Happy 7th Birthday!

Today, this site turns seven, something I never imagined when I first started blogging in 2012.

Until February, the site was known as The F1 Broadcasting Blog, reflecting the content in its earlier days. Now covering a variety of motor sports, Motorsport Broadcasting felt like a more appropriate name. My only regret, as with anything in life, was that I did not start writing even earlier!

I am thrilled with how the site has progressed since its inception. Motorsport Broadcasting has received nearly three million hits since 2012, with visitors from over 200 countries, and interactions from many inside and outside of the industry.

During the past twelve months, I have revealed many stories, including the inside line on Channel 4’s F1 2019 deal; the change of BBC 5 Live’s F1 production contract, and the full story behind the Ted Kravitz / Sky Sports saga, amongst other smaller snippets.

When I started the site, the main purpose was for me to write my thoughts on paper, I did not expect seven years later to be breaking industry stories, showing how much the site has grown and matured in that period.

For me, it is not just about being first with the news. It is also about bringing you, the reader, behind the lens into what makes the broadcasting side of the sport tick week in, week out. Motorsport Broadcasting aims to be distinctive in its voice, with each story unique.

On the human side, I have met many people inside and outside the industry through running this site, some of whom I now call friends, you know who you are.

Normally when I write one of these pieces I write about the ‘top ten’ articles from a hits perspective. Instead, I want to reflect on some of the key milestones for me on a personal level since the site launched:

April 2012 – Site launches, with the blogging equivalent of ‘Hello World!‘ The timing of the launch was no coincidence, I finished my first year of University at the same time meaning that I had many hours to spare!

September 2012 – During the first year of the site, the volume of articles per month was high, I did have a ‘throwing at the wall and seeing what sticks’ mentality (the quality of some of the pieces I produced I will happily admit were abysmal, too). In May 2012, the site’s first full month, I posted 36 articles which is frankly absurd looking back.

Ted Kravitz was the first person from the F1 paddock to start following the site publicly, but it was not until then-BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey shared one of my articles on Twitter did it become apparent that people were reading what I was writing.

Yes, the site had ‘F1’ in the title which may have helped it gain traction, but Humphrey sharing the article was completely unexpected.

October 2014 to June 2015 – Fast-forward and the site began to break some F1 stories, such as Gary Anderson and Georgie Thompson leaving the BBC and Sky’s F1 teams respectively. Away from the site, 2014 into 2015 was a critical time for me: the final year of University, resulting in a first-class honours in BSc Computing.

Since May 2015, I have been working full-time in a data-led role. That brought its own challenges, juggling full-time work with an ever-growing website. But it was a challenge I relished; I absolutely was unwilling to throw away at this point three years of hard work.

Compared to the early days, the site content has changed somewhat: from bite-sized ‘snippet’ stories to in-depth, probing analysis.

March 2016 – By this stage, the site had built up a significant following, and remained F1 orientated, with a bit of other stuff on the side. But March 2016 was the turning point as it was the first I attended in a press capacity: Channel 4’s Formula 1 launch.

I remember that day like it was yesterday, from the early train journey, through to the morning launch, sitting opposite Autosport’s Jonathan Noble at the launch, someone who I respect immensely, and then chatting in-detail to the Channel 4 team.

From a personal and professional perspective, this felt like a perfect day. Everyone has their own personal barriers to overcome, for whatever reason, and I can safely say that on March 8th, 2016, I overcame some of mine.

September 2016 – And six months after the Channel 4 launch, I was heading to a race track in a professional capacity. Silverstone the destination, for the first of three MotoGP visits. The first visit always holds a special place in the heart. It was that weekend that made me admire and appreciate the work that broadcast teams do week in, week out on the road.

Since that first visit, I have stepped into several different paddocks, as well as three visits to the Autosport Show, interviewing journalists, commentators, reporters, producers, and editors to get a better understanding of what it takes to bring this wonderful sport to viewers worldwide.

The first weekend was amazing, to the degree that by the end of it I felt like an emotional wreck. It sounds cliched, but the worries of the days before the 2016 event were eliminated on day one. The paddock just felt like… home.

October 2018 – Another personal obstacle overcome. A little further from home, this time, saying hello to the World Rally Championship!

Deeside is in the middle of nowhere (or at least that is what it felt like), but the five-hour round trip was worthwhile. Without wanting to compare one paddock to another, the rallying production team on that day welcomed me with open arms.

As a result, I was able to talk to a variety of voices that help make All Live the product that it is today. The output was three different analytical pieces (1, 2, 3), going behind the scenes looking at the different elements of the rallying production.

The best thing about each conversation is that every single one is different. Each person has their own unique perspective on the industry that only they can communicate to you, and it has been a pleasure to listen to it all. And best of all, there are far more to come.

February 2019 – From The F1 Broadcasting Blog to Motorsport Broadcasting, I unveiled the next iteration of what is to come moving forward. I am still doing the full-time day job alongside writing content for this site, but I thoroughly enjoy both. If anything, writing content on here has helped me during my day-job, and vice-versa.

Like anyone though, I have made mistakes, or written articles in haste during the seven-year period. No one is perfect, we live and we learn for the next time a similar situation comes around.

As I have grown figuratively speaking throughout the seven years, this site has grown as well. To those who have given advice along the journey so far: thank you.

Whatever the next twelve months bring, keep it Motorsport Broadcasting.

Thanks,
Dave
Owner and Editor of Motorsport Broadcasting

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Survey: Your 2019 motor racing viewing habits

Hi all,

Before I begin this post, a huge thank you to everyone who responded positively to the re-branding of the website last month, the reaction was much greater than I anticipated.

I re-branded the site to Motorsport Broadcasting to better reflect the content that I was writing throughout the course of a season.

In the past few years, Motorsport Broadcasting has branched out to cover motor sport beyond Formula 1, such as MotoGP, Formula E, and the World Rally Championship, with more to come moving forward.

As part of the re-brand, and on the eve of the 2019 motor racing season, I have created a survey to gauge what championships you follow the most, and what you would like the site to focus more on moving forward.

Survey: Your 2019 motor racing viewing habits

The survey lists a range of championships, with a value of 1 to 5 required, 1 being ‘I do not plan to follow this championship at all in 2019’, to 5 being ‘I intend to follow this championship during the whole of 2019’.

UK fans have an additional question related to the changes in Formula 1 coverage for this season, whilst there is an opportunity at the end of the survey to give thoughts on things you think I could cover differently on this site.

Part of this is user research to inform the website content over the course of the next year, part of it is to see whether specific championships are as popular as I perceive them to be.

At most, the survey will take ten minutes to complete, and will remain open until the end of March.

Thanks,
Dave
Owner and Editor of Motorsport Broadcasting

Site announcement: out with the old, in with the new

Hi all,

As many of you know, I have been running The F1 Broadcasting Blog for nearly seven years. The site has generated attention inside and outside of motor racing paddocks, both domestically and internationally.

In that time, the site has covered major stories in the motor sport media landscape, and has revealed some exclusives too. In the capacity of site editor, I have attended events on two wheels and four wheels, as well as the launch of Channel 4’s F1 coverage and the Autosport Show, amongst other events.

At those events, it has been a pleasure to hear people who I enjoy watching and respect, say how they enjoy reading my thoughts and opinions, and that this site is their place to go for broadcasting news. I run this site myself alongside my day job, there is no large group of people or backing behind the site, and I have been amazed at the growth it has had over the seven years.

I initially named the site The F1 Broadcasting Blog, as Formula 1 was, and still is, the focus. However, in recent years, I have focused increasingly on the broadcasting efforts of other championships, including the likes of Formula E, MotoGP, and the World Rally Championship.

Because of the effort from myself to diversify into different areas, it means that the original name of the site is, perhaps, no longer the most accurate. On the eve of the 2019 season, I have taken the opportunity to rebrand the site to better reflect the content that I write.

Moving forward, the site will be known as Motorsport Broadcasting, located at https://www.motorsportbroadcasting.com/.

The website content will not change, with an emphasis on behind the scenes content, news, scheduling, viewing figures, television rights, social media; spanning across the motor sport spectrum. For the moment, the Facebook and Twitter handles will remain in the same case, but the intention in the medium to longer term is to change these.

It has not been an easy decision to re-brand the site, but I feel that now is as good a time as any, ahead of the new season, rather than performing a re-brand half way through the season. I am hopeful the site will continue to lead the way on reporting the broadcasting stories that matter to fans of this wonderful sport.

Thanks,
Dave
Owner and Editor of Motorsport Broadcasting

The top 10 articles of 2018

2018 has been a four-wheel dominated year on The F1 Broadcasting Blog, at least in terms of hits, with eight of the top 10 articles coming from the four-wheel universe. One theme was at the forefront for many readers: “Will Channel 4 air Formula 1 in 2019?” In September, we found out the answer…

10. F1 broadcasters raised “serious concerns” about superimposed Rolex clock to FOM – August 14th
The 2016 Singapore Grand Prix unexpectedly made headlines in August as UK communications body Ofcom criticised Formula 1 for giving Rolex too much prominence in their coverage. As part of their report, Ofcom revealed that several broadcasters raised “serious concerns” about the superimposed Rolex clock at the event to Formula One Management.

9. David Croft to remain part of Sky’s F1 team in 2019 – September 25th
F1 journalist Joe Saward made Sky twitch in September, by revealing publicly on the Missed Apex podcast that David Croft’s position as lead commentator at Sky was under threat, and that Sky could replace Croft for the 2019 season. Sky quickly rebuffed Saward’s claim in a statement issued to this site, denying the rumour.

8. Channel 4 to air Formula 1 highlights in 2019 – September 12th
A running theme of 2018 concluded in September, when Channel 4 finally confirmed that they would air Formula 1 highlights in 2019. The free-to-air broadcaster will air the free-to-air element of Sky’s F1 contract next year, consisting of 20 races in highlights form, plus live coverage of the British Grand Prix.

7. F1 slumps to lowest UK audience of modern era – June 11th
By far the most read viewing figures piece of 2018 surrounded the Canadian Grand Prix, which slumped to a historic low for F1 in the UK (France went one better two weeks later). Fans shared the Canada article extensively across social media. In this instance, negative news travelled faster than the positive audience figures which preceded the Canada rating…

6. Further details emerge about Channel 4’s 2019 Formula 1 coverage – September 21st
In the week after the announcement that Channel 4 will air Formula 1 highlights next season, this site exclusively revealed new snippets of information about the Channel 4 contract. The article also referenced potential changes over at Sky for 2019, which have come to fruition recently with both Jenson Button and Karun Chandhok joining their line-up.

5. TV channel Motorsport.tv to close – September 14th
From appointments to dismissals, or in the case of one organisation, the axing of an entire television network. This site revealed in September that the Motorsport.tv traditional television channel (formerly Motors TV) was to close after almost two decades, with owners Motorsport Network prioritising their digital offering moving forward.

4. Channel 4 set to continue airing Formula 1 beyond 2018 – July 7th
The Channel 4 speculation stepped up a gear during the British Grand Prix weekend, as the BBC’s Andrew Benson noted that a deal between themselves and Sky Sports F1 for 2019 was close. In addition, I revealed that the deal would be part of a “wider ranging package”, which turned out to be an accurate statement.

3. Channel 4 “open” to showing F1 highlights in 2019 – Chandhok – January 17th
To show the interest from fans throughout the year, a quote from then-Channel 4 pundit Karun Chandhok at the Autosport Show at the start of 2018 is the third most read article of the year. Impressively, the article has raked up 49 comments, one of the highest ever figures for comments on this site.

2. Channel 5 retains MotoGP highlights for 2018 – March 2nd
The lone MotoGP entry of 2018 was the news that Channel 5 would continue to air MotoGP highlights in 2018. The high-ranking of the MotoGP article suggests that Channel 5 element did not give their element much publicity, leaving fans without BT Sport to Google to find out which station was airing highlights.

1. Brundle to step away from Sky F1 microphone for three races this season – April 24th
Prior to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Sky Sports F1 analyst Martin Brundle announced that he was stepping out of the commentary booth for three races. With Azerbaijan taking place in April, it meant that fans accessed the article in April, and then later in the year during the Russian and Japanese weekends.

Behind the Scenes
Although the above articles were the most popular during 2018, the most enjoyable aspect of writing for me is getting behind the scenes, into the detail, and chatting to those at the heart of what makes this fantastic sport tick.

From looking back at the British Touring Cars story from a broadcasting perspective, to going behind the scenes with BT Sport’s MotoGP operation (1, 2), and more recently the World Rally Championship (1, 2), 2018 has been brilliant. A further WRC piece is coming up in the build-up to the 2019 Monte Carlo rally to conclude the mini-series.

If anything, the most read articles write themselves based on the information that is breaking in front of you, whereas all the behind the scenes pieces require planning, a bit of imagination along the way, and then getting the words down on paper, a long, but rewarding process!

Have a little look around, as there have been several behind the scenes and analytical pieces throughout the year. Admittedly, there has not been much post-season analysis as a result, plus, in my view, the on-screen story has not changed much in the UK F1 TV landscape. I would be repeating words for the sake of it.

If there is anything you want me to cover in 2019, drop a line in the comments section. With more changes on the horizon, who knows what 2019 will bring. But this was how 2018 looked for readers of this site.

Merry Christmas from The F1 Broadcasting Blog

2018 has been another fantastic year of motor sport. Neither the MotoGP or F1 championships may have gone down to the wire, but we watched some great battles throughout in both categories, whilst the likes of IndyCar and the World Rally Championship also delivered.

For me, 2018 has been a pretty brilliant year, and I am genuinely thankful to all of those in the industry that have chatted to me throughout the year, at the race track and beyond. Autosport Show, the Silverstone Classic, MotoGP, British Touring Cars, and the Wales Rally GB – I have enjoyed every second being at those events.

I hope by attending those events I have been able to bring readers a different, original focus on the motor racing world, that is not available anywhere else. I have tried to emphasise quality over quantity: fewer pieces, but of a higher quality is the mantra for me, and I hope that has come through in the writing this year.

To every single one of you who has read the site this year: thank you for making 2018 a record-breaking year in terms of website audience figures.

This holiday season, whether you are reminiscing on the moments that have passed, or looking ahead to the future, I hope you and your loved ones have a relaxing festive period ahead of 2019. Stay safe, wherever you are heading.

Cheers,
Dave
Owner of The F1 Broadcasting Blog