BBC announces F1 coverage… sound of crickets at NBC

The good news for our British friends is that they all know Sky Sports F1 has already begun terrific coverage of Formula One but for those who don’t have Sky, the BBC has announced their plans and commentary team for the 2013 season.

This is good news but it adds salt to the festering wound that American F1 fans still have no comprehensive programming outline for NBC Sports’ coverage of F1. NBC out-bid SPEED for the right to broadcast the sport and even hired the SPEED commentary team as well as some brilliant minds in the production booth and yet there is 10 days before the season opener with very little details as to what American F1 fans can expect this season. The occasional tweet from on-air personalities has helped but NBC’s website is bereft of details that are important to F1 fans.

Regardless, here is the BBC’s story for their coverage and good on them! They have Mr. McNish joining the team. Allan is a world-class guy and will bring an energy and excitement to the sport. You’re in good hands with Jennie and James as well. I met both in Austin and they are terrific people and reporters.

Formula 1 practice sessions will be broadcast live on network television this season from grands prix which the BBC is showing live.

There will be around 40 extra hours of network output, with practice generally shown on BBC Two and BBC Two HD.

Former F1 driver Allan McNish joins BBC Radio 5 live as an analyst, while BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson will work across TV, radio and online.

Suzi Perry takes over from Jake Humphrey as the presenter on TV.

  • China, 14 April
  • Spain, 12 May
  • Canada, 9 June
  • Silverstone, 30 June
  • TBA*, 21 July
  • Belgium, 25 August
  • Italy, 8 September
  • Japan, 13 October
  • India, 27 October
  • Brazil, 24 November

* Venue yet to be confirmed by Formula One Management

* Television schedules are subject to change

Ben Edwards continues as commentator alongside co-commentator David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan remains the chief analyst.

F1 journalist and broadcaster Tom Clarkson joins the TV presentation full-time team as a pit-lane reporter alongside Lee McKenzie, who also presents Inside F1 on the BBC News Channel on the Friday and Saturday of live race weekends, with the latest news and interviews from each grand prix.

On 5 live, James Allen and Jennie Gow continue as commentator and pit-lane reporter.

BBC One and BBC One HD will show nine live races, including those in Canada, Great Britain and Brazil, with extended highlights of the remaining races.

Live grands prix will continue to be followed by the popular F1 Forum on the red button.

Radio 5 live will broadcast every grand prix live, with the show also live on the BBC Sport website, while 5 live Formula 1 on Thursday night ahead of each grand prix will feature guests, interviews and insight ahead of the weekend.

Ben Gallop, BBC’s head of Formula 1, said: “Everyone on the BBC team is hugely excited about the new season.

“Last year saw us rise to the challenge of bringing the action to fans through the mix of live television and highlights, delivering great programmes which were reflected in impressive audience figures.

“This year sees new faces, practice on BBC Two & HD on live race weekends and a greater sharing of talent across BBC television, radio and online.

“With Suzi Perry at the helm, we’re aiming to bring even more content, insight and access to audiences throughout the season.”

The BBC Sport website will broadcast a simulcast of the TV and radio output, and at live races will also have the ‘driver tracker’, on-board cameras and a pit-lane stream.

Legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker will be providing a series of archive-based videos and written articles for every race of the season.

‘Murray’s Memories’ are his personal recollections of some of the greatest moments in the history of F1.

Coverage of the F1 season is now available on our new BBC Sport smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android devices.

I’m sure, in time, NBC will give us the full run-down on their coverage, channels and times and I am equally sure they will do a decent job of it.

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