Wimbledon?s roof, F1 and television

Roofs at F1 circuits would be impractical, but useful

Roofs at F1 circuits would be impractical, but useful

There?s no escaping the Wimbledon tennis tournament here in Britain. Last night F1 broadcasters BBC attracted 12.6m viewers as British hopeful Andy Murray scraped through to the next round after a four-hour match that lasted well into the evening.

But there has been criticism of the decision to keep the match going under Wimbledon?s new extensible roof – and questions about whether it was done to help keep viewing figures strong.

It would not be the first sport where compromises have been made to suit the demands of television ?ǣ Formula 1 is much the same. But this sort of thing can easily go too far.

The roof at centre court was constructed before this year?s event to allow the organisers to keep the tournament running when the British summer runs true to form ?ǣ i.e. cold and wet.

You can imagine what has happened. London is presently basking in a heat wave, with temperatures up to 32C. Then, vexing the organisers further, fat dollops of warm rain fell yesterday afternoon.

The roof was duly rolled across to keep everyone dry. The match was finished but afterwards the players complained of being roasted in the heat under the cover.

The BBC has denied it asked for the roof to be used to keep the game going ?ǣ but the desire to keep international broadcasters satisfied may well have played a role in the organiser?s decision.

It certainly would not be the first time sport has taken a back seat to commercial imperatives. It?s the same reason why the British football Premier League has been considering adding an extra round of matches to be played in cash-rich eastern countries.

F1 has been making similar concessions to economic demands in general ?ǣ and television in particular ?ǣ for some time.

Elimination qualifying

F1′s ??elimination? qualifying system was partly designed to allow advert breaks after Q1 and Q2.

I think it?s a neat solution which satisfies the demands of fans, television and the sport: fans needn?t miss any of the track action, the television companies can run their adverts and the sport has a qualifying system which works and is entertaining.

But in other areas striking this sort of balance may be very difficult. What if the sport tried to apply the same model to the race format?

Shorter races?

This is not unlikely – it was one of FOTA’s recommendations following its survey of F1 fans in March. Flavio Briatore and Felipe Massa were among those backing the idea, and Briatore has in the past suggested F1 should run to a GP2-style format with two races per weekend.

It?s not hard to see why this might appeal to television companies: two 45-minute races with a break in between could allow the races to be broadcast in full with advertising breaks confined to the ??half-time? break. This is similar to how A1 Grand Prix is broadcast on Sky Sports.

But would fans like it? As ever, please have your say below ?ǣ but I?m going to hazard a guess that the response will be largely negative.

The best solution for F1 on TV

A poll on this site in March showed 89% of readers did not want to see race distances reducing. When much has already been done to make F1 more ??TV-friendly? ?ǣ shorter circuits, maximum time limits etc… ?ǣ this could be a concession too far.

The fixed Grand Prix distance of two hours or 200 miles is part of what defines the sport. From the lower echelons through F3 and GP2, race distances get progressively longer, building drivers up for the demands of Grand Prix racing.

FOTA has made a lot of strong arguments about how F1 should be run in the future and enjoys a lot of support from fans in its dispute with the FIA. But cutting race distances, for whatever reason, will in all likelihood cost them some of that good will.

Before going down the road of cutting race distances, FOTA should look at offering a two-tier solution for F1 fans: free coverage with ad-breaks for the masses, and an ad-free subscription service, perhaps with extra features and camera angles, for hardcore fans.

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117 comments on Wimbledon?s roof, F1 and television

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  1. Mussolini's pet cat said on 30th June 2009, 20:29

    We are always told by the F1 fraternity that their sport is the at ‘pinacle of technology’ or some such. So how come we aren’t seeing this technological extravaganza in HD??? If low tech tennis can have it, why cant we?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 20:48

      Never mind tennis, you can watch darts in HD now.

    • todd said on 1st July 2009, 8:34

      because 2 HD cameras to cover darts is much cheaper than 50+ cameras per track.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st July 2009, 8:55

        Surely F1′s global audience is gigantically bigger than darts, though?

        With HD, I wonder if the reason for the hold-up in F1 is that Ecclestone can’t see how he makes more money out of it. If he can’t make the broadcasters pay more he isn’t going to bother.

        He’s already had his fingers burnt once trying to offer a higher quality television product and not seeing enough return on his investments when he set up F1 Digital +.

        This isn’t to justify Ecclestone’s decision – as Mussolini’s pet cat says it’s a bit of a joke that such a ‘high tech’ sport is lacking a technology that is increasingly de rigeur in sports broadcasting.

        • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 10:42

          Yes Keith Bernie will not bring in expensive HD for F1 unless he can make money from it, and there is just not enough demand for it from the broadcasters. Fans want it but when have the fans ever gotten what they want from Bernie?

        • James said on 1st July 2009, 11:39

          Oddly, many of the tracks have cameras which film in High Definition. The technology is there to broadcast it. Unfortunately, there is one person that is stopping it at the moment, and there is no need to a hazard guess as to who. Bernie Eccelstone. I’m not sure on the ins and outs of it, but there is something that Bernie isnt happy about. It could be to do with the costs of broadcasting in HD.

    • One of the onboard cameras for each race is an HD camera, actually. It’s not much but it’s better than nothing.

      You can usually tell which one is in HD when watching the race, even if you’re watching in in SD.

      Besides which, didn’t Vue Cinemas broadcast last year’s British GP in HD? So it’s been done before.

  2. Brian said on 30th June 2009, 20:32

    “free coverage with ad-breaks for the masses, and an ad-free subscription service, perhaps with extra features and camera angles, for hardcore fans.”

    What??? How about free coverage with no ad-breaks…. That’s what Brit F1 fans have been waiting for. thank you BBC!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 20:44

      Ad-free broadcasters funded by the public purse are not found in many other countries though!

      • Exactly. I highly doubt PBS (America’s Public broadcasting service) would have the financing and initiative to pick up F1.

        • Jagged (@jagged) said on 30th June 2009, 21:48

          Maybe, if they had Big Bird and Oscar doing the play by play and The Cookie Monster doing color commentary!

          • stillious said on 1st July 2009, 0:01

            The Count would do race progress obviously :)

          • Ace said on 1st July 2009, 0:43

            “Button is number one – ah ah ah”

          • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 2:01

            Staler and Waldorf can do the race analysis. lol Just like Coulthard and Jordan. Couldn’t do worse than Eddie Jordan.

        • F1Yankee said on 1st July 2009, 0:29

          the bbc has been supplying pbs with shows for longer than my 34 years.

          as a little guy, i didn’t know which was more perplexing: tom baker or the ultra-low budget monsters he fought. fortunately, benny hill was on right after, and i still love boobs to this day :)

      • Yuma said on 1st July 2009, 9:39

        Ad-free broadcasters funded by the public purse are not found in many other countries though!

        I live in Belgium and I can watch quali & race without interruption of adds : )

        • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 11:00

          That’s good to know Yuma. Is it a BBc feed? If not, well i thought only the uk had adfree tv.

          • Yuma said on 1st July 2009, 11:05

            I don’t really understand what you mean with “BBC feed”.
            I can watch bbc 1&2 here in Belgium but I don’t know if they broadcast F1 there, I always watch it on “één” (one) or “canvas” which are stations that are paid with the peoples taxes, so there are no commercials during programs only in between 2 programs there are commercials and they are very short.

          • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 20:36

            Well Yuma a bbc feed would mean you would get the bbc coverage of F1 with commentators and the presenters usually.
            I do think the channel you are watching the racing on in Belgium is very enlightened though. I have often said over the years that tv stations should broadcast a tv show without breaks and have commercials at the end. Of course it does help when the people are paying taxes to help the station.
            I doubt it would work here in USA they think they pay loads in taxes as it is. They don’t know the half of it if you look at Britain and Germany.

  3. Robert McKay said on 30th June 2009, 20:36

    Actually, it’s hard to criticise the game finishing under the roof, I think.

    Firstly it’s air conditioned (it has to be to stop the grass sweating, so I’d imagine it was actually much cooler than playing without the roof and aircon. And being able to play beyond dusk means that Murray didn’t have a game over two days, using up valuable energy and having less recovery time.

    What’s possibly the bigger story in terms of sport-pandering-to-broadcaster is Wimbledon consistently putting Murray third on Centre Court, allowing him to play in the evening/dinner slot which means more people back from work in the UK and higher figures. It’s understandable but at the same time one wonders if it’s good that one persons schedule is so dominated by such a concern.

    In terms of F1, elimination qualifying works very well. Shortening races would be a bad move, though. However, what may make more sense is standardising the time, rather than the distance. The variation of Monaco’s 1 hr 50 mins and Monza’s 1 hr 10 mins with everything else in between is maybe a less “packagable” format than, say Champcar’s “every race is 1hr45 mins plus 1 lap” format.

    Although from a fans point of view maybe the variation is a plus.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 20:45

      What’s possibly the bigger story in terms of sport-pandering-to-broadcaster is Wimbledon consistently putting Murray third on Centre Court, allowing him to play in the evening/dinner slot which means more people back from work in the UK and higher figures. It’s understandable but at the same time one wonders if it’s good that one persons schedule is so dominated by such a concern.

      I see your point and yes, this is pretty much the sort of thing I was getting at.

      • Chalky said on 30th June 2009, 21:57

        I always thought putting Henman on 3rd on Centre ruined his chances a few years. Inevitably he would have to finish a match the following day and would then be not as fit as the likes of Federer who seem to always play first.

    • Bas said on 2nd July 2009, 12:44

      The only reason Murray’s on centre court in the evening is that Nadal withdrew.
      Because of Nadal’s withdrawal, Federer is the highest seed and gets to play the first game of the tournament – and stays at the top end of the top half of the draw. Murray is now the second highest seed en gets the bottom spot of the bottom half of the draw, which means he’s always last to play in each round. Because no noteworthy delays have occurred, Murray played his matches on the day they were planned – in the evening.
      Had Nadal not withdrawn, he would have played in the morning each time when federer plays now, and Federer in the afternoon/evening when Murray’s played now, and Murray at the times Djokovic has been playing (top half of the draw, so early, like Federer). Also, He wouldnt have played on centre court each match necessarily, not the last game at least since Nadal would have been a higher seed playing at the same time.

      I’d be against time limit on races, since that is strictly the domain of endurance racing. It also makes the technical challenge designing a car very different since the amount of wear on a car is more related to distance than time running (the actual course that is being run and the circumstances of course bein other factors).

  4. Robert McKay said on 30th June 2009, 20:37

    Of course I meant to say “Wimbledon consistently putting Murray third on Centre Court at the BBC’s asking”.

  5. persempre said on 30th June 2009, 20:44

    FOTA have no dealings with the TV rights, though, Keith. That`s FOM territory.

    In the UK BernieVision tried the pay per view option with Sky. The numbers willing to pay just weren`t enough. In fact I ended up getting the second half of the season for £50 so desperate were they to get some money in.

    If there were a dedicated motorsport channel it might be different but then you`d have the problem of clashing races.

    I see from BARB`s figures that the Turkish GP ranked 26th in the top 30 BBC programmes for the week with a peak viewing audience of 4.27 million. It came in below Countryfile & Crimewatch & with less than half the viewers of Coronation Street.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 20:47

      I think FOTA are approaching it from the point of view that anything and everything is on the table. If nothing else, Bernie Ecclestone is 79 years old and he can’t keep doing this forever.

      The teams are already starting to male noises about what races they want on the calendar. They could even make a cost-cutting argument about shortening races.

      • persempre said on 30th June 2009, 21:08

        Don`t get me wrong I think it would be a great idea but I don`t think it`s practical with the current set up.
        Yes, I`m sure FOTA want to make improvements in all the areas they can but I doubt that they have any say over all the limited companies Bernie started.
        Those companies don`t rely on Bernie`s existence to continue. In fact, as far as CVC is concerned Bernie is an employee.

        I believe Formula One Productions only owns the televised feed. The commentary etc. is owned by the regional rights holder.
        So FOTA would have to persuade not only FOP/FOM but every regional rights holder, too.
        As some of our Americal posters have been all too aware having live coverage at all can be a bit in the lap of the Gods unless the local rights holder wants to play ball.

      • stephen said on 1st July 2009, 0:03

        I think for fota everything is on the table!I believe they( fota) see max and bernie as the problem for f1 for the future. the whole thing at the moment is being run for the benefit of CVC. bernie doesnt seem to care where the races are, or even if there is anyone in the stands. he just wants the money. CVC brings nothing to F1. infact its a black hole that strips f1 of 50% of its total revue. bernie odviously wanted to cash in most of his chips but how did he persuade max that this was in the best interests of f1 as a whole. max had a veto on the sale of the rights to f1. come 2012 we may a completely different f1 to enjoy

  6. scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 20:51

    I would have to say i NEVER want to see reduced race distances, but i may be open to an idea of two races per race weekend, only 1 hour each not 45 minutes.
    This may be considered by some and possibly me too as DUMBING DOWN of F1.

    But waht if the same thing starts to happen in all sports for tv’s sake?

    How about a marathon run in twenty minute stints to allow for adverts, so the runners have to stop rest for 4 minutes then carry on for another twenty minutes. Would be a farce.

    How about the Le Mans 24 hrs

    The list could go on and on

    • persempre said on 30th June 2009, 21:26

      I don`t know how people in the UK watched Le Mans unless they have the full Sky package, scunnyman.
      It switched back & forth between the 2 Eurosport stations so I think there must have been many people who only got an hour & then missed a wadge before getting it back on the main channel.
      It did run on one side for the hours through the night but only avid fans were up watching then.

      • Chalky said on 30th June 2009, 22:00

        I get both with the XL TV package on VirginMedia.
        The annoying part was finding the highlights. You either tape the whole race and skip back, or hope you get lucky with the coverage running a replay.

        ITV4 ran 1 hour of the race live. It wasn’t the start or end. They just used it to fill air time. Hardly worth it.

      • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 22:09

        Well motorpsort in general needs to be treated professionally by tv companies and FOM not just F1.
        And those who pay licence fees/subscriptions etc. should be given respect and have their beloved sports broadcast properly. Not just a bit here and a bit there.
        That’s like the bad old days of BBC Grandstand where they would only show a bit of a race or are about to show something and have to leave to go to something else a bit more important like crown green bowling lol
        In this day and age of digital channels and Hd then it has to be possible to show what people want to see when they want to.
        LIke having TIVO here in the states or SKY+ in Uk then you can pause live broadcasts and skip adverts.
        So the days of tv broadcasters relying on adverts will be long gone in the near future, so they have to come up with other ways of sponsorship etc. to pay for the channels and shows.

  7. Robert McKay said on 30th June 2009, 20:57

    Anyway, we all know the easiest way to boost viewing figures would be to focus on the product, get some more overtaking and close racing back, which the regs haven’t really achieved all that well, and generally focus on the product.

    Picking the right tracks will help. Not just from a passing point of view. For instance it’s not a very good story if the BBC are more or less apologising/noting for the dreadful crowd attendance in Turkey…rather makes the viewer wonder why they’re bothering as well, no doubt.

    Much easier to feel you want to watch a race where a hundred thousand partisan fans are making a lot of noise.

    • Jagged (@jagged) said on 30th June 2009, 22:37

      No, the easiest way is to introduce some Pit 3 Girls!!

      • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 23:03

        Is that the british style pit 3 girls Jagged, the kind found on page 3 perhaps?

        Maybe the pit stop crews should be made up of these girls tjen more guys will tune in. the better a driver/team does the less they wear lol

  8. Lustigson said on 30th June 2009, 21:20

    Two shorter races in stead of one, eh? And which one would be the Grand Prix then? :-\

    • pSynrg said on 30th June 2009, 22:05

      Well said!

      • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 22:26

        I’m not really advocating the two tier race thing but i would say both parts would constitute the grand prix.

        Personally they should just have ONE 2 hour mimum race on a sunday afternoon.

        • I understand that, but if 2 drivers win the 2 heats, which one will have won the Grand Prix? We can’t have 2 winners of one race, can we? (And yes, I know there have been double winners in the past, but that was silly, too.)

          • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 21:36

            It wouldn`t be 2 heats, Lustigon. If there were 2 races then some sort of points would be given for the ‘minor’ race & also points for the main race.

    • persempre said on 30th June 2009, 22:27

      I`d guess the longer one ;)
      The races don`t have to be the same length. A1GP has 2 races. One a Sprint & the second the Feature which is over twice the length.

  9. Xanathos said on 30th June 2009, 21:24

    Reducing race length would be a bad move. God knows how FOTA have got a positive response to this in their poll.
    They’d better deal with making the races more exciting and make bernie put some better tracks on the calendar.

    The qualifying format was one of the better ideas, though. Qualifying today is rather exciting and there are always cars on track. If low-fuel Q3 caomes next year, it will be perfect (at least in my opinion…)

  10. HounslowBusGarage said on 30th June 2009, 21:29

    I happen to know that Bernie is working on pre-fabricated. quick assembly race circuits that can be contructed quickly and simply in the host country at very little cost. These would be complete with everything from grandstands and media centres to pits and paddocks, allowing host countries previously bereft of F1 standard race tracks to participate in this world wide sport.
    The concept is simple. In each season, countries interested in hosting an F1 GP would make sealed bids to CVC to host the races. If there is to be a twenty-race season, then the top twenty bids will be selected, it’s as simple as that. Naturally, Bernie will guarantee TV coverage and audiences, making it a very attractive proposition to ‘host’ countries.
    Once the host countries and the calendar are sorted out, Bernie’s new plan is to construct the tracks effectively on demand.
    As I understand it, there will be three track ‘sets’ which will ‘leapfog’ each other around the world as the season progresses. Apparently it’s the only way to deal with the fact that each track set takes about thirteen days to construct and break down.
    So if the Egypt successfully bid for a Grand prix, the track could be constructed just outside Alexandria, or near Cairo as required. Similarly, races in Europe could change locations in countries to take advantage of local business conditions and maximise revenue.
    These tracks will be able to be configured locally as well, simply by altering the configuration of the individual elements. This will allow each track to be significantly different, and over time, to be different to the track used in previous years.
    Apparently Bernie is now looking for overall track sponsors in addition to race or event sponsors like ING.
    Allegedly he’s already secured the backing for the 2012 British Grand Prix track from . . . . Scalextic.

    Sorry.

    • persempre said on 30th June 2009, 21:48

      roflolol – you`ll be giving him ideas, Hounslow, be careful ;)

    • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 22:59

      Yes Bernie should just stick to Scalextric. He can do less harm.

      Now let’s see how many take your comment seriously Hounslow lol

  11. Philip said on 30th June 2009, 21:30

    You Brits do what you feel best, because it doesn’t matter how many concessions are made, American broadcasters will still find a way to throw in at least one commercial break for any stint lasting longer than 8 minutes. Like everything else in America, sport has been reduced tp nothing more than a business, where profit margins mean more than tradition. I’m just sorry to see the rest of the world following suit.

    • Chalky said on 30th June 2009, 22:02

      Why can’t the ad’s be overlapped at the side of the screen or as a banner, slightly reducing the main picture?

      Surely that would allow fans to follow the action and stay glued to the TV when the adverts are playing?

      • pSynrg said on 30th June 2009, 22:06

        They are already doing this…

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 22:51

        I’m sure it’s technically possible, but presumably those types of adverts would be worth less because the viewer isn’t really watching them.

        • Daniel said on 1st July 2009, 0:05

          Like I’ve said many times before, that’s exactly what happens in Brazilian TV Globo coverage, with a clever sollution, to assure the ad is “perceived” by the viewer: at first, there’s no screen reduction, the ad is an animation in the top left corner, and they cut the sound off, anounce the product with its respective slogan (the famous yellow “M” and the audio message “I’m Loving It”, for example), and a couple of seconds later, the animation is gone, and the broadcast audio is back…

          I think it works pretty well in Brazil, every fifteen minutes or so (I don’t remember the exact figure) and even if something big happens, the viewer is allowed to see, and the narrator comments it a few moments later…

        • donwatters said on 1st July 2009, 14:26

          The IRL broadcasts on the Versus network currently run continuing race coverage on about 1/3 of the screen during the advertising breaks.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th June 2009, 22:51

      I’m shocked by the eight minutes thing, although I shouldn’t because I’ve been to America and I’ve seen how frequent the ad breaks are in normal programming. How can you stand to watch anything with that many interruptions?

      Sorry I don’t mean to rub your nose in it, but it must be incredibly annoying.

      • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 1:31

        Yes Keith quite annoying. You start to watch a show, the opening credits finish and they go for a break and then back several more during the programme and then one last break before coming back for the end credits. And then usually you are straight into the next show.

        BUt as i have said if you have TIVO/DVR?SKY + then you do away with adverts if you wish.

    • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 23:27

      But Philip TV Broadcasters are going to have to have a revolution in the way they broadcast shows and sport. With the advent of TIVO and such, along with TV capture technology for computers then people can bypass commercials. And this will only increase with time.
      Tv execs and commercial marketeers are going to have to come up with a better way of getting money for the production os tv shows and sporting shows, and sponsors are going to have to think of a way to get their products to a wide audience without commercial breaks.
      I am no expert and have no solution. Maybe some of you may have ideas?

      Personally i haven’t seen an advert in well over a year, mainly because i haven’t got cable or satellit here in USA. But i still know what products are out there because i have a missus who takes me shopping lol.

      There has got to be a way that advertising can be done without commercial interruptions during broadcasts.

      • donwatters said on 1st July 2009, 14:29

        Two words, scunnyman: Product integration.

        • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 21:55

          explain please donwatters?

          • donwatters said on 2nd July 2009, 9:54

            It’s a concept where an advertisers product is worked into the programing. Coke and American Idol is an example. I would think there would be a variety of ways companies that wanted to create awarness of their products or services could weasel their way into the broadcast.

          • scunnyman said on 2nd July 2009, 10:37

            in other words Donwatters you are talking about PRODUCT PLACEMENT yes?
            A good idea, but maybe a little subtle for some people though.
            It’s a system used many years ago in movies and tv.
            Broadcast rules in ENGLAND certainly prohibit such a thing at the moment. The American Idol example you gave, in england they fuzz out the coke logo on the glasses on the desk.
            I believe that even in america back in 50′s i think they even went as far as advertising products during a show. I could be wrong on that one.

            BUt with the advent of such things as DVR tivo etc advertisers need to look at ways of getting products to the public. I think the idea of picture in picture and the commercials at the side of the screen are both good ideas.

            Personally even when i do see a commercial i tend to block it out. Yes maybe subconciously i am taking the product in.
            But, for instance the days when formula one had tobacco advertising on the cars, it did not make me want to go out and buy any fags, sorry cigarettes lol

            I guess living in america now i have gotten to see some annoying adverts which stick with me such as GEICO and ALLSTATE. And while i’m on that subject why does Geico have to have an annoyingly sounding Londoner talking on the ads?

    • Bas said on 2nd July 2009, 13:19

      Lots of commercial ad ideas here, tho sorry for all the uk and continental europe folks, thats not on the menu for you.

      Scientists have figured a long time ago that integrating their ads into the broadcast is a much stronger concept that the commercial breaks. product integration – indeed. In the states its quite usual for programmes to be full of banner ads and the host to say something nicec about some product or, in sports, to have a NASCAR crash slow-motion or a baseball home-run slowmotion “presented by” – and this actually works so well because it ties the product unconsciously to the memory of the context: the home-run or the big crash. Thats why these should not be long and annoying interruptions but part of the flow. Daniels example works the same.

      In Europe, broadcasters have been eager to adopt this, but sadly, they can’t. European Law pprohibits these and other more dubious practices from all European tv stations. There is, however the possibility of having a minor, quiet view of the programme continuing in the corner (only for live events) but the size of the live view picture can be no more than roughly 5% of the screen signal area.

      btw, americans indeed get lots of commerical breaks thrown at them, but bear in mind that american commerical breaks are much, much shorter than european ones, for live events, the latter being up to 5 minutes. For non-live events this can get even worse: in some european countries, ‘breaks’ in films can be as long as 15(!) minutes.

      In the end, F1 is not, and will never be, a truly commerce-friendly sport like (american) football, baseball, cricket, or tennis; with short, closed plays and little pauses in between, just enough for one logo every minute or so.

  12. Max should resign now!!! said on 30th June 2009, 21:32

    I don’t want to see short gp2 style races if I would i’d go and watch GP2. the 2 hour limit is already crap by itself…

  13. Nitin Patel said on 30th June 2009, 21:36

    Here in the US, the Indycar series has done something interesting they call “Side by Side”, where the advertisements are shown along with race coverage (a picture in picture, if you will). Every fourth or fifth break is taken in full, like conventional advertisements, but I find myself watching through the advertisements during the side-by-side because I can still see the race. This may be the solution the advertisers are looking for with the growth of DVRs and such…

  14. Zazeems said on 30th June 2009, 21:37

    It’s a difficult one when talking about the commercialisation of sport; without it (by it I am referring to sponsorship on everything, ad-breaks, loss of tradition and juggling formats) we would not be able to watch it on television live or go to see it for so little money. However, I do believe that there needs to be a balance. For instance it’s fine having the ‘knockout’ qualifying system in F1 because it is entertaining and genuinley adds something to the action on a saturday. However doing anything that detracts from the spectacle or bedrock tradition of the sport simply for commercial reasons should not be allowed. In my opinion in the case of Formula One this refers to shortening races and circuits (especially circuits, a longer circuit is much more chalenging, and therefore entertaining), MOVING EVENTS AWAY FROM THEIR TRADITIONAL VENUES (the FA can listen up too), and to a lesser extent imposing time limits on races.
    This is also true in the case of Cricket (another passion of mine), England are playing random inconsequential matches and series because of a broadcasting contract, there is confusion over boundary rules because the line is now marked by advertising boards, and the traditional jumper has died out on the innternational stage in favour of polo shirts which more sponsor logos can be fitted on.
    In my view this is all unneccesary and detracts from the sport, it’s just my view. :D
    P.S. I apologise for mentioning issues from another sport on this site, it feels like blasphemy. :D

    • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 23:45

      Don’t worry Zazeems, about the Different sport on Keith’s site. Look at the article you are posting on. He’s doing Tennis for heaven’s sake. Thoush in Keith’s defence it is just an example for the wider commercial aspect of tv and sports.

  15. SoLiD said on 30th June 2009, 21:42

    In a way two short races could be lots of fun!
    But the dna of F1 is one long race..I agree there… So I don’t know :s

    Bringing back low fuel qualy (wich should happen) and maybe a half hour warm up :)

    • scunnyman said on 30th June 2009, 23:49

      Not sure about the warm up again there SoLiD.
      Ever since the parc ferme rules were introduced so cars could not be touched from qualifying to the race there has been much much less attrition during the race. So i think the less the mechanics tinker with the cars the better.

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