Billy McGinty appointed Sky’s Director of Formula 1

Sky Sports have appointed veteran producer Billy McGinty as their Director of Formula 1, Motorsport Broadcasting can confirm.

A mainstay at Sky for many years, McGinty previously worked as a producer on Sky’s F1 coverage in their earlier seasons.

An internal reshuffle in 2017 saw McGinty promoted to Senior Producer, moving over to work on Sky’s Premier League football coverage.

Now, McGinty succeeds Scott Young as Sky’s Director of Formula 1, in a process that this site understands concluded late last year. Sky themselves have independently confirmed McGinty’s appointment to Motorsport Broadcasting.

By appointing McGinty, Sky have opted to stick with what they see as a safe internal hire, in a similar vein to how Martin Turner became Sky’s Head of F1 in 2011.

In comparison, Young emerged from the outside, making unpopular decisions in the process.

Croft and Brundle remain in the box for 2021

David Croft and Martin Brundle will remain Sky’s commentary pairing for 2021, as the broadcaster heads into their 10th year of F1 broadcasting.

Speaking about his Sky future on the Motor Sport Magazine podcast at the end of 2020, Brundle says that he expects to be replaced “soon”, and is surprised that such a move “hasn’t already happened.”

“My job is very simple, I’ve got to put fans on the grid pre-race, in the cockpit during the race and on the pit wall, because that’s my knowledge base. I don’t need notes to do that,” Brundle said, talking to Ed Foster.

“Somebody will come along and blow me out of the water soon in terms of their knowledge and their work rate, and what they’re prepared to do to make Formula 1 television, and when it does, I’ll go and do something else. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already to be honest.”

“I’m just looking at a new deal now [speaking at the end of 2020]. I haven’t started a Grand Prix since 1996, but I get away with that, as long as I’m still really up to date.”

Rumours that Sky, under Young’s leadership at the time, were looking to replace Brundle never came to fruition, Brundle now heading into his 25th F1 season as a full-time commentator.

The 2021 season is set to begin with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday 28th March, with every race airing live on Sky Sports F1.

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10 thoughts on “Billy McGinty appointed Sky’s Director of Formula 1

  1. Commentary has been discussed at length before, particularly around the issue of how difficult it is for getting into commentating, particularly for women. I personally think it would be a pointless exercise for Sky to even consider tweaking their commentary line up until the TV rights for the next period for 2025 onwards are decided. Do we have an indication yet as to when Liberty will open the bidding process? Under CVC, it was anything years before to a few months before, but I would imagine Liberty will want to be seen to be a little more organised.

  2. Has Karun Chandhok Left Sky? He popped up on a Discovery channel at the weekend, where I believe I heard him say he’d just joined them.

    1. I guess it would depend on whether talent have an exclusivity clause or not.

      Assuming your message is a reference to this, I couldn’t imagine Sky would object to it. I’ve not heard anything to suggest he has left Sky.

      1. Looks like it. I wasn’t paying too much attention. As we know, staff moves are only heralded when someone joins a broadcaster.

    1. Have you every looked at the bitching on the Autosport forums. The same few moan about Ted over and over again. I think they’re jealous.

  3. Interesting to hear that Brundle feels that his days at Sky are numbered. I’m sure that someone could be found that might have more “knowledge and their work rate”, that would mean that they could replace Brundle’s first hand, long term, historic experience and perspective AND his sense of humor. For me, it will be very sad day if he’s forced out before he’s ready.

    Crofty? I just would like to see him tone down the over-the-top hysteria, esp at the starts. Wouldn’t mind him backing off on the painful puns either.

  4. oops, meant: “that *would not* mean that they could replace”.

    Note: any chance we could get the ability to edit our own comments?

  5. By appointing McGinty, hopefully this will be the shake up that Sky F1 live coverage definitely needs, with particular attention to…

    Split screen
    Needs a significant reduction. There really is no need to show a full 5 minute interview/chat with this weekend’s team principal on the pit wall in split-screen. If split-screen deemed absolutely necessary, reduce the size and/or duration of the Sky exclusive/non-World Feed screen

    Programme structure
    With few exceptions (eg Bahrain 2020) the programmes have become formulaic. Sky’s best programmes are those where they are “following the story” as it were. It would be good if they could mix things up a bit from time to time. Will be interesting how they cover the new Practice 1 & 2 sessions, at a guess will be the same as for Practice 3

    Features
    Preview it by all means during a race weekend but not incessantly. It’s a given the feature will be shown during the qualifying or pre-race programmes. Would prefer seeing the full-length version but if not, show it on Sky F1 midweek instead of the 1000th showing of F1: The Championship Begins

    Croft
    Really hope the new boss has the courage to tell Croft to rein it in this year

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