Shortly after the announcement that UK F1 coverage was to be shared between BBC and S*y, I wrote a blog post explaining what I would only be watching the sport on the BBC (see article here). A year has passed and on the whole, I have stuck to my convictions (and boycotted S*y – with the exceptions of YouTube clips). While I appreciate why some presenters choose to work for S*y, I still have reservations about the company itself.
Nonetheless, I wanted to examine how both broadcasters have fared in the first year of “split coverage” but since I have not been watching S*y, I have asked 4 viewers to answer a few questions and give me their verdict on the first year of split F1 coverage in the UK.
For each of the following categories, score each from 1 (poor) – 3 (average) – 5 (excellent):
The Presenters & Analysists (Average Scores)
- Simon Lazenby = 2.5
- Georgie Thompson = 2.25
- Martin Brundle = 4.5
- Ted Kravitz = 4.5
- Jake Humphrey = 4.5
- David Coulthard = 4.75
- Gary Anderson = 4.75
- Lee McKenzie = 3.75
Pre-show features / Post Race Interviews, based on Content, Duration, Variety
- S*y = 3.5
- BBC = 4.5
Which areas of both broadcasters’ coverage do you think could be improved?
TN: Obviously the BBC’s coverage could be improved by having all races live – but we know that’s not going to happen. On S*y, I’m still not warming to Simon Lazenby. He just seems to lack charisma and comes across as slightly awkward. Damon is a lovely guy and great world champion but it has to be said that his punditry can be dull. I wish S*y would make more use of Anthony Davidson. He has both insight and wit – he’s wasted stuck next to Georgi Thompson on the S*yPad. His analysis on the S*yPad is so insightful but he could do so much more!
How do you feel about Suzi Perry replacing Jake Humphrey on BBC team?
AM: Suzi Perry knows her Motorsport, albeit having a 2-wheeled background in MotoGP. Having watched her presenting MotoGP coverage, she has proved very knowledgable in that field & I believe she will be a welcome addition to the BBC team & a worthy replacement of Jake.
TN: I don’t know Suzi well so I’m reserving judgement. However its hard to see how the DC, EJ, JH chemistry can be replicated. The same would apply to Lee – Jake is such a hard act to follow.
SB: As good as Lee is at what she does, presenting is a different ball game and i don’t feel she has the screen presence or natural ability to do this. Being familiar with the gadget show makes me think that Suzi will be a very strong replacement, she is natural, and good humoured and will be a match for DC and EJ.
Any other comments?
AM: A final comment about Sky, with a fully dedicated F1 channel & the vast library of F1 archive footage available, there is a distinct lack of programming for the majority of the day. Even during the season, most of the time viewers are left with repeats of the same features on an hourly basis & now during the off season that has been replaced by constant highlights & race repeats of the 2012 season. Surely with the archive footage they could show season highlights from decades past or full race footage from races during some of those periods? This would be so much better for new fans of the sport & give them a better understanding of the history of F1 (in much the same way how BBC show highlights of past seasons in the week building up to a Grand Prix on their red button)
SB: Both Broadcasters have done a good job all in all, but the BBC are still miles ahead, they package a product in a very simple way without having to overcomplicate things bringing in the experts and interviews at the right time, they do have experience on their side so it will be interesting as to what year 2 will bring.