BBC confirm 2015 plans as Sky drops online Race Control

It has been a busy two days in F1 broadcasting land, with both BBC and Sky holding their annual media days.

The BBC have officially confirmed their 2015 team which, as expected, is identical to their 2014 team. The main bit of news is that Suzi Perry will be presenting an F1 Rewind programme on BBC iPlayer and the Red Button, which is essentially a repackaged classic race. It also will be turning up on BBC Two, presumably on Saturday’s when the European season starts, as has been the case recently with their FA Cup Rewind programming. On 5 Live, Jack Nicholls will be commentating on five rounds (China, Austria, Hungary, Japan and Russia) with James Allen the lead commentator on the other 14 rounds.

BBC Head of F1, Ben Gallop, says: “With the current World Champion writing exclusively for the BBC, our access and insight into Formula 1 cannot be beaten. Across TV, radio and online, our top-class team will get audiences as close as possible to the starting grid, paddock, pit-lane and track – bringing expert analysis and insight throughout the race weekend. We are all hugely looking forward to the 2015 season and delivering every moment of Lewis Hamilton’s defending season to millions of F1 fans.”

This season, it looks like the BBC’s web offering for their live races will now be more expansive than Sky’s. The latter have decided to tailor their Race Control offering to just iPad and Red Button, dropping the web version entirely, which seems like a silly decision to me. When asked by this blog whether they would be dropping the online version of Race Control, Sky said “Yes that is right, we are going with iPad and red button.” I can’t speak for others, but I used Race Control online whenever Sky Go was playing up, so I’m disappointed to see it disappear. Whether it is related to costs, I don’t know. I do wonder if this will also be the case for Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia as well…

On the brighter side, Sky say that, they will “offer eight individual on board feeds from different cars on the Race Control iPad app”, a total of 14 live streams.

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8 thoughts on “BBC confirm 2015 plans as Sky drops online Race Control

  1. I’d use Race Control a lot more if the track positions and timing data weren’t 20s behind what I was watching on TV…

    • I’m not a developer, but having read articles previously trying to answer this question, it is nearly always that Android has fragmentation, too many different devices to cater for [in terms of screen size, OS level etc etc].

      Whether this is the actual reason and/or whether this is a true difficulty or not isn’t a question I can answer. My understanding is that there is considerably less fragmentation in Android than there previously was, but considering I don’t personally own either an Android or iDevice, I again cannot answer that question.

      Hope that helps.

      • Cheers David, that’s a reasonable explanation.

        Assuming you’re correct, this for the 1000th time reinforces Sky’s lack of commitment and respect for its paying customers.

        They’re happy to promote a product by shouting about it’s many features one of which is Race Control but then can’t be arsed to deliver it to the majority of their customers because it’s too expensive or too hard.

    • This is a bit belied by the way android apps are always advertised as available in the Google play store but you don’t necessarily have a compatible handset. It’s just that so much of the mass will be Samsung or whichever type and app developers build for those to get some decent proportion.

      This IOS only plan is negative and to my view undoes all the other positives.

      Plain stupid to think fans can or will buy expen.hardware to follow a marginally useful aaccess to the sport.

  2. Great, Thanks Sky 😦

    Don’t have an ipad so now i’m been screwed out of been able to watch the in-car camera feeds alongside the tv coverage. Utterly disgraceful that we pay all this money to sky & they take things away which many people used to use to enhance the coverage.

    So what other options are there to continue watching the in-car camera channel on a 2nd screen for non ipad owners?

  3. Oh no. Not Suzi Perry again. Please no. Give her job to either one of the other girls but just get rid of Suzi.

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