F1 coverage on NBC Sports is pretty good!

This post has to do with Formula 1 racing coverage. Skip it should this not be your thing.

At the end of last years’ season, Speed Network lost the contract for US coverage for the 2013 season to the unknown (to F1 coverage) NBC Sports network. As I (and many others) had come to appreciate and respect the Speed coverage of F1, this change was met with trepidation. It was actually a point of conversation and bonding at the F1 race I attended in Austin last year (‘I hope they keep the Speed TV team’ was the predominate theme).

NBCSports kept 3/4 of the team, and the one not carried forward was Bob Varsha, their play by play guy with an encyclopedic memory of F1 races and politics. He ‘retired’, and I hope his life goes forward in a good fashion. Bob was terrific, and his replacement (Leigh Diffey, who covered a race or two every season) is quite good. Carried forward were the excellent David Hobbs, Steve Matchett and track-side reporter Will Buxton (who has no wikipedia article yet). I see that as a huge nod to the fans, as there have to be a lot of people who could do the broadcast job, but there was concern at NBC about the audience who liked and respected these TV personalities. Good for NBCSports for keeping them on.

The new NBCSports coverage for the first F1 race this season was quite good, and that that despite challenges! NBCSports not only covered the usual practices, but, when qualifying was delayed by rain, showed all of qualifying off-schedule before the Australian GP! It was a good race, and the Twitter coverage was, IMHO, better than the Speed effort [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/f1onnbcsports/status/313211455795232769″]. An embarrassment of riches in F1 coverage.

A good race, covered well. Thanks.


Update: fixed the title, it is of course NBC, not nbs…