Australian TV audiences have raised hell on the social media pages of Australia’s F1 broadcaster, Network Ten, after the station announced that it would not offer a live broadcast of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix on its high-definition sister channel One for the first time.
The race will instead only be broadcast on its standard-definition Ten channel, which has historically shown a delayed telecast while One has always broadcast live. The Ten broadcast will only go live to viewers in the eastern states, while the rest of the country’s viewers will have a delayed feed.
Network Ten has confirmed that this broadcasting arrangement will apply moving forward, which is in complete contradiction to its promise earlier this year to offer all qualifying and race sessions broadcast live and in high-definition.
On Sunday night, One will instead screen a re-run of Domestic Disturbance, a twelve-year-old commercial flop of a movie starring
two washed-up actors John Travolta and Vince Vaughan.
To say that the Australian audiences have not taken kindly to this would be putting it mildly, and leads to heightened concerns that the network will continue to scale back its motorsport coverage. Network Ten has already made the unpopular decision to axe its popular RPM magazine show and scale back its pre-race broadcasts to a paltry half-hour.
“You guys don’t really know how to run a TV network in the 21st century, do you?” viewer Graham Freeman wrote on their Facebook page.
“Ten management should really reconsider [this decision],” Peter Mulas added. “There are too many other internet based alternate methods to access F1 these days which dedicated F1 fans will be more than motivated to investigate.”
“The sooner a proper network that actually has dedication to LIVE sport around the entire nation gets hold of sports like Formula 1 the better,” Josh Cooper added. “Why in the hell can’t Channel 10 broadcast the F1 live into Perth where we actually (for the first time ever) have a driver [Daniel Ricciardo] from the city? Yet more poor judgment on the part of the administration at this joke of a network.”
“Ten stoops to yet another low. Say goodbye to your ad revenue you morons. I’m off to watch an illegal internet stream now!” wrote Matt Marshall.
One hopes that the network will cave to the barrage of criticism it is receiving on its Facebook page, and we’d encourage you to add your voice to the feed at this link.