Formula 1 will produce a television broadcast of the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time this year, ending local hosts’ control of the race, Motorsport Broadcasting has learned.
Previously, local station Tele Monte Carlo covered the blue ribbon event, but F1 will now control aspects of the event’s broadcast, including World Feed.
This change means F1 will produce a World Feed for every race in a given season, which is the first time this has happened.
2023 is the first year of a three-year contract between Formula 1 and the Automobile Club of Monaco (ACM) for the championship to race around the principality.
The end of the era of local hosts
In the 1990s, local broadcasters produced Grand Prix events. Free-to-air broadcasters ITV, RTL and Rai, for example, produced British, German and Italian rounds respectively, with local hosts emphasizing domestic drivers.
The quality of broadcasts varied from week to week. While broadcasters such as ITV provided coverage that would fit well by today’s standards, other broadcasters offered less coverage.
At the same time, F1 expanded its in-house capabilities at Biggin Hill with the introduction of the F1 Digital+ service in 1996.
The operation provided an enhanced multi-view service, with F1 producing action every race weekend, while their free-to-air counterparts offered a limited number of on-board cameras and poorer camera angles by comparison.
Although F1 ended pay TV operations after the 2002 season, they learned valuable lessons from the experiment. Recognizing the benefits of the pay-TV product, the series began to centralize production of World Feed in-house and remove local control.
Viewers at home saw the benefits of the change: F1 broadcast quality improved across the calendar, providing fans with a consistent product regardless of the race weekend.
The transition from local hosts to in-house production took place in 2000, with the Japanese Grand Prix being the penultimate race to relinquish local control in 2011, following the end of its contract with Fuji Television.
However, Monaco has remained an exception over the past decade.
Benefits of taking control of Monaco by F1
In recent years, fans have criticized the telecast produced by Tele Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix.
One notable incident occurred at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix when a replay of Lance Stroll’s run in the swimming pool complex interrupted a side-by-side fight between Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly up the Beau Rivage to Massenet.
While the overall broadcast quality of Formula 1 has generally improved over the last decade, Monaco’s broadcast quality has stagnated.
Detailed article on this site in 2018 highlighted problems with TMC broadcasts of the Monaco Grand Prix, which persisted even in their post-COVID productions.
Fans can expect new and improved angles that will show the speed of the cars, in addition to the existing angles that have become a hallmark of Monaco’s offering.
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