Just a thought…

So ten years ago, I decided, for whatever reason, to record every single race from the 2002 Formula One season on ITV1. Obviously before the season started I didn’t know that it was going to be a Ferrari walkover, but as a Schumacher fan, I didn’t mind too much.

Unfortunately, since them, the vast majority of material has been recorded over. What does remain however, is the post-race footage from the following two races (it would have been three, except the Canada disk appears to not be working!). I thought it would be an idea to note down what was featured in those three post-races, how long each ‘feature/interview’ was and add up the times for each post-race. The results, are unsurprising in that the amount of airtime in 2012 has increased dramatically compared to 2002, but in any case it is still interesting to see how little post-race analysis ITV F1 viewers got in 2002. From the end of the podium onwards:

2002 German Grand Prix
– commercial
– results caption (27 seconds)
– press conference (2 minutes, 39 seconds)*
– commercial
– Ted Kravitz talks to Patrick Head (1 minute, 6 seconds)
– analysis (1 minute, 18 seconds)
– web chat caption (12 seconds)
– analysis (1 minute, 2 seconds)
– Hungary preview (30 seconds)
– outro (37 seconds)
= 7 minutes, 51 seconds total

* ITV didn’t show 3rd place man Ralf Schumacher talking

2002 Italian Grand Prix
– commercial
– results caption (~25 seconds)
– Jim Rosenthal interviews Guenther Steiner (1 minute, 38 seconds)
– press conference (3 minutes, 41 seconds)*
– commercial
– analysis (1 minute, 35 seconds)
– e-mails to the studio (42 seconds)
– USA preview (1 minute, 37 seconds)
– outro (39 seconds)
= 10 minutes, 17 seconds total

* ITV cut off halfway through 3rd place man Eddie Irvine

One could argue that the low air time minutage after the race is due to the dwindling ratings as viewers tuned out because of Michael Schumacher’s dominance. I’m not sure though, as the pre-show increased from in length from 1997 to 2002, from 40 minutes to 55 minutes. In a sense, this is lopsided badly, 60 minutes for the pre-show but only 20 minutes for the post-race show. The times above compare to 90 minutes Sky give for the pre-show currently (60 minutes for BBC), with about 105 minutes for the post-race when both sides are live.

This weekend, at the Spanish Grand Prix, we’ll be getting similar again with both BBC and Sky Sports live, more coverage than ever before being the end result. Shows how much F1 coverage has increased in quality and quantity over the past 10 years…

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