• My take on the Channel 4 F1 deal

    By , , , Permalink

    It was announced today that the BBC is relinquishing it’s rights to Formula 1 to rival broadcaster Channel 4, but what does this mean?

    Me standing at Eau Rouge after the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix
    I love my sport, I enjoy so many aspects of it, it is in my opinion the greatest sport on the planet, and according to some figures is actually the most watched annual sporting championship in the world.
    I have been watching F1 since I was aged seven, so a very long time.
    I have seen different teams and drivers come in and out of the sport, and the matter of who airs them is no different.
    When I first started watching Formula 1 in 2001, ITV were the sole UK broadcasters of the sport and that lasted until 2008.
    Their coverage was sometimes good, sometimes not so good but more of the time just average.
    So when it was announced that the BBC would be returning to show the sport, it was rather exciting.
    From the get-go in 2009, the coverage blew ITV’s right out of the water.
    And it got better year-on-year.
    It had a great team in front of the camera presenting, brilliant pit-lane reporters, superb interviews, slick features and overall it was the complete package.
    From 2012 things changed, Sky came along and left BBC with half of the races live on free-to-air television with the remaining races shown via highlights.
    It was the first time in history that F1 was partially behind a pay-wall in the UK.
    After initial shock-horror I got over the deal and continued to enjoy the BBC’s reduced coverage.
    But whether you are a team, a fan, an investor or a broadcaster, F1 is an incredibly expensive sport.
    So we arrive at today’s announcement that as part of cost-saving measures, the BBC has given up yet another sport and F1 is moving to Channel 4.
    I am a nostalgic chap, and adored the coverage the BBC provided and ever since the deal with Sky was struck, it was somewhat inevitable that someone would pull the plug all together.
    Channel 4 are vague on details at the moment, but so far it has been confirmed that they will pickup where the BBC left off.
    So all practice, qualifying and races will be aired, ten rounds of the championship will be live with the remaining 11 being shown as highlights.
    Crucially C4 have made it clear that there will be NO ad breaks during live Grand Prix which is already better than what ITV offered, so a big thumbs up there.
    The BBC had brilliant online and catch up coverage, and it remains to be seen if C4 will pickup from the Beeb’s mantle.
    The deal will cover 2016, 17 and 18.
    Other than those bare bones, there are very few details left to sum up, but what I will say is this.
    I thought the BBC coverage was stunning, but now we are entering a new era, and just like the action on the track, how it is aired also has to change from time to time.
    I wish C4 the very best of luck and hope that they can do some great things, because I am an F1 fan and every like every other fan, I want to enjoy the sport as much as I can.
    So a big thanks to Jake Humphrey, Suzi Perry, David Coulthard, Eddie Jordan, Lee McKenzie, Ben Edwards, Tom Clarkson and the whole BBC crew for the past few years and for turning me into an even bigger F1 fan than I was before.
    Channel 4, please do a good job and good luck.
    Oh, and how on earth have ITV allowed F1 to slip through it’s fingers?
  • BBC cuts F1 coverage

    By , , Permalink
    The BBC is ending it’s coverage of Formula 1 in the UK after seven years.

    It has been confirmed that Channel 4 will takeover the broadcast of the worlds most watched annual sporting championship.

    The BBC returned to F1 after capturing the rights in 2008 and from 2009 broadcast the entire season live.

    From 2012 their coverage was reduced after signing a deal with Sky Sports to cover only half the season live, whilst the remaining races were shown as highlights packages.

    But now, as part of further cost saving measures, the corporation have brought an end to their contract three years early.

  • Personalised License Plates & What To Do With Your Old Numbers

    By , , , , Permalink

    Personalised license plates are everywhere. From street to street and city to city, anywhere there are cars there are those willing to take their love of automobiles to a new level. No doubt you will have spotted a number in your daily life, and even more online, reacting with chuckles or admiration.

    The custom license plate is seen as something of a statement item. Your choice of letters and numbers is as individual as your haircut, giving passers by a window into who you are. Unique plates, like car mods, are treats for car enthusiasts. But how to do you pick a plate that doesn’t make someone cringe and what do you do with your old one once you upgrade?
    Pick a vanity plate that doesn’t look tacky

    There are three different kinds of custom plates: name, car make/model and dateless. For the average motorist the license plate means little more than how you car is identified. However, they’ll have an idea of how each license plate shows its own time of creation – the third and fourth number being the age of the vehicle.

    Car enthusiasts, however, appreciate the more intricate details of their cars. The license plate may be a tool for the DVLA to identify your vehicle, but its also a potential place to put your personal stamp. Unfortunately, not everyone who decides to upgrade their number plate knows the difference between a cool and a tacky custom plate.

    You’ll have seen them on the internet, the horrid “DA B3ST” number plates, which elicit groans from onlookers and costs more than a pretty penny. Avoid these at all costs by looking instead for a plate more in tune with who you are, such as initials or favourite numbers.

    Look for matching make or model license plates

    Personal registration specialists, Click4Reg suggest that “for those who love their cars but prefer to avoid using their names or initials we suggest checking out some of the affordable make or model plates, ones that end in SLK or BMW are desirable but not extortionate”.

    If you have multiple cars or a higher end collection, co-ordinating your vanity plates with your vehicles could be a great finishing touch.

    Alternatively, if you’re really keen to get your initials on your pride and joy then its worth doing some research or speaking to a specialist about the popularity of your initials. Chances are that, in the UK, there won’t be someone else with the same initials as you wanting custom plates.

    If your initials are popular then the cost of the plate can rise considerably. In this instance, you might want to mix in your initials with numbers, like your year of birth. If you do this though, watch out for misrepresenting the age of your car should you be planning to sell one day. Remember the age of your car is typically in the 3rd and 4th number position and you don’t want to make your car look older than it is.

    Sell on your old plate to make money

    Once you have your personalised license, what do you do with your old number plate? One of the simplest solutions is to transfer it to another vehicle that you own. But if you just want to get rid of the extra plate, consider selling it on.

    License plates, notably personalised ones, come with a value and can be sold on. You license plate might not mean anything to you but the combination of letters and number may be significant to someone else. Something they are willing to pay for.

    This is also something to bear in mind when purchasing your personalised license plates. Going for a more desirable plate is an investment and there are many people around the world who collect the most wanted plate. For example, in November 2014, a registration plate sold for £500,000 in Wales.

    Continue Reading…

  • Forza 6 Launch Trailer

    Gran Turismo versus Forza? Playstation versus Xbox? Which camp are you in?

    For years I’ve been in the legion of Gran Turismo fans but with every release of Forza I find my devotion starting to waver. The Xbox contender seems to grow from strength to strength while the Playstation stalwart seems to be treading water. Maybe I’m being unfair to the Gran Turismo team, but this launch trailer for Forza 6 has renewed my longing to buy an Xbox.

    This is the biggest Forza yet, with over 450 cars to choose from and 26 destinations to race in, 10 of which are new to the series. Each destination has several layout options too, so there’s plenty of asphalt to keep you occupied, whether that be on new tracks such as Lime Park, Watkins Glen and the Circuit of the Americas or old favourites such as Spa Francorchamps and the legendary Nürburgring.

    Ford GT in Forza 6

    Ford GT in Forza 6

    There’s a demo to whet your appetite too, which throws you behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford GT and pitches you against 23 opponents on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, a new fictional track added to this release.

    On top of the extra content comes a new weather modelling system that does more than reduce grip and make pretty patterns on your monitor. Forza goes as far as modelling puddles on the track, which can lead to aquaplaning if you’re not careful. There’s damage modelling too, which can leave your pristine supercar looking very second-hand after a hard race. Gran Turismo, please take note!

    Pagani In The Rain

    Pagani In The Rain

    The demo then takes you through the early stages of the career mode and introduces you to the new pre-race modding system, which allows bonuses to be added to the end-of-race results or to give your car a little extra performance.


    Continue Reading…