Tag Archives: Formula 1 Fans

Fairness to American F1 fans: 2011 British GP on FOX


The Cahier Archive


The British GP was the third of four races this season broadcast on Fox television in the US, the first of which was a marathon Canadian Grand Prix, and at over four hours, the longest ever.  During that race, I was able to follow from a number of different people tweeting during the red flags that FOX did not break programming from the race, showing the entire four hours.  This was definitely an improvement from earlier years when FOX would publish an F1 race in their schedule, and then abandon fans with local baseball game coverage instead.

Following an amazing race yesterday, Formula 1 fans in the US were happy to see the start of what should have been a compelling set of interviews from race winner Alonso as well as from the 2nd and 3rd place finishers Vettel and Webber.

While fans heard from the winner, it was Webber and Vettel many would have liked to hear a few words from, but FOX ended the broadcast before we could ever hear from them.

With Alonso’s win clocking in at just under 1.5 hours, it seems natural that there would have been plenty of time in the shadow of the four hour Canadian Grand Prix to show the two Red Bull teammates interviews, of particular interest to Formula 1 fans after hearing their team principal’s radio call to Webber in the closing laps to maintain his gap to second place finisher Vettel.

Unlike yesterday’s Red Bull team orders broadcast over the world for race fans to hear, television contracts are not matters of public record.  Certainly in this weekend’s race, whatever event FOX was obligated to show as part of their F1 broadcast on Sunday clearly hadn’t ended in American Formula 1 fans’ minds until all three podium finishers had been shown to give their account of the race events during those interviews.

Events like this are not uncommon, and in 2005, UK broadcaster ITV was called out by race viewers on an advertising break during the climactic moments of the San Marino Grand Prix, documented here on page 6 of the Office of Communications (OFCOM)website.

OFCOM’s rules for recognition of natural breaks during sport broadcasts include the following:

  1. Breaks may be taken during intermissions of the particular sport being televised ­ eg, half time, between races, between innings, etc.
  2. In live coverage of long continuous events breaks may be taken at points where the focus of coverage shifts from one point to another of the event ­ eg, after a resume of the current placings in a race and before refocusing on a particular section of the race. Breaks may also be taken adjacent to cut-away discussion or background film insert sequences.
  3. Where edited recorded sport programmes are shown, break points should be selected to avoid creating the impression that some part of the event ­ eg, a round in a boxing match ­ has been omitted to accommodate advertising.

Sounds basic enough – and yesterday’s race had been shown in full for the most part – but as Formula 1 fans in the US, what do we feel is a fair broadcast, and when do we feel the event is over?  Is it after the checkered flag drops and the winner crosses the finish line, or is it after the driver interviews?

In a sport dominated by technology, isn’t it still still about the human drama that makes Formula 1 so compelling?


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

The Canadian GP 2011: Three for the Road


Button & Vettel, Canada 2010

The Cahier Archive


First off – a safe journey to all travelling up to the races this weekend in Montreal, it looks like it will be another year of fantastic racing.  Several friends and members of our local F1 group are heading up and so I’ve put together a few things about events around this race . . .

Tomorrow (Thursday) will be the first of three Formula One Teams Association fan forums, where fans will have the opportunity to engage with the sport most directly.  The event has been filled up, but questions can be emailed to info@teamsassociation.org for review.  Only registered fans will be allowed to attend, but all should send their $.02 for this event.

Friday night in Montreal will experience a boost with social media getting a real trial at this year’s GP.  With so many North Americans on Twitter and Facebook, the hashtags will be flying from hotspot to afterhours.  Not one to get left behind, Red Bull has launched a new app – Invasion – which will catapult the latest goings on through the iPhone from track side to bar side.  Redbull’s integration with event, city, and team will be interesting to watch and measure the impact they and the medium have with F1 audience and businesses.  Circuit of the Americas and the city of Austin will do well to watch and learn from this exercise as the race there will draw the next big North American audience in 2012.

Finally, this Saturday and Sunday a 30 year history of Hugo Boss and McLaren together in photographs will be on display from friend and photographer Paul-Henri Cahier, and event details are here on our Facebook page.  If you haven’t had a look through the history of the Cahier Archive, it’s well worth viewing.

Best to everyone up in Montreal – and look forward to meeting everyone in Austin in 2012!

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