Sky Sports have refreshed their Formula 1 line-up over the 2018 Summer break, by removing two shows from their schedules and adding a new show.
The new programme, Welcome to the Weekend is a 30-minute live show that will air on Thursday’s during each race weekend. Natalie Pinkham presents to begin with, the show wrapping up all the stories from Thursday’s driver interviews.
However, the addition of Welcome to the Weekend comes at the same time as Sky axing two shows from their schedules. Welcome to the Weekend replaces the 15-minute Paddock Uncut broadcast, which served a similar purpose on Thursday evenings.
Sky have also axed The F1 Report from their weekly schedules. The studio-based magazine show, which started life as the Midweek Report in 2013, aired on Wednesday evenings for thirty minutes following each race weekend.
The show began in an online-only format presented by Anna Woolhouse, before moving onto the main channel shortly afterwards. Sky dropped the ‘Midweek’ branding at the start of 2016, airing each week as a result of the axing of the studio-based version of The F1 Show at that time.
Now, half way through the 2018 season, Sky have discontinued The F1 Report, the last episode airing following the German Grand Prix on Wednesday 25th July.
Although Sky have yet to respond to a request for comment from this site, I suspect the main driver behind this is that both Paddock Uncut and The F1 Report did not rate well across their platforms, resulting in Sky choosing to try something different. Of course, Scott Young now leads Sky’s F1 output, so Young is likely to have influenced the decision.
The change means that, when Sky go off the air at the end of their race day programme, the next time new and original content will air on Sky Sports F1 will in some cases be eleven days later, with Welcome to the Weekend the following race.