Earlier today it was announced that UK terrestrial television coverage of Formula 1 racing will be taken over by Channel 4 in 2016, as they assume the role previously performed by the BBC. Under the three-year deal, 10 races per season will be broadcast live.
The reaction to this news among British F1 followers appears to have been mixed, but I am more sanguine than most about the announcement. It has been confirmed that under the new agreement there will be no advertisement breaks during the actual races to be shown live on Channel 4. The ad breaks were a bugbear of some fans when the sport was previously shown on commercial terrestrial TV (ITV) in the UK.
I have generally quite enjoyed Channel 4's coverage of sports, a good example being their presentation of Test Match cricket a few years back. They have a reputation for doing things slightly differently in comparison to other British broadcasters, so with luck this ethos will help to ensure that their Formula 1 coverage introduces some innovations and a fresh approach.
Much will depend on the personnel recruited to act as presenters, commentators and pundits on Channel 4's show. My ideal scenario would be for some of those on the previous BBC team to be involved, with a few fresh faces to spice things up.
It is good that F1 will remain on terrestrial TV in Britain. Interesting times ahead....