Blog announcement

This past April, after spotting that the F1 Broadcasting WordPress URL was free, I decided to press ahead and create an F1 Broadcasting website. When creating it, to be brutally honest, I had no idea whether people would be interested, let alone choose to read it. There were two ways the blog could have gone, it could have turned into a desert with no one reading, or it could climb up to bigger heights. Thankfully, the latter has happened. As of today, 500 people follow this blog on Twitter, and over 26,000 hits have been recorded since the end of April. For what is essentially a broadcasting site that, for me, is a big achievement.

The main reason for creating it also, was because I was about to have a lot of spare time given that back in April I was close to finishing my first year at University. As of tomorrow, that spare time will decrease, because tomorrow I begin my second year at University. Some people may have thought that I have worked in broadcasting before, that is untrue. Like you guys reading this, I am a fan with an interest in broadcasting, hence why I pressed ahead with the site. Starting my second year at University means though, that inevitably the time I will be able to dedicate to this website will be less than what it has been for the past few months.

I don’t plan to close the blog down, this blog is staying, given how far it has come in such a short space of time, it would be nothing short of madness for me to close it down. The timetable that I have is favourable though in that only Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are very busy, meaning that I should still be able to blog occasionally. The regular pieces (Scheduling, Ratings and Twitter) should stay, but the opinion pieces may decrease depending on how much University work I have!

In any case, I thought I should let you guys know in case the blog activity declines in the forthcoming weeks.

Thanks,
Dave
Owner of The F1 Broadcasting Blog

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More details about “Britain’s Next F1 Star” revealed

With a former World Champion one is on the move, today seems like an apt day for talking about future British World Champions. With that in mind, and as first noted on The F1 Broadcasting Blog this past Monday, I can now confirm scheduling details for “Britain’s Next F1 Star”. The programmes, to be broadcast on Sky Sports F1, will profile six up and coming stars as they attempt to climb the ladder to Formula 1.

Each of the six episodes will air on the Thursday before a Formula 1 race weekend, and as thus, the scheduling is expected to go as follows:

– Episode 1: Thursday 4th October, 19:30 – Seb Morris
– Episode 2: Thursday 11th October, 19:30 – Jordan King
– Episode 3: Thursday 25th October, 19:30 – Joshua Hill
– Episode 4: Thursday 1st November, 19:30 – Alice Powell
– Episode 5: Thursday 15th November, 19:30 – Dean Smith
– Episode 6: Thursday 22nd November, 19:30 – Alex Brundle

The programmes have been produced by USP Content, and will be sponsored by Scalextric, with Henry Hope-Frost narrating. Repeats of the programme will air throughout the respective race weekend, so there will be ample opportunity to catch the episodes. Each episode profiles that particular driver from birth to current status, while going behind the scenes with them at various events.

A full synopsis of each episode will be up on the blog early next week.

Pay TV station Sport1 expected to win exclusive live Formula 1 rights in Netherlands

In a case of “it is a good day to bury bad news”, over in Netherlands today, it is being reported that pay TV station Sport1 are expected to win the rights to screen 18 races exclusively live, with the other races being shared with a terrestrial television free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster. In summary:

– 18 races: Sport1 exclusively, FTA broadcaster highlights
– 02 races: Sport1 and FTA live

As thus, the current broadcaster RTL7 will lose their current rights, with the FTA broadcaster next year either them or SBS. Netherlands are the latest country to switch to a pay-TV approach for Formula 1, with Britain and Italy the first countries to head in that direction. I’ve noted before that here in Britain, ratings have dropped since last year, that could be attributed to the new deal in place and/or the tough sporting competition this past Summer.

This past Sunday’s coverage of the Singapore Grand Prix had less than 356,000 viewers on RTL7.

Musical chairs from a broadcasting perspective

The news today that Lewis Hamilton will join Mercedes next season is not a particularly surprising story, given that Eddie Jordan revealed it a few weeks ago. Perez moving to McLaren though is the surprising half of the story, and one that was unexpected a few weeks ago. Firstly, a well done to BBC and Eddie Jordan for being first to the punch by reporting it, and pursuing the story further. It seems they were right by saying Hamilton would go to Mercedes, unlike Sky who in the days after appeared insistent that Hamilton would remain at McLaren.

From a 2013 broadcasting perspective though, it will make one particular person very happy. That person being Bernie Ecclestone. Formula 1 thrives on changing driver line-ups, and the media do love it. Changing driver line-ups means more stories, it means more rivalries, it means the potential to develop fan bases and therefore drives up TV coverage and hopefully television ratings at the end of it. The move for Sergio Perez to McLaren, one would expect, will therefore boost Formula 1 popularity in Mexico substantially, especially if he wins a Grand Prix, the first Mexican to do so since Pedro Rodríguez in 1970.

The reason that the driver changes are good for Formula 1 though is because, had the driver line-ups stayed the same, the product put out to fans could, potentially become stale. Yes, the racing may be at its best in a long, long time, but if there are no emerging talent coming through, then the worldwide television audience may decrease. Hence, why Perez moving to McLaren is a good move for all concerned. Had Hamilton stayed at McLaren, we could have been left with an unusual situation where Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes have the same line-up for the fourth consecutive year. You can see why Ecclestone would consider that line-up stale for the product put out to fans. The staleness then resounds to the stories that are told during a particular season, it would be a case of “same old, same old, we’ve been here before”. New talent brings with it new stories, new backgrounds and a new audience to bring to Formula 1.

This afternoon, the FIA World Council is expected to confirm what I spoke about on the blog last week, that being the 2013 Formula One calendar. Wouldn’t it be a coincidence if New Jersey was dropped with the Mexico Grand Prix? Now that would be fantastic.

The Twitter outlook

A hectic September, on and off the blog, is coming to a close with a few changes in this week’s Twitter outlook. With September coming to a close it is also a full round-up as we see who made big gains for the month, as there are several changes to the order.

Drivers
01 – 1,142,552 – Jenson Button (McLaren)
02 – 1,110,557 – Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
03 – 1,085,392 – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
04 – 492,592 – Bruno Senna (Williams)
05 – 438,710 – Mark Webber (Red Bull)
06 – 276,880 – Sergio Perez (Sauber)
07 – 265,469 – Pastor Maldonaldo (Williams)
08 – 198,774 – Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
09 – 178,728 – Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham)
10 – 177,907 – Pedro de la Rosa (HRT)
11 – 164,857 – Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
12 – 160,603 – Paul di Resta (Force India)
13 – 140,005 – Narain Karthikeyan (HRT)
14 – 100,137 – Vitaly Petrov (Caterham)
15 – 86,240 – Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)
16 – 82,550 – Timo Glock (Marussia)
17 – 76,702 – Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
18 – 73,952 – Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)
19 – 45,870 – Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
20 – 32,718 – Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso)
21 – 19,699 – Charles Pic (Marussia)

As I have noted several times in the past few weeks, since my August full round-up, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both hit one million followers. The gap between Alonso and Jenson Button is now only 32,000 followers, meaning that Alonso is certainly going to overtake the Brit in the next few weeks, especially so if he becomes World Champion.

Further down the pecking order, Vitaly Petrov becomes the 14th driver in the 2012 Formula One field to hit 100,000 followers, so congratulations to him. What it does mean is that only seven of the 21 drivers on Twitter are still under 100,000 followers. Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are still, unfortunately, yet to join. Also of note is that Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean have moved up a position, Massa in front of di Resta and Grosjean in front of Kobayashi. Although Grosjean has only appeared in two races this month, his ban after the Belgian Grand Prix generated a lot of attention on Twitter, no doubt contributing to why he overtook Kobayashi.

Drivers – Increases
01 – 123,791 – Fernando Alonso (n/a)
02 – 101,988 – Lewis Hamilton (n/a)
03 – 59,932 – Jenson Button (n/a)
04 – 23,689 – Sergio Perez (up 3)
Average driver = 23,387
05 – 22,094 – Mark Webber (up 1)
06 – 21,189 – Felipe Massa (up 2)
07 – 18,974 – Bruno Senna (down 2)
08 – 14,736 – Pastor Maldonaldo (down 4)
09 – 14,036 – Paul di Resta (up 3)
10 – 12,110 – Pedro de la Rosa (down 1)
11 – 11,614 – Vitaly Petrov (n/a)
12 – 11,383 – Romain Grosjean (up 2)
13 – 10,930 – Nico Rosberg (n/a)
14 – 10,871 – Narain Karthikeyan (down 4)
15 – 8,948 – Heikki Kovalainen (n/a)
16 – 6,371 – Nico Hulkenberg (up 1)
17 – 5,309 – Kamui Kobayashi (down 1)
18 – 4,264 – Daniel Ricciardo (n/a)
19 – 3,474 – Jean-Eric Vergne (up 1)
20 – 3,229 – Timo Glock (down 1)
21 – 2,194 – Charles Pic (n/a)

The up and down positions above is a comparison to their position in the same table last month. You could compare the raw values if you wanted to as both months are over a four week period, but it would not be a particularly fair comparison as August had zero races whereas September has had three races. Hamilton’s gain was by far the highest monthly gain recorded of his since I started blogging about Twitter driver and gains in April – his previous highest gain being 79,859 in July. Button, Petrov, Grosjean and both Force India drivers also recorded their highest monthly gains yet.

Teams
01 – 340,425 – Ferrari
02 – 235,980 – McLaren
03 – 159,447 – Red Bull
04 – 149,774 – Mercedes
05 – 138,049 – Lotus
06 – 86,945 – Caterham
07 – 81,742 – Marussia
08 – 79,430 – Force India
09 – 76,703 – Sauber
10 – 75,856 – Williams
11 – 62,550 – HRT
12 – 50,774 – Toro Rosso

Williams and Force India have stopped exchanging places, instead Sauber have overtaken Williams. Marussia have broken the 80,000 follower barrier, so congratulations to them.

Teams – Increases
01 – 21,124 – Ferrari (n/a)
02 – 14,997 – McLaren (up 1)
03 – 12,915 – Red Bull (down 1)
04 – 9,644 – Lotus (n/a)
Average team = 8,046
05 – 7,163 – Sauber (up 1)
06 – 7,103 – Mercedes (down 1)
07 – 5,776 – Force India (up 1)
08 – 4,223 – HRT (up 2)
09 – 4,113 – Marussia (down 2)
10 – 3,282 – Caterham (down 1)
11 – 3,221 – Williams (up 1)
12 – 2,999 – Toro Rosso (down 1)

Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Sauber all record their highest monthly gains yet, Sauber moving into fifth which contributed to why they overtook Williams.

Driver and Team statistics as of Monday 24th September 2012.