BBC F1 coverage in 2012


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    With Sky I get Brundle, Crofty, TK, a new take on the same action – things like the music and interview soundbites on the warmup laps, a little arcadey but actually pretty good.

    Ok, so Damon and the lead presenter were a little wooden in their bland shirts and the dolly cheapens things a tad…but it’s a whole lot better than Jake, EJ and DC all doing some chummy, pseudo-relaxed and painfully scripted feature.

    Also, once you’ve been watching F1 for 20 years – you really can’t stand to watch yet another feature on tyres, pit-stops or steering wheels. I’ve not bothered watching any of them for a good two seasons.

    So basically, sky give me the people I want and it’s included in my usual TV package anyway. Hence, goodbye BBC F1. A good effort while it lasted until all the politics, top-gear style interviews and that utter prat EJ got involved.


    That, Sky, is how you do post-race analysis.

    Jake, EJ and DC covered more in 30 minutes than the entire Sky team did in 1 and 1/2 hours.

    The drivers WANT to come over and talk, the team principles are happy to make time for an interview and most importantly we got PROPER re-plays, explained and talked through.

    Sky had no replays, only a couple of uninteresting interviews and it was packed with adverts and self-promotion.

    I’m so glad the BBC are still motivated enough to do this properly, and I’m definitely going to be switching to BBC when they have their 10 live races.




    It’s good to see the BBC did the analysis lacking from the Sky coverage. Sky analysed the first lap and Maldonado vs. Grosjean and that was it, which was disappointing. If Sky just did more analysis, their coverage would improve greatly. Maybe instead of walking around, they should sit in a motorhome and analyse the race from there, whilst someone like Natalie goes around interviewing people.

    Sky don’t have the relationships with the teams that the BBC do, but hopefully they will build relationships with the teams over the year, though it will be harder with the BBC around. I can’t see BBC seeing out the deal, I think they’ll drop the F1 coverage altogether eventually, so Sky really need to make themselves known around the paddock, or we’ll very few post-race interviews.

    In regards to which is better BBC or Sky, I’d say that Sky will get right what they did wrong today and they clearly have the better coverage. Sky did a good job throughout the weekend up until after the race, if they get the analysis in, they’ll be even better. I be watching all races on Sky, the fact that they have Martin Brundle is a big factor my decision too.


    To those moaning about the Sky analysis – no TV analysis is any good. Some bother trying to do it (BBC) and some just clearly don’t (Sky). Visit on F1Fanatic/JAonF1/JoeSaward/Autosport on a Monday morning for a proper, well thought out analysis.


    I listened to the bbc radio commentary this morning, caught a bit of the sky coverage in the afternoon whilst visiting someone’s house and have just been watching the bbc coverage. Only discovered the site today after scanning for more technical stuff!
    Totally agree with @simon touchscreens don’t work well in these sort of programs, they are always slow, make the discussion stilted and are more trouble than they’re worth. In addition, when I saw the sky channel the night before, they were covering drivers completing a sort of operation game. Not impressed…
    Ben Edwards and DC were good, I like the main pundits on the BBC but some of their conversations grating, last year, Jake’s constant digs at EJ’s clothes in particular. Having them for a small amount of time before the race highlights was refreshing. Ted Kravitz is sorely missed, but I think Gary Anderson could fill that hole after a few races. As an engineer I enjoyed the video he did on the BBC when the mclaren car was released, so a bit more coverage like that would be nice.
    The radio coverage was ok but a bit patchy but that may be because I’m used to watching the races on the telly and getting a lot more visual information.


    I really don’t enjoy listening to BBC 5 Live Radio. James Allen is awful, he hasn’t changed since the ITV days. Jaime Alguersuari is ok, he has always got something interesting to say.


    Overnight figures suggest Sky averaged 874k viewers for the live race, and the BBC highlights averaged 2.73m viewers.
    Figures taken from digital spy tv forum, post 235

    In total thats 0.5m less then the combined race and re run viewers last year which got 2m and 2.1 m respectively.

    So lets make some presumptions…
    Half the “live” 2011 BBC audience watched the 2012 race on sky.
    Most of the rest of the 2011 live race audience listened on the radio / stayed in bed and joined with the 2011 re run audience in watching the BBC highlights show.

    That leaves half a million people who simply didn’t watch at all. Of course that might not be entirely down to the sky deal but it probably played a part.

    Plus you can’t tell from those figures how many people watched both early morning and afternoon shows last year or this year (probably higher this year due to people comparing sky and bbc) and just how many viewers new to F1 the sky channel has brought.


    I don’t have Sky so for races the BBC aren’t showing live I have yet to decide whether to wait for the highlights on TV or listen to the radio commentary live.

    As Australia was an early morning race I decided I wouldn’t get up early just for the radio commentary, for the rest of the season I think I will wait for the TV coverage as well, a factor in this is that I didn’t like Allen as a commentator when he was with ITV

    I had to make sure to avoid all news coverage before the highlight shows, which for me is quite hard as the first thing I normally do is check the news.

    The BBC’s coverage was good for a highlights show but I always felt like I was missing something and it affected my overall enjoyment of the race, even though I know they would have shown anything important.

    They seemed to do a good job of editing the highlights together I didn’t keep a track of the qualifying countdown clock or race lap counter so I didn’t know for sure when cuts had been made, but I did notice some of the cuts.

    An example was when Vettel went off the track when he was behind Schumacher early on, during the highlights he seemed to be back behind Schumacher as soon as they had shown the replay whereas live you would have appreciated just how quickly he closed the gap.

    I am sure you could edit out scenes from classic films and it wouldn’t detract from the film or the plot but those scenes would still add something to the film.

    The BBC show had new opening credits and some new graphics, I don’t know if this was because it is the fourth year of BBC coverage and so a regular change, or in response to Sky, but I don’t think they are an improvement on what was there before.

    There were a few times when the BBC showed a short random montage between features pre race, which I used to think was to give the crew a few moments break when the show was live but now that it isn’t live I don’t know why they have kept them as they just seem a waste of time.

    The BBC haven’t replaced Kravitz which is a shame, as the job that Anderson did seemed to be different. Kravitz was a pit lane reporter who went and checked with the teams during the race, whereas what Anderson did seemed to be just strategy and analysis.

    There was nothing wrong with anything Anderson did but it could have been run alongside the work Kravitz did in previous years and you wouldn’t have said they were duplicating content.

    I know they are limited on how much highlights they can show but now that it is recorded I don’t expect wasted time like that, they could have a little extra analysis instead.

    As for the Edwards/Coulthard partnership, although they will have done some test commentary it is still early days. I don’t think I will have any problems with Edwards but I really liked last year with Brundle and Coulthard and I don’t think the current pairing will top that for me.

    It will be interesting to see if they try to recreate the Brundle grid walk when they show a race live or whether they will use the format they had in the highlights show of each different person doing an interview with someone different, on the footage just cutting straight to a different interview.

    Also if they do decide to do a live grid walk when they eventually bump into Brundle I wonder if they have been told to ignore him, as last year they seemed to have been ordered not to mention the Sky deal even when fans were chanting No to Sky.

    Overall it is probably the best they could have done with just a highlights package


    Anyone who’s missing Ted Kravitz, his post-race video notebook thing is available online for anyone to watch, not just Sky subscribers. That’s a bonus – this one’s not very insightful, but previously I thought these round-ups were the best thing he did.

    Oli Yorke

    Does anyone know the music within the synoptic video of the 2012 Australian grand prix at the end of the BBC highlights???


    Ok, you could clearly see the edits in the qualifying show, but mainly all we missed were cars leaving the pits onto a warm up lap. I recall last year when i had recorded qualy, i got back and fast forwarded the HRT’s/Virgins/Team Lotus early laps in Q1 as they were never going to be troubling the front positions. Then did same with Q2 & Q3, so personally, not much has been lost.
    Pre-qualy & race parts – Don’t forget that this was the first race of the year, and therfore has to include all the driver and team changes. There will be new viewers coming to F1 each year, so it is for their benefit, as are the pieces about Tyres/DRS that a section of the viewers (such as people on fan forums) already know about. Not every fan is pouring over on the internet for the latest news from Brazil to testing to the first race. I mean i do, but i realise it’s not for everyone!!

    The Race show was ok, i had avoided all news, so to be honest i was wanting them to get on with it a bit more than they did, but i can live with that (again, not everyone would have seen qualy show, so there always has to be some repeat of basic segments). The commentary team did ok for their first live race together, especially when Ben Edwards was struggling to understand the radio transmissions and said what we’ve all felt sometimes, namely that you can’t understand a word of it! Lee McKenzie interviewed Romain and Michael pretty quickly. Analysis was really good from Gary Anderson, who i feel can explain more than Ted Kravitz ever could. Though, i will miss the entertainment side that Ted brought, i mean, he never let the facts get in the way of a good story (i remember quite a few occasions over the last 3 years where it seemed like he was blatantly guessing why teams were doing what they were doing). But please, can someone at BBC Sport let Gary Anderson wear a normal shirt and not the corporate BBC Navy Blue we see on Steve Parish and Charlie Cox during Moto GP. I kept expecting him to wax lyrical about Webbo needing that first corner argy-bargy like he needed a third armpit. And while i’m moaning a little, the title sequence was better in the past 3 years. I really liked the cars racing around the different circuits, even though they did need liveries updating.

    The post race analysis was good, they covered everything i think, but i do like to see the podium drivers after the race and recieving the trophies. As so much has been made of Lewis’ demenour on the podium and press conference, i’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see it, even in highlight form.

    Overall though, i thought they did a good job. I’ve got friends who have sky, so hopefully i will see what they are offering at somepoint (maybe Bahrain if it’s on), so i will be able to contrast, but i’ve always liked the way BBC do sport, and i certainly prefer my pundits talking to each other (like normal people would do) rather than the American way of presenting and talking direct to the camera even if you are responding to something your colleague has just asked you. If people actually did that in real life, you’d stop talking to them!


    The BBC seem to have done a good job but it is still not live. However their viewing figures were up on the live race last year. http://www.forumula1.com/2012/f1/f1-news/bbc-viewing-figures-up-despite-delayed-coverage/ Sky however, of the pay-channel’s 2012 coverage, meanwhile, averaged just 526,000 viewers. As far as I am aware you can get a weekend subscription to Sky and those viewers will probably watch the BBC for its live coverage compounding the pain for Sky. I was set up to watch the race on RTL with commentry by radio 5live but a link posted here allowed me to watch the full sky show online, including free practise. It was ok, I think Brundle needs to chill but I hear the show is being built around him. I dont see the added cost being justified and I would prefer a bit less of the dramatics and more of the racing. I still dont like DRS and the false drama it injects to the show.


    In this weeks coverage did they say there would be a F1 Forum on the Red Button or did I miss it?

    I don’t recall them mentioning anything but about half and hour after the show on Sunday I was looking through the Electronic Programme Guide on my TV and it said F1 highlights on channel 301 (the Red Button channel) so I thought I would see what they were showing and I caught the end of the F1 Forum.

    It then seemed to show a full repeat of the BBC1 highlights programme on a loop.

    Also does anyone know why Eddie Jordan wasn’t in Malaysia, again unless I missed it they only seemed to mention it at the end of the show when they said he would be back for China.


    @PJA the full forum is on the Iplayer.

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