ITV in dispute with GMTV over F1 slots

ITV is struggling to come to an agreement with GMTV regarding its exclusive coverage of the final races of this year’s Formula 1 season.

ITV is struggling to come to an agreement with GMTV regarding its

exclusive coverage of the final races of this year’s Formula 1

season.



For ITV to broadcast the races live, the network usually claims back

early-morning airtime from GMTV to cover the two qualifying races from

Australia and Japan. In return, GMTV receives extra half-hour slots for

three days during the week.



This year, the final qualifying race falls during the half-term

holidays, the most sought-after slot for toy advertisers before

Christmas.



Agency commentators say GMTV is unlikely to give up precious airtime at

this point in the season when demand is stronger than supply. If this is

the case, ITV will be forced to show the results after the races have

already been broadcast live on the radio.



An ITV spokesman said: ’It may be disappointing for die-hard Grand Prix

fans but when the BBC had the contract, it didn’t show any live

qualifying races in Europe.’



He confirmed no decision had been taken regarding the agreement with

GMTV.



A media agency source said: ’If ITV is not running the final qualifying

race in real time, which means after the radio results come in, its

value as a product would diminish.’



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