BBC or Sky when both are live?

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    After watching the first 2 races on RTL with 5 live Commentary, I can safely say I’ll be watching the race on the BBC but with 5 Live commentary instead of Ben & DC.

    Have thoroughly enjoyed the the 5L comm, much more than I enjoyed the Ben & DC comm when watching the BBC highlights shows.

    I very much doubt I’ll get up for the the Pre stuff. I used to get up and watch all the Pre stuff for the early races but I have found that I haven’t felt like I’ve been missing out on anything (or getting withdrawal symptoms) by just getting up when the 5L coverage kicks off about 10mins before the 5 lights go out.

    F1 in Brum

    For the F1 in Pubs race screening here in Birmingham, we’re going to have a vote among us for which commentary to listen to – will be interesting to see which way it goes!

    (Apres Summer Row, free, from 7am Sunday, by the way….!)


    BBC not just because I don’t have sky, BBC coverage is more familiar & has more banter. + despite having a dedicated channel for F1 sky somehow missed the midfield melee at the end of Australia. Either way for the actual race its still FOM feed


    I’d go for SKY’s coverage, I just prefer listening to Croft and Brundle but watch the BBC’s pre and post race coverage.


    BBC coverage, until Qualy/Race and then switch to Skys commentry. Then jump back to BBC post Qualy/Race for analysis & Forum.

    Thats the plan.


    I downloaded the Sepang race from both channels, and I was completely underwhelmed by Sky’s pre and post-race chat. The presenters are ridiculously boring with no character, banter, or personality, (I like them, but they’re certainly not people I’d pay to watch discuss F1) the coverage is way, way over-the-top (as you could expect from Sky) and it all seems like they’re throwing money at things they don’t need (“SkyPad” springs to mind) just so they can say “Look at us! Spending all of this money on making a professional show.” It kind of sickens me in a strange way.

    I’m just so, so glad I get the Sky commentary for free, because there’s no way I’d pay for it if I lived in the UK. So BBC all the way! The only reasons I listen to Sky’s commentary are because I have no choice, plus I’ve never had to watch a Grand Prix without Brundle, so I’m not about to stop! Edwards does a much better job than Croft, but you can’t have it all…


    I’ve watched all output from both sides of both races so far (ie far too much!), and my verdict is…

    There is absolutely no question that I’ll be watching BBC pre and post race – what Sky have been doing is farcical really, if I’d paid to be fed that drivel I’d be livid (I already have Sky HD so no change in cost for me). It is full of self promotion, ads and has no substance, but with the team they’ve got I can’t see that changing any time soon. I would really like to know what those saying ‘Sky, because of the more technical in-depth coverage’ are watching? The content is more fluffy than a jar of marshmallow whip but delivered with a serious face – just because they keep telling you it is complete in depth and the best coverage does not make it true. Actually listen to what they are saying and ask yourself what you have learnt. Considering the amount of money they’ve thrown at it that they’ve made it so bad is actually quite an achievement.

    As for the race it is obviously all the same output except for the commentary and pit lane reports, and I find this much harder to call. I know they everyone is just settling in but for me at the moment it is a question of who is less worse (if you’ll excuse my horrid use of English). Maybe I’ve just watched too much of it at once but I’m finding Croft and Edwards equally tiresome while surprisingly enjoying Coultard nearly as much as Brundle.
    Both Croft and Edwards seem to be trying to do a Legard impersonation; too loud, constant and shouty with random excited voice thrown at nothing much happening on screen, which I was kind of expecting from Croft having come straight from radio (to which he was well suited and entertaining) but not Edwards, who I have always enjoyed for being entertaining but relaxed until it was completely necessary to be excited, setting a good pace and tone. Edwards is the most annoying so far though, he has already started to infuriate me with presumably involuntary expressions of ‘oooft’, ‘phaar’ and ‘lwooo!’ when excitement happens – I can make those noises myself thanks, you stick to telling me what is going on. Both leads also keep interrupting their sidekicks in an exciting voice which is all well and good to impart some essential useful info but it is invariably for nothing worth noting.
    Brundle sounds disinterested during the race, still coming out with some nuggets occasionally but I get a feeling the old Legard partnership frustrations are returning to him, he’s also probably knackered as Sky are getting him to do too much of the co-presenting role to which he is not suited.
    Coultard for me has been the stable voice of sense so far. I find him hugely entertaining, the one person who sounds more relaxed this year and he makes some great calls on the strategies and action.
    In the pitlane Ted is king, clearly. A lot of what Anderson says is actually quite good, but it is just such hard work listening to him. The Sky girl (I forget which one) talking to Button snr was embarrassing, what are these people adding?
    So, hmmm. Tough one. It is between two commentators of mediocrity (Sky) against one I’m enjoying and one I’m losing patience with (BBC). I going to try BBC all the way through this week, but Croft is not far from pushing me the other way mid race. We’ll see.


    @peteleeuk Agreed, unfortunately! I think a lot of people want Sky to be good and keep telling themselves it is when really, they’re getting a more serious version of the BBC that just looks like they’re trying way, way too hard.

    I’ve always liked Edwards, but now you’ve ruined him for me! :-D I think he’s better than Croft, however. Brundle and DC really worked together. DC annoyed me at times with his thinly veiled bias, but I think he got better as the season went on. Although I’m not sold on the idea of Brundle doing the lead commentary, looking back, we had consistently good commentary last year from the pair of them.

    In the pits, Sky wins by virtues of having bought Ted from the BBC, but I think they’re going a bit overboard with him by including him in the coverage so much. Gary Anderson is, as you say, difficult to listen to! He doesn’t have the right voice for it and to be honest, I can’t understand half of what he says (no idea what that accent is but it’s kind of muffled and monotonous).

    It’s funny, but the more I think about it, the more I realise how good (apart from the ads!) ITV had it. Allen was the best co-commentator for Brundle, and his enthusiasm wasn’t irritating, it was infectious. Ted in the pits, Louise in the paddock, and some decent (not as good as the BBC though!) pre/post-race stuff. People didn’t seem to like James, but I’ve never understood that. He and Brundle also seemed to get along very well.

    As for pre/post-race fun, the BBC wins hands down. Georgie Thompson isn’t particularly bad I don’t think, but her presence is entirely pointless. She stands there next to Anthony Davidson and asks him a very boring question that I can’t even be bothered hearing the answer to, and then Anthony awkwardly swipes away at the pointless interactive wall while delivering his usual uninteresting insight and opinions. Hill is a smart guy that I enjoy hearing from occasionally, but he’s certainly not the man for this job. He just looks out of place and like he doesn’t know what to do. Lazenby is OK, I have to admit, but that’s also his problem — he’s a bit “professional”, or as I’d call it, bland. Humphrey is like EJ’s condescending father, while DC tends to take sides with him, so it’s got that fun Top Gear-esque feel to it. I enjoy seeing it because it’s not always smooth, but it’s never dull, which is more that can be said of Sky!

    So basically, I’d ideally have Allen and Brundle in the box, Ted in the pits, Pinkham in the paddock (I was disappointed when Holly Samos went, but she’s surprised me and been quite a decent replacement) DC doing his mid-race comments (like in 2010) with Jake, Eddie and DC presenting the coverage — of course joined by Brundle for the forum. So basically, I want the 2011 BBC team with added James Allen! :-P

    But if Sky continues as they are, this is going to be a disaster.

    Also, this is well worth a watch. Seriously, stick with it.


    I will be watching Sky live, and will then watch the BBC stuff on iplayer. So far, I have preferred Sky’s “in session” coverage, with Crofty, Brundle and Kravitz, but their pre/post- race program isn’t up to BBC’s standards. But we must remember that they’ve only done 2 races compared to the BBC’s 50+. With a 3 week break, hopefully Sky would have improved.

    Unfortunately, one thing they can’t improve is the utter annoyance that is looking at and listening to Simon Lazenby. He always seems to be scrunching his face up! A lot are moaning about Georgie Thompson, but I personally think she’s a better presenter and should have Lazenby’s role. She is a bit more fun, and looks as though she has more chemistry with the drivers and team personnel from the interviews she’s done (not surprising considering the dominatrix outfit she went for when interviewing Jenson!)

    Another key point for me will be adverts. Sky CAN ABSOLUTELY NOT AFFORD to put adverts during the practice sessions this weekend! With the BBC practice sessions on the red button, I (and I’m sure most others) will switch to them when the adverts kick in, and, due to the hassle of pressing the red button, will not be switching back and forth the whole time. Ideally, Sky will not put any adverts in during the period in which BBC is live. Let’s be honest, they can easily afford not to! But unfortunately, I seriously doubt this will happen.


    Sky is married to the Advert break, theres no divorce between them. The only thing they will never interupt is the Premiership Football, its the sacred cow of its coverage and the major reason most people have Sky.

    I forgot that BBC will be showing the Freepratices, although they are going to be on rather early still. Is it going to be the 5Live guys or their main commentators?


    I assumed it would be the 5Live guys. I’ll see if I can listen to 5Live for FP2 from here in Australia!


    Sky is married to the Advert break, theres no divorce between them. The only thing they will never interupt is the Premiership Football, its the sacred cow of its coverage and the major reason most people have Sky.

    Sky do have adverts during their football coverage, just not during the games, just like F1. If you’re refering to practice, well Sky don’t watch the football teams training or their pre-game warm ups. The only thing Sky do better with their football coverage is that they analyse the games better, though hopefully Sky will improve on that.


    One thing that really irritated me about Sky’s practice coverage was that if they missed something whilst in an ad break, they would show a replay and try and pretend it was live! Other than that I thought their coverage was great, so much so that I didn’t switch to BBC, just watched it online during the ads.


    Not seen anyone else mention this yet, but the BBC are not broadcasting in HD. According to the on-screen display on my Sky box (and my eyes) it is only standard definition. Is this a stipulation of the deal with Sky? No HD when they’re both live?


    Much prefer Sky’s coverage, I felt BBC’s was dumbed down last year too, fed up of Brundle having to say “If you’re new to Formula One…” every single race. Also Sky’s coverage is more serious and less jokey, which is what I want. I’m here to watch a race, not Jake Humphrey taking the piss out of Eddie’s shirts. Also I got fed up with the pointless features showing HAM and BUT jet-skiing, and ridiculous “atmospheric” shots with them going: “the horse has tamed the bulls” and all those stupid metaphors. It’s a race not a gladiatorial battle. Also the BBC’s unnecessary feature of going round slums in India asking whether they’d heard of F1 or not, which was… urgh, it’s just not needed. My only criticism of Sky is that they cut away from the world feed while the session is under way in practice, which annoys me intensely. Apart from that it’s great, and from what I’ve seen in Quali coverage so far for this weekend (China), it seems to be tighter, with less self-promotion. Still, its ridiculous that we’ve got 2 separate channels now, and its annoying that one of them is owned by Murdoch, and is a pay-channel. I wish FOM would just broadcast the all the world feed streams free-to-air/view over unencrypted satellite (Main feed, onboard cams, onboard mix, helmet cam and driver tracker), without commentary even, but they wouldn’t do that as the other broadcasters would complain.

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