As the current season draws to a close, fans now begin asking the question: Will the BBC be showing F1 in 2014? Plus if BBC decide to cancel its coverage next season, could ITV or BT Sport purchase the UK broadcast rights?
When this current deal was originally announced prior to the 2012 season, it was stated the new arrangement would run from 2012 till 2018. With no announcement to the contrary since then, it appears Formula One will be returning to the BBC in 2014, sticking with the current format.
Ever since Sky Sports obtained the exclusive UK rights to air every Formula One race live and cherry picked BBC F1’s personnel, the Beebs Grand Prix programming has been going a little downhill. We’re now in the bizarre situation where half the race weekends receive comprehensive live coverage including practice sessions, and the other half don’t even show the whole race.
On a personal note, I actually prefer the practice session/radio commentary line-up of James Allen and Allen McNish to the current qualifying and race team. I’m surprised James wasn’t signed-up as soon as ITV’s coverage was lost to the BBC a few years ago.
Although some anti-Sky race fans would rather see someone else like ITV or BT obtain the rights to show every race live, that’s unlikely to be happening anytime soon. Though with too many more noncompetitive seasons like this one, there may not be any British viewers left by 2018.
Let’s hope next seasons rule changes shake things up a bit and manage to erase Red Bull’s massive speed advantage. With the teams management clearly set on protecting Vettel from too fast a teammate such as Kimi Raikkonen, our only hope seems to be if either Lewis or Fernando’s teams deliver them a true race winning car for 2014.