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ESPN apologizes for “technical issues” that blighted live F1 broadcast

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ESPN apologizes for “technical issues” that blighted live F1 broadcast
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Mar 25, 2018, 9:29 PM

American TV broadcaster ESPN has apologized to U.S. Formula 1 fans for the first telecast of its new 2018 deal “not going as smoothly as we would have liked” – after missing 20 minutes of pre-race build up it had previously promised.

Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari celebrates on the podium
Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H celebrates
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari in the Press Conference
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF71H
Race winner Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari celebrate on the podium
Sergio Perez, Force India VJM11
Lance Stroll, Williams FW41

ESPN cited “technical issues” for the late start to its live coverage of the first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne, Australia. Instead of showing the pre-race buildup, it showed a static live shot of Turn 9 for five minutes and, after taking two ad breaks, cut to an episode of the E:60 series.

Once that was rectified well ahead of the race start itself, the simulcast of the UK’s Sky Sports F1 feed was also plagued by badly-timed advertising breaks, the first of which occurred as early as Lap 6.

One side-by-side ad break coincided with the exit of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, and – having just caught Vettel passing Hamilton in the pits – it then missed the restart following the subsequent safety car.

The broadcast ended abruptly after the podium interviews, just after Sky had thrown back to anchor Simon Lazenby, who was mid-sentence when it instead showed a documentary about basketball.

Reaction across social media was highly critical of ESPN's broadcast, and was met by the following statement...

 
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Series Formula 1
Author Charles Bradley