The final race of the 2018 Formula One season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday didn’t only see the end of an era with Fernando Alonso retiring from the sport but it also marked the end of an era in the broadcasting of the sport in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. It was the last time that fans will get to see a full season of Formula One free to air.
In 2019, Sky Sports become the official stand alone UK and Irish broadcaster of Formula One, that is all way and good for those fans who can afford to pay the extortionate subscription fees for the Sky Sports as you cannot tailor make a package for you that just has Sky Sports F1.
Channel 4 may have the highlights of all of the races for next season and have the British Grand Prix live however today’s race marked pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie’s last Grand Prix.
Scaling back the coverage at Channel 4 will also see the scaling back of their broadcasting team so we are unlikely to see Susie Wolff, Eddie Jordan or Mark Webber back on the punditry team in 2019.
When this so called deal was announced was announced back in 2016, it was done when Bernie Ecclestone was in charge however there are no new owners in place and Liberty Media (a media company) have the power to say hold on a second, this sport should be available to EVERYONE not just those who can afford to pay for Sky Sports, however they have not done this and in this reporters opinion in doing so they have failed many thousands of F1 fans who may not be in a position to attend Grand Prix.
It is an incredible shame when you look and the amount of work that Whisper Films and Channel 4 have put into their coverage of Formula One over the years and this should have been rewarded and not in what I see is a punishment for the hard work that they have done.
Liberty Media wanted to bring fans closer to the sport and they have failed in doing so, now as well as forking out crazy money to attend Grand Prix, fans who want to watch the entire season live will have to fork out more money for subscription and that in my opinion is not right.