F1 TV Coverage 2014


Champion Elect
I've been meaning to write something about this but a few comments elsewhere have prompted me in to action. Namely this from snowy :
Made far worse the total absence of any technical insight from the BBC. The sacking of Gary Anderson has got to be the work of Satan himself.
Just when you think the BBC couldn't get any more pathetic and irrelevant...

In Melbourne, and for pretty much all of last year, I abandoned the BBC coverage. I thought the Sky coverage was better and more comprehensive... and most importantly they have all the races live. I was perfectly happy with it but I was really disappointed with the coverage in Melbourne, and in general with the Sky coverage leading up to the season. The new F1 show format with audience participation is awkward and full of pointless polls and uninformed questions from fans. The Melbourne coverage was full of amateurish mistakes, for example Ted (no matter how much I like him) saying that the engines no longer have spark plugs. Many of the pundits/presenters I can't warm to either, namely Simon Lazenby (who has always seemed like an arrogant arse), David Croft (who seems to shout without actually saying anything worthwhile) and Damon Hill (who is dull as a brick). Even Martin Brundle seems a bit side-lined and increasingly tired and disinterested.

I therefore switched to the BBC coverage for Malaysia and frankly I found it far more enjoyable. Let me start with David Coulthard, who for me Is probably now the best driver pundit in the sport, although many people I'm sure will disagree with me based on the stick he gets for supposedly being biased. For me he offers the same insights as Brundle but with more charisma and laughs. At no point did I feel like the commentary was getting in the way, like is sometimes the case with David Croft, Coulthard and Edwards were giving information when it was needed but not afraid of a few moments of silence. Lee McKenzie has always been fantastic and probably should have been given the presenter role ahead of Suzi Perry, but Suzi has at least settled in to the role somewhat and is no more annoying than Simon Lazenby. The pre-qualifying/race pieces with Webber and Rosberg were also excellent and insightful.

Basically I found the BBC coverage much more natural, the Sky coverage (at least in Melbourne) seemed forced. The BBC coverage isn't what is used to be by any stretch of the imagination though, and I don't agree with some of the decisions they've made like sacking Gary Anderson.

Anyway, this thread can be used for any comments about the 2014 coverage from now on. Aside from the BBC/Sky debate FOM seem to have been slow off the mark with their graphics in the coverage, but we are starting to get information about fuel usage etc. trickling in.
I think sky's coverage is brilliant. Lazenby has settled into his role, the banter and ease of the chat flows way better than it used to.

Ted is the epitome of casual presenting, watching his note book shows is like having a chat with a mate. As for his spark plug comment, he corrected himself and was a little bashful in doing so. Everyone makes gaffs.

Damon is an opinionated and knowledgeable pundit as is Johnny Herbert they are a great double act. I thought there 'reenactment' of the multi21 incident was hilarious.

However Ant is the best pundit I have watched, his technical dissection on the sky pad is superb.

As for Crofty and Brundle, I am at a loss as to how you can find fault with the best commentating duo on Tv.

As for the BBC coverage, two words, Eddie Jordan.
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Last year I would have agreed with you, but I just didn't gel with the Melbourne coverage. I'll be watching Sky anyway for at least half the races so no doubt I'll get in to it again / it will improve again. Oh, and Eddie Jordan isn't in the BBC coverage until Barcelona!

If I could pick and choose, I'd have McKenzie, Coulthard, Brundle, Herbert, Kravitz, Pinkham and Davidson out of the currently active pundits.
I like the fuel thing that came up during the race.

As I'm at uni I don't have a TV so it's and HD stream when the BBC they're live and a crappy stream when they're not.
The enjoyment of the BBC this weekend was particularly improved by the total absence of Eddie Jordan, and the resultant consequence of Suzi Perry literally grabbing anyone she could find to be a pundit in the quali gaps.

"I'm here with Alexander Rossi because he's got an umbrella!"
"Mika's not getting paid for this shit because it's technically an interview!"
Here is my fantasy TV lineup

Presenter: McKenzie
Commentators: Croft & Coulthard
Analysts: Ant, Anderson
Pitlane: Kravitz
Interviews: Pinkham
I may have been the only one who watched Ted's note book before the F1 show started on on Sunday morning, Ted was leaving the paddock to go into the car park to show us what cars the drivers had hired to get to and from the track in, Alonso had hired a Ferrari FF which Ted did not recognize and Button had hired a bloody great big Rolls Royce and Ted was fascinated by RR on the wheel hubs that do not move when the wheels are going round but anyway I digress, on the way going out of the paddock he bumped into Damon Hill coming in and the exchange went something like this:

Damon - Are you going home?

Ted - No I'm working.

Damon - Where?

Ted - I'm physically working right now.

Damon - Well get on with it then.

Ted ignores Damon and walks off.

The thing is it wasn't jovial it actually sounded quite terse and unfriendly towards each other....
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I grow increasingly weary of watching Sky's pre-race fluff, particularly listening to the 3 Stooges (Lazenby, Herbert & Hill) standing in the paddock droning interminably on - it has reached the stage where I deliberately start watching the Sky+ 30mins later, so I can "x30" my way through all the nonsense...and frankly, on Sunday I couldn't even be arsed to do that (I tuned in just before the lights out). I know Sky have an entire channel to fill with F1 programming, but 90mins of pre-race preamble is simply absurd - it's the TV equivalent of mashed potato (doesn't require chewing, nearly tasteless, and takes up room on the plate - only there to soak up the gravy).

Aside from Legard, the BBC coverage (even with EJ) was much better in '09 & '10.
I've always preferred BBC as it's just more fun, but as I had to mute my TV on Sunday, cus people were round, I listened to 5Live commentary and James Allen and Allan McNish are actually amazing, probably my second favourite commentary partnership behind DC and Ben, they're fun, informative and for surprisingly for radio, they don't talk too much!
Pre-race build up and race review have been poor for sometime.

ITV used to do them well, that was until they fell in love with Lewis Hamilton and based the build up on him and at the end of the race they would just show his interview after the race and then end the programme.

BBC started off well but then fell away, like ITV, they joined the Jenson Button bandwagon instead.

Never warmed to either Jake Humphrey or Simon Lazenby as presenters. Herbert says what a casual fan would say and doesn't add much insight and tries the comical act too much, Eddie Jordan is from another planet, you're lucky if he makes some sense during the whole weekend. Croft is just a blithering idiot, don't enjoy his commentating style at all, seems to force himself with excitement and uses terrible phrases. Brundle these days seems to have gone more corporate, the gridwalks have been on a decline aswell.

That just leaves Ted, Coulthard, Davidson and Pinkham from the BBC and Sky team that are decent.
I watch Sky when there is no BBC coverage, I quite enjoy it, it's slick and no one really makes me cringe. I watch the Beeb when it's on, because we can have it on in the lounge and the Kitchen and there is no time lapse. I have some issues with some of the presenters on BBC, but, I still watch, as all I'm after is race coverage, and generally I'm trying to prepare a meal at the same time, so I'm grateful for what I can get.
When it comes to the actual race I think we get more or less the same coverage on both, as it seems to go to a central feed. So really it's about before, and after, and who floats your boat.
They can all be annoying.
As can I.
What about Ben Edwards, Damon Hill and Suzi Perry?

I disregarded them as they are a bit meh.

Anyway, Ben Edwards commentating on anything bar the F1 season reviews is just weird, plus he's similar to Croft at times. Damon Hill actually is not a bad pundit.

The less said about Suzi Perry the better.
Listened to P2 on 5-live for the first time this morning. I have a question. Is the target audience children under 12?

The explanations of flow vis being paint that doesn't dry, and tyre graining as being like the fluffy bits on a rubber tipped pencil when you rub out a mistake, really had me cringing. To say its rather low brow is an understatement.
All the tv/radio presenters have difficult jobs when it comes to something as technical as F1. Do you keep it brief and assume a fairly high level of knowledge to start with, this leaves the casual viewer wondering what the hell they are talking about or do they go to a lower level and bore the pants off the knowledgeable fans?

Ideally there should be at least two commentating teams with the viewer/listener being able to choose the one to suit them (actually three teams is more like the number needed).

As far as I can gather in rough figures for the UK 1 million watch the dedicated Sky coverage whilst 7 million watch the BBC coverage. So in those terms the BBC commentators should really be aiming for the bootom end with Sky going for the top. From the above comments this may not be entirely true.

There used to be a golf commentator, Henry Longhurst, who was the best sports commentator ever in my book. He spoke when he needed to, he kept quiet when no comment was necessary; he could also use the minimum number of words required, I remember when a top player missed a simple short putt one time he just said "Oh, dear", it spoke volumes.
Commentators shouting all the time really just get on my tits. They're all as bad as each other. The pundits are fine but again they talk too much and do we really need so many of them? I think it's all to do with the currently fashionable editorial style. It's akin to the way the whole event is filmed as though the objective is just to collect a load of stuff regardless of content and quality to be edited later into videos to sell. Every time I complain about the racing I realise two weeks later that actually that was pretty good but it was the TV direction and production that ****ed it up. Add to that the tabloid journalism mentality and, now I think about it, it's pretty well crap all round.

Having said all that, at least F1 coverage doesn't suffer from the dickheads who are doing MotoGP. Just how hard is it to keep an eye on the battles with a wide enough view to so the clutch of contenders? I couldn't give a toss what a riders kneecap looks like ... I've seen them before. Why oh why do they insist on cutting away from a slip streaming battle down the main straight to look at the bloody pit boards ... only to cut back having missed a critical part of action? And in F1 and MotoGP both why do we lose two crucial early laps for multiple replays of the start?

I love F1 but watching decades of it on TV has definitely done something bad to my brain. Methinks I am suffering some kind of debilitating addiction. If I don't watch it this morning I will suffer a breakdown ... :dizzy::twisted: ... unless of course I already have :D.
Anyone know why Ted wasn't in the putlane for Sky in Sunday? He was there on Saturday. I missed the build up on Sunday and I'm sure they told us.
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