Canadian Grand Prix Returns to Over-the-Air on CTV in 2012

The Canadian Grand Prix, which has exclusively aired on cable for the past decade. The last time the Canadian GP (or any Formula 1 race) was on free TV in Canada was 2003 on CTV. Of course it is worth noting one of the main reasons the race is on CTV this year is because Euro 2012 is on TSN Sunday afternoon. I am quite interested to see how many viewers Formula 1 racing can pull in though.

Here is the press release detailing TSN and CTV’s coverage.

Start your engines. Formula 1 lands on Canadian soil and Bell Media’s CTV, RDS and TSN are in Montreal to bring fans extensive coverage of the 2012 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX. CTV delivers live coverage of the race from the famous Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on Sunday, June 10 at 1:55 p.m. ET and on RDS at 1 p.m. ET.

Auto racing fans can get set for the race with live coverage of the qualifying for the 2012 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX on Saturday, June 9 at 12:55 p.m. ET on TSN and at 12:30 p.m. ET on RDS.

TSN’s John Lu is on Montreal’s île Notre-Dame filing reports for SPORTSCENTRE and keeping race fans updated with highlights and post-race reaction.

CTV Montreal has extensive CANADIAN GRAND PRIX coverage, with sports reporter André Corbeil live at the track and Camille Ross providing updates on the weekend’s festivities. Racecar fans can also test their broadcast abilities at the CTV Montreal “So You Think You Can Be A Sportscaster” tent.

RDS delivers exclusive French language coverage with four special editions of SPORTS 30 starting tomorrow, followed by live coverage of practice and qualifying sessions. In addition, Pierre Houde, Bertrand Houle and Christian Tortora will provide Canadian racecar fans updated with insight and analysis of the world-class race over the weekend.

TSN Radio 990 in Montreal is covering all of the F1 excitement in the city throughout the week.

The 2012 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX has 24 world-class drivers competing for the title over 70 laps. This year’s lineup includes reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing-Renault), and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) who is leading the championship. Other top competitors include Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes), and defending CANADIAN GRAND PRIX Champion, Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes), who won last year’s race on an exciting last lap pass.

I am still  that, even with the race on CTV, Bell isn’t bothered to produce a pre or post race show. Even something from CTV Montreal would be better than nothing. Surely it isn’t that hard to throw something together with a host (Vic Rauter) and an analyst (maybe Jacques Villenueve). Add in a quick grid walk from John Lu and I’m sure it would draw some new fans in. And please those  longtime fans (like myself) who unsatisfied with TSN’s (lack of) coverage of Formula 1 in recent seasons.

7 thoughts on “Canadian Grand Prix Returns to Over-the-Air on CTV in 2012

  1. Even with the F1 in our own country, TSN still treat it like a piece of shit. Maybe they can let Sportsnet take over these rights as well?

    • Ticky,

      I am not an F1 or auto racing fan, though did CTV simsub Fox’s coverage of today’s race from Montreal? If CTV did this, then that is pretty bad… especially considering that this event was held in a Canadian city. I suppose that Sportsnet could take over rights to F1 races here in Canada, though some races could very well conflict with certain Blue Jays / MLB games, and other programming that SN has the rights to air.

      • I was at the race so I didn’t get to see the coverage (except the Speed/Fox re-air last night) but from what I understand the race on CTV was basically like any other race on TSN with them taking the raw world feed from FOM and augmenting the BBC commentary. And then of course, cutting off the announcers and re-joining them in mid-sentence for commercials, no pre-race, no extra anything, etc.

        Unfortunately I think TSN just signed a new deal with FOM so it appears Canadians are stuck with their crap for a while. Aside from the races in Canada, the US, and Brazil, most F1 races take place either first thing in the morning (like 8am ET) or in the middle of the night here in Canada. I thought Sportsnet was supposed to be taking over IndyCar coverage though? Or was that another “scoop” that Bruce Dowbiggin got wrong?

        • I don’t know that Sportsnet would treat it any better. For some reason I feel they’d just use the Speed broadcast.

          Not sure on IndyCar. I’d doubt there’s any announcement until the end of the season, maybe not until next year.

  2. Looking forward to the GP this weekend. I’ll be leaving for Montreal bright and early Friday morning, hey maybe you could let CTV know I’d do a gridwalk for free if they wanted, haha. As you suggested though, the only reason CTV is airing the race is because TSN/TSN2 is full with Euro2012 and NASCAR on Sunday. I thought CTV might have opted to take the FOX feed of the race instead as that would’ve given them a simsub since there can’t be a blackout, even at the risk of potential viewer complaints, but I guess not. SPEED is supposed to be airing a pre-race and a post-race show but I don’t know if these would be blacked out. A lot of people probably disagree with me, but I’ve always enjoyed SPEED’s F1 commentary team in addition to the ITV/BBC/Sky crews. I got to meet and chat with Will Buxton for a couple minutes last year at a downtown Montreal pub on the race weekend and he seemed to be just an average F1 fan at heart like the rest of us.

  3. I was never a fan of TSN’s old pre-race show, it wasn’t worth me getting up even earlier on a Sunday morning. If they showed BBC’s pre-race show I’d probably watch it though.

  4. The Canadian Grand Prix deserves a pre and post race show without question. Bell Media has definitely dropped the ball on this one. Their coverage of all Grand Prix’s is second rate for the same reason.

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