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thegeek5,059 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London

I was in South Africa watching on SuperSport, they carried the BBC's commentary, (and the comment '. ..if you've just switched on for Andrew Marr, he's over on BBC 2. ..', but I don't recall any of their pre and post race punditry ?
CCA would bring in the world feed and embed the BBC commentary (I think timed in to match) and make it available to international takers.

I believe Channel 4 comms have been made available in recent years in a similar way.
UKnews844 posts since 26 Apr 2011
Depends what you mean by “back in the day”? The first period the BBC had the rights, live coverage was usually part of Sunday Grandstand and was more or less lights out to checkered flag (and might be broken into), Substantial pre and post race coverage only came in when ITV took over the rights in 1997. As such “The Chain” was mainly heard for the evening highlights show and races outside of Grandstand’s afternoon slot.

This sort of thing gets repeated a lot but isn’t very accurate. By the late 1980s and certainly the early 1990s races weren’t interrupted on Sunday Grandstand. Non European races might be highlights only, or have the first part shown as highlights and then joined live later on. Not always the case though, some were live in full even in primetime. Of course in those instances (as well as for the highlights) you’d hear ‘The Chain’.


By 1993 / 1994 even if they were part of Sunday Grandstand there would often be build up to the race, including technical features, and some European races got their own programme on BBC 1 - presumably because there was a longer event on Sunday Grandstand. One race in 1994 (Pacific Grand Prix) wasn’t shown live for some reason, but that was the last time that happened. Some races had a presenter on site - Steve Rider was at Imola when Ayrton Senna was killed- and the BBC were able to cut to their own camera in the pit lane when RAI’s pictures became too graphic.

It took a bit longer for qualifying (outside of the British Grand Prix) to be live, but it was for all the races by 1996. For European races it would often be on BBC 2 and joined 15 minutes in (thanks Open University) but the qualifying format in those days meant you missed very little. For races in other time zones it would be live in full (although you might have the vidiprinter on screen if it was part of Grandstand and the final scores were coming in).

ITV did increase the amount of pre race coverage and did the same for every race as well as being on site for just about all of them. They expanded the technical features and introduced things like the grid walk. This was a big step forward on what UK viewers had seen before, but it wasn’t quite the revolution it’s sometimes made out to be- it was a more consistent approach though.

Not everything got better though (aside from the ads) - it was almost 10 years into their coverage before every qualifying session was shown live. I’m sure there was at least one Japanese Grand Prix where qualifying wasn’t shown until 10pm, some 16 or so hours after it had happened. Then there was the 2000 US Grand Prix that got bumped to ITV2 when comparatively few people had access to that. Primetime races were often hurried off the air as quickly as possible.

When the BBC got the coverage back in 2009 they built on what ITV had done and 2009 to 2012 was the high point of FTA coverage of F1.
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watchingtv gave kudos
UKnews844 posts since 26 Apr 2011
According to one F1 Broadcasting blog the issue with “The Chain” was that both Sky and C4 wanted it, started a bidding war and priced each other out. I don’t think any other broadcasters taking Sky’s coverage would have come in to play, if there was a problem clearing the music they’d either have laid their own over the top or joined after the titles. Unlike a single use in a programme, using the music for titles isn’t covered by the blanket agreement between broadcasters and the music companies that lets them use almost anything. (There are some exceptions where specific permission has to be gained - unsurprisingly The Beatles is one, so is Neil Young and a few other artists.)


When the composer of “The Hockey Theme” realised it was being broadcast outside Canada as NASN (and then ESPN America) took ‘Hockey Night In Canada’ from CBC, they complained and each week the channel had to cut away from the iconic theme. A theme that CBC ended up losing when CTV bought the rights for use on TSN. (CBC had been paying royalties per play.)
Interceptor781 posts since 20 Oct 2014
I don't want to go searching for it on Twitter because I haven't seen the qualifying yet, but there is a video where someone has overlaid The Chain over this years Sky Sports titles. Does seem to fit rather nicely.
robertclark1251,435 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Don't know if it's been mentioned on here already, but following the despicable and tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday (Friday), the Super Rugby match from New Zealand this morning has, understandably, been postponed. In fact, one of the teams is from Christchurch, but they were the away team. Various filler programming has been scheduled instead.
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bkman1990 gave kudos
dvboy9,897 posts since 11 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
I wonder how much Sky paid for the first ad slot in C4's coverage.

I wonder if they have paid for it.

Good point could be part of the deal...
Did I read here that C4 will be able to use Sky's driver interviews because they aren't allowed to do their own? Noticed all those they showed before qualifying were from FOM unless Sky are using FOM branded mics for these now.
Watch it and find out.