC (including supports). Coverage is pretty good but unfortunately its up to the teams/competitors/rules makers to make the races truly engaging.

    Sorry for the long post

  12. I watch it in Britain luckily and am very pleased with the BBC coverage but I swear I could shoot Jonathan Legard any day of the week. What an idiot!!

    1. He is incredibly annoying.

      1. Lest we forget, many were annoyed by Murray in his pomp also.
        I’m not suggesting Legard is fit to lick the boots of a man who could read out the positions as ‘Patrese, who has overtaken Patrese’ – but no-one’s unanimously liked.

    2. If you do, I hope you shoot him in the arm ;)

  13. Of course to really enjoy the BBC coverage you have to watch the TV coverage but listen to the 5 live broadcast since I can’t stand the BBC1 race commentary!

    1. Svlad Cjelli
      10th June 2009, 9:51

      Do you get the feeling Brundle isnt that keen on Legard?

    2. Except “That`s not a monkey just an enormous chip on my shoulder”, Ian Phillips.

  14. Got to agree, the time ITV devote to the BTCC is to be commended. But Motors TV which was once great, slowly gets worse every year, theyve lost the DTM. They used to show V8’s live, then last year it fell to delayed till the next day, and now its delayed by a week.

    GP2 and DTM going to a broadcaster who cant be bothered to show them live? Whos signing the contracts? ridiculous! Glad Setanta are about to go belly up.

    Despite the BBCs commitment to F1 Motorsport in general remains a 3rd class sport after men with balls.

  15. Actually, if you look closely at the terrestrial channels in the UK there is a wealth of Motor Sport being broadcast. You just either need to stay up late or program the old VCR. So you can get IRL, NASCAR, FIA GT, Britsh GT, A1GP, and a great mixture of grass roots British club racing which I regard as quality racing. Highlights, admittedly but that’s all I need for my fix!There is life beyond F1.

  16. The situation in Sweden is totally screwed up from this year.

    F1 – moved from a free-for-all channel to a pay-channel not available in the terrestrial network. Quali and a one hour show about the event (shown a few hours afterwards) is on a free-for-all channel,

    MotoGP – moved from the free Eurosport to a pay-channel not available in the terrestrial network.

    Nascar – only on a pay-channel not available in the terrestrial network.

    IRL – only on a pay-channel not available in the terrestrial network.

    GP2 – sometimes shown on Eurosport.

    World Series by Renault – shown on Eurosport.

    WTCC – shown on Eurosport.

    STCC – moved from a free-for-all channel to a pay-channel not available in the terrestrial network. A show about the event is free on public TV some days afterward.

    DTM/BTCC – not sure if it’s on any Swedish channel.

    With all F1, MotoGP, STCC, Nascar and IRL on the *same* channel, they will sometimes have to prioritize on what to show live. And as I stated, this channel is not even available as a pay-channel in the digital terrestrial network. It’s only available in some cable-networks and from satellite. The fee for me to get it through the cable network is about $40 per month if I subscribe for 24 months or more – which is a bad idea since many major housing companies put this service up for grab every two year, thus making a subscription and the digital box useless if the operator is changed. And, of course, I have to subscribe to about 40 useless channels just to get to that one motorsport channel with F1. I just refuse to do that.

    So, all in all, both FOM and Dorna made a pretty good job in trying to kill most of the interest in Sweden for motorsport.

  17. Robert McKay
    10th June 2009, 9:25

    Sky show the F3 Euro Series now, although it’s not live.

    I think you’re harsh on Eurosport’s WsBR coverage, too, as we’ve gained live races there. They are showing most of them live, which might not match Setanta but noone has it anyway, so that’s a net gain for most people. I think there’s a couple races around their excellent Le Mans 24 hour coverage this weekend.

    Eurosport do a very good job and indeed it’s very difficult to watch everything broadcast sometimes. I think there was a recent weekend they had live Porsche Supercup, live Formula Master, live Formula 2 and live WTCC. They also show a ridiculous amount of motorbike racing and some weekends they don’t actually have enough room even with 2 channels, if there are car and bike racing clashes.

    But on the negative side Motors lost live ALMS and are now only doing it delayed a week later, I think. Obviously the loss of GP2 to Setanta is the biggest blow, and Sky’s IRL coverage is pretty poor now.

  18. Just wait til Abu Dhabi (hopefully) and next season when BBC will be able to broadcast the races in HD! Woohoo!

    I think the idea of a BBC Sports channel will gain momentum over the coming years and that’ll be great… but they will need to be able to compete against the big players in the market for broadcasting rights… admittedly, that’ll only be Sky in the near future, but it would be great to have a bit more live sport of all kinds on the BBC as well.

    As for the F1 coverage… so far it has been superb from the Beeb. I’m not that keen on Jonathan Legard, I have to admit, but Brundle’s still top quality. It should so be David Croft in the commentary box though.

  19. I’d love to follow more motor racing series if I could, but I refuse to pay for subscription TV, and it’ll be a cold day in hell before I give any money to BSkyB. Pricey subscription fees AND THEN near-American levels of advert breaks? I don’t think so…

    I watch as much of the F1 broadcassts as I can every other weekend, and try to catch ITV4’s coverage of the BTCC weekends, what with them showing 6 hours-or-so of action with all the support races.

    I sometimes catch the odd motorsports catch up shows that get shown in the small hours or at weekends on the ITV and Channel 4 networks. They usually have snippets from the WTCC and various single seater and GT championships, but they are just that, snippets.

    I would be watching Eurosport this weekend for the Le Mans 24 hours if I was still living at my parent’s, as they still recieve it free through their old Astra satellite service.

    I’d love to watch more series, but they’re just not out there, and rarely do any find their way onto torrent sites for download. might give them a search later, see what I can find.

  20. I think it’s worth mentioning HD again here, A1GP in on HD on Sky, and the WTCC is on HD on Eurosport HD (which oddly is part of the Sky HD package even if you don’t have the sports package and hence can’t get standard Eurosport). I’m sure the BBC would be all over F1 in HD if Bernie would pull his finger out and get it sorted. When reading that interview with Bernie that Keith linked to the other day, I was struck by the mention of watching the GP with Bernie on his 60 inch TV. Surely even Bernie can see it looks crap at that size in SD?

  21. Hey, yea last year I watched a few rounds of the british formula renault and it was very gd, just a shame I can no longer get it on freeview. I think it was actully more interesting to watch than F1. I know that Dave does a very good coverage of the WRC which I follow allthough I do feel that if the WRC want to become bigger and more popular then they should think of moving to a more main stream broadcaster like BBC or ITV.

    I know aswell that ITV does some coverage of smaller races like the ginetta championship, but they put it on at like 12.00 in the night. ITV4 also had the TT on the other day which was good coverage although the TT is only a one off event so its not quite the same thing.

    I wish there would be more motorspot coverage in the UK and on Freeview, and on sensible times, that all I ask.

    1. You can see the Ginetta Championship as well as the Juniors, Porsches and some form of single seaters (I forget which) live on ITV4 during their BTCC coverage. It’s a really good afternoon’s worth of racing, especially now as they show it consistantly and live, unlike previous years.

      Thats the beauty of having more channels at their disposal, I guess.

  22. I think we already had some discussion on racing coverage in India :( ..so will not go details here!
    1. ESPN/Star sports broadcast F1 quali and race day live with lots of addverts (even in between 10 min time of Q3, they show adds :( ). No further comments on that.
    2. Zee Sports shows WRC, though not live.
    3. Ten Sports (sometimes Star Sports as well) shows MotoGP live
    No other racing is available in India, I can see most of you guys are being able to follow a lots of them! :(

  23. Here in Asia, GP2 and Formula 1 coverage is very good. Also WRC and Moto coverage is full.

    But other than that they focus more on Asian racing series (GT3 Asia, etc).
    DTM, Formula 3, World Series by Renault are not shown live but all results are mentioned with just the highlights.

    Also we get highlights of Le Mans Series and Indy Series, not full races.

  24. The FIA GT Championship was good on Motors TV last year, but they have lost the rights to Setanta now. I think you can see very limited highlights on Channel 4 or watch it streamed live from the website, but I think a series such as this has the potential to be popular and deserves a bigger profile.

    Looks like Setanta is in big trouble now so who will pick up all ofthe motorsport it has the rights to?

  25. We in the UK do get a good bit of motorsport on TV, such as GT’s and Motorsport UK covering the BTCC support races, but why do British broadcasters always put it on at three o’clock in the morning? Some of those are the best domestic series support races in the world, and they put it on when no-one is watching it. They should put it on instead of some rubbish repeat of something they have already shown earlier in the week. Or if it’s Channel 4, it’s normally on Saturday morning at about 6.30 or 7.00am. Surely it would be better to broadcast these at a reasonable time instead of repeated programmes these times.

    Even the BTCC highlights are on at about 2am. And if you don’t have Freeview television – your screwed! People on the main terrestrial channels should have more access to motorsport in the UK.

  26. I believe the biggest downgrade in coverage we’ve had from 2008 to 2009 is the move of GP2 to Setanta. As much as the BBC must be praised for their superb coverage of Formula One, they are also responsible for the loss of GP2. What’s more, if they had at least elected to show highlights (the minimum standard of GP2 coverage offered by ITV) then live coverage would likely have ended up on Eurosport, who – unlike Setanta – didn’t require exclusivity.

    If Setanta do enter administration, then the best hope for decent GP2 coverage would be for a general entertainment channel (such as Virgin 1 or Dave) to pick-up the rights. The problem with a dedicated sports channel is that at this late stage they would likely have a number of clashing scheduling commitments.

    On a more positive note, the IRC hasn’t been mentioned yet but coverage of the series this year has been revolutionary. Further information can be found here and here.

  27. …interesting you mention Dave – they evidently have an interest in broadcasting motorsport, as their coverage of the WRC has shown. Its better than when C4 had it IMO.

    Maybe we should petition Dave to up the ante and try to get some of the lesser open wheel formulae on there too!

  28. Formula 2 races are live on the F2 web site if you don’t have Eurosport.

    The BBC could still make more use of their Red Button. The bikes coverage (Moto GP, NW200 and TT) is great but not publicised much, you kind of stumble across it.

    It’s crying out for the GP2 races – the radio commentary and banter in F1 practice is great, but nothing much happens; I’d rather see a race.

  29. Can’t be as bad as we have it here in the US. When I search for “motorsports” on my channel guide, I’m flooded with NASCAR and the odd Monster Truck show.

    I have to say that Speed Tv does do a decent job of covering F1, with the exception of the races that are broadcast on tape delay on the Fox channel. GP2 races are shown tape delayed and usually at 5:00am on Sunday mornings before the F1 race. Thankfully I have a dvr.

    Indy Car is now on a new channel called Versus. They signed a 10 year multi-million dollar deal for the broadcasting rights and I have to say that they’re doing an incredible job of it. The downside is that the channel is only available in a limited number of markets, so indycar is getting very little tv exposure.
    They do broadcast the Indy Lights (Their equivalent of GP2) on tape delay on Mondays after the races, which I enjoy.

    Speed TV will be broadcasting 18 hours of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The other 6 hours will surely be NASCAR crap.

    We also get some races of the ALMS (American Le Mans Series) and the Rolex Grand-Am Daytona Protoype series.

    No WTCC, no WRC, no F3, no V8 Supercar, none of the great racing that’s out there around the world.

    1. V8s and DTM are usually shown off season in the winter on SPEED.

      Speed, since being bought out by Fox, has gone down hill. Used to show every racing series under the sun, and then shows relating to them. Now, it’s just 22hr a day of NASCAR, Reality programing, and infomercials, with the last 2hrs being actual racing.

  30. BBC is a vast improvement on ITV but, in truth, it couldn`t have got much worse.
    However, there`s still too much time spent on speculation & opinion & not enough on real fact & explanation, IMO.
    The national press are pretty appalling. Their interest seldom gets beyond scandal & bitching.
    For those that can also read/watch coverage in non-English speaking countries it really pays to do so. Things which we never get to hear about through our own media get reported there.

    Bernievision looked promising but, probably for many reasons, was never exploited to the full.
    As Bernie holds all the footage rights there should have been some way to use that as the basis of a dedicated F1/motorsport channel for those willing to pay.
    I suppose there just aren`t enough of us willing to cough up.

  31. ITV’s comprehensive British Touring Car Championship coverage is very good.

    I beg to differ.

    I was watching and it cut to an advert break. When it came back they were 2 laps into the Formula Renault race!

  32. For anyone whose interested, highlights of the current british f3 season are shown on C4 on saturday mornings but the coverage is quite short because they have to fit two races into 30 mins.
    Some times GT and FFord are shown as well.

  33. You know guys, I used to receive a channel called Supersport from South Africa. I don’t know whether the international and local broadcasts are any different, but if the local ones are anything like the international, then people in South Africa have it good. Even when F1 was with ITV (those guys used the ITV feeds, even using J.A and M.B as the commentators), they would never take ad breaks. And the guys in the studio were very knowledgeable. They’d also show GP2, A1GP etc. Too bad I don’t get it anymore :(

  34. Speed Demon
    10th June 2009, 22:54

    I regularly catch Speed TV’s coverage of the Grand Am Series, which is well produced and the racing (if not the cars) is exciting.

    But for me though, the ultimate in motor racing commentary is V8 Supercars. A great commentary team, with Mark Skaife joining Neil Crompton and others in the box, allied to a team of knowledgeable pitlane reporters (a la Nascar), lots of cameras in the cars, teams and drivers who are willing interviewees and access to lots of in car radio. It’s not difficult to get motorsport tv coverage right – but it does require a lot of resources.

  35. I seriously considered getting the Setanta subscription for my Sky just to be able to watch GP2. I don’t care for football. But then someone mentioned that for Virgin subscribers it is included in the regular sport package. That annoyed me and I decided against it. I hope Sky Sports or Eurosports or ITV4 pick it up if Setanta go belly up.

    I should have said that I agrees with much of what has been written in the article. Lets hope DTM comes back to a decent channel. The IRL coverage on Sky is a disappointment. I’ve sent a complaint to Sky already. I like to watch my motorsports live and not “delayed as live”. This term should not be banned. Something is either live or it is not live.

    I’ve noticed Eurosport are not always showing the main MotoGP race live. Why? It’s the big draw! What are they playing at!

    Rival channels used to buy the rights to highlights but this practice happens less and less. What a shame…

  36. Maurice Henry
    11th June 2009, 1:23

    I watch/watched:

    Motors TV – Japanese Super GT – gone in 2008 to god knows where. I want it back! I have to survive on the 2007 season which I have on disc and the odd race from 2005/2006; DTM Live – gone to Setanta who only seem to show a delayed race repeat. Now have to watch the races I recorded 2005-2008; MotorsTV seems to have become an MX channel with the amount of off road bike racing they show. However, I am looking forward to the Silverstone Classic which was covered superbly well by the Motors team, assisted by Murray Walker and Toby Moody

    Eurosport – Le Mans Series – Gone missing this year; Le Mans – I’ll record virtually the whole thing on a portable PVR (Archos 705); MotoGP – Dorna realised very late in the day that the BBC treat MotoGP like crap. MotoGP qualie, 125cc/250cc qualie and races consigned to the red button. They never show the podium ceremony. Last race (Mugello) you could only hear the podium ceremony in the background and then they went over to show a canoeing event!!! That’s the only reason British Eurosport was given any MotoGP coverage. The top team of Moody, Ryder and Mamola has sadly been broken up by Eurosport reducing their trackside costs. Most commentating seems to be done remotely now; WSBK – Great racing so far this year. Thoroughly entertaining.

    Sky – A1GP – coverage is comprehensive and some of the races weren’t bad. Has the feel of a Sunday league pub fixture list with race dates changing at the last minute and others being dropped at short notice. Definitely not F1; NASCAR – Watch it occassionally but I don’t go out my way to watch; IRL – ditto but somehow even less interested now; World Motorsports – gone now. But it was a great way to watch races from all over the world you wouldn’t normally see.

  37. Not sure if anyone knows this but UKTV (the owner of DAVE) is part-owned by the BBC. Without getting too technical its a joint venture between Virgin and BBC split stright down the line 50:50.
    It allows the BBC to act in a commercial manner without getting in to trouble with the licencing regulators and in return UKTV gets first dibbs on BBC programming.
    If the BBC were to try to launch a sports channel it might have to be through UKTV to ensure it could raise the money to buy the broadcastling rights through advertising. Unfortunately this would mean that all of the plaudits the BBC has rceived for its F1 coverage being free of ads could be tainted.

  38. Here in Germany the broadcasting situation is even worse, I think. As I mentioned before the BBC coverage is much better and especially much more professional than the one of German broadcaster RTL (a private network).
    At least they have Christian Danner as a commentator and Niki Lauda as an expert, however the rest is just Germany-focused commentary over and over again, which is really annoying.

    The situation with other racing series isn’t much better:
    DTM is broadcasted by a public broadcaster, a few GP2 races by Eurosport (rest on Eurosport 2) and for almost all other series you have to have “Premiere”.

  39. Would love to incessantly get updated outstanding blog ! .

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