Monday, 26 May 2014

Motorsport: I want my LIVE TV!!!

Ok, call me old fashioned but I like to watch my motorsport live on TV where its possible, with as little clashing as possible...which is difficult at best when you take into consideration that I watch Formula One, the British Touring Car Championship, the World Touring Car Championship, The World Rallycross Championship all live where possible.

I admit I keep a weathered eye on the V8 Supercars which is always delayed because quite simply, showing those live would mean I would get no sleep at all...Although one day I will watch the Bathurst 1000kms live again...

Now in this day in age where we have the Internet, Tablets and Mobile devices wherever we go to keep up to date on work, business, pleasure or social media, you might think my writing this blogpost is completely nuts, but stick with me on this. I grew up during the 1980's where motorsport exploded onto TV. I watched Formula One avidly on BBC2 and live on BBC1 when they took the step to televise the British Grand Prix live before moving to show every race live in the early 1990's on BBC2 then on BBC1.

Now back then, I just watched it all on TV. I had no idea until 1991 of Motorsport Magazines like MotorSport or Motorsport News or Autosport. My information came from anything leaked by Murray Walker and James Hunt during commentary or later on by Jonathon Palmer. Fast forward to 2014 and we now have the internet, providing access to drivers and teams on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and many other forms of Social Media along with dedicated websites like Autosport, TouringCarTimes, and the like at the touch of the button on a tablet or mobile device.

Now back to the 1980's, my motorsport viewing was only on a Saturday afternoon during Grandstand watching any current Touring Car action or on a Sunday Afternoon, watching Formula One eating my Sunday lunch on my lap. A simple time where there were four TV Channels and publications were weekly and monthly with reports. I happily remember watching Ayrton Senna winning the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix in the wet, sat in front of a black and white TV in the dining whilst the rest of my family sat talking with relatives. Granted, back then it was a luxury for a household to have a colour TV as well as a Black and White TV.

Now the reason for this post stems to the last round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, in Austria. I've followed this series since its original form as the European Super Touring Championship and as the series grew so did the coverage on Eurosport. I must point out that Eurosport is not only the chosen channel but also the promoter of the series.

Now up until the end of the 2012 season, the Qualifying coverage was live along with both races shown live in the UK. Yes I'm well aware its called Eurosport and yes I'm well aware of the fact its main audience is in Europe, but stick with me.

Last year, suddenly in the UK, we had to wait until 11.30pm UK Time to watch a half hour recorded highlights programme of Quali. This was something that took place over the whole season and something that myself and several other WTCC Fans took to Twitter about to ask the question "Why?" from Jean-Louis Dauger, head of Eurosport Promotions until he moved to OAK Racing for 2014.

He explained that it was something that could be investigated and restored for the 2014 season and so far its been live. He also explained that its also feasible to watch WTCC online through Eurosport Player. Now while I acknowledge that, for me thats not an option.

You see, The Guru lives in a 40ft Caravan, somewhere in deepest darkest Northamptonshire, where the internet is a very poor excuse and he writes this blog from his HTC phone thanks to the limited data plan provided by O2, happily supported by his family.

I'm a Motorsport fan in a part time job. Poor is part of the description.

So I was horrified to see that not only was Qualifying a recorded highlights programme but race two was also recorded and shown at 9.30pm with  highlights of the World Rallycross from Lydden Hill on at 10.30pm afterwards. Now this upset me because I dont have the bandwidth or data plan to stream off Eurosport Player to watch it live so the fan in me wondered... Why?

The answer from Eurosport, via Twitter, was that there was a lot of sport on and Choices had to be made. So like any other fan, I then wondered... "Why should I lose out?" There was the Giro D'Italia and Tennis on as well but like any fan of any sport, I'm also thinking selfishly...because thats what fans do when they want to see their sport live at home. If you have BT or Virgin then no hassles, enjoy the online viewing... I have Sky TV so I can watch F1 and BTCC live and WTCC and WorldRX when they are shown live.

But dont forget, not everyone has BT or Virgin nor any internet provider in certain areas, so what do they rely on?

Live TV.

It might sound like a lot of bitching, but when you consider the budgets put into action for live action sports by channels such as BT Sport, Sky Sports, The BBC and the like, is it then too much to ask for Live TV...

I dont think so. Fortunately I can happily say that this weekends Russian WTCC encounter is completely live... Which makes the Guru a much happier Guru.

Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest and shared, I can happily say that I'll be writing up the Austrian WTCC races and the second round of the World Rallycross Championship, so plenty to read in the coming days.

All the best


No comments:

Post a Comment