The first four parts of the 2013 verdict looked back at the year gone by and analysed both the BBC and Sky Sports F1 products, along with their respective teams. But of course while Formula 1 plays a large part in this blog (hence the blog name), it is easy every so often to get wrapped in the Formula 1 bubble. Which in why in 2013, I have been trying to cover more than just Formula 1 on the blog, on both two and four wheels.
Sometimes, in the broadcasting and media world, you have to look at the bigger picture to see what patterns are emerging, to see where the landscape is heading, to see what could be the next big thing. Enter BT Sport. Launching on August 1st, 2013, BT has only been on air for five months. March 2014 will signal the beginning of their MotoGP coverage. Sitting here, writing this at the end of 2013, we still do not know who will form part of the line-up. Obviously first impressions are vital, so it will be interesting to see who is announced, no doubt within the next month I imagine.
I hope that viewing figures are good for MotoGP, but we will only get the full picture after a few races of the season. Critically, they need a championship battle to last for the majority of the season to prevent viewing figures dropping. Of course, the figures will be lower than BBC, I just hope by not a huge amount. Another story in 2014 will be the Formula E rights announcement, which will be make up break for the series. If it is not on terrestrial television, then it will simply blend in with the rest and won’t stand out, simple as. If they want the concept to be successful in this country, it needs to be easily accessible. Time will tell.
And then of course we have all the usual Formula 1 discussion, from both BBC and Sky, home and abroad. Year three of a seven year contract means that both sides should have firmly settled in, although like last year, we could well see some surprising changes. Along with that there will be the usual ratings analysis, will the draw of the ‘2014 formula’ bring viewers back to Formula 1 again, or will viewing figures slip down a notch further? A lot of questions ahead for 2014, some bigger than others, and it looks set to be another interesting year on the broadcasting front.