Posts Tagged ‘media’

Thank god for the BBC

April 6th, 2009 No comments

Heikki Kovalainen, Malaysia, 2009I’ve been travelling the last few days.  In fact I’m typing this right now very early in the morning at Sydney airport.  Somehow I managed to arrange things so that I’d be away for both the Malaysian Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix so I was a bit worried that I would be at the mercy of the local TV stations when I wanted to watch the race.

Surely if I could get to an internet connection there must be a way?  I brought my PSP to try using remote play to connect to my PS3 back home, but that is always a bit random as to whether the PS3 is going to wake up.  Now that the BBC is broadcasting everything online, though, there is another way.  The BBC content is restricted to UK IP addresses but there are ways around that.

So in the end I found myself in my hotel room in Singapore watching the Malaysian Grand Prix 200 miles away on my laptop with a connection routed through my home PC in London.  And amazingly everything worked perfectly!

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be broadcast in HD?

March 10th, 2009 No comments

P90041199One of the key proposals of last week’s FOTA presentation in Geneva was a “commitment to enhance consumer experience via TV coverage.”  One area where Formula One lags behind other sports is in high definition broadcasts.

According to, production services company LIVE are in negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone to produce the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this November in high definition.

Each Grand Prix is produced by German broadcaster RTL in conjunction with the local host broadcaster but LIVE managing director and CEO Abdul Hadi Al Shiekh told that he hopes LIVE can strike a deal to produce HD broadcasts of the event as a test case for the sport’s future:

We have been in negotiations now for two months and we would love to present an international flagship event such as this in HD.

The BBC, which takes over broadcasting F1 from ITV this year, is keen to show races in high definition if the content is available.  According to the BBC’s Head of HDTV, Danielle Nagler:

A decision about F1 and HD sits primarily with the rights holder (F1/Bernie Ecclestone), rather than with the BBC. We are keen to do it as soon as possible.

Formula One is particularly suited to high definition broadcast and it is strange that one of the most technologically advanced sports seems to struggle with new technology when it comes to television and the internet.  FIA president Max Mosely is keen to embrace the potential of the internet and the teams clearly want to exploit the the sport’s media potential but even if LIVE convince Ecclestone to broadcast in HD it won’t happen until the last race of the season.

Image: BMW AG

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Formula One on the BBC

March 8th, 2009 No comments

In a few weeks time Formula One will return to the screen on BBC after twelve years at ITV and in preparation for this the BBC have been developing their new Formula One website.  Its importance to the BBC is reflected in the fact that the Formula One link comes right after football in the main navigation.

There’s some good content on the site already and this video in particular of ‘F1’s greatest hits’ has some of the greatest moments in Formula One of the last twenty years.  There are crashes (Mansell’s tyre exploding at Adelaide in 1986, Schumacher taking out Damon Hill in 1994), amazing passes (Hakkinen’s pass of Schumacher in Belgium in 2000, Alonso passing Schumacher on the outside of 130R at Suzuka in 2005) and things we just don’t see any more (wingtip vortices and drivers leaping out of their cars for a punchup.)

The BBC have announced that they will use The Chain by Fleetwood Mac as the music for the intro to their Formula One footage when they take over the broadcast rights this year.  This should please a lot of fans, particularly these guys at the TopGear website.  It seems nostalgia and a twelve-year gap has elevated the old BBC intro music into some kind of hymn to F1.  Murray Walker is clearly delighted as, according to the Telegraph‘s Andrew Baker, when he found out the BBC was going to use the old tune the 85-year-old presenter raised his hands and started to clap in time with Fleetwood Mac’s beat, exclaiming “Yes, yes, yes!”

I admit, it is a good tune. Here’s a video of the original BBC intro from the 1988 Australian Grand Prix:

I was in Australia when the BBC was broadcasting F1 so I never developed the same attachment to The Chain. I do however have memories of Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports (or was it Sports Sunday) playing short video segments featuring super slow motion shots of Formula One cars set to classical music. I used to love watching these so I turned to Google to see if I could find something on YouTube. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything which means either no-one has a copy of these little videos or I imagined the whole thing.

Either way I thought I would have a go at making my own version. So here is what you get when you take a nice YouTube ‘Tribute to active suspension era video‘ and mash it with Pachelbel’s Canon and Gigue. I think it works but I’d love to hear what you think in the comments:

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