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Jan 07 2009

For all those Formula One fans out there, it has been confirmed by Roger Mosey, BBC’s Director of Sport that the 2009 coverage on the BBC will not be available in high-definition.

In discussion with a number of comments made on his blog, Roger confirmed that whilst they’d very much like F1 in HD, it’s not available yet.

F1 won’t yet be available in HD though we’d very much like it to be. I’ll keep you posted.

When quizzed further into the reasons why, Roger stated that no HD world feed is presently available.

I’ve just spoken to our F1 team and they confirm that no HD world feed is available, though they say there may have been one or two experiments in the past and/or some “upconversion”. But we promise we’re not wilfully avoiding HD.

It’s a shame that F1 won’t be in HD this season, especially given how popular F1 has become over the last 2 years and it’s prominent place on BBC’s flagship channel for all races and qualifying, with red button interactive services for the practice days. It would have been great promotion for both BBC HD and Freesat, but some good news at least is that Roger Mosey hopes to have all BBC sports coverage in HD by 2012.

38 Responses to “No F1 HD Coverage In 2009”

  1. Paul. Says:

    I can’t type here what my verbal response to the headline was.

    We have seen Bernie Ecclestone being interviewed when the BBC got the gig, and when pressed on HD coverage, he said that it would be available if the BBC wanted it. Looking back, I thought he looked a bit laid-back and blase when he was saying “yeah, sure, why not?”

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  2. Al Catraz Says:

    not surprised – it took them years to go widescreen, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for HD for a couple of years yet! ;-)

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  3. Tony Says:

    What sports will the BBC have left to show in 2010? Looks like they will be down to darts and the Worlds Strongest Man, so they should be able to manage 100% HD coverage on those!

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  4. Al Catraz Says:

    i hear HD tiddlywinks looks pretty damn good…;-)

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  5. LengFreesat Says:

    The saddest thing about this is that the unenlightened among us will use this as another way to criticise the BBC/Freesat.

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  6. Chris Says:

    When F1 goes 100% HD it will be snapped up by Sky.

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  7. surf Says:

    I’ve just read that ITV(4) has acquired the rights for another 5 years of Tour de France coverage. There is a Tour de France HD feed. That would be something to fill the empty ITV HD schedule!

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  8. Al Catraz Says:

    hey it’s not all bad news – this looks like something to look forward to on BBC HD:

    http://www.hdtvuk.tv/2009/01/bbc_shoots_natu.html

    :D

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  9. Oyodi Says:

    Unbelievable, F1 with all its millions and no HD feed, If I were an advertiser I would be absolutely livid. I always thought that F1 was portrayed as leading in technology. Also why then last year at every advert break did it say sponsored by Sony HIGH DEFINITION???????????????, also I’m sure I read somewhere that some of the races were recorded in HD.

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  10. ChrisA Says:

    As a previous commentor has said, not overly surprising given F1 only started providing coverage in 16:9 widescreen in 2007. And let’s be clear on this for everyone – it’s Ecclestone who is holding back on the investment in providing HD feeds, and the BBC are clearly positively pressing for it, probably along with Ten in Australia and Premiere in Germany.

    Once a few more of the European broadcasters press for a HD feed it will be made available just like the widescreen feed was, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait until 2012…

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  11. Paul D Says:

    Al Catraz, thanks for the heads up on that new BBC HD show. Cant wait to see that!

    Did anyone see Tiger Spy in the Jungle on BBC HD? Simply stunning. Worth the price of the Freesat box alone.

    We often slate the BBC but we are lucky to have them.

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  12. pedro Says:

    Tony………Channel Five have the World’s Strongest man and Sky have the more credilble version of the darts championship……………..cant believe I am saying that!

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  13. Rob Says:

    US channels show a HD feed (Speed and Fox, afaik). I believe it’s upscaled in some way but colleagues have said it looks much better than the same broadcast on the counterpart standard-def channel.

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  14. ann Says:

    its an absolute disgrace, f1 has been showing hd feeds on other satalites for quite a while for cinemas around europe, although only 720i still hi def,
    i have watched them my self many times, it makes it worse, as oyodi says it was a joke last year with the itv f1 programme starting with sony ” pushing hi def to the limits” but not on f1,
    the best thing for f1 is for berni ecclestone to leave, and stop dragging the sport down, if he has his way all the races will be in the middle east where he can get the most money, he is a complete joke,
    as regards to the bbc, i will not condem them one little bit, there programming on bbc hd is getting better every day and the picture qaulity is the best of any other hd channel transmitted,
    what is letting the bbc down, is the limits imposed on them by ofcom,
    now they are a great british joke

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  15. Paul Says:

    Quote by Tony “What sports will the BBC have left to show in 2010? Looks like they will be down to darts and the Worlds Strongest Man, so they should be able to manage 100% HD coverage on those!”

    Isn’t the worlds strongest man on Channel 5 ???

    So just darts then.

    Lets………….. Play……………… Darts !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Bring it on in hi def.

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  16. Paul Says:

    And to be fair darts is much more exciting than F1 !!! :)

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  17. Sam P Says:

    Have to agree with general sentiment here – BBC are doing a good job with the HD channel and its improving all the time. There is no point putting BBC and Freesat down all the time when what we need is more Freesatters !

    All in all BBC HD is hands down the best HD channel available in the UK and its there for free (lisence fee permitting) to all with a box.

    In terms of the F1, very very dissappointing but at the end of the day did we really expect Bernie to stick his hand in his pocket ? Not sure on exactly who would need to pay for HD coverage but surely the local TV companies that film the races have access to HD cameras etc ? Could Sony be pushed into something – they play off the NFL HD by SONY big time and this has global appeal !

    Its a blessing the F1 remains on a free channel at all so we cant moan too much but it would have been great to see it in HD – even if only select races.

    ps F1 must be more exciting than darts if only for the pit lane ‘distractions’, those curves would look good in HD !

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  18. Till Says:

    I do not blame the BBC at all, they have been sticthed up by the alleged Poison Dwarf Bernie , just as ITV were. This is what he said in 2007.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/58776

    Bernie now needs money and a lot of it, he set up his F1 empire in such a way that his wife (on paper) has a controlling interest in quite a few of the companies that he set up to run the F1 franchise. Now he is getting divorced, she stands to make a huge amount of money. So charging more for an HD feed would suit him down to the ground, he just needs to figure out how he can get it done cheaply and hpw he can control it.

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  19. Al Catraz Says:

    tut tut Sam P – you’re supposed to be admiring the cars! ;-)

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  20. timmy Says:

    GET RID OF THAT LITTLE OLD POISON DWARF BERNIE. we need someone young and up to date with tec stuff.

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  21. Trevor Harris Says:

    I don’t agree that BBC HD is the best channel available. Most of the output is repeats some nights there is no new stuff at all. Very little of the BBC sports or film output is in HD and football is usually in stereo and not 5.1. However the BBC can produce some very good HD but in very limited quantity.

    From the BBC blog postings I think the BBC does want to transmit F1 in HD so I think the broadcasters need to get together and have a little meeting with Bernie. There is also talk of an interactive service where you can choose a car to “sit in”. That would be real cool!

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  22. Duncan Says:

    Very very disappointing. But I suppose as Bernie is only 2’9″ tall he doesn’t really need the increased resolution to show him in detail. Those new front wings on the other hand, good job it’s widescreen!

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  23. The Duke Of Hunslet Says:

    But this problem of commitment and scheduling isn’t just limited to sports.

    BBC – shows Last Of The Summer Wine repeats in HD – but spends a fortune on Jonathan Creek Xmas special and then does not show that in HD.

    ITV – spends a kings ransom on Demons – its attempt to jump in the pockets of Dr Who fans…does it transmit in HD? Does it flip.

    Given all the technology involved in F1 and the fact that it is struggling to keep on the go you would think it would try anything to increase the audiance figures. Might as well transmit in 4:3 Mono if it isn’t going to bother…

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  24. Al (Original) Says:

    2012 ???

    Viewers want HD now not in 3 years time.

    HD tvs are now in many homes and this foot dragging by the BBC is becoming very tiresome.

    Its time to get ALL programming on HD.

    Once again Britain becomes a laughing stock for the roll out of technology.

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  25. Francis Says:

    I think we have a ll been let down once again, so much for the hype of all the big Ideas about HD!!. Perhaps in future the beeb should think before they act!!, this make me wonder about the whole future of HD, and asking the Q have they bitten more off than they can chew. Its looks like there unble to keep to their word, Freesat may have to do the same, telling everyone that they’ll have 200 channels by the end of last year. So where dose that leaves us the customers??

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  26. Lee Says:

    they cant even run a full time HD channel with decent content and now there’s no F1? they might aswell drop the BBC HD logo and just call it BBC a bit better than normal BBC

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  27. brutus66 Says:

    1 word (gutted)

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  28. Barry Says:

    Lack of F1 in HD is another blow for the future of Freesat. It does not seem clear whether it is BBC or Ecclestone that is responsible for this incredible omission on the transfer of F1 to the Beeb. Of all sports F1 abslutely cries out for HD with all its high tech images. Perhaps it is total disinterest in HD from both parrties. Stop congratulating yourselves on uninterupted coverege of F1 (we had that decades ago!) and get off your butts beeb and Ecclestone and make it happen.

    Regrettably the slow progress of Freesat has caused me to defect to Sky HD. I hope that in the future I may be able to reverse this.

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  29. Andy Merrett Says:

    “Once again Britain becomes a laughing stock for the roll out of technology.”

    I doubt that’s true, unless you’ve extensive real-world experience of travelling to other countries and them laughing at us? Really, I think people have more important things on their minds at present.

    The UK is *not* a long way behind many other countries, and in any case you’d expect early adopters (Freesat is not yet a mainstream proposition, unlike Freeview and Sky) to moan when in reality most of the general population don’t know / care / understand.

    Have you seen the number of surveys that show that consumers don’t know if they’re watching HD content or not?

    As for F1, it’s not the BBC’s fault. The BBC has no control over how each race is filmed – except, perhaps, for any British races.

    As for what the BBC and ITV HD channels show – well moaning about the likes of Jonathan Creek and Demons when they weren’t even shot in HD In the first place is rather peculiar, unless you think the BBC will do a better job of upscaling and then broadcasting standard definition content on the BBC HD channel than your HDTV will do watching the SD version anyway?

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  30. Ian Says:

    F1 is shown in HD in other countries and even here in Odeon cinema’s so why aren’t the BBC using our license fees for something useful and desired instead of wasting it on ridiculously large wage packets for some people.

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  31. admin Says:

    F1 isn’t broadcast in HD anywhere, what you are seeing in the Odean Cinema is an upscaled version. Better quality than SD no doubt, but not HD.

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  32. HD Sceptic Says:

    I’ve been following F1 since it resumed after the war (WW II) and I’ve never once heard anyone say their viewing pleasure was spoilt by the poor definition of the TV picture.

    We’ve endured cameras looking in the wrong direction and missing critical parts of the action, unhelpful commentary, adverts and other distractions, but never complaints about definition. Widescreen coverage doesn’t add anything useful – it’s just a gimmick. F1 looks good on my 29″ CRT.

    When I was shopping yesterday I saw several stores (who should know better!) offering 19″ LCDs as “HD ready”. The view seems to be that HD starts to show benefit around the 37″ mark. I’m also intrigued to see none of the clamour for HD comes from wives – it seems as though they prefer to settle for a smaller TV which doesn’t need HD (but leaves the lounge looking nicer). Any wives care to differ?

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  33. RMDOO7 Says:

    Firstly, why is it that when ITV show a football match it shows each half with no ads and when it’s F1 it was ads every 8 mins or so?. Anyway couldn’t beleive that the BEEB had got F1 back again, great no more ads. I allready had a 37″ HD ready tv but when I asked at a big retailer if the new F1 season would be shown in HD he replied “yes” I thought I would treat myself to a new 47″ all singing all dancing telly to watch my favourite sport on and after reading all of your comments I am gutted (teach me to do my research first) so come on whoever the hell is to blame for this, give the people what they want to see and in HD. Hope you all enjoy the new season whatever all our moans may be………come on Lewis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  34. HD Sceptic Says:

    RMD007 – do you watch the racing or the TV technology? Did you do a cost/benefit analysis before changing from 37″ to 47″? Do you always believe what salesmen tell you?

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  35. RMDOO7 Says:

    HD Sceptic- I watch the racing thank you but is it so wrong to try to get the best picture quality you can to watch the sport you enjoy the most or do you still watch the snooker in Black and White?
    To answer your other question, when I was in the shop they were showing clips of the F1 season in HD sorry, next time I will ask you about cost/benefit analysis when I want to buy a new telly.
    Regards……..

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  36. HD Sceptic Says:

    RMD007 – If HD content were available, surely the main difference between 37″HD and 47″HD is that you sit further away for comfortable viewing. Which means that you turn the sound up louder because the noise is part of the spectacle. Which means you are not the most popular person in the household during live coverage of the Australian and east Asian GPs!

    I look forward to helping you buy your next telly.

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  37. John Young Says:

    I just read all the comments about the total apathy by the BBC regarding the non HD coverage of the new F1 season.
    I too was anticipating using my expensive HD set-up to watch a major sporting event which has quite a lot of moving objects! I used to watch Match of the Day until I purchased a 42″ plasma but now it is unwatchable in SD as everything moving, ie players and ball are surrounded by a sparkling ‘aura’ (thank god for Sky HD)
    One last rant about the BBC HD policy. One cannot fault the BBC nature programmes and the latest 3 part documentary on Yellowstone National Park is probably one of the most awesome ever shown on TV, but………………why did the numskull programmers schedule this for a prime time slot on BBC 1 (commendable) and make no mention of the re-run broadcast on the HD channel later in the week. We found it quite by accident, come on Beeb, please communicate with the people who pay your wages!!! How much does it cost for a voice over at the front of the programme telling us that for those customers who actually are interested in HD,” this programme can be enjoyed in HD later this week” Or, is the money paid to foul-mouth ‘Woss’ using up the budget for little niceties like F1 in HD? We do have the World Champion in this sport!!!!!

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  38. Cyril Says:

    It is ludicrous that the hi-tech F1 sport can’t get their act together and show F1 in HD!
    I think the Australian GP has been shown in HD locally, and we got upscaled SD which looked very nice in the F1inCinema feeds last year.

    Bernie needs to get this as a higher priority!

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