Oh, this is going to be quite a funny list…
When they began broadcasting in 96 we had to endure with a commentator who used to comment on tennis. If i knew about things to come, i would enjoy it more…
Then we had to catch pretty dull aerial signal of russian channel, because no one broadcasted it in Ukraine and at the time online streaming was not possible
Mind you that they all didn’t bother to show qualifying at all, by the way.
Then it came back to national TV with a commentator who was…a chess specialist. Jonathan Legard was a god of commentary compared to him, absolutely. But he invited various guests as a second commentators – most of them were racing people or enthusiasts, which added to commentary. But anyway it was way better to switch the sound off most of the races. Showing qualifying (but not live) was an improvement.
Then in 2004 they moved all broadcasts to night. 2AM was the time, and no qualifying again. With chess specialist involved you simply had to switch the sound off not to fall asleep.
Nevertheless, came 2005 and no one was broadcasting anything at all. So all you could do is go to a pub to watch it on satellite from Russia and pray that race won’t interfere with some football game, because the pub would choose it instead of F1.
Also for all times coverage was interrupted for adverts.
But from Monaco that year came the good times. One of the smaller channels secured a deal, employed a good commentator and managed ads the way that the race was uninterrupted. Happiness! And it lasted for a few years. Live quali, live race, good speech – who could ask for more? Even when they moved qualifying to sunday morning i wasn’t disappointed really, because there was a good chance to catch it live online from ITV and BBC later on.
This year no one bought rights at the start of the season again, so online was the only way to watch. Glitchy, banned for copyright infringement, overcrovded with people – doesn’t matter, no other options exist. But from Turkey onwards first national channel bought the rights and guess who’s back in a commentary box? That’s right – chess beast. I simply won’t watch. And they’re not live either, race was scheduled to broadcast one hour after the actual start.
So here i am, stealing BBC feed and considering buying myself a British VPN to watch it like a normal person.
It’s like that in some countries :)