BBC and Sky announce 2014 picks

BBC Sport and Sky Sports have confirmed the 2014 F1 calendar picks this morning. The picks are as follows:

2014 Schedule Details
March 16th – Australia (Melbourne) – Sky
March 30th – Malaysia (Sepang) – BBC and Sky
April 6th – Bahrain (Sakhir) – Sky
April 20th – China (Shanghai) – Sky
May 11th – Spain (Barcelona) – BBC and Sky
May 25th – Monaco (Monaco) – Sky
June 8th – Canada (Montreal) – BBC and Sky
June 22nd – Austria (Red Bull Ring) – Sky
July 6th – Britain (Silverstone) – BBC and Sky
July 20th – Germany (Hockenheim) – Sky
July 27th – Hungary (Budapest) – Sky
August 24th – Belgium (Spa) – BBC and Sky
September 7th – Italy (Monza) – BBC and Sky
September 21st – Singapore (Marina Bay) – Sky
October 5th – Japan (Suzuka) – BBC and Sky
October 12th – Russia (Sochi) – BBC and Sky
November 2nd – USA (Circuit of the Americas) – Sky
November 9th – Brazil (Interlagos) – Sky
November 23rd – Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina) – BBC and Sky

As of writing, there has been no formal announcement on either the BBC and Sky line-ups for the new season. The Executive Producer for Sky Sports F1, Martin Turner said: “The rule changes mean 2014 is the most eagerly awaited season in years and only on Sky Sports F1 can viewers enjoy the full story live. From the first corner in Australia to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi, we’ll be there offering our viewers unrivalled live coverage and analysis. Our ten exclusively live races include several of the season’s key grands prix including three of the first four, two of the final three and of course, Monaco, the most glamorous weekend on the calendar. We can’t wait.”

BBC’s Head of F1, Ben Gallop added: “It has been another great year for F1 on the BBC. We’re now very much looking forward to 2014 and feel we have a strong package for our TV coverage. This format of both live and highlights is attracting a wide range of viewers and we hope to see even more people tuning in next year to experience the magic of Formula 1.”

For 2013, the surprise was that BBC were not screening Monaco, this year it has to be Brazil. For those unfamiliar, the pick order goes as follows:

– BBC pick 1, 2 and 3
– Sky pick 4, 5 and 6
– BBC pick 7
– Sky pick 8

Sadly, I only got nine correct in my predictions, but hey ho! The first three picks for BBC are pretty certain to be Britain, Abu Dhabi and Canada. Picking Canada over Brazil surprises me, so one assumes that BBC are thinking that 2014 may be another Vettel walkover. Also, as noted previously, Britain will be on BBC Two due to Wimbledon. Sky will have jumped on Australia again, and also Brazil exclusively for the very first time. A fascinating question is what is going to happen to Brazil’s highlights show. Technically, it is not daytime, and it is not primetime. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Brazil highlights turn up at about 20:00 or 21:00 on BBC Two, which may well have been BBC’s thinking here, in that a highlights show at that time is better than 22:30.

Sky’s third pick? I’d say Monaco. Why? History tells us BBC will not pick USA, as the timeslot is completely unfavourable to them for live coverage, so Sky would have taken Monaco knowing that BBC would be avoiding USA. For anyone thinking “USA is the same as Canada for timeslot”, that is indeed correct but Canada is in the Summer and USA would be against the biggest shows in television, big difference. BBC would then snap up Malaysia, Sky would take USA, as discussed. Belgium is next for BBC, at which point it appears Sky considered A.N. Other higher priority than Italy, I assume that race being Austria. From there things would have alternated, but that is how I suspect the first ten picks ended up.

Overall, I’d say Sky edges it for the picks, thanks to having Australia, Monaco and Brazil all exclusively live. It is a tale of two halves though, and I do feel a bit sorry for BBC as they are in reality forced to take Abu Dhabi despite it being one of the worst circuits on the entire calendar which has allowed Sky to take Brazil.

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5 thoughts on “BBC and Sky announce 2014 picks

  1. abu dhabi is the only real awful race track and Russia is unknown. Will mis USA and brazil gp as they both provide good racing .But i do know one thing for sure i would not be watching at all if they had not changed the engine rules and even then will see if it goes for first races. if i don’t like it i may wave good bye

    Stopped watching qualifying this year as i could not watch live some and lost track and got bored of 3 stint format. Got bored of the bullet proof cars ‘they should blow up more now they got new engine rules’ and now we have super mario f1 rules with double point for last race and pole position trophies and tyres made out used chewing gum.

    its a shame fia gt , le mans and endurance racing it not live on free to air tv f1 would not exist in the uk anymore

  2. I think the BBC picked Canada over Brazil for two reasons. One, its usually the best race of the year in terms of on track action which helps bring in the viewers, and two, its time slot means that naturally more people are watching TV at that time, and are therefore more likely to tune in.
    The only reason really that they have picked Brazil for the last two years is because it was the finale. Since Abu Dhabi is the season finale this year, naturally they picked that one.

    As for Monaco, I can understand why the BBC aren’t interested, as its the complete opposite of Canada in that there is no on track action at all. People slate Abu Dhabi, but personally, I prefer it to Monaco. At least there are overtakes on the race track in Abu Dhabi, even if they are DRS assisted.

    What I find more surprising though is that the BBC never go for Australia. It has always surprised me that their first three picks aren’t the British GP, the season opener, and the season finale.

    In terms of who has the edge, I would disagree and say that BBC has the better line-up. They have all the classics of Canada, Britain, Belgium, Italy and Japan. The only notable absence is Brazil, but of the championship does go down to the wire, its better to have the final race and sacrifice one of the classics, and if it weren’t Brazil, it would have been Belgium or Italy that was lost. As for the other two picks, Malaysia is usually a good race unless it it rained off and Russia is obviously an unknown

  3. any news on the old hd pack sky customers who still have sky f1?

    i know my work mate still has it . he has already said if he is made to pay for sport ‘football’ subscription he will cancel hd.

  4. just read all of what ben gallop said. “peak of 7.7m at nurburgring” for about a minute because it was on after the tennis. and a wide range of viewers thats rubbish its been around 3 million or less majority of the year. clearly he hasnt read this blog.

    its also good that they(bbc) pick canada except that they have to cut the shows off early because of the news or other programs thus not making the most of it.

    and also hope the bbc change there 2hr highlights only on the fly aways policy ,al highlight races should be 2hrs long and 1hr 30min in quali. it really does annoy me that we dont even get delayed live coverage like they do on french fta tv.

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