2014 has been a fascinating year in the world of motor sport broadcasting, from the launch of BT Sport’s MotoGP series to the launch of the Formula E series. 2015 looks like it will be another intriguing year with plenty of news lines heading into the New Year and beyond.
Something I was expecting to be announced last week did not happen. Normally, the BBC and Sky 2015 picks are revealed before Christmas, as has been the case previously. Presumably, the reason for the delay is because neither broadcaster expects Korea to appear in the finalised calendar. I would be surprised if there was a separate reason, but we shall see. The picks will need to be confirmed in the first few weeks of January, so that both sides can start publicity, in particular Sky where their exclusive races are concerned.
Another story that will be followed throughout the first few months of 2015 are the Premier League highlights rights, which went out to tender recently. The Guardian reported in November that ITV are going to bid for the highlights contract. It goes without saying that the Premier League highlights, through their Match of the Day brand, is the most important contract that BBC Sport currently hold. Any attempt to destabilise BBC Sport’s portfolio could have major consequences. The early rumour was that Wimbledon could be split between BBC and BT Sport, although this has been denied. Let us hope that any change does not effect the current BBC F1 package…
Formula One Management’s social media expansion is set to continue into 2015, with the relaunch of Formula1.com. What exactly will the new website bring? Furthermore, based on Marissa Pace’s recent comments, we may well see an official Formula 1 channel on YouTube in 2015. Elsewhere, BT Sport’s MotoGP coverage enters year two, and Formula E will be entering year two in September. From a UK perspective, I hope year two remains live on ITV, but we won’t know the answer to that question for many months yet. 2015 looks set to be another intriguing year on and off the track as Formula 1 heads into its second season with the V6 power units.