The TV coverage in the UK market has had a bit of a switcheroo this year with the free-to-air coverage switching to commercial broadcaster Channel 4 after 7 years with the BBC.
Channel 4 will be covering 10 races live with highlights of qualifying and the race on the other 11 weekends whilst Sky have all weekends fully live.
Channel 4 turned up in Melbourne and innovated, their graphics were cool, the presentation team were laid back and full of facts and opinion. They made full use of a very extensive highlights package so much so it didn't feel like anything from the race had been missed!
The package felt very slick, the return of the iconic fleetwood mac, 'the chain' was also a big plus point, it's an F1 anthem. If you hear it you instantly think of F1 even if you're not a fan.
Of course we'll need to see a live broadcast in two weeks time in Bahrain to see if they have truly hit the nail on the head.
Sky did everything how they always have.. nothing seems to have changed.. apart from the increasing price and decreasing content. Sky have their own F1 channel to fill with F1 programming, however more and more dead air seems to be appearing with endless reruns of 3 year old programmes. The weekly staple F1 show has been cut to only half an hour every race weekend rather than an hour a week.This was for the last few years a chance for fans to get involved with a live studio audience on non-F1 weekends. There is seemingly no new content? You would think that they would want to innovate here and stay ahead of the free-to-air competition, but on the evidence of this weekend, you're not missing anything by waiting for the highlights.
This comparison will run and run throughout the year, but race weekend one, the points go to C4.
Labels: Channel 4, SkyF1, UK TV