Whilst the UK schedule for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix can be found here, I thought it would be interesting to compare the UK’s Sky Sports F1 offering with that over in Italy on Sky Sport F1. It was last June when it was announced that Sky would be broadcasting Formula 1 in Italy. Their new channel was announced in December.
From the outset, during non race weeks, the Italian schedule looks broadly similar to what the UK offers. The main difference is that Sky Italia’s channel is on air all day, unlike their UK counterpart which is only on air in the evenings. Starting off with Classic F1 races, as detailed before on this blog, Sky here in Britain screens Classic races for recent years in full, with five races before each weekend. The approach by Sky Italia is different though, instead of airing full races, they air five half an hour highlights more frequently. This may be because no full Italian commentary exists in the Formula One Management (FOM) archives meaning Sky Italia are not left with much choice, or it may be an editorial decision.
Elsewhere, like in the UK, an F1 Legends strand is present, with former Italian drivers’ such as Jarno Trulli being interviewed. One programme Sky in the UK do not have that their Italian colleagues do have is a programme entitled ‘Race Anatomy‘. The programme, presented by Marta Abiye and Fabiano Vandone airs a day after the race and looks in-detail at the issues during the race weekend. It appears similar to the Midweek Report, albeit on a bigger budget and running at an hour in length. The same two presenters present a programme called High Tech, 30 minutes, which looks at the technical issues in Formula 1.
The actual race weekend schedule is as follows (all times Italian):
Wednesday 22nd May
14:55 to 16:00 – F1: Driver Press Conference
16:00 to 16:30 – Paddock Live Show
Thursday 23rd May
09:45 to 10:00 – Paddock Live
10:00 to 11:30 – F1: Practice 1
11:30 to 12:00 – Paddock Live
12:00 to 12:30 – GP2: Practice
13:45 to 14:00 – Paddock Live
14:00 to 15:30 – F1: Practice 2
15:30 to 16:15 – Paddock Live
16:15 to 17:00 – GP2: Qualifying
17:30 to 18:15 – Porsche Supercup: Practice
18:15 to 18:45 – Paddock Live Show
18:45 to 19:30 – F1: Team Press Conference
Friday 24th May
09:30 to 10:15 – Porsche Supercup: Qualifying
11:00 to 11:15 – Paddock Live
11:15 to 12:30 – GP2: Race 1
12:30 to 13:00 – Paddock Live
17:00 to 17:30 – Paddock Live Show
Saturday 25th May
10:45 to 11:00 – Paddock Live
11:00 to 12:00 – F1: Practice 3
12:00 to 12:30 – Paddock Live
13:00 to 14:00 – Paddock Live Qualifying
14:00 to 15:15 – F1: Qualifying
15:15 to 16:00 – Paddock Live Qualifying
16:00 to 17:15 – GP2: Race 2
17:15 to 17:45 – Paddock Live Show
Sunday 26th May
09:45 to 10:30 – Porsche Supercup: Race
12:30 to 14:00 – Paddock Live Race
14:00 to 16:00 – F1: Race
16:00 to 17:00 – Paddock Live Last Ride
Sourced from the official Sky Italia website.
There are some small but noticeable differences between Sky Italia’s Monaco Grand Prix schedule and Sky UK’s schedule. The first noticeably is that there are four x 30 minute editions of The F1 Show (Paddock Live Show) spread over Wednesday to Saturday instead of two x 60 minute editions like there is over here. I think having a Saturday show is a very good decision on their behalf as it gives them ample opportunity to reflect on all of Saturday’s action. Elsewhere, the Italian channel has live coverage of the Porsche Supercup series, screening all sessions live. Over here, the rights are held by British Eurosport. I don’t know whether Sky UK had the opportunity to screen it live but passed, but in any case the UK channel only screens highlights.
A final point is the length of their practice three analysis, it appears that Sky Italia do not rush off air after the session like the UK channel does. Overall though, aside from a few exceptions, the coverage length and depth between the few channels appears very similar in what they provide.