It has been a busy two days in F1 broadcasting land, with both BBC and Sky holding their annual media days.
The BBC have officially confirmed their 2015 team which, as expected, is identical to their 2014 team. The main bit of news is that Suzi Perry will be presenting an F1 Rewind programme on BBC iPlayer and the Red Button, which is essentially a repackaged classic race. It also will be turning up on BBC Two, presumably on Saturday’s when the European season starts, as has been the case recently with their FA Cup Rewind programming. On 5 Live, Jack Nicholls will be commentating on five rounds (China, Austria, Hungary, Japan and Russia) with James Allen the lead commentator on the other 14 rounds.
BBC Head of F1, Ben Gallop, says: “With the current World Champion writing exclusively for the BBC, our access and insight into Formula 1 cannot be beaten. Across TV, radio and online, our top-class team will get audiences as close as possible to the starting grid, paddock, pit-lane and track – bringing expert analysis and insight throughout the race weekend. We are all hugely looking forward to the 2015 season and delivering every moment of Lewis Hamilton’s defending season to millions of F1 fans.”
This season, it looks like the BBC’s web offering for their live races will now be more expansive than Sky’s. The latter have decided to tailor their Race Control offering to just iPad and Red Button, dropping the web version entirely, which seems like a silly decision to me. When asked by this blog whether they would be dropping the online version of Race Control, Sky said “Yes that is right, we are going with iPad and red button.” I can’t speak for others, but I used Race Control online whenever Sky Go was playing up, so I’m disappointed to see it disappear. Whether it is related to costs, I don’t know. I do wonder if this will also be the case for Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia as well…
On the brighter side, Sky say that, they will “offer eight individual on board feeds from different cars on the Race Control iPad app”, a total of 14 live streams.