Formula One Management (FOM) – the company which holds the media distribution and promotional rights for F1-related content – has confirmed that all its partner broadcasters will be receiving high-definition feeds from live Formula 1 events throughout 2011. This is not just limited to the BBC in the UK, but pertains to every TV broadcaster which will be showing the F1 Grand Prix races. FOM’s official announcement was preceded by Sky Deutschland’s earlier revelation that they would be broadcasting Formula One events in glorious HD.
BBC subsequently confirmed that they too will be broadcasting Formula 1 in high definition on its BBC HD and BBC1 HD channels – there was no chance the British public broadcaster would turn down the offer once FOM agreed to make its HD feed available.
Most mainstream events and sports have made the jump to HD in terms of live broadcast, but to date F1 has suspiciously lagged behind. In the USA, NASCAR (the nation’s most popular car racing series) has been broadcast in high definition since 2005, therefore it is somewhat surprising that Formula One did not quickly follow suit until now.
This will be the first time that viewers can watch live F1 racing in all its glory – complete with the detail and sharpness associated with high definition – on capable HDTV sets. Of course, some broadcast companies may only be able to provide standard-definition coverage in areas where HD availability is spotty, but at the very least this gives every TV network the option to screen the live Formula One videos in HD wherever possible.
Prior to the arrival of high-def Formula 1 Grand Prix coverage, the Beeb already boasts a mouthwatering lineup of sporting events (such as Six Nations rugby, Wimbledon tennis, the Grand National horse race and several golf tournaments) on its BBC HD and BBC One HD channels. Not only will the F1 HD broadcast broaden BBC’s portfolio of high-definition content, it should also boost the sport’s popularity and fan base to unprecedented levels.