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World Sports Cars on TV (1953-1992)


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#1 GThomas00

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 10:27

This topic is about the World Sports Cars on TV (1953-1992) about broadcasts done by host feeds.

 

1966:

Daytona 24H - ABC (Live / Taped)

Sebring 12H - ABC (Taped)

Le Mans 24H - ORTF

 

1967:

Sebring 12H - ABC (Taped)

Le Mans 24H - ORTF

 

1971:

Buneos Aires 1000km - Canal 7

Le Mans 24H - ORTF

 

Anyone want to add.



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 11:28

1968 Brands Hatch - ITV London area. Schedules say 12.40-13.00 and 14.30-15.20. If the Sunday Times listing is correct then it may also have been shown on Grampian, with the earlier programme (only) also on Border. At that time ITV was a confederation rather than a network, with individual companies doing their own thing! No idea if there would have been a live feed for foreign broadcasters though.

 

None of the other Brands Hatch races seem to have been televised.



#3 nmansellfan

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 12:42

1955 Mille Miglia - RAI.  There's a few minutes of live coverage floating about on YT.

1989 480Km of Donington - Eursosport or Screensport, I think they covered most of the race live.

1991 Le Mans 24H - Not sure of the host broadcaster, La Cinq?  I watched it live on the BBC, they covered the first hour or so as I saw Rosberg's 905 catch fire at his first pitstop.



#4 pete53

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 12:58

1968 Brands Hatch - ITV London area. Schedules say 12.40-13.00 and 14.30-15.20. If the Sunday Times listing is correct then it may also have been shown on Grampian, with the earlier programme (only) also on Border. At that time ITV was a confederation rather than a network, with individual companies doing their own thing! No idea if there would have been a live feed for foreign broadcasters though.

 

None of the other Brands Hatch races seem to have been televised.

Televised racing on British TV in that era tended to be on Saturdays and Bank Holidays when there was a Grandstand or World of Sport programme into which it could neatly fit. Having said that the odd European GP broadcast did turn up on the BBC on Sunday afternoons but I don't remember this extending to other racing categories, although,  perhaps the closing stages of Le Mans was sometimes shown?



#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 13:57

The 1958 and 1959 Tourist Trophy races were both part of BBC's Grandstand offering.

 

No UK rounds 1960-61.

 

In 1962 it clashed with Test cricket and athletics and was shown on ITV. All regions.

 

Another clash with cricket in 1963. Again shown on all ITV regions. (On that day, BTW, the lead headline on The Daily Telegraph was POLICE HUNT FOR RACING DRIVER 'Find the Weasel' call in mail gang case - they were of course interested in the whereabouts of one Roy John James who had last been seen on Thursday, practising at Goodwood!)

 

In 1964 it was again shown on all ITV regions - BBC were more concerned with show jumping and athletics that day.

 

The 1965 race wasn't televised as it was a big sport day generally. Both BBC1 and ITV showed the FA Cup Final. There was also the Middlesex Sevens rugby from Twickenham, golf from Sandwich and racing from Ascot, shared between BBC1 and BBC2.



#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 15:19

The Dundrod TTs weren't televised live, although they may have been filmed for the BBC's Newsreel programme:

 

1953 - sporadic radio commentary on the Light Programme. Radio commentary of the start only on BBC Northern Ireland's Home Service.

 

1954 - sporadic radio commentary on the Light Programme.

 

1955 - sporadic radio commentary on the Light Programme.



#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 15:52

First BBC TV coverage of Le Mans 'presented by the French television service' was in 1961. That year and 1962 they provided a report on the race early on Sunday afternoon and then covered the finish live. There were of course regular radio reports throughout the day.

 

1963 saw reports during Grandstand on Saturday then the same pattern as above on the Sunday.

 

1964 - as 1961-62.

 

1965 - live reports on BBC1 09.45, 13.15 and 15.25 (the finish) on Sunday

 

1966 - preview on Grandstand on Saturday, live reports 13.15, 15.35 Sunday

 

1967 - preview on Grandstand on Saturday, live reports 10.15, 13.30, 15.45 Sunday

 

1968 - radio only - the delayed Le Mans clashed with the opening meeting at Thruxton, which was covered by BBC Grandstand.



#8 FLB

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 16:16

1990 Player's Mondial (FISA WSC Montreal round) : Current Canadian F1 rights holder RDS's first live race.



#9 Garsted

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 17:48

First BBC TV coverage of Le Mans 'presented by the French television service' was in 1961. That year and 1962 they provided a report on the race early on Sunday afternoon and then covered the finish live. There were of course regular radio reports throughout the day.
 
1963 saw reports during Grandstand on Saturday then the same pattern as above on the Sunday.
 
1964 - as 1961-62.
 
1965 - live reports on BBC1 09.45, 13.15 and 15.25 (the finish) on Sunday
 
1966 - preview on Grandstand on Saturday, live reports 13.15, 15.35 Sunday
 
1967 - preview on Grandstand on Saturday, live reports 10.15, 13.30, 15.45 Sunday
 
1968 - radio only - the delayed Le Mans clashed with the opening meeting at Thruxton, which was covered by BBC Grandstand.


I recall seeing the final laps of the '69 LeMans on the Beeb, including helicopter shots of Ickx's Ford passing Herrman's (?) Porsche for the lead.
Steve

#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 18:16

I recall seeing the final laps of the '69 LeMans on the Beeb, including helicopter shots of Ickx's Ford passing Herrman's (?) Porsche for the lead.
Steve

I only checked Radio Times as far as 1968. IIRC 1967 set the pattern and they usually showed the finish for several years afterwards. Will look when I have a bit more spare time ...



#11 Emery0323

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 19:25

I recall seeing the final laps of the '69 LeMans on the Beeb, including helicopter shots of Ickx's Ford passing Herrman's (?) Porsche for the lead.
Steve

This is no doubt the same video feed you saw, although it has American TV commentary form Keith Jackson, Chris Economaki, and Phil Hill (on ABC's sports anthology program "Wide World of Sports"):

 

https://youtu.be/LCwzQkosHoE

 

Unfortunately, the quality of the video is rather poor, particularly the helicopter shots.

Nice interview with a young Jackie Oliver at the end!


Edited by Emery0323, 21 July 2021 - 19:34.


#12 RCH

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 07:58

I seem to recall that there was no mention of BBC showing any of the 1968 Le Mans in any listings. However I recall walking down a high street somewhere, glancing in a shop window and seeing Le Mans racing on a TV. I believe the end of the race was shown that year. 

 

I also recall that since I was going to the race in either '88 or '90 I set my video recorder to record advertised broadcasts on BBC. Arriving home I discovered I had recorded horse racing or something else equally uninteresting. I later discovered there was a blazing row involving John Egan, the BBC and even I believe Maggie Thatcher because the Beeb had pulled the broadcasts because, sacre bleu, the French wanted paying...



#13 GazChed

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 09:52

The 1990 Donington 480 km was shown on BBC2's Sunday Grandstand, live, but I can't remember if the whole race was shown. I don't recall the race being particularly exciting with Schlesser and Baldi leading a Sauber Mercedes 1 - 2 and the two Silk Cut Jaguars disqualified post race for refueling irregularities.

I think in previous years, as well as coverage of Le Mans, the BBC showed highlights of the Group C races from Silverstone and Brands Hatch on Saturday Grandstand the week following the race. ISTR the ALD Group C2 car taking out one of the Saubers driven by Jochen Mass and Mass being shown afterwards giving the unfortunate ALD driver a stern dressing down !

#14 nmansellfan

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 11:48

First BBC TV coverage of Le Mans 'presented by the French television service' was in 1961. 

 

Also in '54 Vitesse, according to Genome.  Looks like it was the first live TV broadcast of the race that the BBC had shown.



#15 GThomas00

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:04

was 1955 Le Mans shown live on French TV?



#16 RCH

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 08:54

Probably either mine of my father's memories playing tricks but he once mentioned that we had seen some coverage of Le Mans the year "Jaguar won because of their disc brakes", presumably 1953. If so it would only be a month or so into our ownership of a television.

 

Sometime in the current century Channel 4 (I think) showed fairly extensive Le Mans coverage. I don't think it was well received and didn't happen again.



#17 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 10:16

Also in '54 Vitesse, according to Genome.  Looks like it was the first live TV broadcast of the race that the BBC had shown.

Yes, I'd missed that little TV sapling in the forest of Light Programme references! At least half an hour live, covering the finish. The listing hints at possibly more, depending on the course of events in the Davis Cup tennis, I suppose.

 

Looking more carefully at Genome I see they also broadcast a film of the 1952 race on Saturday June 12th 1954. That had first been shown on April 6th 1953. No live TV in 1955 but according to Genome there was a film - made by Pathé - of that year's race, shown on both July 4th and August 5th.

 

1956 and 1957- highlights only, shown on Sunday evening.

 

Apparently no TV coverage 1958.

 

1959 - as 1956-7. 'A Sportsview Unit presentation in conjunction with Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise.'

 

1960 - a live report late Saturday night, including film of the start. Another report on Sunday afternoon, followed by coverage of the finish.

 

Probably either mine of my father's memories playing tricks but he once mentioned that we had seen some coverage of Le Mans the year "Jaguar won because of their disc brakes", presumably 1953. If so it would only be a month or so into our ownership of a television.

Maybe the film of 1952 as above? Or possibly some uncredited stuff on 'Radio Newsreel'?
 



#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 12:03

I have a very vivid memory of watching the start and opening laps of the 1965 Le Mans live on UK TV, with the two new 7-litre Fords pulling away from the field. However, as Vitesse2 has posted, there’s no mention of this coverage in the BBC listings. Was this possibly last-minute unscheduled coverage, or is my memory playing tricks?  ;)

#19 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 12:48

I have a very vivid memory of watching the start and opening laps of the 1965 Le Mans live on UK TV, with the two new 7-litre Fords pulling away from the field. However, as Vitesse2 has posted, there’s no mention of this coverage in the BBC listings. Was this possibly last-minute unscheduled coverage, or is my memory playing tricks?  ;)

The cricket seems to have proceeded without interruption. Racing as well, no doubt. However, as the scanned originals of RT aren't online after 1960 I have no clue what the listed volleyball was. I can't find a report of a volleyball tournament that day in the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times or the Observer of June 20th though. So maybe - for whatever reason - that was dropped and Le Mans inserted?

 

Certainly wouldn't have been on ITV - on that day World of Sport had its usual mixture of ten-pin bowling, athletics and racing until the one fixed point which never varied. Wrestling! Listed as starting (as usual) at 3.40pm - its absence would have enraged the nation's grannies ... :lol:



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#20 john winfield

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 13:10

I have vague recollections of 1965 too, being slightly worried that Ferrari's run might be coming to an end!   I have nothing definitive for UK broadcasting but, on the Live TV Coverage thread, both Stefan O and Don C mention 1965 Le Mans as the first for live satellite broadcast. Would this have been relevant to us in the UK?  Presumably not, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't some coverage. A live start seems familiar, but I suppose the first lap or so might have been shown later, on the evening news perhaps?



#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 13:41

My recollection was that it was live coverage, which meant I was all agog waiting for the next radio update later in the evening to see if those big Fords were still leading or if my beloved Ferraris had managed to get ahead. I watched all the TV coverage the next day, with the two 250LMs fighting it out.

#22 john winfield

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 14:44

Looking at Genome, there are the Sunday BBC broadcasts as listed by Vitesse, but also this, which appears to be the first scheduled coverage, a resumé of the first few hours. It does seem odd not to have broken into the Saturday afternoon sports programme to have shown the start. 

 

 

23:20
  Sat 19th Jun 1965, 23:20 on BBC One London

Reports from the circuit on the first seven hours of this year's International 24-hour car race.
Introduced from London by Frank Bough.
Presented in collaboration with the French Television Service
See page 9

Contributors
Commentator at Le Mans: Raymond Baxter
Presenter: Frank Bough
 
 


#23 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 16:07

I don’t have any memory of that resumé. I’m sure I would have known about and watched it if it had been shown in my area. I’m guessing it was possibly only available in the London area. However, it does lead me to think that if the Beeb was recording the French transmission for later viewing they might have taken the last-minute decision to show it live.

#24 GThomas00

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Posted 23 July 2021 - 16:43

was Daytona 24H shown live in the 1960s and 70s when it was part of the WSC?