BBC or Sky when both are live?

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    During the forum yesterday the BBC found a Chinese fan who really loves their coverage:


    Fantastic race glad to watch on thew BBC coverage brilliant sticking with BBC for there live races don’t like sky presenters boring to watch I am afraid .


    BBC’s live Chinese Grand Prix broadcast saw a slight dip in viewers: 4.1m peak versus 4.3m last year.


    Out of interest, did the commentators on Sky spot MSC’s wheel problem during the pit stop ? The BBC missed it, even though I’m sure many viewers realised there was a problem as MSC pulled away.


    Sky 0.48m with 0.854m peak apparently (they don’t release figures):


    Impressive that they only lost 200,000 viewers. I just wish there weren’t 2 providers splitting the good features between them- sky gets Brundle and a decent grid-walk, BBC gets analysis. Somewhere in there is near-perfect coverage. Although I suspect last year was pretty much that.


    @matt90 I think that’s pretty much it, to be honest. At least from my point of view.

    Also, that video of Lao is brilliant. It proves what I’ve always secretly suspected, that the BBC is the most widely streamed and downloaded F1 coverage in the world.

    Andy Redden

    @keithcollantine Am I right in saying that the race had more viewers overall this year than last year? Also My Dad recently got SKY installed and the SKY guy who fitted it said the new F1 channel has had one of the biggest effects in terms of increase in subscribers compared to other new channels they have added.


    That clip is superb, Lao speaks the truth!

    @keithcollantine Those figures look quite horrific to me. Do you know what sort of numbers they were expecting / hoping for when they launched?


    @Andy Redden it looks to me like there has been an INCREASE in viewers by around 600,000, although that could always be caused by people switching between BBC F1 and Sky F1 and causing two separate ‘peak periods’? Viewing figures are never totally accurate anyway, they’re more of an estimate.


    Yeah, those figures look terrible. I’d say Sky has been a bit of a disaster so far.


    For me, I flipped between the channels.

    I watched from the beginning on Sky. We flipped over to BBC when it came on. We then changed back to Sky for the grid walk and the race, then back to BBC for the post race analysis.

    Sky’s analysis is pants. The “Sky Pad” presenters were terrible and we flipped as soon as they were on. However, BBC’s grid walk sucked, and their commentary wasn’t as good (I watched the BBC coverage on iPlayer when I went for a cig or to the toilet).


    I like to spot the two different television teams on each other’s coverage, MB said hello to DC during the Sky gridwalk and he walked past EJ too. MB also appeared very briefly during the BBC gridwalk which I found a lot more interesting, especially with Eddie’s birthday message for Frank Williams.



    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.

    I understand why you dislike this sort of stuff; you’re not alone in thinking that the BBC spend too much time messing around and telling jokes. In theory then, Sky’s rather grown-up and serious coverage should be exactly for you.

    But it’s not. Because even with all the joke cracking and “unnecessary” features in the slums of India, the BBC still manages to fit in more interviews, analysis and news than Sky. Sky’s post-race analysis is an absolute joke; for the first race they may as well not have bothered and just gone off air.

    Compare this to the BBC’s post-race analysis, where drivers are never too busy to come and talk. We see slow-motion replays of significant events, often in the presence of the respective team principles or drivers, and we also get the insight from an ex-team owner and recently-retired driver. Damon Hill is obviously very knowledgeable, but Coulthard seems to be more up-to-date with the latest technical information.

    The only slightly weak point of the BBC’s coverage is their commentary. Ben Edwards is not the best commentator around, and I far prefer the Brundle-Coulthard partnership. But on the other, I can’t stand Croft’s commentary, so frankly anything the BBC can put together is going to be preferable for me personally.


    I watched the BBC for pre and post race coverage and Sky for the commentary and have absolutely no complaints.

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