Sky vs BBC F1 Coverage


Staff Member
In an effort to reduce the amount of cross posting which is happening on the separate Sky and BBC threads, here's a place to discuss/debate/argue about the relative merits of each one compared to the other.

The other threads will still remain, but the primary purpose of those is to discuss the specific channel in question, whether that be to praise or criticise.
Whereas this thread can be used to compare and contrast.

Remember, no punching below the belt!
I felt that the BBC coverage was more polished than Sky, but we have to give them some leeway as it was their first race. Gary Anderson is a great addition to the BBC team though.
Too early to say fairly for me because BBC have yet to show a full race.
So if it full race vs. highlights its Sky, but when the BBC shows the full races we can compare better.

To compare them why not go on to....

Gooooo compaaaaaaaaaaare!!!! Gooooo compaaaaaaaaaare!!! .com?


I prefer BBC's commentray to Sky's, I also found Sky after the show to be all over the place with their analysis unlike the BBC.

The only decent thing about sky is that they show the full race and have Ted Kravitz and Martin Brundle in their team. BBC's team isn't great either.
I flicked on to Sky F1 on Saturday, and it had Ted Kravitz on the Sky Pad, drawing a white line around the Mercedes Rear Wing F-duct to show where it was.

That is the first time I have ever seen in an F1 broadcast someone make a half decent attempt to explain a technical innovation to the great unwashed. This was possible due to Sky Sports F1.

Now, to me, that is an infinite times better than "look at this Irish jackass, look at the ridiculous shirts he's wearing. Sorry, David, were you trying to say something?"

Jake Humphrey said at one point last year that Eddie Jordan was the only reason famous people talked to the BBC. Well, I saw Whitmarsh and Horner on Sky, and I couldn't give half a toss about famous people interviews:

JH: We're joined here by [famous person]. What brings you here?
FP: Well, I was in the area and I came to see the racing.
JH: Who are you supporting out here?
FP: I'm really watching the racing but I {have a soft spot for/am here as a guest of} [team] so I hope [driver's first name] can go well from [the front/the back]
EJ: Can I just say that I'm a massive fan and I love what you've done in [music/sport/art/competitive mud wrestling].


So for me, Sky don't seem to have the annoying crap that has ruined the BBC's otherwise excellent coverage, notwithstanding the Skyperbole that you expect. And it has increased the likelihood that I will be actually interested in a random item on Sky Sports News.
After watching the Sky Qualifying build-up, I didn't bother for race-day - I thought Simon Lazenby looked hopelessly out of his depth (like the new boy at school, unsure of to whom to defer), and Damon was so busy goggling at the paddock he seemed to lose the thread of the conversation most of the time. I watched the BBC highlights and really enjoyed how stylishly they did it (the Bob Dylan pastiche was quite clever too). I fell asleep during Sky's post-race analysis, but enjoyed the BBC one immensely.

I did enjoy the Sky race commentary, though had no complaints with the Edwards/Coulthard pairing on the BBC - I just think that Brundle adds something extra.

So - glad to have Sky for all the live practices/qualifying sessions, but will probably watch the BBC when they get their chance to broadcast live; they just seem to do the "fluff" better, though I expect that Sky will improve throughout the season.
I wish we could have seen more of Anthony Davidson. I find his insight much more fascinating than Brundles and Hills. NOTE TO SKY I WANT MORE DAVIDSON ON THE BOX. He's just one of those likable characters and needs more air time preferable without that airhead Georgie Thompson - don't get me wrong i like the woman but only when she was on SSN and ALOTO. Also don't fully understand Pickhams role in the team.

I do however think that BBC having hosted it for the last 3 years have the upper hand at the moment. They've got one of my favourite Lead motorsport commentators in the Shape of Ben Edwards. However there is a downside to BBC's coverage EJ's still here. Yes it was alright to start with but EJ's just a one trick pony and offers nothing new to the team. However i do like Gary Anderson think that was an awesome opponent by the beeb, as his feedback so far has been good.

All in all, i think once Sky have ironed out a few issues they'll be the better boardcaster for F1, but it might not be until this time next season to see it fully work.
I'm not sure if this has been posted but here's a link to an article with some facts and figures on last weekends viewing figures.

Main points:
Sky were a whopping 2 million viewers down from last year live.
The BBC rather scurrilously claiming more viewers than last year, although they're comparing apples to oranges by using their highlights figure against last years live figure. Stupid.

What do you all think?
As I've stated before I built myself a private jet at the weekend and flew over to the U.S to watch the GP live on Speed TV and I was pleasently surprised. Will Buxton in the pit lane was very informative and on the ball and I don't know who the 3 in the commentary box were but they made me laugh on 3 seperate occasions (mainly about Perez and his old tyres and Kimi and his blue flags) and seemed enthused by the racing an unbiasd towards any of the drivers. Maybe they were a little bit tech minded than the likes of Brundle but I didn't mind that.

So good job yanks!
I think the whole 'free with HD' thing helped. Regular Sky viewers are more likely to have spent the £10.00 a month to upgrade to that than subscribing to all the other sports channels. Sky get the best of both in that case - existing sports subscribers who have an interest in F1 and regular subscribers who upgraded to HD for their interest in F1, plus everyone else who gets it free because they already have Sky HD. In the cold light of day though, their viewing figures are pitiful when compared directly to those last year, regardless of the method of delivery.

It'll be interesting to keep an eye on the next few races and especially when they go head to head live with the BBC.
I actually enjoyed the banter before and after on the BBC, but I gotta admit I liked sky coverage better over the weekend. Seems to be more depth to it with the tech areas than BBC does which I like.
Damon Hill looked a little awkward as a presenter but he comes across as a nice guy (just as he did as a driver) with enough intelligence that I expect he'll grow into the role. The Lazenby chap is professional - a bit too professional to be likeable, frankly, and I don't feel that he and Hill have great chemistry. The commentary team is excellent of course.

The transition to the mysterious white room with the massive TV screen in it was kind of jarring, and I think that F1 is already glamorous enough without them having to have Ms. Thompson there (I also think that F1 is sufficiently technical in nature that the presenters ought really to have some detailed understanding of the sport). It would probably be better if they were to dispense with that element of the production and allow Brundle and Croft to talk over whatever footage they might otherwise show on that big screen. They might also then consider replacing Lazenby with Anthony Davidson.

As for the BBC coverage, Jake seems more suited to children's programming and Eddie is even more infantile. Coulthard is OK but seemed too chatty with Brundle and generally didn't seem like a natural commentator in the tone and variation of his voice, his timing, his ability not to be grating et cetera.

So overall, after one race (and bearing in mind that I didn't watch much of the build-up so I can't comment on that) I feel that the Sky coverage is somewhat superior to last year's BBC coverage.
I thought Hill was only there for 10 races so Ant might be replacing him for that other 10. Also if anyone is replacing Lazenby, it would be Brundle, they built this coverage around him and I think he presented Fuji 2008 so he isn't inexperienced
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