A few bits of interesting news have been making the rounds today, some of which can only be construed as disappointing.
The first piece of news is that FanVision will no longer be accessed by Formula One fans around the world attending races in 2013. FanVision’s release states that they were “not going to be able to agree terms with FOM”. What I think is worth noting here is that it would have been the first renewal of contract between the two parties since the two parties joined forces back in the middle of 2006, FanVision then under the Kangaroo TV moniker. The suspicion I have is that FanVision became too popular for its own good, Formula One Management wanted to hike the price and FanVision said no. I cannot say I particularly blame them if the product is more popular, but at the same time it would not surprise me if this was a negotiating tactic from FanVision, release this news, get some outcry from Formula One figures and media, and then strike a late cut price deal on the eve of Australia.
Next up is that Motors TV have announced that they will not be covering the World Rally Championship this year, meaning that as of writing it the series will not be shown in the United Kingdom. The news is a bitter blow to rallying fans, coverage of the sport once seen on ITV1 and Channel 4 ten years ago has since nosedived and has not touched terrestrial television much since. Steve Rider covers rallying in detail in his new book, which I may make the subject of a future blog.
Back onto the Formula 1 shores and newly signed NBC Formula 1 broadcaster Leigh Diffey has revealed that he was approached by BBC to commentate (I assume commentate) on their coverage. The move could have happened at one or two junctures, one at the end of 2011 or at the end of 2010 when Jonathan Legard was dropped. Our resident insider on Digital Spy says it was the latter. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I am actually glad this did not happen as Martin Brundle and David Coulthard was a fantastic partnership in 2011, whilst Coulthard and Ben Edwards commentating has been similarly superb this past season. So this is one move that I am glad did not happen.
And finally, staying with Formula 1, Sky Sports F1 website writer Pete Gill has confirmed that Sky Sports Online will be providing live and interactive commentary of all three pre-season tests. I do not really consider this much of an announcement or revelation (hence why this piece of news, AUTOSPORT have been doing this for several year, as have BBC and multiple other Formula 1 sites. Interactive to my mind is responding to readers’ tweets, although some for whatever reason interpret it as live video, which is not the case. Given that Sky Sports F1 is on throughout February, I would like to be proven wrong…