Scheduling: The 2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix / Christmas reviews

A bass riff may not accompany Formula E, nor may it be airing on one of the BBC’s traditional television outlets, but nevertheless, the electric series takes a major step into the future as season five begins, with live coverage across the BBC’s digital platforms.

The start of the 2018-19 season takes the championship to a new, perhaps controversial, location as the series descends on Saudi Arabia for the Ad Diriyah E-Prix.

For UK fans, as well as the BBC and incumbents Eurosport, the actions airs live on BT Sport and YouTube for the first time. The BBC’s coverage is of the race itself, from the five-minute sting to after the chequered flag, excluding the pre-race festivities.

In a departure from last season, Eurosport are taking the World Feed commentary with Bob Varsha, Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti, a surprise considering Eurosport usually provide their own commentary feed for motor racing events.

However, BT Sport is the only UK television station that will air every Formula E session live, including the Shakedown on Friday afternoons, as well as practice on Saturday mornings. For non-BT Sport fans, the good news is that every session airs live via YouTube. Additionally, highlights air on Discovery-owned channel Quest following their Football League highlights show on Saturday, with a repeat on Sunday morning.

Vernon Kay and Nicki Shields complete the World Feed line-up. Kay stays in the Formula E paddock after impressing as Channel 5’s presenter last season. Last year, North One Television produced Channel 5 output, North One also forming part of Formula E’s worldwide output alongside Aurora.

Laurence McKenna hosts the tailored YouTube race programme, called ‘Voltage’, with Becky Evans alongside him. Neither are names regular readers will recognise, but both are young and active in the car scene on social media, and are exactly the right people to grow Formula E’s presence amongst the younger generation.

Red Bull profiled Evans here, whilst McKenna has presented a variety of social media output and podcasts in the past few years. KSI and Zerkaa, who form part of the Sidemen (a group of YouTube personalities), join McKenna and Evans in the YouTube London hub.

Elsewhere, December is packed with season reviews. BT Sport are going the extra mile with their MotoGP review show airing live from The Bike Shed in London. Suzi Perry presents as usual, with special guests including Bradley Smith, Sam Lowes, and triple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Sky’s F1 review show premieres on Christmas Eve, whilst Channel 4 are not airing a formal Christmas show following their short review during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

Formula E – Ad Diriyah
All sessions air live via YouTube and the following UK channels…
14/12 – 11:45 to 12:30 – Shakedown (BT Sport 1)
15/12 – 04:00 to 04:45 – Practice 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
15/12 – 06:00 to 06:45 – Practice 2 (BT Sport/ESPN)
15/12 – 07:30 to 09:00 – Qualifying (BT Sport/ESPN and Eurosport 2)
15/12 – 11:00 to 13:30 – Race: World Feed
=> live on BBC’s digital platforms from 12:00
=> live on BT Sport/ESPN
=> live on Eurosport 2
15/12 – 11:30 to 13:10 – Race: Voltage (YouTube)
15/12 – 22:30 to 23:30 – Highlights (Quest)

Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Series – Ad Diriyah (BT Sport/ESPN)
15/12 – 04:45 to 05:30 – Qualifying
15/12 – 09:30 to 10:30 – Race

MotoGP (BT Sport 2)
09/12 – 19:30 to 21:00 – Season Review

BBC Radio F1
TBC – Season Review

Sky Sports F1
24/12 – 19:00 to 21:00
=> 19:00 – Fernando Alonso: What’s Next?
=> 20:00 – Season Review

In the run-up to Christmas, keep an eye on this post in the event of any changes to the review programming over the festive period.

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Motorsport Broadcasting: Your 2018 Verdict

The 2018 Formula One season has ended, and with it, brings down the curtain on the motor racing year.

On-track, it has been a year of generally good racing wherever you look. Whilst neither the F1 or MotoGP seasons went down the wire, the racing in both has been worth watching on many occasions this year.

Off the track, there have been many developments on the broadcasting front. Traditionally, the end of season verdict has stuck to the UK F1 view point, but we live in a motor sport world far greater than both the UK and F1, and with that in mind it makes sense to expand the scope of the verdict to encompass all elements of broadcasting.

Whether it has been the launch of F1 TV, or World Rally Championship’s All Live service, there has been plenty of movement in the online arena. Liberty Media have made their mark on Formula 1’s graphics set, whilst closer to home, 2018 was the last year of Channel 4’s current F1 contract, the broadcaster remaining in a reduced capacity, for 2019 at least.

Now, we want your opinion. Has something irritated you with this year’s motor sport coverage? Have I missed a revolution that this site should be covering? And what would you like to be different about the motor sport broadcasting scene in 2019? Are you planning to watch a new series next season?

As always, the best thoughts and views will form a new article closer to the festive period.

Scheduling: The 2018 Rally Australia / Valencian MotoGP

Ogier. Neuville. Tanak. Three contenders, but only one can be World Rally Champion in 2018. The rallying year comes to a climax down under in Australia, as Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak look to dethrone Sebastien Ogier from the top of the mountain.

All the action unfolds through the night live via WRC’s over-the-top All Live platform, with selected stages and daily highlights airing on BT Sport. If you miss the live action, fear not, you can watch again on All Live via their on-demand playback. Free-to-air highlights follow later in the week as usual on Channel 5.

Also concluding this weekend are MotoGP and the World Touring Car Cup. The latter forms part of the blue riband Macau weekend which, along with the Formula Three and GT races, airs live on Eurosport. The only thing from Macau not live on Eurosport is the Macau motorcycle race, that presumably airing via Motorsport.tv’s over-the-top service.

Into the virtual world, Sky Sports F1 plays host to the final of the 2018 F1 ESports series, which is also airing live on Formula 1’s Facebook page.

Elsewhere, a special Billy Monger documentary, produced by Oxford Scientific Films, airs on BBC Two on Monday evening, the documentary looking at his ongoing road to recovery.

There is plenty of offer to whet the appetite as the motor sport season draws to a close.

World Rally Championship – Australia
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
15/11 – 20:30 (Thursday) to 07:15 (Friday) – Day 1 (All Live)
16/11 – 12:15 to 12:45 – Day 1 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
16/11 – 20:00 (Friday) to 07:15 (Saturday) – Day 2 (All Live)
16/11 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Stage 9 (BT Sport 2)
17/11 – 01:00 to 02:00 – Stage 13 (BT Sport 1)
17/11 – 12:30 to 13:00 – Day 2 Highlights (BT Sport 2)
17/11 – 19:00 (Friday) to 03:30 (Sunday) – Day 3 (All Live)
17/11 – 21:30 to 22:30 – Stage 21 (BT Sport 2)
18/11 – 02:00 to 03:30 – Stage 24 (BT Sport 1)
18/11 – 14:00 to 14:30 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
21/11 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Channel 5)

MotoGP – Valencia (BT Sport 2)
16/11 – 07:45 to 15:15 – Practice 1 and 2
17/11 – 08:00 to 15:15
=> 08:00 – Practice 3
=> 11:00 – Qualifying
18/11 – 07:30 to 15:00
=> 07:30 – Warm Ups
=> 09:15 – Moto3
=> 11:00 – Moto2
=> 12:30 – MotoGP
=> 14:00 – Chequered Flag

MotoGP – Valencia (Channel 5)
20/11 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

FIA GT World Cup – Macau (Eurosport)
18/11 – 04:00 to 05:30 – Race

Formula Three World Cup – Macau (Eurosport)
18/11 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Race

World Touring Car Cup – Macau (Eurosport)
17/11 – 06:00 to 07:30 – Race 1
18/11 – 00:00 to 01:15 – Race 2
18/11 – 03:00 to 04:00 – Race 3

World Endurance Championship – 8 Hours of Shanghai
18/11 – 02:30 to 09:30 – Race (BT Sport 3)
18/11 – 05:30 to 07:30 (Eurosport)
18/11 – 08:30 to 09:15 (Eurosport)

F1 ESports Series (Sky Sports F1)
17/11 – 19:00 to 21:00 – Final

Driven: The Billy Monger Story
19/11 – 21:00 to 22:00 (BBC Two)

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Scheduling: The 2018 Mexican Grand Prix

From Austin, the Formula 1 paddock heads south to Mexico City for round 19 of the 2018 Formula One season. Austin turned out to not be the weekend that Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth Drivers’ Championship, the race continuing onto Mexico, with the stakes for him almost identical compared to 2017.

Sky are running a slightly longer show on Sunday, with Paddock Live extended until 22:30, possibly to cover any title celebrations that may emerge following the Grand Prix.

The bad news for fans without access to Sky Sports F1 is that Channel 4’s race day highlights slot is extremely late on the Sunday evening, their broadcast not starting until 23:00 due to the conditions stipulated in their contract.

In the unlikely event that the race goes up to the two-hour time limit, the race would not finish until 21:10, meaning that the earliest the Channel 4 highlights edit can begin is 23:10. In this situation, the programme is unlikely to begin at 22:30 without a long build-up, whereas last year it was possible with the edit starting bang on 23:00.

Elsewhere, with the premier class title already wrapped up, MotoGP heads down under to Australia as Philip Island plays host to the second part of their triple-header flyaway leg.

NOTE: Clocks go back one hour on Sunday 28th October, with the change from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time. The times listed are for BST on Saturday and before; GMT for Sunday and afterwards…

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
27/10 – 22:00 to 23:35 – Qualifying Highlights
28/10 – 23:00 to 01:15 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
26/10 – 15:45 to 17:50 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports Main Event)
26/10 – 19:45 to 21:50 – Practice 2
27/10 – 15:45 to 17:15 – Practice 3
27/10 – 18:00 to 20:30 – Qualifying
=> 18:00 – Pre-Show
=> 18:55 – Qualifying
28/10 – 17:30 to 22:30 – Race
=> 17:30 – Pit Lane Live
=> 18:30 – On the Grid (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 19:05 – Race (also Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 21:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
25/10 – 17:00 to 17:30 – Driver Press Conference
25/10 – 22:00 to 22:30 – Welcome to the Weekend
27/10 – 20:30 to 21:00 – The F1 Show
31/10 – 19:00 to 21:00 – F1 eSports Pro Series

BBC Radio F1
25/10 – 21:30 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
26/10 – 15:55 to 17:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
26/10 – 19:55 to 21:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/10 – 15:55 to 17:05 – Practice 3 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
27/10 – 18:55 to 20:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
28/10 – 18:30 to 21:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – Australia (BT Sport 2)
26/10 – 23:45 (Thursday night) to 07:15 – Practice 1 and 2
27/10 – 00:00 to 07:15
=> 00:00 – Practice 3
=> 03:00 – Qualifying
28/10 – 00:30 (BST) to 07:15 (GMT)
=> 00:30 (BST) – Warm Ups
=> 02:15 (BST) – Moto3
=> 03:00 (GMT) – Moto2
=> 04:30 (GMT) – MotoGP

MotoGP – Australia (Channel 5)
30/10 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

Porsche Supercup – Mexico
27/10 – Race 1
=> 20:45 to 21:45 (Eurosport 2)
=> 21:00 to 21:40 (Sky Sports F1)
28/10 – Race 2
=> 16:00 to 17:00 (Sky Sports F1)
=> 16:00 to 17:00 (Eurosport 2)

World Rally Championship – Spain
Every stage live via WRCPlus.com
26/10 – 11:00 to 12:00 – Stage 1 (BT Sport 2)
26/10 – 22:00 to 22:30 – Day 1 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
27/10 – 09:00 to 10:00 – Stage 10 (BT Sport 1)
27/10 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Stage 13 (BT Sport/ESPN)
27/10 – 22:30 to 23:00 – Day 2 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
28/10 – 07:30 to 08:30 – Stage 16 (BT Sport 1)
28/10 – 11:00 to 12:30 – Stage 19 [Power Stage] (BT Sport 1)
28/10 – 22:30 to 23:00 – Day 3 Highlights (BT Sport 1)
31/10 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Event Highlights (Channel 5)

World Superbikes – Qatar
26/10 – 14:00 to 18:15 – Qualifying and Race 1 (Eurosport 2)
27/10 – 15:00 to 18:30 – Support and Race 2 (Eurosport 2)
01/11 – 20:00 to 21:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

World Touring Car Cup – Japan (Eurosport)
27/10 – 05:45 to 07:05 – Race 1
28/10 – 01:00 to 04:15
=> 01:00 – Qualifying
=> 01:45 – Race 2
=> 03:00 – Race 3

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.

Scheduling: The 2018 United States Grand Prix / Japanese MotoGP

“And Lewis Hamilton is a five-time Formula 1 champion!”

Well, nearly. Just 56 laps on Sunday stand in the way between him and potentially his fifth Formula 1 championship. The United States Grand Prix airs live across Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1, with Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event also getting involved in the fun.

If Hamilton wraps up the championship in America, it will almost certainly be the final time the F1 championship is finalised live on free-to-air television, until at least 2025 because of the new deal that comes into effect from 2019 onwards.

There are several points of note for Channel 4’s coverage this weekend. As in previous years where they have aired an American round live, Friday practice airs on More 4. In a decision from the sensible scheduling department, motor racing film Rush, which focuses on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda airs following practice two on More 4.

Channel 4 is also transitioning from practice three on Saturday straight into their live qualifying show, with a 90-minute build-up currently scheduled. I should note that provisional schedules suggested that a Lewis Hamilton special would air from 20:30 to 21:00, but that has not materialised in the final schedule cut.

On the personnel front, Tom Clarkson is Lee McKenzie’s super-sub for this round, whilst Martin Brundle returns to the Sky Sports F1 commentary box after a two-race absence.

Over in Japan, Marc Marquez has the chance to become MotoGP champion for the third year in succession, with all the action airing exclusively live on BT Sport 2.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
19/10 – 15:55 to 17:35 – Practice 1 (More4)
19/10 – 19:55 to 21:35 – Practice 2 (More4)
20/10 – 18:55 to 23:35
=> 18:55 – Practice 3
=> 20:30 – Qualifying
21/10 – 18:00 to 22:15 – Race
=> 18:00 – Build-Up
=> 18:40 – Race
=> 21:15 – Reaction

Supplementary Programming
19/10 – 21:35 to 00:00 – FILM: Rush (More4)

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
19/10 – 15:45 to 17:50 – Practice 1
19/10 – 19:45 to 21:50 – Practice 2
20/10 – 18:45 to 20:15 – Practice 3
20/10 – 21:00 to 23:30 – Qualifying (also Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 21:00 – Pre-Show
=> 21:55 – Qualifying
21/10 – 17:30 to 22:10 – Race
=> 17:30 – Pit Lane Live (also Sky One)
=> 18:30 – On the Grid (also Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 19:05 – Race (also Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event)
=> 21:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
18/10 – 17:00 to 17:30 – Driver Press Conference
18/10 – 23:00 to 23:30 – Welcome to the Weekend (also Sky Sports Main Event)
20/10 – 23:30 to 00:00 – The F1 Show (also Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event)

BBC Radio F1
18/10 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
19/10 – 15:55 to 17:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
20/10 – 21:55 to 23:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
21/10 – 19:00 to 21:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

MotoGP – Japan (BT Sport 2)
19/10 – 00:45 to 08:15 – Practice 1 and 2
20/10 – 01:00 to 08:15
=> 01:00 – Practice 3
=> 04:00 – Qualifying
21/10 – 00:30 to 07:15
=> 00:30 – Warm Ups
=> 02:15 – Moto3
=> 04:00 – Moto2
=> 05:30 – MotoGP

MotoGP – Japan (Channel 5)
22/10 – 19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights

Asia Talent Cup – Motegi (BT Sport 2)
19/10 – 08:15 to 09:15 – Race 1
20/10 – 08:15 to 09:15 – Race 2

Euroformula – Barcelona
20/10 – 13:30 to 14:30 – Race 1 (BT Sport X2)
21/10 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport/ESPN)

Formula Renault Eurocup – Barcelona
20/10 – 11:30 to 12:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport 3)
21/10 – 15:45 to 17:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport X2)

International GT Open – Barcelona (BT Sport X2)
20/10 – 14:30 to 16:00 – Race 1
21/10 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race 2

The schedule above will be updated if anything changes.