Category Archives: F1 broadcasters

A New F1 Audience in America

 

The Cahier Archive

 

As part of SPEED’s coverage of Formula 1 in the United States, four races this year will be going to FOX and their affiliates, who can and do make programming decisions that affect the sport’s coverage in certain markets.  Their extended coverage of this year’s Canadian Grand Prix is appreciated by Formula 1 fans across the country, for a race that took the honor of being the longest in Formula 1 history.  Having put together over 100 viewing events with our local F1 group here in San Francisco with dozens of them shown on FOX, I can say from firsthand experience it’s not always a sure thing to have a scheduled race shown on the affiliate in our local market.

The nature of this year’s race with several gaps in action due to rain and crashes made for an epic event, especially for those who stayed on to the finish.  In a country where commercial advertising makes for several natural breaks during a race, the red flags and soaked track in Canada this year created a different kind of opportunity for fans.  Viewers normally worried about missing a return to racing after a regular commercial break took the opportunity during the extended rain delays to jump to laptop or mobile device to contribute to a growing conversation on twitter.  Fans were talking about not only the race so far, but also weather forecasts, who was at the race, and even something I was interested in:  How was everyone getting on with their television coverage on FOX?  I was almost certain part or all of the US would jump to a local sports team on their local affiliate at some point before the severely delayed race was over.

The rain delays also afforded a great opportunity for the SPEED team to engage with the many fans tweeting about the coverage, and during the fill that many broadcasters need to create during an extended break in action it was refreshing to see SPEED taking requests via twitter for highlight footage to be shown during the red flags.  Giving the broadcast the ability to sample the stream of feedback from viewers happening live once again showed the opportunity for much greater Formula 1 fan engagement with a new kind of racing fan, one that is connected, engaged, and is contributing to the experience everyone viewing and tweeting is having.

That said, there’s nothing like a live broadcast at a reasonable hour to make it possible for fans and event to come together in a much more spontaneous way as part of the total experience.  The opportunities in front of a the American Formula 1 audience this weekend weren’t lost on the celebrities tweeting about the race, from rapper Ice-T (in attendance) to gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, and next year in Austin will only create more opportunities for fans, brands, and racing to come together with something altogether different: A purpose built facility at Circuit of the Americas and a little Texas charm.

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Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, brand strategy in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and branding, F1 and business, F1 and Hollywood, F1 and Social Media, F1 and technology, F1 broadcasters, F1 broadcasting in America, F1 in America, United States Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix in Austin

Where to Watch F1 in America in 2011

 

 

The Cahier Archive

 

Here’s a rough guide to finding where (and how) to watch F1 Stateside this year.  There have been some new twists in coverage from SPEED, which will include the live streaming of practice sessions not before aired in the US.  Check their live streaming schedule for listings of upcoming broadcasts.  The US televised broadcast schedule is listed here, but it is not clear if races aired on FOX this Summer will also feature live streaming of practices before each race.

Finding a group to watch the races with is pretty simple, meetup.com has been putting together F1 groups together across the country, and here’s a list based on today’s current groups.   Meetup.com does charge event organizers a fee for their groups, and some of these meetups have moved to Facebook, or email, or word of mouth as a result.

Here’s an open source map for F1 groups to pin up – feel free to have a look at where folks are around the country:



View F1US: F1 venue guide in a larger map


The map is editable currently for Google account holders.  Login to Google maps, enter your venue location, and add it to the ‘F1US: F1 Venue Guide’.

As always, before planning a visit on race day to a venue you’ve not been to before, call ahead or better yet visit to make sure you’ll have a TV you can see and hear, and a time you can stop by if the race needs to be DVR’d.

Drop a line if you’d like to start a new location, I’ve been tweeting group meets pretty regularly over @F1US, or drop a reply below, and all the best for a great 2011 season!

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Filed under American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, Events, F1 and Social Media, F1 and technology, F1 broadcasters, F1 broadcasting in America, F1 in America, Uncategorized

US Release of ‘Senna’, USGP at SXSW, and CNBC in F1

While most of the US watches news develop overseas and waits for the season opener, the award-winning documentary ‘Senna’ opened to a packed house at the SXSW festival last weekend, and on hand were the film’s director, Asif Kapadia and USGP organizer Tavo Hellmund.  Check out the Austin Grand Prix Blog for some great coverage as well as shots of the Williams FW33 that made an appearance at a reception put on by Formula One United States organizers.

Kudos there as well – a smart way to embrace the history of the sport and it’s fans, the USGP was able to capitalize on a popular film – one that sold out faster than any other in SXSW history.  The race’s success ultimately will come down to how the local community embraces Formula 1, and from all reviews, ‘Senna’ as a film looks to be regarded on par with ‘Pride of the Yankees’.  Austin’s Statesman reports that director Kapadia has hinted at a June release for the United States market.

In other US Market news, CNBC has recently signed with the Marussia Virgin F1 team as their Business Media Partner.  CNBC is in a great position to enter India and Russia when the racing there begins, as well link up with a new global audience.  A quick look ’round the net suggests that CNBC’s content partnerships are shifting away from Dow Jones and Company (now owned by News Corporation), and towards other partners in international markets.

Last year, CNN International partnered with Lotus Racing, and one of the many benefits of their  sponsorship was that it put the CNN brand squarely on an iconic British car in front of their main competition’s audience at the BBC.  In effect, the BBC paid FOM and Bernie for the right to broadcast CNN’s logo on a car watched by millions in the BBC’s home market for a historic return of the Lotus name.

Possibly in a similar fashion, CNBC could leverage their presence on the F1 platform, especially in Austin, where US broadcaster SPEED (also owned by News Corporation) will certainly have a strong media presence covering the race for their US television audience.

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Filed under American companies in F1, American F1 circuits, American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, American release of 'Senna' film, brand strategy in F1, F1 and branding, F1 and business, F1 broadcasters, F1 broadcasting in America, F1 in America, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix in Austin