When the BBC ‘sold out’ the F1 contract they had to Sky it was always going to be the start of the slippery slope to no F1 on UK terrestrial TV – that much I accepted as inevitable. I did however hope that the races that would be shown on the BBC up until the end of the deal with Sky in 2018 would at least be worth watching.
Last year the coverage was reasonable in terms of the races shown – it included Monaco (which can be a convoy, but equally is a special race) and Brazil – a great race and a great circuit. The coverage for the 2014 season has just been announced by the Beeb, they are as follows;
- 30 March: Malaysia
- 11 May: Spain
- 8 June: Canada
- 6 July: Britain
- 24 August: Belgium
- 7 September: Italy
- 5 October: Japan
- 12 October: Russia
- 23 November: Abu Dhabi
Now it may just be me – but this is a pretty unexciting collection of races – Australia is the first race in a new season which has new engines and lots of rule changes, but we don’t get to watch it live! There are 19 races next year and we get to see 9 live unless we pay Sky (whose coverage is really good – but rather pricey!).
It was a sad day when F1 was given to Sky, but we were ‘promised’ half the races (which we are almost getting), and I assumed the Beeb had some control over the choice of races – it appears I was wrong.
Perhaps the rights might pass to BT in 2018 – they might make a better job of it than the BBC!