In a stark contrast to ITV’s bells and whistles effort in the first two seasons of the Formula E championship, Channel 5 are taking things in a different direction.
It appears the broadcaster will not be adding any of its own ‘wrap around’ studio discussion, instead choosing to just take the World Feed for the complete duration, a move that is understood to be down to budgetary constraints, multiple sources have told this site.
This is noticeable in the schedule for the Hong Kong ePrix: which runs at 120 minutes in length from 07:30 to 09:30 on Channel 5. The only voices Channel 5 viewers will hear on Sunday 9th October will be Nicki Shields in pit lane along with Martin Haven and Dario Franchitti in the commentary box.
ITV’s studio coverage regularly featured the likes of Marc Priestley, Jaime Alguersuari and Alex Brundle amongst others, all of which viewers are unlikely to hear much from in season three on Channel 5, unless plans change further down the line.
Furthermore, qualifying from Hong Kong is not scheduled for live broadcast on Spike TV, although this really should not be a surprise given the early time slot (even if it contradicts the press release). However, all sessions should be aired live on Channel 5’s social media outlets.
Given the large gaps for the first few races, it is always possible that a change of direction occurs with relation to the studio element if viewing figures are higher than anticipated. I can’t say I blame Channel 5 for not pursuing studio coverage given ITV’s viewing figures, but it suggests that the broadcaster does not have much faith in Formula E – even at this early stage in the contract.