• Dec 3rd 2006 at 3:33PM
  • 20

Broadcasting motor racing in America is a big business. Unfortunately for F1, which enjoys the biggest audiences overseas, they're not the only game in town in the good ol' US of A. NASCAR, drag racing, Indy cars and a myriad other motorsports draw racing fans while F1 coverage has been spotty.

Now Fox Sports and SPEED TV, two Newscorp channels, have inked out a new three-year deal to share the US broadcast rights of the grands prix . The deal will see four races (Indianapolis, Canada, France and Britain) carried by Fox Sports, and the other 13 races will be covered live (including practice and qualifying) by SPEED.

Hosting the program will be Bob Varsha, joined by commentary from former F1 driver David Hobbs and former F1 mechanic Steve Matchett, plus pit-lane commentary by F1 journo-extraordinaire Peter Windsor.

So, for the next three years at least, American viewers will get consistent coverage of the grand prix racing action.

[Source: GrandPrix.com]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      yeah the commentary is pretty bad, real blatent mistakes, like saying the race is in Japan when it is the chinese grand prix... Oh well looks like bit torrent is getting my business again.
      "It's no more a european sport than soccer/football/futbol is. "

      Answer: Cologne, Woking, Maranello, Hinwil, Munich, Fuschl am See, among others I can't remember at the moment.

      Question: Where are F1 teams based?

      Testing is also almost exclusively completed in Europe. Of course it's a European sport. Look at the drivers, constructors and management. They're almost all from the continent and surrounding vicinity. That Ecclestone has tried recently to expand the market for his product in other countries doesn't change the Eurocentric focus. Fact is, almost all the races are in Europe and Asia, and it just ain't practical to send the Speed boys on 15 hour plane rides just to sit in a booth and watch a video feed.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh man! so true about the lame commentator on CBS. Derek Daly, he's a good driver, but bad commentator. I wanted to pount my head against a wall whenever he was announcing. If they keep the same format on Fox that they have on Speed, I think it will be OK. We need to get Americans into real racing, rather than that Nascar crap, which is the WWE of the racing world. Entertaining for a minute, but only if you're (very) drunk.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I fail to see why Speed does not create a seperate network for Nascrap (oops) and one for all other motorsports. I think they are really missing a huge opportunity to attract a new type of customer, and an affluent one as well who enjoys motorsports but not NASCAR. F1, World Rally etc etc, bring it on.

      Speed dropped World Rally this past year so I dropped Speed.

      You suck. Thank gosh that in Canada we get the British F1 ITV team commentary and not the Varsha-version.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Next step is broadcasting in high definition. I just have not heard when.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't need to be "knee deep" in the drivers lives but I want to see personality. How the hell can you have any attachment for something without knowing anything about it? Don't even pull the "well you cheer the guy that wins the most" because the driver in F1 in my opinion has less of an impact than ever. Look at Schumacher in 2005, he was awful because he drove an awful car! Even Rubens Barichello won races at Ferrari and the poor guy rarely saw the leaders this year. It's all about the teams and money spent not the drivers skill so why would you cheer on a Scott Speed when he will never win a race driving for such an awful team? If they let you know more about the drivers you me be more apt to cheer for one of the less successful guy. Hell, people cheer for Michael Waltrip in NASCAR and I would let him drive the pace car but he has a personality for people to see. Also, F1 ony has 22 drivers so it should be easier to talk to more of them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Im a big fan of F1 and I have grown to like the Speed Commentary team... they provide a very good mix of technical and other commentary, and are MILES ahead of the terrible cbs team with Derek Daly... As someone mentioned above, Daly treats the viewer like they dont know what a car is... going in to a 10 minute detour during the race about how the steering wheel works, from the electronics, right down to the basic concept of a steering wheel... what the heck! If someone knows that little about cars, they sure as hell arent going to be watching F1 for more than 2 seconds!

      So im actually looking fwd to the non-Daly commentary!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Which is completely logical for an american company covering a european sport.

      When did Montréal, Rio de Janeiro, Selangor Darul Ehsan - Malaysia, Shanghai, Manama - Bahrain,Indianapolis, Melbourne,Istanbul and Shizuoka become cities in Europe?

      It's no more a european sport than soccer/football/futbol is.

      Derek Daly is a yokel, other commentators on ABC, NBC and CBS are even worse. What is the point of intervieng most of these F1 cats anyway, now that JV, JPM and MS are gone. Kimi makes for a wonderful interview doesn't he?

      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm no huge Nascar fan, and Prius Power and Chris make excellent points. F1 would probably do a lot better here in the States if they actually tried to make the races more accessible to the American racing fans - who are not the total morons that the Euro-snobs try to
      make us out to be. Some of us do actually like watching cars turn left and right. Better productions values might help, even though it has been a long time since I watched an F1 telecast, I never thought that was up to American sporting TV standards. Hopefully Fox can help in that regard.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Prius, I'll bet you are a NASCAR fan, am I right? Only a person of low character would revel in ignorance. I think you'll find that most europeans take the time to learn how to pronounce simple names like Jacques for example, yet Varsha calls him "Jack" .. keep posting , it confirms my thought that ignorance is number one in the USA. F1 has the largest audience in the world and a pathetic followimg in the USA, home and last bastion of the inch...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh god they better use Varsha, Matchett, and Hobbs; I shudder when I remember the network coverage of Monaco this year...
      What?! :

      Which is completely logical for an american company covering a european sport. Sending a team of three commentators all over the continent and then to the asian races isn't worth the trouble for the very little insight they would pick up from sitting in their booth at the track and commenting on the video feed. They can watch that feed from anywhere, so why send them to the races?

      The format will probably remain the same: hobbes, matchett, and varsha in a studio, and windsor running around the venue looking for soundbites. I think it works pretty well. I'm ecstatic we're ridding ourselves of that CBS announcer. Whatever his name was, he could read car numbers and driver names, gush over cars "crashing over curbs," and that was about it.
    • Load More Comments