The Battle Of The Broadcasters – Part 1: Sky
With Sky Sports and the BBC going head-to-head for the second time this season, we thought we'd bring you this feature from 'Motorsport Reflections'.
The first part analyses Sky Sports F1 coverage March, while the second part analyses BBC F1 from earlier this month.
Since the split coverage between BBC and Sky the debate on the Vital F1 forum has been mixed. To join the BBC debate, click here
, to join the Sky debate, click here
. The Battle Of The Broadcasters – Part 1: Sky
I was one of many who criticised the move of Formula One from the BBC to Sky. And to an extent, I am still appalled that I will only see half the races of my beloved sport. I was able to catch the full Australian Grand Prix on Sky Sports F1 thanks to a close friend who offered to put me up. And let me put it this way; I was not disappointed with the coverage.
There is no doubt that Sky have kept their promises and exceeded expectations. Their channel includes insights into the history of Formula One and past champions’ experiences and insights. ‘@ST03VEN said, #SkyF1 provide a dedicated channel and more interactive features. Also nicked the best commentator from the BBC’ This was an element that the BBC is missing, most likely due to the lack of airtime they can provide in between their usual scheduled programmes. They also replay the different sessions over a few days to allow people to catch up and re-play. Although you could have done this via iPlayer, it is much easier and accessible via the channel. All of which is inclusive in the price. Depending on what internet package/usage you have, you may not be able to watch iPlayer or it could end up costing more than the monthly bill.
Like that of Formula One, they also provide a technological element with their Sky Pad with which I have to say, I am blown away with. It helps explain aspects of the sport with the interaction of Georgie Thompson and Davidson. Using F1 clips and the variety of tools available on the Sky Pad, the fans can learn more about what happens on track, how different parts of the car work and zoom into specific areas, all of which help fans see and understand things more clearly. ‘@Kenevil_F1 said, Georgie Thompson appearing rather pointless and redundant. SkyPad looks silly with the oversized mics instead of clips or headsets.’
The graphics are so much sharper and more trendy then that of the BBC. With the money invested from Sky to cover the sport, I would be incredibly disappointed if they didn’t. ‘@trollmacher said, The Sky F1 graphics are superb so far, I’d like to see Ant Davidson doing a little more though.’ In regards to the actual coverage of the sessions/race, there wasn’t any difference for me. Croft and Brundle’s knowledge and expertise are well known to F1 fans and contain the same analysis as it did when they were at the BBC. ‘@KaylaF1 said, can’t beat a bit of Brundle Grid Walk and Commentary but prefer BBC for programme and banter!!’
There are just two minor criticisms I have with their coverage…
Brundle, Kravitz, Croft, Davidson and Pinkham are on form as usual. No real change from that of when they worked for the BBC. ‘@TimJN1 said, Sky had excellent race commentary with Croft and Brundle but the build-up lacked the warmth and relaxed humour of the BBC team.’ Simon Lazenby and Georgie Thompson however, came across as rather rehearsed and lacking the enthusiasm that Humphrey, Coulthard and Jordan put across. This will obviously faze out over time as the season goes by. ‘@Crazy_Sauce said, The Sky coverage was ok but didn’t have much character. It didn’t have the same spirit or sense on engagement. Early days though.’ I much enjoy listening to what the BBC team have to say along with the giggles that they provide. I didn’t feel the same passion and excitement from the Sky team. ‘@IrishKimiFan20 said, Sky’s coverage is good, commentary is excellent BUT they need to stop being so uptight and have more of a laugh.’
The other issue I have are the ad breaks during free practice and qualifying sessions. The BBC, being an ad free channel, provided complete uninterrupted coverage from start to finish. This meant that we never missed a single second. And even during quiet periods, we were entertained by the musings and insights from the BBC trio. Sky contain ad breaks which, give them their due, are not long and with the red button, you can continue watching footage of the action out on track, but for me, I find it frustrating having to change every 15 minutes. (It’s probably just me being picky!)
So do I prefer Sky over the BBC?…Find out in Part 2 where I will be analysing the BBC’s 2012 coverage of China and I will give you my verdict as to which I prefer.
Author: Christina Eades
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