News round-up: Perry goes full season for BT; BBC commissions Monger/Zanardi special

As the first half of 2018 concludes following a frantic period on and off the track, here are some of the broadcasting stories you may have missed over the past few weeks…

Perry expands BT Sport’s MotoGP commitments for 2019
Suzi Perry will present every round of BT Sport’s MotoGP in 2019, she has confirmed. In response to a fan question on Twitter, Perry confirmed that she will be in the hot-seat for all of the expected 19 rounds next season.

Perry has shared presenting duties with Craig Doyle since 2016, although Doyle has been part of BT’s MotoGP coverage since its inception in 2014. However, as first reported by Motorcycle News, Doyle is ending his commitments at the end of this season to focus on his ever-expanding rugby commitments with BT.

At the half way stage of 2018, BT Sport’s MotoGP coverage has averaged 117k (1.45%) for its race day programme from 09:30 to 14:15, or equivalent according to overnight viewing figures, identical to last year’s audience figure of 117k (1.29%).

In comparison, an average audience of 403k (2.2%) have watched Channel 5’s highlights programme, a decrease on last year’s equivalent figure of 446k (2.5%). The World Cup has hit Channel 5’s MotoGP overnight viewing figures. Their audience for the Catalan round dropped by 38 percent year-on-year, thanks to a clash with England’s opening World Cup fixture against Tunisia.

Meanwhile over in Italy, MotoGP will be remaining on Sky for the next three seasons.

Formula E’s destination hinges on Channel 4’s Formula 1 future
As of writing, there is no official confirmation or additional information as to whether Channel 4 will continue to air Formula 1 in 2019, beyond what was reported during the British Grand Prix weekend last month.

If you are Formula E, the sooner Channel 4’s Formula 1 deal is finalised the better. I understand that, whilst Channel 4 has shown interest in Formula E, the series may well remain on Channel 5 should Channel 4 retain F1.

A separate obstacle between Channel 4 and Formula E concerns the finances of the contract. During season four, Channel 5 and Formula E agreed to split the production cost, something that is proving trickier to negotiate with Channel 4.

Formula E’s fifth season starts in Saudi Arabia in December, so there is no immediate rush to confirm the UK contract. In 2016, when Formula E moved to Channel 5, the announcement was made just one month before the season began.

BBC commissions motor sport special
The BBC’s World Service has commissioned a motor sport documentary to air across their networks later this year. The one-off special sees Billy Monger meet Alex Zanardi, both of whom had their lives changed following high-speed motor racing accidents.

Following his crash in 2001, Zanardi has gone on to win gold medals at the Paralympics, whilst Monger returned to racing this year after his own accident last year. Jennie Gow went with Monger to visit Zanardi in Italy, and will present the special programme.

The special will air across BBC Radio 5 Live, online and television later this year. Normally BBC World television documentaries also air on the BBC News Channel, so expect the documentary to turn up there, as opposed to one of their general entertainment outlets.

Elsewhere in the BBC spectrum, the broadcaster aired a special technology feature filmed during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. Their weekly Click programme went behind the scenes, with presenter Spencer Kelly interviewing people from Mercedes and Formula One Management, focusing on the latest developments in F1. If you have 15 minutes spare time, this is worth a watch.

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Scheduling: The 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

After a sensational victory for Lewis Hamilton in Sebastian Vettel’s back yard, the two championship protagonists head for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final stop on the Formula 1 calendar before the Summer break.

It is a weekend packed with motor sport, on tarmac, gravel, two wheels and four to whet the appetite. This weekend is special for the British Touring Car Championship, as the championship holds an endurance style race lasting double the usual length at 60 miles. The special race takes place on Sunday at 17:15 UK time live as usual on ITV4.

> Feature: 60 years of British Touring Cars – the broadcasting story

Further afield, Julian Ryder returns to commentary duties with Eurosport for the 8 Hours of Suzuka, Ryder having stepped down from his MotoGP duties at the end of 2017. Alongside Ryder for the endurance race are Jack Burnicle and Terry Rymer, amongst others.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
28/07 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
29/07 – 18:45 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
28/07 – 10:30 to 12:15 – Practice 3
28/07 – 13:00 to 15:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
29/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
25/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
26/07 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
26/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
28/07 – 15:30 to 16:05 – The F1 Show (also Sky Sports Main Event)
01/08 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
27/07 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
28/07 – 10:55 to 12:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
29/07 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula Two – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
27/07 – 11:50 to 12:45 – Practice (also Sky Sports Main Event)
27/07 – 15:50 to 16:30 – Qualifying
28/07 – 15:40 to 17:00 – Race 1
=> 15:40 to 16:05 (Sky Sports Red Button)
=> 16:05 to 17:00 (Sky Sports F1)
29/07 – 10:15 to 11:15 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Hungary (Sky Sports F1)
28/07 – 09:40 to 10:20 – Qualifying
28/07 – 17:25 to 18:20 – Race 1
29/07 – 09:00 to 09:50 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Hungary
29/07 – Race
=> 11:30 to 12:15 (Eurosport 2)
=> 11:25 to 12:15 (Sky Sports F1)

Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup – 24 Hours of Spa (Motorsport.tv)
28/07 and 29/07 – Race
=> 15:20 to 21:30 [Saturday]
=> 22:00 [Saturday] to 15:50 [Sunday]

British Touring Car Championship – Snetterton (ITV4)
29/07 – 10:30 to 18:30 – Races

Formula Three European Championship – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 09:45 to 11:00 – Race 1
27/07 – 13:45 to 14:45 – Race 2
28/07 – 08:00 to 09:15 – Race 3

Formula Renault Eurocup – Spa (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 14:45 to 16:00 – Race 1
28/07 – 10:30 to 11:45 – Race 2

Suzuka 8 Hours (Eurosport 2)
29/07 – 03:15 to 11:45 – Race

IndyCar Series – Mid-Ohio (BT Sport/ESPN)
29/07 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race

World Rally Championship – Finland
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
26/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 1 (BT Sport 1)
27/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Live: Stage 11 (BT Sport 3)
27/07 – Day 1 Highlights
=> 22:00 to 22:30 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
29/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Live: Stage 17 (BT Sport X3)
28/07 – Day 2 Highlights
=> 21:30 to 22:00 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 22:15 to 22:45 (BT Sport 1)
29/07 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Live: Stage 21 [Special Stage] (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Live: Power Stage (BT Sport 2)
29/07 – Day 3 Highlights
=> 21:15 to 21:45 (BT Sport 1)
=> 22:30 to 23:00 (Motorsport.tv)
31/07 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

The schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Update on July 27th – From the “you have got to be kidding me” department, Sky have moved The F1 Show to 15:30, pushing the first half of Formula Two onto the Red Button. Yes, really. I believe this is the first time Sky have done this since they started showing Formula Two (then GP2) in 2012.

Scheduling: The 2018 German Grand Prix

The penultimate hurdle before the Summer break takes Formula 1 back to Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix for a double-header twinned with Hungary.

Unusually for a European race weekend, Formula 1 stands alone without its little brothers, as neither Formula Two or GP3 are present this weekend. However, there is still tin-top action in the form of Porsche Supercup.

BBC’s coverage of the race weekend airs across their online platform and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, priority given instead to the Open Golf championship on the main station. Outside of Formula 1, it is a quiet weekend of motor racing as the Summer shut down takes hold for many championships around the globe.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
21/07 – 17:30 to 19:05 – Qualifying Highlights
22/07 – 18:45 to 21:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
20/07 – 09:45 to 11:50 – Practice 1
20/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
21/07 – 10:30 to 12:15 – Practice 3
21/07 – 13:00 to 15:45 – Qualifying
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports Main Event)
22/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 13:30 – On the Grid
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
18/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
19/07 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
19/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
21/07 – 15:45 to 16:20 – The F1 Show
25/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
19/07 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
21/07 – 13:55 to 15:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
22/07 – 13:45 to 16:30 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

British Superbikes – Brands Hatch
21/07 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
22/07 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Races (Eurosport 2)
25/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

European Le Mans Series – Red Bull Ring (Motorsport.tv)
22/07 – Race
=> 10:45 to 12:00
=> 14:00 to 15:00
=> 17:30 to 20:00

Formula Renault Eurocup – Red Bull Ring
21/07 – 13:45 to 14:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
22/07 – 08:45 to 10:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport 1)

Porsche Supercup – Germany
22/07 – Race
=> 10:45 to 11:45 (Eurosport 2)
=> 11:00 to 11:45 (Sky Sports F1)

Speedway Grand Prix – Cardiff (BT Sport 1)
21/07 – 16:15 to 20:30 – Races

The schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Scheduling: The 2018 British Grand Prix

Silverstone plays host to the third and final part of Formula 1’s triple-header marathon, and it is a news worthy event for all of the UK’s Formula 1 broadcasters.

Button joins Sky for one weekend…
The major news story is that 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button will join Sky Sports F1’s regular line-up for the Grand Prix weekend, strengthening their presentation team. It is Button’s first foray into Formula 1 broadcasting since he retired at the end of 2016.

Speaking to the Sky Sports website, Button said, “The British Grand Prix is an iconic part of the sporting landscape in this country, and as my home race, was always one that was really special for me. I’m really looking forward to being part of the Sky Sports F1 team, and to having the opportunity to ask questions of the drivers, rather than answering them!”

Scott Young, Sky’s Head of Formula 1, added, “Sky Sports F1 is respected for its knowledge and few people know Silverstone as well as [Jenson] does. That expertise and currency will provide engaging insights for our viewers on what it’s like to take on one of the most challenging circuits of the season.”

…but is also filming with Channel 4
Button is also assisting Channel 4 with filming of Speed with Guy Martin. The new commission follows Martin’s previous Formula 1 themed programming, the first of which aired in March 2016 (bike versus racing car), with the second following on in September 2017 (pit stop challenge).

This show sees Williams Heritage rebuild their FW08C car for Martin to race at Silverstone. Martin challenges Button, who will be in the banned six-wheel Williams FW08B car, which the team were going to race in the 1983 Formula One season. The challenge takes place this Thursday prior to the main weekend.

Although only officially announced last month, the documentary has been in development since the start of the year, with Channel 4’s analyst Karun Chandhok closely involved alongside Martin.

Sky One gets in on the action
As with the Spanish Grand Prix in May, both qualifying and the race air live on Sky One. This appears to be a new direction from Sky, perhaps ahead of further simulcasts in 2019 when viewing Formula 1 fundamentally changes for those without Sky Sports in this country.

Elsewhere in Sky’s line-up, The F1 Show for Silverstone remains in its live Thursday evening time slot in front of the main grandstand, however it does mean that there is no F1 Show on Saturday.

Sky are not airing the Masters Historic races, meaning that their schedule on Sunday morning looks emptier than usual. Sunday contains a hole from the end of Formula Two at 10:35 to the start of Porsche Supercup an hour later.

Slicks-0-Six returns, as does EJ…
The BBC’s radio coverage has been knocked for six recently due to the World Cup, but this weekend the race transmits live on BBC Radio 5 Live, with a special Slicks-0-Six chat show airing from 18:00. Slicks-0-Six returns having last aired after the British Grand Prix in 2015.

On the personnel front, Eddie Jordan returns to Channel 4’s coverage, in what is likely to be his, and a lot of people’s, last British Grand Prix as a broadcaster.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
06/07 – 10:00 to 11:35 – Practice 1
06/07 – 13:55 to 16:00 – Practice 2
07/07 – 10:55 to 12:25 – Practice 3
07/07 – 12:55 to 15:50 – Qualifying
08/07 – 13:00 to 17:35 – Race
=> 13:00 – Build-Up
=> 13:40 – Race
=> 16:30 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
06/07 – 09:30 to 11:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
06/07 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
07/07 – 10:45 to 12:15 – Practice 3 (also Sky 1)
07/07 – 13:00 to 15:40 – Qualifying (also Sky 1 [until 15:30], Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
08/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race (also Sky 1 [until 17:00])
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 13:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 14:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
04/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
05/07 – 15:00 to 15:30 – Driver Press Conference
05/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – The F1 Show
05/07 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
11/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC F1
08/07 – 14:00 to 16:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)
08/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – Slicks-0-Six (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British Superbikes – Knockhill
07/07 – 15:30 to 18:00 – Qualifying (Eurosport 2)
08/07 – 13:00 to 18:00 – Races (Eurosport 2)
11/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

Euroformula – Hungaroring (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 13:30 to 14:30 – Race 1
08/07 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Race 2

Formula Two – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
06/07 – 11:50 to 12:50 – Practice
06/07 – 16:05 to 16:50 – Qualifying
07/07 – 15:40 to 17:00 – Race 1
08/07 – 09:15 to 10:15 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

GP3 Series – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
06/07 – 17:00 to 17:45 – Qualifying
07/07 – 09:20 to 10:15 – Race 1
08/07 – 08:00 to 08:55 – Race 2 (also Sky Sports Main Event)

IndyCar Series – Iowa 300
08/07 – 19:00 to 22:00 – Races

International GT Open – Estoril (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 14:30 to 16:15 – Race 1
08/07 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
08/07 – 11:20 to 12:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)

Speedway Grand Prix – Sweden (BT Sport 1)
07/07 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

Virgin Australia Supercars – Townsville (Motorsport.tv)
07/07 – 06:50 to 08:45 – Race 1
08/07 – 06:50 to 08:45 – Race 2

World Superbikes – Misano
06/07 – 08:40 onwards (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:40 to 09:30 – SBK: Practice 1
=> 11:25 to 12:20 – SBK: Practice 2
=> 13:55 to 14:55 – SSP: Practice 2
=> 14:55 to 15:55 – SBK: Practice 3
07/07 – 09:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
08/07 – 10:00 to 15:00 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
10/07 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

As always, the schedule will be updated if anything changes.

Updated on July 4th to reflect GP3 moving back to Saturday morning.

Scheduling: The 2018 Austrian Grand Prix

The Formula 1 triple-header moves from Paul Ricard to the Red Bull Ring, for the Austrian Grand Prix. The race airs live across Sky Sports and Channel 4.

On the personnel front, Louise Goodman steps into Lee McKenzie’s shoes as Channel 4’s pit lane reporter, McKenzie will be back in action from next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

It is a busy weekend of motor sport, with MotoGP also in action from Assen. The main bike race starts at the usual 13:00 UK time, but is unlikely to clash with the F1 barring a major overrun.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
29/06 – 10:00 to 11:35 – Practice 1
29/06 – 13:55 to 16:00 – Practice 2
30/06 – 10:55 to 12:25 – Practice 3
30/06 – 12:55 to 15:45 – Qualifying
01/07 – 13:00 to 17:30 – Race
=> 13:00 – Build-Up
=> 13:40 – Race
=> 16:30 – Reaction

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
29/06 – 09:45 to 11:55 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
29/06 – 13:45 to 15:50 – Practice 2
30/06 – 10:45 to 12:15 – Practice 3 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
30/06 – 13:00 to 15:40 – Qualifying
=> 13:00 – Pre-Show
=> 13:55 – Qualifying
01/07 – 12:30 to 17:10 – Race
=> 12:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 13:30 – On the Grid
=> 14:05 – Race
=> 16:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
27/06 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Preview
28/06 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Driver Press Conference
28/06 – 20:45 to 21:00 – Paddock Uncut
30/06 – 17:15 to 17:50 – The F1 Show
04/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
29/06 – 09:55 to 11:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
29/06 – 13:55 to 15:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
01/07 – 14:00 to 16:30 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)

MotoGP – Assen (BT Sport 2)
29/06 – 07:45 to 15:15 – Practice 1 and 2
30/06 – 07:55 to 15:15
=> 07:55 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
01/07 – 07:30 to 15:00
=> 07:30 – Warm Ups
=> 09:15 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Assen (Channel 5)
02/07 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

Formula Two – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
29/06 – 11:55 to 12:55 – Practice
29/06 – 15:50 to 16:35 – Qualifying
30/06 – 15:40 to 17:15 – Race 1
01/07 – 09:55 to 11:05 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
29/06 – 16:45 to 17:30 – Qualifying
30/06 – 09:20 to 10:15 – Race 1
01/07 – 08:45 to 09:35 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Austria
01/07 – Race
=> 11:10 to 11:55 (Sky Sports F1)
=> 11:15 to 12:15 (Eurosport 2)

Speedway Grand Prix – Denmark (BT Sport 2)
30/06 – 17:45 to 21:15 – Races

As always, the schedule will be updated if anything changes.