Hallelujah! ITV looses F1 to BBC

lewishamilton1.jpgIt turns out there might be a God after-all! For it came to pass, that every motor-sport fan’s prayers have been answered!

Well, all right, maybe it’s not quite as dramatic as all that – if you’re not an F1 fan, that is. But if you, like me, are the kind of person for whom the world just about stands still for that 2 hours when the finest drivers in the world, sit at the controls of the finest tuned driving machines money can buy and rag them around a track, the news that ITV have lost the rights to the BBC to broadcast Grand Prix, as of 2009 season, will come as most welcome news – if not THE best news you’ve had all year!

The problem with showing any event spectator sport on a channel which rises and falls on commercial ad-breaks, is that F1 is riddled with enough advertising as it is. Then ITV come along and add insult to injury by having no good taste about it. That “vewm, vewm, vewm” exciting music they insert at the top and tail of every ad-break, just to interrupt even more of the sport than necessary? Yeah, gone! And we only have to wait two years for it to happen. Believe me, if I thought holding my breath would make it go quicker, I would do it, just to see the back of the whole sorry lot of them.

Martin Brundle and James Allen do a decent enough job commentating, I suppose. I’d like to see both of them move to the BBC, if only because the fnooks aunty Beeb currently has on Radio 5 Live’s commentary (which we avid fans switch to during ITV’s incessant ad-breaks) are about as exciting to listen to as it is to actually watch anything on ITV which isn’t F1 Grand Prix.

Wading through the Lewis Hamilton years, knowing that if only he’d been two years younger it might happen to coincide with the BBC hand-over from ITV, only partly has the edge taken off it by knowing that, hopefully by that time, Jensen Button’s Honda might begin to perform the way we’d all like to see it perform. A fantasy too far? Well all right then. A boy can dream.


5 comments on “Hallelujah! ITV looses F1 to BBC

  1. Yes, great news indeed. I just hope the Beeb take Martin Brundle but not James Allen who does a terrible job IMO. Like so many of ITV’s commentator anchors, he is just so “regional TV/local radio” in gravitas.

    Having said that, I don’t like the BBC commentators for motorsport much either. Hopefully they will find another Murray Walker.

  2. I wonder how this will affect Canadian broadcasts, which pick up the ITV feed. We actually had to listen to American commentators once. I think my ears are still bleeding.

  3. I must admit, I’m surprised by the reaction to James Allen. I always found him pleasantly well informed and good at what he does – but there seems to be a lot of people who think otherwise.

    As for Canadian broadcasts, I don’t know. But I would imagine there will be an improvement there too, because of the BBC’s commercial wing, BBC World, having a remit to cover the commonwealth, of which Canada is a big part of course.

    The REALLY silly thing about all of this, is that the BBC already does most of the leg work behind the scenes, providing outside broadcast facilities for the FIA. So the only reason we have to suffer commercial breaks at all is entirely down to ITV. They overshot themselves when bidding for the rights to take F1 from the BBC in the first place; hence adverts for how great F1 tyre manufacturers are, during a Grand Prix.

  4. ,Really who cares. F1 is back where it belongs.

    Most major sporting events ie rugby, football,cricket, tennis, olympics were/are covered so much better by the BBC.

    How can you justify 6 or 7 ad breaks in a 2 hour F1 event. Champions league final, 1 break in over 120 minutes of coverage. ITV please answer.

    Clarkson doing F1 on the BBC is a brilliant idea. Bring it back to the people. He may be a muppet, but he might at least re-introduce some humour to a sport that has crawled up it’s own backside on ITV.

  5. I don’t know if I could handle Clarkson doing the commentary, but I think a magazine program like ‘Top Gear: F1’, might be good.

    I used to watch the German channel RTL’s coverage of the F1 when Astra satellite television was still analogue and their studio package looked great. I can’t speak any German, but they had a live audience and ex drivers in the studio with question and answer sessions before and after the race and full uninterrupted coverage throughout. The Top Gear guys would be great at that sort of thing, going out live.

    Of course the only thing anyone REALLY cares about is if the Beeb are going to bring back “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac as the theme music.

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