Scheduling: The 2017 British Grand Prix / New York City ePrix

The 2017 Formula One season heads to Silverstone for the half stage of the championship, the British Grand Prix. For the second year in succession, the race clashes with the Wimbledon finals, which will not help domestic or international viewing figures. The weekend also symbolises the half way point of the current contract between Channel 4 and Formula One Management, with their three-year agreement due to end next season.

The free-to-air broadcaster will have a broad presentation team with David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Eddie Jordan, and Susie Wolff all alongside Steve Jones. However, Whisper Films will be without Lee McKenzie for the second race in a row, this time McKenzie is part of Channel 4’s coverage of the World Para Athletics Championships, which starts on Friday evening. The main supplementary offering from Channel 4 is the latest edition of F1 Meets, this time with 1992 champion Nigel Mansell.

Sky is without Anthony Davidson, as he is in Germany for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring. Expect the usual faces of Paul di Resta and Johnny Herbert to be back with Sky, whilst Natalie Pinkham and Rachel Brookes will be appearing. Sky is the main beneficiary of the hastily arranged four-day weekend, with Formula Two and GP3 practice moved to Thursday. To be honest, I am not sure how fans will benefit from the adjusted Silverstone schedule – it feels like an attempt by Liberty and the track to extract more money from the paying punter with very little in addition, but there you are.

Elsewhere, the penultimate weekend of Formula E takes place in New York, with Martin Haven, Bob Varsha and Dario Franchitti on commentary duty. As discussed already, Channel 5 are airing the first race of the weekend on tape-delay. No word yet if there will be any legal way for UK viewers to watch the race live.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
14/07 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1
14/07 – 12:55 to 15:00 – Practice 2
15/07 – 09:55 to 11:25 – Practice 3
15/07 – 11:55 to 14:30 – Qualifying
16/07 – 12:00 to 16:30 – Race
=> 12:00 – Build–Up
=> 12:35 – Race
=> 15:10 – Reaction

Supplementary Programming
15/07 – 11:25 to 11:55 – F1 Meets… Nigel Mansell

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
14/07 – 08:45 to 11:00 – Practice 1 (also Sky Sports 1)
14/07 – 12:45 to 15:00 – Practice 2 (also Sky Sports 1)
15/07 – 09:45 to 11:15 – Practice 3
15/07 – 12:00 to 14:30 – Qualifying
16/07 – 11:30 to 16:15 – Race (also Sky Sports 1)
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
12/07 – 18:00 to 21:00 – London Live (also Sky Sports 1 and Mix)
12/07 – 21:00 to 21:30 – F1 Report: Preview
13/07 – 15:00 to 16:00 – Driver Press Conference
13/07 – 18:00 to 19:00 – The F1 Show
13/07 – 21:15 to 21:30 – Paddock Uncut
14/07 – 16:35 to 17:30 – Team Press Conference
14/07 – 17:30 to 18:00 – The F1 Show
19/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
13/07 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
15/07 – 13:00 to 14:00 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
16/07 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula E – New York City (online via Channel 5’s social media channels and YouTube)
15/07 – 12:55 to 14:10 – Race 1, Practice 1
15/07 – 15:25 to 16:10 – Race 1, Practice 2
16/07 – 11:55 to 12:55 – Race 2, Practice

Formula E – New York City
15/07 – 16:45 to 18:10 – Race 1, Qualifying (Spike)
15/07 – 20:30 – Race 1 (Channel 5 Sport’s Facebook)
15/07 – 22:00 to 23:30 – Race 1 (Channel 5)
– note: airing on a one-hour tape delay
16/07 – 13:45 to 15:15 – Race 2, Qualifying (Spike)
16/07 – 17:30 to 19:10 – Race 2 (Channel 5)

Formula Two – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
13/07 – 16:00 to 16:45 – Practice
14/07 – 15:15 to 15:45 – Qualifying
15/07 – 14:55 to 16:25 – Race 1
16/07 – 09:15 to 10:30 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Britain (Sky Sports F1)
14/07 – 16:05 to 16:35 – Qualifying
15/07 – 16:25 to 17:25 – Race 1
16/07 – 07:55 to 08:50 – Race 2

IndyCar Series – Toronto (BT Sport 1)
16/07 – 20:00 to 23:00 – Race

Porsche Supercup – Britain
16/07 – Race
=> 10:15 to 11:15 (Eurosport)
=> 10:30 to 11:10 (Sky Sports F1)

World Endurance Championship – Nürburgring
16/07 – Race
=> 11:30 to 18:45 (BT Sport 3)
=> 11:45 to 18:20 (Motorsport.tv)
=> 17:15 to 18:15 (Eurosport)

Given the late changes to the British schedule in recent weeks, there is a high probability of further additions, so please keep an eye on this post for any schedule changes.

Update on July 12th – As hinted at above, the schedule change is London Live! The event will be streamed online and aired on Sky Sports 1, F1 and Mix.

Update on July 13th – A familiar face to UK F1 television viewers is back for the first time in nine years this weekend, as Louise Goodman is the super substitute for Lee McKenzie.

Update on July 15th – At the eleventh hour, its been confirmed that Channel 5 will stream the first Formula E race this weekend via their Sport’s Facebook page.

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Scheduling: The 2017 Austrian Grand Prix

The titanic battle between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton heads to central Europe for round nine of the 2017 Formula One championship, the Austrian Grand Prix.

Channel 4’s team will be missing Lee McKenzie for both the Austrian and British rounds of the season as she plays a part in the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage and Channel 4’s Women’s Euro 2017 programming. As of writing it has not been confirmed who is replacing McKenzie, last year it was Holly Samos who filled the role in her absence.

Elsewhere, the BBC’s presence on Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra is slim over the weekend. Thanks to Wimbledon and the second Test between England and South Africa, only the race itself will be broadcast live across the airwaves.

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
08/07 – 17:30 to 19:00 – Qualifying Highlights
09/07 – 17:45 to 20:00 – Race Highlights

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
07/07 – 08:45 to 11:00 – Practice 1
07/07 – 12:45 to 14:55 – Practice 2
08/07 – 09:45 to 11:15 – Practice 3
08/07 – 12:00 to 14:30 – Qualifying (also Sky Sports 1)
09/07 – 11:30 to 16:15 – Race (also Sky Sports 1)
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live
=> 12:30 – Race
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live

Supplementary Programming
05/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Preview
06/07 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Driver Press Conference
06/07 – 21:00 to 21:15 – Paddock Uncut
07/07 – 15:30 to 16:15 – Team Press Conference
07/07 – 16:15 to 16:45 – The F1 Show
12/07 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
09/07 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

Formula Two – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
07/07 – 11:00 to 11:45 – Practice
07/07 – 14:55 to 15:25 – Qualifying
08/07 – 14:30 to 16:00 – Race 1
09/07 – 09:15 to 10:25 – Race 2

GP3 Series – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
08/07 – 08:25 to 08:55 – Qualifying
08/07 – 16:05 to 17:05 – Race 1
09/07 – 08:05 to 09:00 – Race 2

Porsche Supercup – Austria (Sky Sports F1)
09/07 – 10:25 to 11:05 – Race

IndyCar – Iowa 300 (BT Sport 1)
09/07 – 22:00 to 01:00 – Race

World Superbikes – Laguna Seca (Eurosport 2)
08/07 – 18:45 to 20:00 – Superpole
08/07 – 21:15 to 23:15 – Race 1
09/07 – 21:15 to 23:15 – Race 2

The above schedule will be updated if anything changes.

519,000 viewers watch Le Mans climax

The 24 Hours of Le Mans performed well in the United Kingdom over the weekend despite hot weather depleting the total available audience, overnight viewing figures show.

Live coverage of the race aired across Eurosport, Quest TV and ITV4. Eurosport and Quest TV had the same arrangements as 2015 and 2016, with Eurosport airing the whole race live. ITV4 joined the fray this year, airing the last four and a half hours live. The viewing figures in this piece exclude those who watched via the Eurosport Player, FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) App or via other online means.

The race from 13:45 on Saturday to 14:15 on Sunday averaged 98k (1.6%), when taking into account the various outlets, an increase on last year’s number of 73k (0.9%) and in-line with 2015‘s average audience of 98k (1.5%). To be level with 2015’s number, despite a live presence from ITV4 could appear disappointing, but television over the weekend took a hit due to the weather.

Eurosport’s coverage of the complete race averaged 58k (0.99%) from 13:45 on Saturday, peaking with 166k (2.52%) as the race ended at 14:00 on Sunday. Their 2016 average is in-line with last year’s number of 60k (0.79%), although the audience share is significantly up. Both metrics are down on 2015, which averaged 70k (1.1%).

For the second year in a row, Quest TV’s coverage struggled compared to 2015, with all their shows recording under 100,000 viewers. An audience of 89k (1.59%) watched the race start on Quest from 13:30 to 15:30 on Saturday, whilst 98k (0.66%) watched their evening update.

Quest TV’s Sunday programming struggled badly, suggesting a significantly overlap between their demographic and ITV4’s core audience. Quest’s Sunday update at 10:00 averaged just 14k (0.25%), with the race conclusion from 13:00 to 14:30 averaging 39k (0.62%). Certainly, the evidence would suggest that live coverage should air on Quest or ITV4, but not both at the same time.

ITV4’s live programme on Sunday aired from 09:30 to 14:30 and averaged 146k (2.4%). Considering that the broadcasters’ coverage was relatively unadvertised, with little promotion from series organisers, this is a solid number. ITV4’s coverage grew to a peak of 284k (4.3%) at 14:00.

The combined peak audience of 519k (7.9%) came on Sunday at 14:00 as the race ended, with 284k watching on ITV4, 166k on Eurosport and a further 69k on Quest TV. It is the highest Le Mans peak in the UK for many years, with an excellent combined share as well across the three networks.

However, whilst it is great to see Le Mans broadcast on three networks, there is evidence to suggest that one network with full live coverage and another free-to-air network broadcasting some action live. Assuming there are no clashes, I think the free-to-air network in question should be ITV4 given that the network reaches more viewers than Quest.

Most of the talent working on Quest’s coverage had either or currently do work on ITV4’s motor sport portfolio, so it would make sense to rationalise the output with emphasis on promoting ITV4’s live coverage as well. To the contrary though, Quest is part of the Discovery family (which Eurosport is a part of), so they get Le Mans as a ‘freebie’ to promote Eurosport’s programming which Discovery would probably be keen to keep.

The 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans ratings report can be found here.

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Scheduling: The 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans

The most famous endurance race in the world is back! The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place next weekend, and with it continues its live free-to-air expansion in the United Kingdom. The race marks round three of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

As revealed back in April, for the first time since 2009, ITV4 will be screening live coverage of the race. The channel will broadcast the last four and a half hours of the race live, with Richard Henwood on presenting duties.

The good news for those watching via Eurosport is that the race in its entirety will be broadcast on Eurosport’s main channel, ensuring no channel switches. Although this has not been formally confirmed, expect the usual faces of Martin Haven, Liz Halliday and Mark Cole to form part of their coverage. Part of Eurosport’s coverage will again be simulcast on Quest for the third year running.

One change to Eurosport’s programming is that the ’24 Minutes’ branding has been dropped, presumably because it was too restrictive given its name. Instead, a series of live programmes will be broadcast under the ‘Extra’ branding, wrapped around practice and qualifying. This works out to be a net gain in air-time as Eurosport used to go off-air between the on-track sessions on Thursday and Friday.

Lastly, it should be noted that neither BT Sport or Motorsport.tv are airing the 24 Hours of Le Mans live as Eurosport have retained their exclusivity deal on the race.

Wednesday 14th June (Eurosport)
14:45 to 19:10
=> 14:45 – Extra
=> 15:00 – Practice
20:45 to 23:10
=> 20:45 – Extra
=> 21:00 – Qualifying 1

Thursday 15th June (Eurosport)
17:45 to 19:55
=> 17:45 – Extra
=> 18:00 – Qualifying 2
20:10 to 23:10
=> 20:10 – Extra
=> 21:00 – Qualifying 3

Saturday 17th June
08:00 to 08:45 – Warm Up (Eurosport)
13:00 to 23:59 (Eurosport)
=> 13:00 – Extra
=> 13:45 – Race
=> five-minute updates at 15:00, 17:00, 19:00 and 21:00
13:30 to 15:00 – Race Start (Quest TV)
20:00 to 21:00 – Saturday Evening (Quest TV)

Sunday 18th June
00:00 to 14:15 – Race (Eurosport)
=> five-minute updates at 07:00, 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00
09:30 to 14:45 – Race Conclusion (ITV4)
10:00 to 11:00 – Sunday Morning (Quest TV)
13:00 to 14:30 – Race Conclusion (Quest TV)

Monday 19th June
19:00 to 20:00 – Highlights (Quest TV)

Saturday 24th June
08:00 to 09:00 – Highlights (ITV4)

If anything changes, or more personnel confirmed, I will update the schedule.

Update on June 13th – Thanks to all of you in the comments with links confirming the respective television line-ups, safe to say that there is a wide variety of talent on offer.

Starting with ITV4, they will be taking the World Feed commentary, which Toby Moody is leading. Alongside Moody for the race will be Allan McNish, Julian Porter, Peter Dumbreck, Duncan Vincent and Louise Beckett.

Quest will be using the same commentary as Eurosport’s coverage, with their own presentation team led by Louise Goodman, Diana Binks and Andy Jaye.

As reported on Sportscar365, Eurosport’s commentary team will consist of Mark Cole, Martin Haven, Carlton Kirby and David Addison. Additional analysis will be provided by Sam Hancock, Damien Faulkner and Liz Halliday, whilst Chris Parsons will help take viewers through the night. It is Addison’s first time with the Eurosport team, readers may recognise his voice from ITV4’s British Touring Car Championship coverage.

Scheduling: The 2017 Monaco Grand Prix

Aside from the 101st Indianapolis 500 this weekend, there is the small matter of the Monaco Grand Prix!

Channel 4 will be covering the race live, the first time that a free–to–air broadcaster has done so since 2012. Susie Wolff is back with the team in Monaco, her first appearance this season, whilst Mark Webber and Eddie Jordan will also be part of the team. Like in Russia, the channel will be on air for four and a half hours on race day. The third episode of F1 Meets airs between practice three and qualifying on Saturday, as Lee McKenzie chats to Claire Williams.

Over on Sky Sports, the race will be simulcast on Sky Sports Mix, the first simulcast on Mix since Malaysia last year. The rest of the weekend scheduling is as anticipated, with practice taking place on the Thursday, a Monaco tradition.

Outside of the F1 and the Indianapolis 500, it is a packed weekend of motor sport, with Formula Two and World Superbikes amongst the other events taking place across the weekend.

For the Indianapolis 500 schedule, please head over here

Channel 4 F1
Sessions
25/05 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1
25/05 – 12:55 to 15:00 – Practice 2
27/05 – 09:55 to 11:25 – Practice 3
27/05 – 11:55 to 14:30 – Qualifying
28/05 – 12:00 to 16:30 – Race
=> 12:00 – Build–Up
=> 12:35 – Race
=> 15:10 – Reaction

Supplementary Programming
27/05 – 11:25 to 11:55 – F1 Meets… Claire Williams

Sky Sports F1
Sessions
25/05 – 08:45 to 10:55 – Practice 1
25/05 – 12:45 to 14:55 – Practice 2
27/05 – 09:45 to 11:10 – Practice 3
27/05 – 12:00 to 14:40 – Qualifying
28/05 – 11:30 to 16:10 – Race
=> 11:30 – Track Parade
=> 12:00 – Pit Lane Live (also on Sky Sports Mix)
=> 12:30 – Race (also on Sky Sports Mix)
=> 15:30 – Paddock Live (also Sky Sports Mix)

Supplementary Programming
24/05 – 14:00 to 15:00 – Driver Press Conference
24/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Preview
24/05 – 21:00 to 21:15 – Paddock Uncut
25/05 – 16:00 to 16:40 – Team Press Conference
25/05 – 16:40 to 17:10 – The F1 Show
26/05 – 17:00 to 17:30 – The F1 Show
31/05 – 20:30 to 21:00 – F1 Report: Review

BBC Radio F1
25/05 – 08:55 to 10:35 – Practice 1 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
25/05 – 12:55 to 14:35 – Practice 2 (BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra)
25/05 – 21:00 to 22:00 – Preview (BBC Radio 5 Live)
27/05 – 12:55 to 14:05 – Qualifying (BBC Radio 5 Live)
28/05 – 13:00 to 15:00 – Race (BBC Radio 5 Live)

British GT – Snetterton 300 (Frontrunner)
28/05 – Races
=> 11:20 to 14:00
=> 15:40 to 17:45

Euroformula – Spa
27/05 – 14:30 to 15:30 – Race 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
28/05 – 12:00 to 13:00 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

Formula Renault Eurocup – Monaco (BT Sport 3)
27/05 – 09:00 to 10:00 – Race 1
28/05 – 10:00 to 11:00 – Race 2

Formula Two – Monaco (Sky Sports F1)
25/05 – 10:55 to 11:45 – Practice
25/05 – 15:10 to 16:00 – Qualifying
26/05 – 10:25 to 11:35 – Race 1
27/05 – 15:05 to 16:00 – Race 2

Formula V8 3.5 – Jerez
27/05 – 12:30 to 13:45 – Race 1 (BT Sport 3)
28/05 – 12:00 to 13:30 – Race 2 (BT Sport 2)

International GT Open – Spa
27/05 – 15:30 to 17:15 – Race 1 (BT Sport/ESPN)
28/05 – 13:00 to 14:30 – Race 2 (BT Sport 3)

Porsche Supercup – Monaco
28/05 – Race
=> 08:30 to 09:30 (Eurosport 2)
=> 08:45 to 09:20 (Sky Sports F1)

Speedway Grand Prix – Latvia (BT Sport 3)
27/05 – 16:45 to 20:15 – Races

World Rallycross Championship – Britain (Motorsport.tv)
28/05 – 14:00 to 16:05 – Race

World Superbikes – Donington Park
27/05 – Qualifying and Race 1
=> 10:30 to 16:15 (Quest)
=> 10:30 to 16:15 (Eurosport 2)
28/05 – 10:30 to 16:15 – Support and Race 2 (Quest)

World Touring Car Championship – Germany (Eurosport 2)
27/05 – 10:15 to 12:15
=> 10:15 – Race 1
=> 11:15 – Race 2

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

Update on May 23rd –  Sky Sports F1 is to broadcast the Porsche Supercup series live for the first time, I can confirm. The above schedules have been amended as a result.